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Old 02-27-2009, 03:05 PM   #1
jedilost1
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Unhappy Looking for Linux Laptop Distro that is best suitable for my Compaq


i just bought new Compaq Presario A949NR, it comes preloaded (>:-() with Windows Vista Home Premium (horrible) and i would like to reformat it into a Linux Machine.
Here are the specs:
Product Name A949NR
Product Number FE807UA#ABA
Microprocessor 1.86 GHz Pentium Dual-Core Mobile Processor T2390
Microprocessor Cache 1 MB L2 Cache
Memory 3072 MB
Memory Max Up to 3GB DDR2
Video Graphics Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Video Memory Up to 358 MB
Hard Drive 160 GB (5400 rpm)
Multimedia Drive LightScribe Super Multi 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support
Display 17.0" WXGA+ High-Definition BrightView Widescreen Display (1440 x 900)
Fax/Modem High speed 56K modem
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN
Wireless Connectivity 802.11b/g WLAN
Sound Altec Lansing speakers
Keyboard Full size desktop keyboard (with separate numeric keypad layout)
Pointing Device Touch Pad with On/Off button and dedicated vertical Scroll Up/Down pad, volume control, mute button
External Ports

* 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards
* 3 Universal Serial Bus USB 2.0
* 1 VGA (15-pin)
* 1 RJ-11 (modem)
* 1 TV-Out (S-video)
* 1 RJ -45 (LAN)
* 1 headphone-out
* 1 microphone-in

Dimensions 15.6"(L) x 12.22" (W) 1.31"(min) /1.76"(max) (H)
Weight 6.8lbs
Security

* Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
* Power-on password
* Accepts 3rd party security lock devices

Power

* 65 W AC Adapter
* 6-cell Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)

What's In The Box Webcam with Integrated Microphone

This is what i've done so far:
I have it loaded with the latest Ubuntu distro, the ethernet port works but the wifi doesn't (atheros chipset), and also i can't figure out how to use the webcam.
Honestly, if i can get those two things to work i'd be very VERY happy.
I tried Ultimate Ubuntu 2.0 in the past on this laptop and the same results, except it didn't give me any proprietary drivers errors.

Does anyone know of a distro that can help me?


P.S.
I tried the Backtrack 3 cd (which i usually use for security testing) and all was well. My wifi was working and everything. Maybe that can help you guys help me get my laptop working..i really don't want to run any microsoft OSs on this laptop.
 
Old 02-27-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
beachboy2
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jedilost1,
Whichever Linux OS is recommended, you still need to do a fair bit of work to get wifi and webcams working, regardless of the OS.
Ubuntu 8.10 or Mepis 8 or Linux Mint etc are all pretty good but I doubt if you will get your wifi and webcam working straight out of the box. Do a Google search for your pc and Linux, plus search/post on the various distro-specific forums for help.

You are probably going to wipe Vista from your drive, which is a very good idea, since it is much easier to just install the Linux OS alone.

In the event that you wish to keep Vista, here's a suitable dual-boot article.

http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vi...lled_first.htm

If you search around you will quickly appreciate that designed-for- Windows webcams are often a real pain in Linux.

Last edited by beachboy2; 02-27-2009 at 04:26 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
thorkelljarl
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Google

Google your make and model of laptop and linux, as suggested. You might also download and burn live-cds of Ubuntu 8.10, openSuse 11.1, Fedora 10, and the latest Mandriva. These are four different, popular distros, and they form the basis for many others distros. This might give you an idea of what suits you as well as what suits your machine. There is always the proviso that a live-cd may not configure everything without a bit of googling and manipulating.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 02-27-2009 at 06:22 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
jedilost1
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This seems to be a relatively new laptop and i haven't found any help on google at all...dammit..
i guess i'll keep looking, thanks anyway guys..
 
Old 02-27-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
thorkelljarl
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Boy, are you right.

The internet gives no information, and neither does the HP service site. HP has no listing of specifications, nor a manual for the machine itself. Try my suggestion with live-cds. I assume you still have Vista installed, and if so, use it to find and identify the systems hardware devices. Take notes of all the names and numbers, all the drivers. Linux has modules and workarounds for particular devices, and the first step is to know what devices you're dealing with. Good Luck
 
Old 02-27-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
Electro
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Any distribution will work. It depends if you do not mind searching what module (driver) works for your hardware. I prefer Gentoo because that is my preference.

Intel graphics is horrible in Linux, so do not expect it will be an easy setup.

An Atheros WiFi NIC is supported in Linux. You just to find the package in the database of your distribution and install it. Do not forget to install WiFi Tools.

The web cam will be hard to setup because you need to know the vendor and product ID then search for the module (driver). It may not be in the package database for your distribution, so you may need to compile it.
 
Old 02-28-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
onebuck
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Hi,

You could try some LiveCDs to see what may fit. Look at 'The LiveCD List'.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 03-01-2009, 12:14 AM   #8
jedilost1
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so how exactly would i configure the Atheros wifi in Linux? Out of the 3 distros i used, (Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Backtrack) only Backtrack could see the wireless card. I believe it has something to do with the preinstalled Madwifi drivers in the Backtrack distro.
 
