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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 01-11-2008, 10:45 PM   #1
art_of_living
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Checking hardware compatibility for Fedora 64 Bit


I am planning to install Fedora 64 Bit on my laptop. But before I proceed and mess up with my system I would like to know if this OS will be compatible with my system or is it possible in any way to test the hardware compatibility before installation.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 12:53 AM   #2
jedi_sith_fears
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by art_of_living View Post
I am planning to install Fedora 64 Bit on my laptop. But before I proceed and mess up with my system I would like to know if this OS will be compatible with my system or is it possible in any way to test the hardware compatibility before installation.
Can you state the Brand and Model no. of your Laptop?

Most Laptops get automatic detection .... so I dont think it will be much of a problem to you.

Fedoraforun.org will be a good place to check whether your laptop is already supported or not

http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=11
 
Old 01-12-2008, 01:09 AM   #3
lazlow
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The easiest way is to try one of the live cds. You boot from the cd and the OS runs off the cd (think test drive). If it works good enough for you, you can also install from them.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 01:24 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
is it possible in any way to test the hardware compatibility before installation.
IIRC: Fedora now has a live version which you can use to test compatibility. This approach can give a false-negative, but is an excellent way to narrow down inquiries.

Looking at your specs:
You should be aware that Acer laptops in general have an abysmal record when it comes to GNU/Linux support. Not only does it not exist, but they have a tendency to withdraw their hardware guarantee as well.

Interestingly, the specs mentioned (Aspire 4520) state "Linux" for the OS. You should check with Acer India to see if they are supplying GNU/Linux pre-installed and which distribution. The list of installed software and the oem notice below the warranty suggest that this is a Windows Vista Business machine.

The footnote comments:
***The Linux that is pre-loaded is a free version and would have limited functionality until another operating system is installed.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...e-4520-580398/

Components... as given in the link you supplied.

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7000M ... you will need the proprietory driver and xrandr to get full use of this card.

The laptop makes a lot of use of nvidia chipsets. This is trouble, you are certain to need post-install configuration... including driver installation.

Audio: card not specified.

Net:
WLAN1: Acer InviLink and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
... unknown chipset wifi. (Looks like it may be an aetheros card. You need ndiswrapper.)
LAN: Gigabit Ethernet, Wake-on-LAN ready
... you may need to disable the advanced power features of this card.
Modem: 56K ITU V.92 with PTT approval8
... unspecified win-modem
Integrated Acer Crystal Eye webcam
... unknown.

Looking for another source of information:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show....php?p=1494289
... this user had issues using the (fairly recent) SLED10SP1. More recent free distros (i.e. fedora 8) may work better.)

http://suseforums.net/index.php?showtopic=44041
openSUSE 10.3 no better.
... looking like you may not be able to use nv or vesa driver to start with. But there is some indication that fedora 8 will work.

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=54953
... doesn't work well with Windows either.

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-612367.html
... doesn't work well with Vista Home Premium either.

Indicates that Ubuntu 7.10 works with the restricted drivers.
Indications that earlier distros do not work.
Good luck.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 01:25 AM   #5
art_of_living
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Its Acer aspire 4520. Unfortunately this distro doesn't have a Live CD.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 01:26 AM   #6
art_of_living
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I was not aware of that (Live CD).
 
Old 01-12-2008, 01:35 AM   #7
lazlow
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http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora

Lists a Live version of Fedora 8 64bit.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 07:58 AM   #8
amitabhishek
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Also will a 32 bit app work on a 64 bit system?
 
Old 01-12-2008, 08:20 AM   #9
Simon Bridge
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It is possible to run 32 bit apps in a 64 bit distro, this requires you to install the 32 bit libraries (to a non-default location) and make sure the app knows where to find them.

In general though, you are best to run a 32 bit distro unless you expect to do some major number-crunching.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 10:36 AM   #10
this213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow
The easiest way is to try one of the live cds. You boot from the cd and the OS runs off the cd (think test drive). If it works good enough for you, you can also install from them.
LiveCDs are only good for letting people see what Linux is who have never seen it before and for advanced users and sysadmins to repair borked systems. A LiveCD is NOT going to have all of the hardware compatibility available for a major distro like Fedora (though it may come close).

If it were mine (and it isn't), I would install the 32-bit Fedora 7 and install the repository at http://rpm.livna.org/rlowiki/. You can largely follow this: http://www.raiden.net/?cat=2&aid=336 however:
  • Do NOT "yum -y remove bluez-libs pcmciautils"
  • The large "yum" command needsd to be changed to something like this:
    Code:
    yum -y install abcde abiword acpi acpitool \
    aiksaurus-gtk akode acode-extras anjuta-gdl azureus \
    bluecurve* buoh contacts dates dia emerald emerald-themes \
    ffmpeg* fonts* gconf-editor gdesklets geany gedit-plugins \
    gftp gnochm gnomad2 gnome-applet* gnome-audio-extra \
    gnome-keyring-manager gnome-nettool gnome-pilot-conduits \
    gnome-speech gnomescan gnome-theme* gnotime gnucash gnumeric \
    gstreamer-plugins* gtkpod gtweakui libdvdcss mmv mplayer* \
    nautilus-* numlockx openoffice.org-base openoffice.org-calc \
    openoffice.org-core openoffice.org-draw openoffice.org-emailmerge \
    openoffice.org-graphicfilter openoffice.org-impress \
    openoffice.org-math openoffice.org-pyuno openoffice.org-writer \
    openoffice.org-xsltfilter planner swfdec-mozilla tango* \
    themes-backgrounds-gnome thunderbird totem-xine \
    totem-xine-mozplugin unrar vinagre wallpapoz xine xine-lib \
    xine-lib-arts xine-lib-extras* xine-pligin xmms* xorg-x11-docs \
    xorg-x11-fonts* xosd
  • To get Flash, go to http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/downl...&promoid=BONRN then follow the directions listed for the livna.repo repository to install that repo. Once done, do:
    Code:
    # yum install flash-plugin
  • Don't worry about changing /usr/bin/gnome-wm - that's a Fedora 8 specific bug.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 12:46 PM   #11
lazlow
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this123

