[conspire] (forw) Re: install-a-thon

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Apr 14 12:29:58 PDT 2005

----- Forwarded message from rick -----

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 23:06:35 -0700
To: Keith Brentson <virtualkeith at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: install-a-thon

Quoting Keith Brentson (virtualkeith at yahoo.com):

> My name is Keith,  and I would like to dual boot Linux/Windows on a
> Dell Inspiron 8600. (maybe Linux only someday depending on how things
> work out!)  :) 

Sounds like a worthy challenge.

First place I tend to go, when I hear "install Linux" and "laptop" is
http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/ .  You'll note that there's a Dell
category.  Picking that shows you the models about which people have
posted pages -- and there's a huge number from people owning Inspiron
8600 units.
> I am reading the information and FAQ's on the CABAL site, and would
> like to attend one of your meetings for help with my install.  (I've
> tried to install Fedora Core 3, which seemed to be going nicely, until
> the first boot where the system freezes everytime it attempts to load
> the network)My NIC is a Broadcom 4401.  

This guy
installed FC2.  He did an end-run around the Broadcom BCM4401 problem by
loading the manufacturer's (Broadcom's) proprietary, binary-only driver.

This guy (http://www.bryan-gillen.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/linux/i8600.html)
also installed FC2.  Oddly enough, he had no trouble on the ethernet,
just using the Red Hat kernel's default open-source bcm4400 driver.

This guy (http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~rbirdman/) also did FC2, and
reports no problems, but says nothing about what driver he used.

This guy (http://resolute.ucsd.edu/diwaker/articles/linux-dell-8600.txt)
did RH9, and likewise had no problem with the bcm4400 (or b44) driver.

This guy (http://www.koeniglich.de/dell_8600.html) also did RH9, and
likewise used the bcm4400 driver with success.

Thus guy
(http://www.musall.de/techdocs/linux/dell/i8600linux.html#Ethernet) did
SUSE 9.0, and also used bcm4400, but found it worthwhile to download the
latest driver source code and recompile.

A bunch of the other reports seem worth reading, too.  "bcm44" seems to
be preferred, for newer kernels.

> I will continue to research for drivers for these devices, and was
> wondering how many of them I should bring with me.  I also have a
> Nikon coolpix 5200 which uses an SD card.  

Oh, bring 'em all.  In addition to the CABAL meeting a week from this
Saturday, don't forget the SVLUG installfest _this_ Saturday at Google
in Walnut Creek.  http://www.svlug.org/ 

> I leaned towards Fedora with my limited experience,
> but would like to discuss some of the other distros to
> see which one would best meet my needs.

Sure.  We neutrally help people with any and all.  Here's a list of what
we have available for installation at CABAL:

Rick Moen                      "vi is my shepherd; I shall not font."
rick at linuxmafia.com                               -- Psalm 0.1 beta

----- End forwarded message -----

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