Old 03-01-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
camphor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedilost1 View Post
so how exactly would i configure the Atheros wifi in Linux? Out of the 3 distros i used, (Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Backtrack) only Backtrack could see the wireless card. I believe it has something to do with the preinstalled Madwifi drivers in the Backtrack distro.
It looks like we're having very similar problems. However, Arch Linux was able to support my Atheros AR242x out of the box while others did not (Presario CQ60-2150x).

Arch is always a good suggestion, but has somewhat of a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with Linux. Simply knowing the word "Madwifi" qualifies you to handle it, I think. =:0P

Last edited by camphor; 03-01-2009 at 12:28 AM.
 
Old 03-01-2009, 01:40 AM   #10
beachboy2
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jedilost1,

No guarantees, but you may find this link from the Mepis 8 manual of use:

file:///usr/share/mepis-manual/en/index.html#section05-6-1-2

Mepis 8 can also be run as a live CD.
 
Old 03-01-2009, 03:39 AM   #11
smoothys-jack
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Quote:
This is what i've done so far:
I have it loaded with the latest Ubuntu distro, the ethernet port works but the wifi doesn't (atheros chipset), and also i can't figure out how to use the webcam.
Honestly, if i can get those two things to work i'd be very VERY happy.
I tried Ultimate Ubuntu 2.0 in the past on this laptop and the same results, except it didn't give me any proprietary drivers errors.

Does anyone know of a distro that can help me?
Yes, you are using the right one imho. I recently installed Intrepid on my wife's brand new HP G60 which uses an Atheros wireless. I had to download and use compat-wireless but it got the atheros running with absolutely no problem. NOTE: do a uname -r and if your kernel is < 2.6.27 you will need to download the compat-wireless-old. If it is >= 2.6.27, use the new one. Just follow the directions in the README file.

As for the webcam, Intrepid handled it well using a nifty little program called "XawTV" which is in the menu for KDE4 (absolutely georgous, by the way - I love KDE4!) It will even go full screen mode. Now, pidgin does NOT have anything going with webcams, but kopete does. So if you 'aim' to use the webcam for chats, you will need to use kopete, and of course only with yahoo chat buddies. It works right out of the box on her laptop, and I'm guessing it will on yours, too.

DEBIAN "LENNY" --
I'm compelled to also put in a word for Lenny (Debian 5.0). I just installed this on my OLD OLD OLD laptop tonight, and it works wonders with hardware support. This laptop is a Compaq Armada 1571DM with a Pentium MMX and only 96MB of RAM (you read that correctly -- only 96MB). I have had enormous problems getting a distro that would support the pcmcia wireless card I have in this thing, but Lenny did it perfectly. I was forced to install Xfce4 just to make the thing run faster than concrete, but I am actually typing this to you on the dinosaur right now. It's doing better than I would have dreamed. So you might give Lenny a try, and please, let me know how it went!

Good luck,
Bill
 
Old 03-01-2009, 10:40 AM   #12
jedilost1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camphor View Post
It looks like we're having very similar problems. However, Arch Linux was able to support my Atheros AR242x out of the box while others did not (Presario CQ60-2150x).

Arch is always a good suggestion, but has somewhat of a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with Linux. Simply knowing the word "Madwifi" qualifies you to handle it, I think. =:0P
Thanks everyone!!
Looks like i'm going to be trying Arch Linux, Mepis and Ubuntu Intrepid.
I will let everyone know my results by the end of the day..i'm so focused on not using Vista for real.
 
Old 03-01-2009, 12:56 PM   #13
jedilost1
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothys-jack View Post
Yes, you are using the right one imho. I recently installed Intrepid on my wife's brand new HP G60 which uses an Atheros wireless. I had to download and use compat-wireless but it got the atheros running with absolutely no problem. NOTE: do a uname -r and if your kernel is < 2.6.27 you will need to download the compat-wireless-old. If it is >= 2.6.27, use the new one. Just follow the directions in the README file.

As for the webcam, Intrepid handled it well using a nifty little program called "XawTV" which is in the menu for KDE4 (absolutely georgous, by the way - I love KDE4!) It will even go full screen mode. Now, pidgin does NOT have anything going with webcams, but kopete does. So if you 'aim' to use the webcam for chats, you will need to use kopete, and of course only with yahoo chat buddies. It works right out of the box on her laptop, and I'm guessing it will on yours, too.

DEBIAN "LENNY" --
I'm compelled to also put in a word for Lenny (Debian 5.0). I just installed this on my OLD OLD OLD laptop tonight, and it works wonders with hardware support. This laptop is a Compaq Armada 1571DM with a Pentium MMX and only 96MB of RAM (you read that correctly -- only 96MB). I have had enormous problems getting a distro that would support the pcmcia wireless card I have in this thing, but Lenny did it perfectly. I was forced to install Xfce4 just to make the thing run faster than concrete, but I am actually typing this to you on the dinosaur right now. It's doing better than I would have dreamed. So you might give Lenny a try, and please, let me know how it went!

Good luck,
Bill
Bill i gotta tell you thanks for the help. i successfully have the wireless working using the compat-wirless. Now all i have to do is figure out the webcam and i have successfully configured this laptop to be used without that horrible OS Vista.
Thanks again my friend.

Miguel
 
  


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