Saying that the Fedora livecd will not check your hardware compatibility is just silly. You boot up and are running Fedora. If everything is happy the network works, video, disks, etc, then it is a go. If something is not happy you may have an issue that you may be able to work around or you may just have a compatibility issue.

Considering that support for Fedora7 will be dropped in a few months (April?), I would not go through all the effort of installing it. Fedora8 also has a lot of extra hardware compatibility that is not present in F7 (progress moves on).

Lazlow
 
Old 01-12-2008, 01:51 PM   #12
this213
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Live CDs as a rule don't offer the thousands of packages that make Fedora a solid system, there isn't enough room on the CD, and there aren't any packages from any 3rd party repos, such as the kmod-nvidia package that's required to get nvidia cards to do 3D desktops.

As to installing F7 over F8, firstly, I said "If it were mine". Fedora 8 still has quite a few bugs - aside from the whole issue with getting CCSM working right. Progress may move on all it wants, that doesn't change the fact that Fedora 7 is more stable than Fedora 8.

All that said though, I do use F8 on my main workstation (which I'm posting from right now: 2.6.23.9-85.fc8) - but I've also spent a few hours getting things tweaked right so it doesn't do things like crash outright or exhibit horrendous memory issues (though from time to time X, compiz and Firefox will still each individually grab all of the system memory they can). The main idea with suggesting Fedora 7 was to keep these experiences from a new Linux user as much as possible - thinking they'll have enough issues to worry about just getting acquainted with Linux in general.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 02:57 PM   #13
lazlow
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You do not need thousands of packages to see if your machine is hardware compatible. You do not need 3d desktops to check this either. IF the live cd runs fine then he pretty much knows he is compatible.

Which versions of Fedora are buggier than others will always be an argument that will be hardware specific. While many people have had issues with F8 many others (myself included) had issues with F7(unending PITA for me). That is the nature of Fedora. When you introduce new features some people are going to have issues with them. As these bugs are worked out updates are issued. However some bugs are best fixed by changing things at a level deeper than an update can handle. These bugs are fixed in the next version of the OS. Which in turn can lead to other people having issues. This is why Fedora should always be considered a work in progress.
 
Old 01-12-2008, 08:38 PM   #14
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
A LiveCD is NOT going to have all of the hardware compatibility available for a major distro like Fedora (though it may come close).
It follows that if the fedora 8 live CD gets everything going, then the fedora 8 install will also. The caveat you are looking for is that if the live CD doesn't handle something, this does not mean the HW is unsupported... the full install may have the drivers.

This sort of thing is called a "false negative".

The main advantage is two-fold:
1. the test correctly identifies supported constellations - providing true positives.
2. where some things do not work, it will successfully identify which HW components need further investigation. Reducing the a-priori workload.

The advantage of doing the live test in preference to just installing and seeing what happens is that it is more economical. The full installation takes time and bandwidth which may not be readily or cheaply available. The live ISO is much smaller and it will either go or it won't, allowing a "too much work" distro to be rejected before significant resources are spent on it. This is at the expense of the additional step in the event that the first distro tried, works.

Since we do not know how OPs resources are restricted, the approach is fair. And efficient, in that a lot af HW can be checked with little extra work.

Of course, OP could just be seeking reassurance before the fact. Not unnatural, considering that changing OS is a big step. The live distro can provide the assurance needed in an unambiguous way.

Lastly:
The fedora install link is interesting - even if the instructions need modification. Have you seen:
www.mjmwired.net personal fedora install?
 
Old 01-13-2008, 10:02 AM   #15
this213
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I see your points with Live CDs, but I've always felt these can do more harm than good when given to someone who has never before seen Linux unless it's clearly pointed out that these are trimmed down versions of a full installation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
Since we do not know how OPs resources are restricted, the approach is fair. And efficient, in that a lot af HW can be checked with little extra work.
This leads to http://fedora4520.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
Have you seen:
www.mjmwired.net personal fedora install?
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search
Thre are tons of various installation guides, the one I linked to happens to be how "I" set up "my" system, as the first paragraph clearly states:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiden.net
I decided to document how I set up my Fedora system so others could see the steps I take to get to a perfect (for me) desktop environment. Please note that this is not your average "Newbies Guide To Installing Linux". this is merely how I set up my system and only includes the programs I use.
It doesn't go into CD creation, drive partitioning and so forth - that wasn't the reason for the article.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
even if the instructions need modification
Like what? The instructions given set up my desktop perfectly for me. The only thing I *might* change there would be to include the real Flash player rather than Gnash.
 
  


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