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I bought a laptop a couple of weeks ago. It's a Centrion 1.6Ghz with a ATI radeon 9700.
On my ordinary computer I ran Susu 9.2, which is my favorite distribution so far.
I was able to install suse on my laptop, using manual installtion without X, and afterwards install X and KDE. If I used autoinstall he never managed to start yast during installation boot. And when I installed manually with KDE the computer hang when kde tried to load pheriperals. Any way, the system wasn't working as fine as on my ordinary computer, probably beacuse of the few packages installed.
So I decided to try fedora core 3. But it ended up in a kernel panic during installation, with something like "not syncing". Not support for Centrino CPU?
I tried slackware, it worked beautiful. But I was a real newbie to everything. I managed to install, upgrade the kernel to 2.6.10, and then settled of to fix the ATI drivers... And I stucked badly. Is there any great newbie guide out there, setting up 3D driver for ATI radeon mobility 9700?
Or is there a way to get an easier dist to run with my hardware?
As for the card, Its difficult to get decent 3d accel with an ATI, and its even worse with a 2.6.10 kernel. In my experiance, It'll run X and your various desktop aps alright, but when you want to play some games, its can be virtually useless. After messing around for months I finally gave up and got a nvidia fx5700.
I tried mandrake, but I got frustrated... nothing seemed to work, and I felt very restricted.
So back to slackware... I managed once again to upgrade the kernel to 2.6.10, downloaded the ATI drivers, found out how to make a .tgz package. Installed it. Then I read the guide on LQ you suggested. The part about downloading a patch for the kernel 2.6.7 seems out of date. The /lib/modules/fglrx/build_mod/make.sh found a 2.6.10 kernel and managed to create a module, with ONE small error message, reading:
I tried to continue any way, but, of course, with no result:
s\root@miniradr:/lib/modules/fglrx# sh make_install.sh
- creating symlink
- recreating module dependency list
- trying a sample load of the kernel module
FATAL: Error inserting fglrx (/lib/modules/2.6.10/kernel/drivers/char/drm/fglrx.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)
i'm currently running Ubuntu on my thinkpad... and out of the box, with a standard installation, the only thing that wasn't recognized was my Intel PRO Wireless card... which happens to be the same wireless card that is in your Centrino notebook...
I can't find the link now, but there is a tutorial on how to download and install the drivers for the Intel wireless... once I got that running, i was good to go...
Ubuntu is based on Debian, and apt-get will update anything you need updated on it... I highly recommend it!
you know, i just realized that i have an integrated ATI chipset here on my tpad... not as robust as yours, but at least mine was supported, so it might be worth a shot with Ubuntu... there is a live disk you can try to see if that will do it out of the box...
The HD? How could that be a problem? It is a Samsung SpinPoint M40 40GB 5400RPM IDE ATA/100 2,5" 9,5mm, copied right from the store
There is an external usb 2.0 disc also, but it's not mounted.
I tried the ubuntu dist. Thought it sound cool It worked perfectly well with the 2D, as all the other dists. The standard "ati" driver was installed out of the box, which doesn't support 3D-acceleration. And so far (I'am quiet a newbie, especially to ubuntu) I haven't been able to install the kernel source to build the kernel moduels for the "fglrx" driver. I were not able to use the driver without it. Or at least, this is what I think... Thanks for all ideas so far!