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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 12-03-2007, 09:52 PM   #1
dethanjl
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Angry dell inspiron 1100 -which distro?


is there any distro that actually works with this laptop? some look great from the live cd, but once installed and updated all i get is a blank screen once the Xwindows loads. i know the problem is the screwy intel graphics, but that can't be changed. some have "work arounds", but who wants to go thru that headache then have it undone under another update? pclos ran great!,till it updated. suse looked great on the install, right up till i couldn't do anything in X. debian just refuses to do anything at all on it.am i stuck at a live cd if i want to use my preferred OS? or am i just stuck with winsux xp?
 
Old 12-03-2007, 10:25 PM   #2
elliott678
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Intel chips are well supported, I have never had a problem with any of them I have had. I call those "work arounds" "configuring", there is no reason any distro won't run on that Intel chip if properly configured. Setting up an xorg.conf file is not hard if you read, you could probably find a premade one for your laptop if you search around a little.

Use whatever you feel comfortable with, don't be afraid to do some configuring.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 10:28 PM   #3
Simon Bridge
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If it works from the live CD then it will work from the install.
Intel graphics are supported in the kernel - you have misconfigured something.

I don't know what you mean by "workarounds"... but if you mean adding parameters to the kernel line or editing the xorg.conf file, then I think you will be well advised to go back to Windows.

What we have is that the default install for:

PCLOS: good until upgrade
(In which case you post to developer forum "upgrade breaks xyz on dell 1100.)

SUSE (OpenSUSE or SLED or what?): similar - but you do not say how you ended up with no X.

Debian "refuses to do anything at all"? Install? What?

The first two were examples you said successfully installed, only to break afterwards. Therefore, they were fine and it was something you did or an upgrade no longer supports something. Maybe you used an odd configuration? But, without any idea of what was happening to you, nobody can predict what to suggest.

Linux on laptops has old install notes.
I see gentoo and Ubuntu getting good mentions for more recent notes.
Given that you hate workarounds, you'll hate gentoo (you don't want to be emerging everything), I'll suggest Ubuntu 7.10:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=608481

There can be no guarantees that an upgrade won't break it.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 11:40 PM   #4
syg00
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I have a semi-broken one on my desk here - currently has Arch on it; has had Slack and Gentoo as well at different times.
Used to need the 855patch hack, but the latest BIOS flash (A32) fixed that ages ago. You may need to tell Xorg to use he i810 driver rather than vesa - in the "Device" section.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 05:24 AM   #5
MountfordDrive
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If it's any help, I've got a Dell Inspiron 1300. When I first got it, I installed SuSE 10.1 but for various reasons, I switched over to Ubuntu 7.04 and am now on Ubuntu 7.10. Both distros ran fine.

One of the reasons I switched from SuSE to Ubuntu was the fiddling around I had to do to get multimedia working properly but that was a distro weakness. I also had to use ndiswrapper to get wireless networking but other than that, SuSE was fine.

I had a few wireless problems with Ubuntu 7.04 but I think it was due to my misunderstanding of how to set it up. It worked fine when I eventually figured it out and I can categorically say I have no problems whatsoever with 7.10. Boots up everytime, anywhere and finds wireless networks automatically.

HTH
 
Old 12-04-2007, 08:10 AM   #6
oilgeek
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Had same problems with Linux on Inspiron 1100

Yes Intel is well involved into the community -intellinuxgraphics.org, but it's that damn Intel 845GL chipset on the Inspiron 1100. It's like getting one of the old WinModems to work under Linux - I'm showing my age. Most new 3D Linux drivers just go black when they try to use the Intel 845GL chipset. Some of the older distro run fine on it in 2D (CentOS 4, Ubuntu 5, etc...) but the modern release don't play well with it. The two keys to the Inspiron 1100 is get your BIOS to A32 first, then on the 6 page of the BIOS set the Video RAM (UMD) to 8 MB. After that you should have a fare chance at Linux playing well, but mileage will vary. For a simple running Linux on the 1100, I've only been able to get Ubuntu 7.10 with VESA drivers to work. Also CentOS 5 worked well for basic business apps. I should have some time this week to test and I'll post what I find.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 08:57 AM   #7
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Most new 3D Linux drivers just go black when they try to use the Intel 845GL chipset.
It uses the i810 driver doesn't it?

man i810 ... hmmmm... "i810 supports the i810, i810-DC100, i810e, i815, i830M, 845G, 852GM, 855GM, 865G, 915G, 915GM, 945G, 945GM, 965G, 965Q and 946GZ chipsets." Seems the 845GL ain't there.

