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I have come to the conclusion that Dell Notebooks are NOT Linux friendly.
They do not have ANY linux drivers on the dell site for either of my notebooks C610 or D600...

If anyone has one of there running Linux I could use your help...

Thanks...

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Last Post by TKS
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who's are?

I have been running linux on laptops for almost five years now, I have used many linux distro's on many different laptops. A good linux distro should support all your laptop hardware (minus onboard wireless and modem) and install without any real trouble. I have never used any drivers or programs from any of the hardware vendors.

What distro's and live cd's have you tried? Please include version number.

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Since I had a copy of Red_Hat 6 I tried that with no luck...

Websites for all of my desktop hardware had a variety of Linux support...
Dell website had NONE... just M$

I found a guy that has a Dell C610 and installed Red_Hat 7.2 and he gave me the info I need to get it to run...

I found a local guy with 7.2 and sent him an Email to get it from him...

I also ordered a copy of 9.0 out of Utah w/ Open Office Included

It is not surprising that I cant get a GUI running without a proper Video Driver...

Since I have your attention, which I appreciate...
How many partitions should I setup for use with Linux...
I already have XP installed using 8 Gigs of a 20 Gig drive...

I don't intend to do much with XP...
It is only on there to help me learn a little about it...
(It came on the notebook)

I dont intend to do any serious work with Linux...
Just trying to learn a little more about both.

I dont mind using a boot floppy to get into Linux but editing the boot manager to allow both without a boot floppy would be nice...

Thanks for your time...

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It sounded like you were trying to run a older version of linux on newer hardware. Installing RH6 would be like trying to install windows 95 on that laptop, there would be plenty of driver issues either way.

I would suggest you cruise out to http://www.linux-laptop.net/ and read what other people are running on your hardware and what problems they experienced.

I would split the drive 10gigs each and keep all my data on the xp side and not do anything crazy with it (except try to avoid viruses!) On the linux side most distro's will make suggestions on how to partition it. RedHat 9.0 is probably a great place to start, just try to do what it wants!

I suggest you try some "live" cds like Knoppix, Damn Small Linux, or Auditor. There are many more out there, don't be afraid to give them a shot. Live cd's have X Windows, network support, web browsers, and office suites along with who knows what else. The best part is they boot from CD and you don't have to install anything to use them! It is a really good chance to see how different distro's can be.

Now for my heavilly slanted views on linux!

I am a Slackware freak, I suggest anyone wanting to try linux go get a copy of 9.1 or 10.0 and fire it up!

My current favorite distro is Damn Small Linux it can be cd booted and enjoyed anytime, anywhere.

My next business use distro is going to be Novell Linux Desktop, I will wait for Christmas break for that downtime (alot of accounts and data to move)

Always keep a copy of windows running somewhere on your box because there will be an app someday that won't run under linux and you will need it. I run about 90% linux at work and almost 100% at home.

Give a shout when you need help, there are lots of people who will give advice and suggestions.

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Thanks for the info.
In my previous searching I found one of the same reports your laptop link took me to.

I found 4 people with my hardware. 2 running Debian (sp) 1 Redhat 7.2 and one Suse. The one that had the fewest problems, did not need to recompile a new kernal etc.. was 7.2

I did find a link for a modem driver which should be helpful.

Like I said I ordered a copy of 9.0 w/open office and a local guy has a copy of 7.2 that I am trying to acquire...

I will re-partition my drive as 10g and 10g.

Thanks for the help I will let you know how it goes and have plenty of questions as well.

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Personally I would recommend that you try fedora, I've recently installed that on a dell laptop and the only thing I had to find externally was the video card driver which was very easy. The only reason I even had to find that was not because the one included didn't work, but I wanted better preformance. You might want to check it out:
http://fedora.redhat.com/

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I got the Knoppix ISO burned it and it works great.

My first question would be how do I check and setup a modem to access the internet...

I suppose I need to install a PCMCIA modem other than try and get the Dell Pctel Winmodem to work...

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Any suggestions on which type of PCMCIA modem to buy?

I did find an old 28.8 modem that was identified and installed and worked...

