Fedora Core 6 on Dell Latitude D820
Fred Welland (f.welland at verizon dot net )  
Last update on:  Monday, February 26 2007     (This page was started on Tuesday, January 03 2007)
  1. Introduction
  2. Disc Prep
  3. Hardware Matrix
  4. The Install
  5. Some Relevant Command (etc. lspci, fdisk) Output
  6. Wireless
  7. Lots Of Links To Good Stuff
  8. Some Annoyances (e.g. System Beep!!!)
  9. About my Dell 
  10. Fedora Core 5 on this same D820
  11. Some (mostly obvious) Hints and Tips
  12. Misc
NOTE:  I have installed Fedora 7 on this laptop -- See here for details  

Hardware Matrix

Video Quadro  NVS 110M
128MB dedicated
Works out of the box with x.org 'nv' driver.  Graphical installer works well too.  (compiz/'Desktop Affects' required tweaks)
CPU Intel CPU  T2500  @ 2.00GHz Works
1920 x 1200
Works out of the box at 1920x1200 resolution
Hard Drive Hitachi HTS721010G9SA00
100 GB
Sound Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller
SigmaTel STAC9200
Works out of the box
Wireless Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG works  (required tweaks)
Ethernet Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme
BCM5752 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express
Works out of the box
DVD RW NEC DVD +/- RW ND-6650A CD seems OK -- DVD & Write tests still pending
IRDA Do not know (not sure I care)
Modem Do not Know (not sure I care)
Touchpad AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint Works out of the box
Keyboard 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.

Disk Prep

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.

The Install

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
/dev/sda3             9.5G  3.3G  5.7G  37% /
tmpfs                1013M     0 1013M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda5              19G  4.4G   14G  25% /home
/dev/sda8              26G  338M   25G   2% /opt
/dev/sda6             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

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1           7       56196   de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2   *           8        3322    26627737+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            3323        4597    10241437+  83  Linux
/dev/sda4            4598       12161    60757830    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            4598        7147    20482843+  83  Linux
/dev/sda6            7148        8422    10241406   83  Linux
/dev/sda7            8423        8677     2048256   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda8            8678       12161    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)

Some Annoyances

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:
    1. run System->Preferences->Sound  applet
    2. select the 'System Beep' tab
    3. uncheck 'Enable System Beep'


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:
  1. 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).  
  2. Logged out of GNOME session. 
  3. Switched to VC1  (<ctl><alt>f1) and logged in as root.
  4. 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: telinit 3.  
  5. Ran the nVidia script via:  sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9746-pkg1.run
  6. 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. 
  7. I let it create a xorg.conf file for me. 
  8. After it completed, I switched back to runlevel 5 via:  telinit 5.  
  9. 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.   
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:
Here is a list of links that could be helpful while troubleshooting compiz:
I still have one nagging problem:  when I login to a GNOME session from GDM (with compiz 'on'), borders are gone!  That is the program, gnome-window-decorator, 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?

Some Hints


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):

dhc_PID=`ps -C dhclient -o pid=`
if [ -n "$dhc_PID"  ] ;
        echo " releasing old lease on IP address (if one exists)...."
        dhclient -r eth1
        sleep 5
        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
sleep 1
cd $IPW3945_HOME
sleep 2
sleep 5
echo "bringing down eth1 just in case (it was started by ipw3945 driver load)....."
ifdown eth1
sleep 4
echo "reconfiguring eth1....."
iwconfig eth1 essid "blahblahblah" channel xx
sleep 3
echo "restarting wpa_supplicant....."
wpa_supplicant -B -ieth1  -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/my_wpa_supplicant.conf -D wext  2>/tmp/wpa_supplicant-err.log >/tmp/wpa_supplicant-out.log
sleep 8
echo "starting DHClient"
dhclient eth1
echo ".....should be DONE!!!!"

About My Dell

Lots 'O Links