Bulbous, Not Tapered

Foo-fu and other favorites…

Fedora Core 6 on a Dell Latitude D620

Dawid Lorenz already has a very comprehensive set of notes on running Fedora Core 6 on the Dell Latitude D620, but I’m going to drop in my two cents as well for variety’s sake.

FC6 works quite well on the D620 right out of the box, and with a few tweaks can be just about fully supported. This guide summarizes what I’ve done to get things working to my satisfaction. It is not a step by step howto, but does attempt to link to more detailed resources when they are available. The list below shows at a glance what is and isn’t working well on my system. Most items worked immediately after install without manual intervention, italic items were made fully functional after some manual configuration, and bold items have significant unsolved issues associated with them.

  • 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. Dynamic CPU frequency scaling works well and if you wish to monitor/change the scaling behavior there’s a gnome panel applet to do so.
  • 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, or copy/modify Dawid’s xorg.config settings (search for “touchpad”).
  • Suspend to Ram: Works with kernel 2.6.18-1.2869, wireless networking needs to be restarted on wakeup and you need to nudge the volume control to wake up the soundcard.
  • Hibernate to Disk: Doesn’t work, system hangs during hibernation and needs a hard reset. This worked in Fedora Core 5, so I imagine it will get fixed again relatively soon.
  • Ethernet: Works, no config needed.
  • Wireless Networking: Install dkms-ipw3945, ipw3945d and ipw3945-firmware from freshrpms, install the kernel-devel package for your kernel, and reboot. 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. The Intel 3945 has much better linux support than the awful Broadcom 4310 in the Dell Truemobile 1390 that was previously installed in this laptop.
  • Bluetooth: Works, no config needed.
  • 2D Video: Works, no config needed.
  • 3D Acceleration: The NVidia Quadro 110M works well after installing nvidia-x11-drv from freshrpms. Don’t forget to install kernel-devel for your kernel version and reboot. Battery life drops by about 40% while running the NVidia driver, even if you’re not doing 3D work. I had a bad battery.
  • External Monitor: If all you want is to switch to the external output instead of the internal LCD, you can do so easily right out of the box. Use the screen resolution control panel to set your resolution, and Fn-F8 to toggle between the displays. If you choose to install the NVidia driver, it includes a simple dialog for setting up multimonitor support using TwinView. TwinView isn’t perfect, windows maximize dumbly (across both displays) and if the resolutions of the two monitors are mismatched there’s an area where it’s possible to move the mouse and place windows that doesn’t show up in any monitor. All in all, it’s a bit lame but does get the job done in a pinch.
  • CD/DVD Burning: Works out of the box, but this tweak substantially improves burn speed and system responsiveness while burning.
  • Sound Playback: Works, no config needed.
  • Sound Recording: Works, no config needed. If you’re not getting recorded sound, check the Volume Control app to 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.
  • ACPI Power Management: All the power management features work (fan speed autoadjusts, cpu frequency scaling works, there’s a gnome applet to easily control it), but battery life is inexplicably poor. Under FC5, my battery life was over 4 hours with a 9-cell battery, wifi/bt off, backlight dimmed, and cpu locked to 1GHz. After migrating to FC6, battery life is less than 3 hours and the laptop runs noticeably warmer when performing routine tasks. I had a bad battery.
  • Fingerprint Reader: Untested.
  • Modem:Untested.

Output of lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root 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 Controller IDE (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Quadro NVS 110M / GeForce Go 7300 (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: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)