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Installing Linux on a Dell Inspiron 5100 Notebook

04/07/03 (oddly enough this is the same day as the other person who made a tutorial for the same computer)

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)

Mandrake Linux 9.1


I did not have any preparation. I put in the mandrake 9.1 install disk #1 and set my bios to boot from cd, and rebooted. I went through the setup and installation process, and removed the media and rebooted windows (to see if resizing the 40 gig ntfs partition had mess it up, which it had not, I then rebooted into Mandrake. Voila, everything except the pcmcia slot worked. Inluding sound, NIC, etc. The APM (power management) did not work either, but can be fixed with a kernel recompile.

Other Hardware

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


The install went off with hardly a hitch. If you don't need the APM or PCMCIA slot to work, 9.1 does a good job of setting everything up with ease.


1. No APM (power management) after normal install of mandrake 9.1

2. No PCMCIA support after normal install of mandrake 9.1