Next question is how can I run the live CD version from the hard drive, how can I save my modem info dial up accounts etc...

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Knoppix was not meant to be an OS ran from the hard drive, although you can save the configuration to a floppy disk if you want. Personally If knoppix works, then there is no reason that another OS like gentoo or redhat will not work, each distro has it's own utilities for setting up PPP connections. I personally have not seen one for knoppix though, you might want to check freshmeat.net

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I know many people running Knoppix off hard drives. Their doc page is down right now but when it is up you can read up on it. Their forum has a dedicated thread to HD installs.

I know it is meant to be a live CD, but why not run it off the HD?

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Let me pose this question regarding any OEM supporting Linux: If they didn't ship the system with Linux, why are they going to support it?

You'd want to attack the source, and ask why aren't they shipping Linux on them. Then, you'd see support for that firming up. Meanwhile, the only Linux drivers most any OEM will have are going to be the drivers that the manufacturer of a specific device have provided.

Now, as far as saving your settings is concerned, look around in the KNOPPIX menu for some "Save Configuration" options. IIRC, the documentation I saw somewhere on the KNOPPIX site discussed all about that-- you could save the information to a floppy/USB key, and then the system would load up the settings if you used a specific command to load the settings at startup.

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To answer your question with a question...
Why didn't they even offer a Linux installation...

Sounds like another backroom deal with Bill...

At least Dell is now looking to supply non-intel processors...

I did find info on how to install Knoppix to a hard drive...
There is actually a program included to set it up on the hard drive and tools to setup the partition ...

I also found instructions on how to coppy the CD version to your hard drive and personalize it then burn it back to a CD...

Thanks for all the help...

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I know many people running Knoppix off hard drives. Their doc page is down right now but when it is up you can read up on it. Their forum has a dedicated thread to HD installs.

I know it is meant to be a live CD, but why not run it off the HD?

Get away from Knoppix for hard drive. There are really only two LiveCD distros that work fantastically with Laptops 'out of the box' and that is PCLinuxOS and MEPIS. I run MEPIS exclusively on my IBM Thinkpad with modem dialup working for me right out of the box. I can't tell everyone enough...MEPIS MEPIS MEPIS. I've been a Linux user since 1996 and haven't seen its equal yet. It truly is hands down the best desktop distro on the planet.

http://www.mepis.org/book/view/1462

Go with the ibiblio site which has 2004.06 (current). MEPIS is the best free (as in Beer) desktop linux distro on the market.

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I went to your link and their Free version was 14.95 for 30 days of free downloading...

It was 9.95 to have them send you a disc...

I found Knoppix installed without a problem on my Dell and I found instructions on how to customize it and reburn a live CD or install it to the hard drive...

I am quite happy with it so far....
Once I know more about it I may change my mind but I am just trying to learn tha basics at this point.

I have Redhat/KDE/Open Office comming in a few days and that will be interesting...

I will keep your suggestion in mind as I learn more and reach the limitations of the different distro's

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I went to your link and their Free version was 14.95 for 30 days of free downloading...

It was 9.95 to have them send you a disc...

I found Knoppix installed without a problem on my Dell and I found instructions on how to customize it and reburn a live CD or install it to the hard drive...

I am quite happy with it so far....
Once I know more about it I may change my mind but I am just trying to learn tha basics at this point.

I have Redhat/KDE/Open Office comming in a few days and that will be interesting...

I will keep your suggestion in mind as I learn more and reach the limitations of the different distro's

MEPIS is free man. You don't have to pay...they just want you to register and/or get an official copy to help out. The link I posted above has download mirrors on it. Here's where you can download the ISO, ftp://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/mepis/released/

If you can't seem to figure it out, email me. I'll send you a disc in the mail.

You can Check out MEPIS because it is a LIVECD just like Knoppix...that way you won't have to install over your Knoppix install. But I guarantee you'll love it right out of the box. Plus, I love the fact that MEPIS uses the Debian repositories straight away so I can install anything that's in any of the 17,000+ packages there. MEPIS also detects more for me than Knoppix. Here's things that it detects on my setup that Knoppix doesn't:

1) HP 1210v All-in-one printer. Detects and installs.
2) HP 735 Digital Camera (connected during boot just for kicks and it detected and installed)
3) APC 1000VA UPS. I was surprised when it detected this...got the apc daemon running on this thing in about 5 minutes.
4) Labtec AM 252 Microphone. Knoppix didn't even make the attempt.

