Installing Fedora Core 4 on a Compaq Presario V2575CA (V2000)

Last updated: Oct 11 2006

[ hardware ][ why ][ where ][ installing ][ wireless ][ video ][ suspend ][ logging ][ contact ]

Hardware list:

Hardware Components
Status under Linux
Notes
AMD Turion 64 at 1.8Ghz Works No special procedure required during installation.
14 WXGA Display Works Works great at 1280x768
ATI Radeon Xpress 200M Video Works Download ATI Linux driver
1024MB, 333Mhz DDR, 2DIMMs Works No special procedure required during installation
100 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
Integrated Network Card Untested Drivers come with distribution
Internal 56k Modem Untested Commercial drivers available
DVD RW/CD RW Drive Works Install X-CD Roast for burning
Integrated Wireless LAN Works Requires Windows drivers and ndiswrapper
12 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery Works No special procedure required during installation
ATI Sound card Works No special procedure required during installation
6 in 1 Memory reader Not working

This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.11

Why use Fedora Core 4?

Although Fedora Core 5 is out, and 6 is coming in a few months, after first choosing Fedora Core 5 I decided to downgrade to Fedora Core 4 so that I could get the full potential out of my video card. The X drivers shipped with Fedora Core 5 do not support hardware OpenGL with the Radeon Xpress 200M, and 2D performance is also very poor. The proprietary ATI drivers require X 6.8 and the kernel of Fedora Core 5 is also incompatible with the drivers. I chose to use the i386 version of Fedora Core for a number of reasons, the main one being that I use the built-in wireless LAN and I was not able to find any 64 bit Windows drivers for it. As far as I know there are no big advantages to using the x86_64 version anyway.

Obtaining Fedora Core 4:

Go to the Fedora website and find a mirror close to you that still carries version 4 of Fedora Core. I use the 32 bit version (i386) because I need wireless networking, and the only Windows drivers I can find are 32 bit. 32 bit drivers don't work with a 64 bit kernel.

Installing:

If you want to use the built-in wireless LAN, you will need to get the sources for ndiswrapper. To do this I had to burn them to CD from Windows (I dual boot). If you wish to dual boot and you want to access your Windows partition from Linux, you should also put the NTFS kernel module on the CD as Fedora Core does not come with the NTFS module. I would recommend mounting your NTFS partitions read only, as I have heard that writing to a NTFS partition with this driver can corrupt it. There is a project called Captive that is apparently much safer, but I haven't tried it. When installing make sure you install the developement tools and libraries so you can compile the ndiswrapper utilities. If you don't want your Windows partition to be wiped out, make sure you manually edit the partition table when asked. I reinstalled Windows to a 70GB partition from the disk included with my laptop before I installed Fedora Core so that I could use both Windows and Linux.

Wireless LAN

Setting up the network driver should be as simple as typing the following commands:

ndiswrapper -i [.inf file of Windows driver]
modprobe ndiswrapper
ifconfig wlan0 up
iwconfig wlan0 key open [password of wireless network]
iwconfig wlan0 essid [name of wireless network]
dhclient wlan0

For this particular laptop, the driver is named bcmwl5.inf. I put these commands in my /etc/init.d/network file under the "start" section, and under the "stop" section I put:

killall -s 9 dhclient
rmmod ndiswrapper

That way when you type:

/sbin/service network restart

it restarts the network, and the driver is automatically installed at boot.

Video drivers

If you want fast 2D/3D graphics performance, download the ATI drivers from here. Make sure you download the ones linked, as they are the only ones known to work on this configuration. Also make sure you have the package compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-47.fc4.i386.rpm from Fedora Core installed or 3D graphics will not be accelerated. This package is on the Fedora Core CD in the Fedora/RPMS directory. To install it type:

rpm -i compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-47.fc4.i386.rpm

as root. Now install the ATI drivers by typing:

sh ati-driver-installer-8.20.8-i386.run

Follow the instructions on screen and you should be set in no time.

1280x768 resolution

This laptop's native resolution is 1280x768. If you want to use this resolution you have to add a Modeline to your X configuration file. To do so edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf (after you've installed the ATI drivers, it won't work without them) and add this line under the heading Section "Monitor":

Modeline  "1280x768" 80.14 1280 1344 1480 1680 768 769 772 795

Then under Section "Screen" and Subsection "Display", the Modes line should look something like this:

Modes  "1280x768" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

Suspending to RAM

If you want to enable suspend to RAM, delete sample.conf in /etc/acpi/events (or your computer will shut down when you open the lid), and edit /etc/acpi/events/lidsuspend.conf to look like this:

event=button/lid.LID
action=/etc/acpi/actions/suspend

Then edit /etc/acpi/actions/suspend to look like this:

#!/bin/sh
/sbin/hwclock --systohc
echo mem > /sys/power/state
/sbin/hwclock --adjust
/sbin/hwclock --hctosys
/sbin/service network restart

And type:

chmod +x /etc/acpi/actions/suspend

Now type "/sbin/service acpid restart". Now when you close the lid on your laptop it will suspend and come back when you open it again.

Fixing that annoying logging to the hard drive

I was getting some really annoying logging to /var/log/messages with this laptop when no CD was in the drive. This would could the hard driver light to flicker constantly and the driver to be very noisy. To fix this I edited /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-storage-policy.fdi. At the end of the file there is a section that looks like this:

  <device>
    <match key="storage.media_check_enabled" bool="true">
      <append key="info.addons" type="strlist">hald-addon-storage</append>
    </match>
  </device>

Just before that section, I inserted these lines:

  <device>
    <match key="storage.bus" string="ide">
     <match key="storage.model" string="TSSTcorpCD/DVDW TS-L532M">
       <match key="block.device" string="/dev/hdc">
         <merge key="storage.media_check_enabled" type="bool">false</merge>
       </match>
     </match>
    </match>
  </device>

Then I typed /sbin/service haldaemon restart to stop the logging.

Contact Information

Send e-mail to trentgamblin(at)hotmail(dot)com.



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