Core 6 on Dell Latitude D820
(f.welland at verizon dot net )
Last update on: Monday, February 26 2007 (This page was started on Tuesday, January 03 2007)
NOTE: I have installed Fedora 7 on this laptop -- See here for details
- Disc Prep
- Hardware Matrix
- The Install
- Some Relevant Command (etc. lspci, fdisk) Output
- Lots Of Links To Good Stuff
- Some Annoyances (e.g. System Beep!!!)
- About my Dell
- Fedora Core 5 on this same D820
- Some (mostly obvious) Hints and Tips
||Quadro NVS 110M
|Works out of the box with x.org 'nv' driver. Graphical installer works well too. (compiz/'Desktop Affects' required tweaks)
Intel CPU T2500 @ 2.00GHz
1920 x 1200
|Works out of the box at 1920x1200 resolution
||Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition
|Works out of the box
||Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
||works (required tweaks)
||Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme
BCM5752 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express
|Works out of the box
||NEC DVD +/- RW ND-6650A
||CD seems OK -- DVD & Write tests still pending
||Do not know (not sure I care)
||Do not Know (not sure I care)
||AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint
||Works out of the box
||Works out of the box
Why did I do this? I had a perfectly good FC5 laptop, that I had spent plenty of time working on! Well, FC 6 is/was:
So I did. And from a 'stick in the disk and let it rip'
perspective, FC6 + a D820 works quite well. For a bit of
background on my experiences with LINUX/FC and laptops, look at the
introduction on my FC5-D820 page.
- It has a few new features I was interested in (especially compiz/'Desktop Effects')
- I had real painless install experiences with FC6 installs on a desktop and my home brew backup/NAS thing
- A guy who followed my FC5/D820 page encouraged me to give it a try.
Since I already sliced up this disk for the FC5 install,
at least from a WinXP vs FC perspective, I didn't need to do much here.
The only steps I took was to back up my FC stuff to my
home-grown NAS thing. Perhaps I will add some info about my
NAS/Backup thing in the future. I didn't back up anything in my
WinXP partition -- there really wasn't anything of value to loose there.
Basically, I stuck the first FC6, CD in and rebooted into the installer
and let it rip. I had used BT to grab the CD images and burned
to CDRs on a desktop FC6 box -- I didn't use DVD images like I did last
time. I didn't have problems
releated to reading the install media this go-around. I attribute
this to to new/replacement DVDRW I have -- see more about this in "About my Dell" section.
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
- To 'install' I just booted from DVD/CD drive with the CD media. I
the on screen instructions. That pretty much will get you to
working FC6 system - if you choose to accept defaults and such.
- I did a custom install so I can pick only the packages I
want and set up partitions like I want. In this install, like most of
the FC installs I have done, I wanted fresh partitions - so I didn't
re-use any of the FC5 paratitions. Besides, I found that my /home
was a bit small for me under the FC5 install.
- GRUB found my XP install and added it to the boot menu just fine.
- I used the graphical installer -- it didn't have any display problems like I had during the FC5 install.
- I turned off SELinux during installation. (FYI:
I have no reason to do this other than I don't know if SELinux
brings me anything. My assumption is no. Please enlighten
- I do not recall the kernel version that was layed out be the
installer. Basically, after I went through the 'firstboot' stuff,
I let PUP do a full update. It updated me to some kernel, which
I forget. Within first couple of days, pup informed me of some
kernel updates. After putting it off a few times, on January 4
(FYI: I did the initial install on January 1, 2007), I let pup
install the new kernel. I now have kernel: 2.6.18-1.2869.fc6 #1 SMP.
- After the install, I didn't seem to have any of the 'wrong kernel' source problems discussed here
- Here is what my partitions turned out to be:
/dev/sda3 9.5G 3.3G 5.7G 37% /
1013M 0 1013M 0% /dev/shm
19G 4.4G 14G 25% /home
26G 338M 25G 2% /opt
9.5G 212M 8.8G 3% /usr/local
Relevant Command Output
fdisk 'p' output for /dev/sda:
Disk /dev/sda: 100.0 GB, 100030242816 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12161 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
End Blocks Id System
7 56196 de Dell
26627737+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
10241437+ 83 Linux
60757830 5 Extended
20482843+ 83 Linux
10241406 83 Linux
8677 2048256 82 Linux swap /
27985198+ 83 Linux
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 01)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 01)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Quadro NVS 110M / GeForce Go 7300 (rev a1)
03:01.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. Cardbus bridge (rev 21)
03:01.4 FireWire (IEEE 1394): O2 Micro, Inc. Firewire (IEEE 1394) (rev 02)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5752 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
The System Beep really annoys me. For whatever reason, FC6 seems
to have lots of beeps enabled by default. On FC5 & FC6 there
are beeps when GDM finally finishes during startup and the system is
ready to login. On FC6, all console windows have them.
