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Laptop Linux and Radeon drivers  RSS feed

 
David O'Meara
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I'm seriously thinking about wiping my laptop and making it a Linux machine. I use it mostly for listening to music and transporting files around, an external harddrive would almost do the trick.

The only other use for it is as a portable DVD player. It has an old composite-out to connect to a TV and I had to search for ages to find the windows drivers to make it work. I wouldn't like to do a full install and then find I could no longer do this.

Anyone have any clue as to the support in Linux or done it before or know somewhere to check? A search was inconclusive. The machine is an old Compaq Armada e500...
 
Stefan Wagner
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The first page to visit for questions, related to linux on laptops is
linux on laptops (compaq).

Have you been there?

A second approach, not consuming much time, is to test a (or two) knoppix-cds. (explaining the 'two' later).
Knoppix is a live cd which means, you don't need to install anything - boot linux from cd, and see whether it works, which is - without getting the knoppix-cd itself - work of 5 minutes.

Now to the 'two':
The driver and module-technique changed fundamentally from linux-2.4 to linux-2.6, and in some cases of hardware, linux-2.4 is more mature than the newer 2.6 kernel.

How to get knoppix?
a) It's often included in computer/ linux-magazines.
b) Ask your local LUG (linux-user-group).
c) google for knoppix and download an iso-image, burn it to cd (according to the instructions, because it has to be bootable).

Tell us of your success.
 
David O'Meara
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I ran Knoppix on it last night, although not for too long. It didn't recover from a suspend, but I'll go have a look at the compaq link you gave. Thanks!
 
David O'Meara
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I shuould point out I tried the Knoppix 3.8 "Windows bootable" edition (boots from load but also in windows using qemu), but I also have 3.7 around somewhere. I'm not sure what they are based on.

Any suggestions on a flavour/version? I was considering RH9, since I have that here too, but realistically my experience level isn't large enough for it to make a great difference at this stage. My reading so far also recommends any Linux version post-2.2
 
Peter Rooke
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I've been using SuSE for a few years, but have however just make a switch to Fedora. Fedora is by far the best linux distrubtion i've seen. Hopefully your laptop will be able to run it. Of course, I can only comment on a few of the many; have a look here: DistoWatch.
 
David O'Meara
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It was annoying me last night (I'm blaming XPSP2) so I've moved everything to my desktop and I'm in the process of installing RH9 with KDE.
 
Ben Souther
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There were some problems running Tomcat on RH9 which had to do with threading issues and the current JVMs at the time. A Google search on LD_KERNEL_ASSUME will bring up plenty of information and a quick fix if you run into any problems.
 
David O'Meara
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Ta, I'll have a look if I run into issues, early days yet.

RH will only run in 800x600, but Knoppix correctly detects 1024x768. I'm going to get the X settings from there and move them back to RedHat. Then I'll look at the mp3/avi players and a bit of config.

Q: how do I access a windows share from Linux? I never have
 
Ben Souther
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Look into Samba.

KDE wrapps a lot of Samba's functionality - sometimes with better results than at other times.
 
Peter Rooke
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Setting LD_KERNEL_ASSUME fixed my JBoss / Fedoria problem. The embeded tomcat server now works, brilliant

PS: may may like xine for a video / music player.
 
David O'Meara
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Just updating:

I got the screeen displaying at 1024x768 by selecting a generic lcd 1024x768
Installed YUM and got it working (a couple of small hiccups). I wish I knew about this earlier!
Installed Xine
Configured samba but currently have to shutdown the firewall. This will be next. I only bothered with a generic 'share' directory.
Worked out how to use smbclient to get stuff off the win2k desktop, looking for a GUI version.
Updated huge chucks using yum.
Added stacks more with yum.
Moved some sample mp3 and avi files as a test and all OK.

My only issue currently is that the DNS settings aren't being updated with DHCP. I plug in at home and work, and it has the home DNS set permanently. It only accepts about 1 in 5 requests from work. I can add the work entry as #1 since it should fail from home, but is there a better solution?

I still haven't tried the TV out by I added some "TV out" support packages with yum and hopefully I'll get a chance to play this weekend.
 
Calvin Zeus
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Hai friends,

Thank you for all ur opinions. I have started up now. I am referring LFS to first build the linux kernel. Will let u know soon about the latest status.

Regards
Calvin.
 
David O'Meara
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Just another update.

Got the machine working almost the way I wanted, screen, and few apps, mp3s, printing. I think I may have damaged the rpm database before installing yum and started getting some cyclic requirements and telling me the pachages both did and didn't exist.

Anyhoo, I discovered Fedora and decided I want this instead, so I'm in the process of upgrading (never done an upgrade, should be interesting) from RH9 to F4-Test2 (this is a pre-release version). Any problems and I'll download F3 until the official release of 4.

I got F4 via torrent off their site last night. 2.5Gb in about 4.5 hours. I could cry! I've only used bittorrent for Linux distros (knoppix and redhat) but never had performance like this before
 
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