These pages have my experiences with installing Linux onto this particular laptop...
Fry's on 22 jan 2001, m$ winME installed;
upgraded RAM with another 128M and bought pcCard lan.
Intel Pentium 3, 700 Mhz (when using outlet power);
256 M RAM;
S3 Savage/IX w/MV video card (4 M AGP-VRAM);
TFT 13" 1024x768 monitor;
ESS MDM Modem (WinModem, i assume);
Synaptics PS/2 Touchpad Mouse;
and lots of other details about sound/usb/pcmcia...
The link listed on the next page for the n5190 laptop was the real trailblazer.
updates from 2001
since i originally put this site together, linux has kept evolving...
basically ANY distribution in 2002 should work straight out of the box
assuming you can boot from the cd (hit esc if necessary during bootup)
ive installed several versions successfully:
lycoris amethyst upd2 (build 46 june 2002)
so you should not need to worry about anything if you have an old laptop that you want to use
with a newer distribution these days.
personally, i liked lycoris because it allowed me to play dvds straight out of the box
unfortunately, i havent been able to get a recent development build to bootup correctly (build 66).
as in all linux - ymmv - but ill go ahead and include the links
to the other pages that showed my first struggles to get this laptop
running in linux back when the video-drivers were not supported, etc...