Here is how to kill them:
- To get rid of most, if not all beebs, that occur while you are in a GNOME session:
- run System->Preferences->Sound applet
- select the 'System Beep' tab
- uncheck 'Enable System Beep'
- To get rid of beeps in a console
(<ctl><alt>F1 and other consoles), edit
/etc/inputrc and make sure 'set bell-style' is set to
'none'. This won't get rid of the startup beeps and such.
It only disables most (all, perhaps) beeps that happen from a
console. Recently a reader pointed out that you can un-comment
this line (removing the '#' at the beginning of the line). I
don't remember what the default was after a clean install of FC6 - so
either uncomment, add the line, or change the value to 'none'.
- Blacklist the pcspkr kernel module. See this: http://www.arsgeek.com/?p=484 I have not tried this.
- Recompile kernel w/o PC speaker support. I haven't tried this, just read about it on some forum post somewhere.
- System bios, perhaps? I looked and didn't find anything
related to this. PLMK if there is such a thing in D820 bios. BTW: There is a lot of juicy stuff in bios setup.
As mentioned earlier, video/graphics seemed to work really well
during the install process and afterwards. The XServer will
(probably) be detected as NVIDIA and use the Xorg 'nv' driver.
Honestly, I didn't check too much on what the installer detected
and setup; I pretty had my mind made up that I was going to use the
NVIDIA proprietary driver (under the assumption that this is a
prerequesite for the compiz).
Here is what I did:
But 'Desktop Effects' (here after called compiz) doesn't work! I will spare all the details. After a modest amount of tinkering, I got it to work. Here are some details:
- Go to NVIDIA and grab the Quadra NVS driver for Linux x86. The version/file I got was NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9746-pkg1.run.
It is important to get a version that is greater than 9625
(I think that is when GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap was introduced -- which is a needed ingridient for compiz).
- Logged out of GNOME session.
- Switched to VC1 (<ctl><alt>f1) and logged in as root.
- The nVidia installer won't work if X is running. So I put
my D820 into runlevel 3 (multi-user w/o X). Lots of ways to turn
X off temporarily -- switching to 3 just seemed like a good way.
I switched to runlevel 3 via command:
- Ran the nVidia script via:
- I pretty much let the installer do its thing. There were a
couple of non-fatal warning (e.g. new pre-compiled driver, guess
where X11 is), but nothing that prevented it from working.
- I let it create a xorg.conf file for me.
- After it completed, I switched back to runlevel 5 via:
- At that point I was tossed back to VC7 and X/GDM fired up with
the nVidia splash screen. I logged in to a GNOME session and
everything seems fine.
Here is a list of links that could be helpful while troubleshooting compiz:
- The default xorg.conf didn't have all the needed modules
specified in the 'Module' section. Here is my current &
working xorg.conf. Also the Extensions/Composite stuff wasn't there.
- After getting compiz to finally work, my gnome-terminal windows
would come up as just a white rectangle. It seemed to work, but I
couldn't see anything, except white! Not exactly sure what
resolved this, but one leading suspect was the 3 options listed in the
"Screen" section of xorg.conf, starting with:
Option "RenderAccel" "True". These options seem to be an important ingridient.
- Once I got compiz going, I didn't have any window borders!
After much research and trying stuff to no avail, I found a post that
suggested that I need to reset all the compiz settings and start from
scratch. I issued:
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz
as suggested by some random forum posting. Well this had no
apparent affect, Furthermore, inspecting that section with
'Configure Editor' (gconf-editor) seemed to suggest that nothing really
happened. I gave up for a bit....
- Usually, I don't reboot to see the affects of X changes. I
just log out of GNOME, back to GDM - which restarts X. Sometimes
at the GDM log on screen, I issues a <ctl><alt>backspace to
restart X. Those things didn't seem to help. But,
since I had shifted gears (w/o borders working) and did other things, I
had shutdown at some point. Well, on a whim, I flipped into
compiz and borders worked!