All in all, MEPIS is just simply better than Knoppix. There's a reason why the editor in chief of OSTG Robin "Roblimo" Miller (of slashdot fame) chose MEPIS to include in his book, "Point and Click Linux" and he opted to skip over Knoppix....and that's because he found a superior distro. As a Linux user since 1996, I can tell you that it IS far superior and my motto has always been...if you find a distro that works better, go with it.

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I am getting ready to reload my Thinkpad with over Christmas with the new Novell Linux Desktop 9 (I will keep a copy of dsl 9.0 on my hd too.) After hearing TKS's powerful testimonial for MEPIS I think I need to get a copy of that too.

I suggest you enjoy getting to know linux with the Knoppix you have and the RedHat that is coming. You will know when you are ready to try some different distro's and you will hear about ones you will want to try (I am still waiting for the time to play with College Linux but I haven't found it yet.)

If you want to be really good with linux, really understand it, sometime you should install Linux From Scratch. It is kind of like the Jedi trials of the linux world.

The most important thing is not to get too frustrated, have a good time running stable mature distro's on your main box and set aside a second box and spare time for playing with new distro's. In a couple years and many dozens of installs you can offer your snobbish opinions about distro's to the newbies! (www.slackware.com)

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I understand the concept of fees for distribution but I have two problems...

One is bandwidth on my dialup...

I actually go begging CD in hand to neighbors with Cable....

The other is... I retired two years ago and my budget is very fixed and I am still struggling to get used to not having a regular paycheck...

I would truely appreciate you burning me a copy with whatever else you feel might be helpful to someone wishing to learn Linux...

Please Email me at:

hoover_paul@yahoo.com

So that I can email you my physical address rather than posting it here...

I will still go try and beg some bandwidth at a neighbor up the road and download from the link you provided...

Paul...

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To answer your question with a question...
Why didn't they even offer a Linux installation...

They don't offer Linux as an operating system on their desktops or laptops anymore because there wasn't much of a demand when they did offer it. Now they offer machines with no operating system installed (they include a copy of FreeDOS on a CD but NOT installed on the drive) as well as Linux on a few of their servers.

..and I've been running numerous distros of Linux on Dell laptops for years (including Xandros for the past few months) as well as FreeBSD and Solaris 9 (UNIX), and the only problem I've ever had was getting the sound working (until I found a very helpful link off Google.)

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TKS,
I got the copy of Mepis you linked for me...
The primary and secondary configs failed but the failsafe worked
I only got as far as playing frozen bubbles befroe my wife took away the keyboard and kept playing until it was time for bed.
Thanks for the link...
Does it have an automated install?
Do I try to fix the primary or secondary setup and use those?
Are there any real benefits, faster etc?
Thanks in advance...

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If you have a slow connection you can use a tool called Get Right, that will help you download files to were you can download in segments that cuts the time in half and you can pause it just in case things get dirty, good luck bro!.

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TKS,
I got the copy of Mepis you linked for me...
The primary and secondary configs failed but the failsafe worked
I only got as far as playing frozen bubbles befroe my wife took away the keyboard and kept playing until it was time for bed.
Thanks for the link...
Does it have an automated install?
Do I try to fix the primary or secondary setup and use those?
Are there any real benefits, faster etc?
Thanks in advance...

The 'MEPIS Installation Center' should be an icon on your desktop. If not, there should be icons for it on your KDE 'taskbar'

Look for a pyramid with an "I" on it. MEPIS installs to hard drive in 7 clicks and utilizes the Debian Linux repositories. This means that you have over 10k packages to choose from to install if you'd like. Make sure you visit http://mepislovers.com and ask questions to get yourself started. They're the friendliest and most helpful community of Linux users on the web. If you hit a snag, they can help...

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