|Widescreen 1280×800 display||Works||No special action needed|
|Accelerated graphics||Works||No special action needed|
|SATA hard drive||Works||Kernel parameters: "ide0=noprobe ide1=noprobe"|
|Sound||Works||No special action needed|
|DVD-ROM/CD writer||Works||No special action needed|
|Touchpad||Works||No special action needed|
|Suspend to RAM||Works||May need to adjust sound volume following resume|
|Suspend to disk||Works||No special action needed|
|CPU speed scaling||Works||No special action needed|
|Ethernet||Works||No special action needed|
|External monitor/projector||Works||Requires editing of one configuration file|
|Modem||Untested||Never tried it, so I don't know whether it works|
Basically Fedora runs pretty nicely on this machine. A few small tricks are needed as described here. Complete installation should take you about an hour.
As usual, these notes are merely a document of things that worked for me. There's no guarantee they will work for you, and there are some things you could do while installing Linux that would really mess up your computer bad. I'm not aware of anything that will do that other than flashing your BIOS, which I don't recommend, but hey, you never know. You have been warned. All opinions expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by the University of Michigan.
Windows came in a 60GB NTFS partition, which I resized to 15GB. There was another empty 10GB NTFS partition, which I deleted. Also there was a 5GB FAT partition. This partition contains an entire spare copy of Windows XP, in case you need to reinstall Windows. (Sharp provides this instead of a Windows CD.) The standard boot loader on the computer can reinstall Windows for you from this partition. (I think you hit F10.) However, installing Linux overwrites the standard boot loader with the Linux boot loader, which means you will no longer be able to reinstall Windows this way after you have installed Linux. This means (a) that there's not much point in keeping the utility partition, and (b) that you may want to make a Windows recovery disk, as an alternative way of reinstalling Windows. (As far as I know, the recovery disk contains a complete copy of what's in the utility partition, so you don't lose anything by doing it this way.) To create a recovery disk, boot Windows and then follow the instructions contained in the computer manual. Once you create a recovery disk the reinstall-Windows-from-hard-disk-partition option is disabled anyway, so you might as well delete the utility partition, or you can reinstall Windows from the recovery disk, which deletes the partition for you.
This left me with 65GB of free space for Linux.
I installed from CD-ROM by downloading and burning the five CDs. I had to change the boot order in the BIOS to get the machine to boot from the CD – hit F2 as the computer is booting and use common sense. Then stick the first CD in the drive and fire it up.
By default the Fedora 6 installer does not detect the DVD drive correctly
on this computer. (This is a known
problem with computers that have IDE DVDs and SATA hard disks.) The
fix is to type
linux ide0=noprobe ide1=noprobe at the boot
prompt once the first CD boots. After that things all proceed as normal.
When you get to the part about partitioning the disk, you can accept the
default partitioning, which works just fine, or you may want to do a manual
partitioning yourself, which is what I did. I made a 100MB /boot partition
on /dev/sda2, a 1GB swap partition on /dev/sda3, and then an extended
partition holding 10GB for / and the rest on /home. (Note the disk appears
as /dev/sda, not /dev/hda, because it is a SATA drive.)
The installer will also ask you about the boot loader. At this point click
the advanced options box, and when you get the advanced options screen
there's a box for general kernel options. Here you want to type
ide0=noprobe ide1=noprobe again. This will make sure you get
SATA mode on the hard drive each time you boot. Without it, your install
will not work at all.
The rest of the installation is vanilla. When it's done installing it'll reboot and the first time it boots it will run through some setup stuff – creating a user account and so forth. After that you're done! Congratulations. You've installed Linux.
rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-6.rpmas root and you're good to go. (If you don't have a network connection, then you can't do this. On the other hand, if you don't have a network connection, then you can't use Livna at all. Or yum for that matter.)
Then you might want to update everything to the newest version. Type
yum update and wait a couple of hours.
In addition I installed a bunch of other things that I consider useful, including xv, gv, xfig, inkscape, scribus, acroread, amarok, xmms, mplayer-gui, xemacs, ddd, octave, fftw, blas, lapack, grace, labplot, flash-plugin, jre, sshfs, knetworkmanager, xcdroast, and audacity. I also removed totem and noatun, which are mostly worthless and cause some annoying problems for playing media files.
yum install ipw2200-firmwareas root, wait till the package is installed, then reboot and you should be set to go – just configure wireless as normal using the Fedora tools or NetworkManager. One hint that may save you some time: the wireless adaptor is off by default when you boot up the machine. You can switch it on by hitting Fn-F1 on the keyboard. (The light should come on on the front of the computer.) If you get error messages about "Check cable?" this is probably the reason.
Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" VendorName "Unknown Vendor" ModelName "Generic Monitor" Option "MonitorLayout" "CRT,LFP" Option "Clone" "true" EndSectionIt can go after the "Device" section, for example. Then add the single line
Monitor "Monitor0"to the "Screen" section in the same file. This fixes the problem with the image displacing to the left and also sets the external video connection to be on by default. If you later want to turn the external connection off for some reason, you can use the program
i810switch, which allows you to turn it on and off with a simple command.
Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0". I also found the mouse buttons too fussy about timing when I was clicking both to emulate the middle button, so I added
Option "EmulateMidButtonTime" "100"in the same place.
That's about it. Overall, I really like this machine – it's very nice to use, has an excellent screen, it's fast, light, and well designed. I'd certainly recommend it if you're looking for a sleek and portable Linux machine.
Last modified: August 6, 2007