I still have one nagging problem: when I login to a GNOME
session from GDM (with compiz 'on'), borders are gone! That is
which is reponsible for the window borders, isn't running.
I can get borders to reappear simply but using the enable 'Desktop
Effects' applet to stop and start compiz. Any ideas on this?
you use module/drivers that are kernel specific (i.e. you need to build
one to match your kernel -- e.g. nVidia proprietary driver, ipw3945),
you may want to keep the installer or source package. This is
especially important if you do any kernel updates, as these drivers
will generally break when you install a new kernel.
Keeping the intaller or source package can save a little
Not really sure if FC6 and its installer supports the Intel
PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless card or not. For me, it didn't
automatically configure or install anything. This really wasn't
a big deal for me, since I am well verse in tinkering with IPW class
drivers from previous laptops and FC installs. Here is what I do (and some tips and notes):
- In my root user's home directory, I keep a directory called
'ipw3945Stuff'. In that directory I keep various versions of the
IPW3945 driver, micro code and regulatory deamon. Currently this
is my inventory: ieee80211-1.1.13, ipw3945-1.0.0, ipw3945-1.1.3,
ipw3945-ucode-1.13, ieee80211-1.1.14, ipw3945-1.1.0,
ipw3945d-1.7.18, ieee80211-1.2.15, ipw3945-1.1.2, ipw3945d-1.7.22.
These directories will restored from my backups I took (from my
FC5 install) just prior to the FC6 install.
- I no longer need the ieee80211 stuff; whatever comes with FC6 seems to work fine. So far the compiliation problems I had under FC5 do not exist under FC6.
- Generally, I follow the basic installation of driver, microcode,
and regulatory deamon instructions that come with ipw3945. The
only thing I do, a little differently is: I do not do a '
in the core ipw3945-x.x.x directory. I just build ('make') the
.o's and .ko's and leave them in the current directory.
- Much like the nVidia driver, each time I upgrade a kernel, I must
go rebuild the driver: I go to the current driver revision
I am using and perform:
make clean; make.
- The driver version I am using is ipw3945-1.1.3. I am using the ipw3945d-1.7.22 regulatory deamon, and microcode ipw3945-ucode-1.13. It looks like the ieee80211 stuff the comes with FC6 is 1.1.13.
- To start up and connect to an specific wireless network, I use scripts like (season to taste):
dhc_PID=`ps -C dhclient -o pid=`
if [ -n "$dhc_PID" ] ;
echo " releasing old lease on IP address (if one exists)...."
dhclient -r eth1
echo "killing old dhclient at PID = $dhc_PID (it should be dead already)"
kill -9 $dhc_PID
wpa_PID=`ps -C wpa_supplicant -o pid=`
if [ -n "$wpa_PID" ] ;
echo "killing old wpa_supplicant at PID = $wpa_PID and cleaning up...."
kill -9 $wpa_PID
rm -rf /var/run/wpa_supplicant
echo "bringing down eth1 just in case (it was started by ipw3945 driver load)....."
echo "reconfiguring eth1....."
iwconfig eth1 essid "blahblahblah" channel xx
echo "restarting wpa_supplicant....."
wpa_supplicant -B -ieth1 -c
/etc/wpa_supplicant/my_wpa_supplicant.conf -D wext
echo "starting DHClient"
echo ".....should be DONE!!!!"
- Yes, I do have scripts per network I use -- call me old fashion.
For open WIFI, I have had good luck with WiFi Radar (under FC5).
I haven't gotten around to using it under FC6 yet.
WiFi Radar can be found here: http://wifi-radar.systemimager.org/
. In the past, I would just use the load/unload scripts
that come with ipw3945 distribution to start/stop ipw3945, and then
turn on WiFI Radar.
- Much of my wireless stuff from my FC5 page still apply.
- After the first few boots, the GNOME applet
did not have any sort of listing for ipw3945 when I tried to create a
new eth1 device. I wasn't too concerned about this, because I
remeber creating a dummy one under FC5 for something or other that I
don't recall. On a whim, without an 'eth1' device defined, I
fired off a script like the above (after the driver was built, of
course). Despite complaining about missing eth1 device here and
there, it eventually associated with a network and got an IP.
- At some point, I did eventually create a eth1. With the ipw3945 driver loaded
system-config-network, 'saw' a ipw3945 card.
About My Dell
Lots 'O Links