Fedora 8 on Dell D420

I finally got around to installing the shiny new Fedora 8 on my latitude D420 today. Some of it was good, some of it was bad.

Things that worked first time

  • Wired Network
  • Display
  • Sound
  • Bluetooth
  • SD Card Reader
  • Suspend! (well, at least most of the time. either way, it doesn’t crash anymore)

Things that eh, don’t

  • Wireless

    Update 2: I think that I should be able to get this working with ifl3945, and there’s a kernel upgrade sitting there waiting for me, so after the exams i plan to blacklist the ipw3945 driver, upgrade the kernel and try get it working again.

    Update: I did lots of hacking about trying to get this working with wpa, (and failed miserably), but the wireless does appear to be working with the free driver on the kernel.

    This appears to work with the free firmware just as it did in Fedora 7, but I couldn’t get it to connect to anything, so I went back to ipw3945. I decided not to go with atrpms this time as their mplayer conflicted with livna, which was annoying, so I used the packages from freshrpms (courtesy of lamouroux.net). Note: you should upgrade your kernel and restart the system before running this install.

    rpm -ihv http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/fedora/linux/7/freshrpms-release/freshrpms-release-1.1-1.fc.noarch.rpm
    yum -y install dkms-ipw3945 ipw3945d ipw3945-firmware kernel-devel

    I then edited the network settings so that both the wired and wireless devices won’t be started by default when the system boots. not doing this will make your boot time very very long. Then edit the system>services, adding NetworkManager and NetworkManagerDispacher to the default runlevel.

  • Fonts

    I think this is related to the video driver you use, but my fonts were way to large. To fix this go into System>Preferences>Look and Feel > Appearence. In the fonts tab click details and turn the DPI back to 96. While your there, turn the window title text down to size 9, they seem to look good like that.

  • Touchpad

    Just like in F7 you’ll need to change the speed settings, or end up in serious finger pain after not too long.
    Edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and change the minspeed option from 0.3 to 0.75 and it should be much better after you restart X.

  • Audio

    I haven’t had a single problem with my sound since the upgrade, but from reading the forums it seems other people have. If you’re having an audio problem it’s most likely related to the new pulse audio system in Fedora 8.

Things I’ve Installed

  • rpm.livna.org

    Some of these instructions will need the the livna repos. To set it up click here.

  • Media

    Xmms is a Winamp 2 clone, i like it because it’s lightweight and simple. The mp3 support is a package in livna called xmms-mp3. For more see my xmms page here.
    yum install mplayer mplayer-gui mplayerplug-in.. Codecs for the default media apps are in a package called gstreamer-plugins-ugly in livna.

  • flash

    Install this rpm to add the adboe repo to yum, then “yum install flash-plugin”.

  • Compiz Manager

    gnome-compiz-manager is in the repos, but not installed by default. Well worth installing if you run compiz.

I also did….

  • System Beep

    I use my laptop lots in lectures and meetings and can’t afford for the system speaker to beep whenever it wants. The best way around it that I found was just to disable it altogether. As root run:
    rmmod pcspkr and then add blacklist pcspkr to your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

  • Removed Graphical Boot

    The graphical boot slows down boot time, and isn’t that pretty anyway. To get rid of it edit /etc/grub.conf and remove “rhgb” from the kernel line.

  • Removed useless services.

    Avahi-daemon, cups (if you don’t have a printer), firstboot, isdn, kudzu, netfs, restorecond, sendmail & yum-updatesd are all running by default & if you don’t know why you need them you don’t need them

  • Turn Off SeLinux

    If you don’t know why you need it, then you don’t need it. I disagree with this being enabled by default, new users don’t need it, and it causes so much trouble.

  • Faster Boot Time

    An article by this guy would seem to indicate that if you’ve done all that you’ve halved your boot time by now. (I intend to look at his floppy probe suggestion after my exams).

Stuff I haven’t tested

  • Modem – I just have no use for it.
  • PCMCIA – Again, I have nothing to test with it.
  • Firewire – If anyone would like to send me a firewire cable for my hard drive….

New Stuff (that I noticed)

  • An applet I’d never seen before appeared in System tools for mobile phones, so I played with that. Since that I’ve been looking at other bluetooth/mobile stuff, which I’ll talk about soon…
    Update:I tried to play with some bluetooth stuff, but something seemed to be horribly crashing my system and I think it was bluetooth related, and leaving the bluetooth running forever on my phone seemed to make it run out of memory, so I’ll be leaving this for a while
  • The new audio stuff seems cool, haven’t really done anything to test it though.
  • Yum seems to have had more work done
  • New look & icons etc.
  • IcedTea – Clearly it’s not perfect, but it’s an excellent step in the right direction. This is what we want, free Java that actually works. I’m expecting to see improvements to this over the coming months
  • Lots more stuff, I just haven’t found it yet.

Stuff that kinda disappointed me

  • Yum Search – some moron somewhere decided that the yum output should be butchered to match the apt output (without mentioning that apt has a bazillion more options). Gone is the functionality to search and get a long description of the package, version and architecture information, repo information etc. in one quick and pretty search. I’ve started developing a plugin to fix this, I plan to get back to it the week after next.
  • Graphical boot – I don’t like rhgb, it just slows me down, but if it’s going to be there then it should appear just as neatly as in other distros.
  • Compiz – It’s great that it works with almost no effort, but it already did that. I’d have liked to seen the default configuration applet worked on to have more options and stuff.
Posted November 15th, 2007 in Linux.

One comment:

  1. blog.theinternets.be » Blog Archive » Fedora 10 vs. Dell D420:

    […] with fedora 8 I had to fix the Font DPI, internal speaker, selinux, useless services. The mouse speed is still a […]

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