You'll get 2D with the vesa drivers, but you know that. Did you look at the Ubuntu 7.10 install notes in my last post? You can compare with what you did.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 11:27 AM   #8
oilgeek
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Simon, thanks for the follow up. Yes I did follow your post and the links to the Ubuntu Forum for Inspiron 1100. Ever forum I find states that the Inspiron 1100 should use the i810 driver. I think maybe it should read "845G" instead? I tried setting the Driver to i810 last night and kept getting the black screen when X tried to start. Prior to that I did have Gutsy working with VESA. Found some notes on, "pressing f6 and adding nolapic acpi-off to the install parameters." I also have found a note on, "If you press ESC on the grub screen and then select your kernel it should boot properly." This last note stops the splash screen from running that conflicts with the Inspiron BIOS allocated video RAM. I will try these two tonight as see if I can get some better resulst then VESA drivers. I might even try getting back to a basic 2D desktop with VESA and then try building my own from intellinuxgraphics.org. I will post my finding tomorrow.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 02:57 PM   #9
syg00
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I've had no problems running a DM with the i810 driver (since the BIOS update) - Slack was using XFCE, Arch and Gentoo used Gnome. I've never attempted to use 3D, but (in my case) never had any reason to even try it.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 01:19 PM   #10
chrisortiz
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i've got an inspiron 1100, works like a dream, well at least until i broke my pcmcia slot. I'm running slackware 11, on a custom kernel.
Check this site out.
http://geocities.com/randomnumbergen...001/#bios_info

i can post my xorg.conf if you want
 
Old 12-05-2007, 08:15 PM   #11
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Ever forum I find states that the Inspiron 1100 should use the i810 driver. I think maybe it should read "845G" instead?
man i810
Code:
 i810 supports the i810, i810-DC100, i810e, i815,  i830M,  845G,  852GM,
       855GM, 865G, 915G, 915GM, 945G, 945GM, 965G, 965Q and 946GZ chipsets.
You could try "intel", but AFAIK, that will just load the i810 driver for your card.
Code:
 intel supports the i810, i810-DC100, i810e, i815, i830M,  845G,  852GM,
       855GM,  865G,  915G,  915GM,  945G,  945GM,  965G,  965Q, 946GZ, 965GM,
       945GME, G33, Q33, and Q35 chipsets.
Running a laptop without acpi is a bummer, but yeah: "noapic nolapic vga=776" are very common laptop options.

chrisortiz: lets have a squiz at that xorg.conf anyway, and lets see your grub kernel line (or do you use lilo?)
 
Old 12-06-2007, 08:48 AM   #12
oilgeek
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I have Ubuntu 7.10 rocking on my Inspiron 1100

YES! I am now using 7.10 with Compiz and everything 3D on my Inspiron 1100. Thank you to all that helped. The Linux community and this forum rule. I am amazed at the wonderful people that so quickly offered me help, Thank You! I also found some help from this other site.
1 upgrade the 1100 bios to A32
2 change the video shared memory in the bios from 1 to 8 meg
3 do Ubuntu 7.10 install in "video safe mode" - will use VESA driver
4 perform all updated and patches
5 add the video card info found in this reply in /etc/X11/xorg.conf
6 add the screen info found in this reply in /etc/X11/xorg.conf
7 sudo aptitude install 915resolution
8 reboot and rock out with Ubuntu 7.10!

------------xorg.conf info--------------
Section "Device"
Identifier "Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device"
Driver "i810"
BusID "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Generic Monitor"
Option "DPMS"
HorizSync 28-80
VertRefresh 43-60
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Second Monitor"
Option "DPMS"
HorizSync 28-80
VertRefresh 43-60
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device"
Monitor "Generic Monitor"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 1
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 4
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
EndSection
----------------------------------------
 
Old 12-06-2007, 08:53 AM   #13
oilgeek
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Oops, have to bypass Ubuntu Splash for solid boot

There seems to be an issue with the splash screen. If I press ESC on the grub screen and then select the normal kernel it will boot properly. Some say that the boot screen takes up too much memory when starting Ubuntu so when it comes time to load X, the computer crashes. It appears that the simplest solution is to edit the grub menu and remove splash. I just "sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst" to edit the file. Scrolled down towards the end to where it says, "## ## End Default Options ## ##". On the third line that starts with "kernel", I removed the word "splash" at the end of the line. Rock on
 
Old 12-06-2007, 10:30 AM   #14
Simon Bridge
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And doesn't it feel good?!
Now you know far more than is good for you, you'll just have to push on and become a total linux-geek
 
Old 12-06-2007, 03:41 PM   #15
syg00
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Never could understand why everybody seems to think a boot splash is in any way necessary. I've never used one on any of my systems.
 
  


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