Monthly Archives: October 2006

Fedora Core 5 on a Dell Latitude D620

Instructions for getting Fedora Core 5 humming on the Dell Latitude D620 probably fall into the category of better late than never at this point. Since FC6 was recently released, this post will primarily serve as a comparison against a future (and more timely) guide for FC6 on the D620.

FC5 can be made to work fairly well on the D620, but many things require tweaking to work properly. This guide summarizes what can be made to work and how. It is not a step by step howto, but does attempt to link to more detailed resources when they are available. Most items worked without any manual configuration, those that required some tweaking to be fully functional are in italics, and issues that couldn’t be resolved are in bold. It’s worth noting that essentially all of my issues with the laptop stem from the use of a Broadcom wireless card, it’s a very well supported system when paired with the Intel wireless option.

  • Dual-core Processor: Both cores are detected on the 2.17GHz Intel Core Duo processor, the 32bit i686 smp kernel is installed and just works.
  • USB: Works, no config needed.
  • PCMCIA Slot: Works, no config needed.
  • Touchpad/Track Stick: Works, no config needed. Install gsynaptics from Extras if you want to customize the trackpad behavior.
  • Suspend to Ram:Works after updating kernel to 2.6.18-1.2200.fc5smp.
  • Suspend to Disk: Works after updating kernel to 2.6.18-1.2200.fc5smp.
  • Ethernet: Works, no config needed.
  • Wireless Networking: Works with ndiswrapper, but conflicts with 3D acceleration (see the 3D section for details). I accidentally purchased the Dell Truemobile 1390 wireless card option, which is based on the awful Broadcom BCM4310. You should order the Intel wireless option instead, but if you already have an icky Broadcom it can be made to work using ndiswrapper. Follow the standard installation instructions using the r115321.exe driver available from Dell. Once you’re configured, don’t forget to enable the network manager applet so you don’t have to iwconfig from the terminal all the time.
  • 2D Video: The native display resolution is incorrectly detected, add the correct modeline to xorg.conf to fix (ignore the 915resolution stuff if you have an NVidia card like me). (Update 2010-10-18: The link with the modeline instructions is now dead)
  • 3D Acceleration: The NVidia Quadro 110M works well after installing NVidia drivers from livna, but causes the Broadcom wireless card to stop working reliably. I’m not aware of a workaround other than to use the open source nv driver which doesn’t offer 3D acceleration (or to purchase the Intel wireless option, which doesn’t suffer from the issue). Track progress on the issue here.
  • External Monitor: If you don’t use the NVidia driver, hooking up to the VGA out is painful. Changing to a standard (non-wide) resolution and back again requires editing xorg.conf (some update, not sure which, added the correct resolution to the screen-res dialog so changing resolutions isn’t that painful anymore), there’s no proper resolution scaling, and no graphical interface for configuring dual-head.
  • CD/DVD Burning: Works out of the box, but this tweak substantially improves burn speed and system responsiveness while burning.
  • Sound Playback: The audio drivers for the Intel High Definition Audio devices used in this system had problems in the initial release of FC5, but it should work fine after a yum update.
  • Sound Recording: Works after updating. If you’re not getting recorded sound, look in the preferences for the Volume Control app, make sure that “capture” is enabled and the recording level isn’t way down.
  • Volume Keys: Go into System –> Preferences –> Keyboard shortcuts and assign the multimedia keys to vol down/up/mute (or whatever you want them to do).
  • Radio On/Off Switch: Works fine, and has a noticeable effect on battery life. You may need to “up” the interface with the connection manager of your choice if you enable the radio while the system is running.
  • Fingerprint Reader: Untested.
  • Bluetooth: Untested.
  • Modem: Untested.
  • ACPI Power Management: Auto fan speed and cpu frequency scaling work without configuration. Right-click the top gnome panel (the bar with the applications menu and the clock) and add the cpu frequency scaling monitor if you want some feedback and control over frequency scaling (which definitely affects battery life and laptop temperature during use).

Output of lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PCI Express Graphics Port (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 01)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controllers cc=IDE (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 01d7 (rev a1)
03:01.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ601/6912/711E0 CardBus/SmartCardBus Controller (rev 40)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5752 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4310 UART (rev 01)

Useful Links