Dell / Linux

Ok – a bit off the storage side.

I recently undertook the daunting task of installing Fedora Core 7 on my Dell Latitude D620 laptop.

The hardware summary is as follows:

Intel Core2 Duo – T7200 (2x 2.8GHZ)
2GB Ram
Intel 3945 802.11 Wireless
Broadcom 10/100/1000 Network
Sprint EVDO Express (Novatell internal)
Dell 350 Bluetooth module.
Now in deference – I was afraid because the first thing it did when I installed it was failed to boot. I figured I was dead in the water from the start – this was solved by adding the following to my grub.conf file:

kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet clocksource=acpi_pm

I don’t understand the dynamics of why, but apparently there is a timing issue that needs to be fixed.

The Bluetooth and Wired network modules worked right out of the gate, I was fairly impressed because I remember installing fedora some years ago and finding that NOTHING worked.

Next came the Intel 3945 Wireless card. This was a pain because there is a driver that ships with FC7 that ALMOST works. It recognizes the card, and the average user will spend about a day messing with it before realizing that the easiest way to fix the problem is to dump the stock ILW driver and go with the IPW3945 driver from FRESHRPMS.NET. Once I got it installed (YUM is a wonderful thing) it took just a little tinkering to figure out how to get it to pass my WEP key to the router and grab an IP address.

Last but not least was the sprint card. I wasn’t hopeful because I hadn’t seen a single document on FC7 and the Dell 5700 EVDO card.

I found one on Sprint’s website for Ubuntu Linux, didn’t really help because Fedora and Ubuntu put their configuration options in different files in different places. I found another document for the Sprint card (again for Ubuntu) at This Link.

Luckily everything translated almost exactly.

And so it works. 🙂 I can TermServ back to my Vista desktop if I need to do any Windoze stuff.

You’d think I have too much time on my hands – I don’t. However I get pretty single-minded about some things. 🙂



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    • on November 2, 2007 at 8:48 am
    • Reply

    Hmm. don’t you think maybe the world was trying to tell you something? Like: Use Ubuntu for your desktop. 🙂

  1. I’ve heard Ubuntu described as “Linux for Windows users”

    I’d prefer Linux for Linux users. 😉

    • on November 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm
    • Reply

    Bah. They made the GUI work a bit nicer for the Shmoes. But I still apt-get anything I need. It’s still GNU/Linux. It’s a pig with makeup.

  2. Yeah – I ended up having to go back to XP, too many things almost work. The main problem seems to be EMC’s “Symmwin” and “Symmremote” applciations, which is required for my work.

    I still have the drive with it on it – I just swapped out to a newer (and faster) 7200RPM 80G drive for my work.


  3. Well – never being one to snark at something I’ve not tried. I put Ubuntu 7.10 on a spare harddrive I had for my D620 just to see what all the fuss was about.

    Oh My God – I’m impressed. Makes Fedora look like it’s not finished yet (truthfully, it’s not)

    Almost everything worked right out of the box, without tinkering. I spent $39 on Crossover Linux ( and installed VMWare Workstation on it, and I’ve not gone back. (Still carry the XP harddrive with me just in case, but 99.9% of my work is now done on the Linux drive.

    I still had to tinker with the PPP settings to get my Sprint-EVDO modem working, but found some great docs on the how-to at the ubuntu website.

    Thank you for the suggestion, I do apologize for being so daft not to have taken it in the first place.

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