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Dell D400 with Mandrake Linux

Linux on Dell Latitude D400

System description

My Latitude D400 is a 1.4ghz machine, with an external DVD (connected through a connector that combines USB and power mains in one port) that appears as a USB mass storage. No floppy drive.

Distribution

I installed Mandrake 9.2 without any problems (first I put my money on Suse 9.0 but it did not support the network interface out of the box and I did not have the installation cd's). The standard 2.4.22-mdk kernel worked like a charm.
I just downloaded the ISO images (3) using my desktop box and burned them on CD-R. Inserted the first CD, turned on the Dell and pressed F12 for Dell's boot menu, where I chose the DVD drive. It did auto-detect the sound, network and video without a problem. However, I did have to install the video hack mentioned on Jan Frode's description. For completeness sake, here are the urls:
http://www.chzsoft.com.ar/855patch.tar.gz
http://www.mail-archive.com/devel@xfree86.org/msg02247.html

ACPI

At first, ACPI was not working. I tried compiling a 2.4.25 kernel, and a 2.6.3, but all to no avail. In the end, I looked in /etc/lilo.conf, and bluntly removed the 'acpi=ht' boot option. That fixed it, and now I can happily monitor the remaining battery capacity. CPU throttling does not seem to work yet, I'll look in to that later.

Todo

Mandrake's graphical boot progress indicator does not work, due to the fact that the kernel can not set a graphics mode on boot-time. This is not a big problem as the kernel boots perfectly without the fancy screen.

Concluding remarks

Ok, so it's just 30 minutes ago that I installed it and started playing around. If I find any problems (and hopefully, solutions), i'll update this page. So far so good, Mandrake team: thumbs up!!

Contacting me

You can contact me by email on latitude@sonologic.nl (spam will be ignored automatically).

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