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Installing Linux on a Dell Inspiron 5100 Notebook

10/09/03 This one is dedicated to installing Gentoo GNU/Linux on the laptop

I began using linux on my desktop a little over a year ago, and once I figured out how to get sound i never looked back. I got the dell inspiron 5100, and i knew I would install linux along with windows xp, mainly because I need some proprietary software for school, and I don't have windows on my desktop.

The Hardware:

Intel P4 2.4 GHz

512 Meg DDR RAM

40GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive

24X CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive

Mobility Radeon 7500 Video card

15 inch SXGA+ display

Internal Conexant D480 56K Modem

Integrated Broadcom 440x 10/100 Network Card

2 USB ports

1 Firewire port

1 Svideo output

1 SVGA output

Belkin USB optical mouse

The Software:

Windows XP Home Edition (pre installed)

Gentoo 1.4

Preparation

The only preparation I went through was backing up data on the windows partition, other than that I followed the installation docs from gentoo.org pretty much word for word.

Other Hardware

Sound, Video, and Mouse all work fine. As does the NIC. I have not tried the modem, firewire, or s-video output.

Conclusion

The install went well, Gentoo will take a long time to install everything up to and including X (about 2 days). PCMCIA worked, once I had downgraded the firmware of the Cisco Aironet 350 series wireless pcmcia card to the 4.x series which is supported. USB works, sound, video, etc all work.

Issues

1. No APM/acpi (power management) after normal install of gentoo, so far at least I haven't really bothered with this yet, because it isn't all that important to me at this point.