Saturday, October 15, 2005


Gentoo Linux on Dell Inspiron 9300

I recently became the owner of a Dell Inspiron 9300. This was a replacement laptop for my old Dell Inspiron 8600. Inspiron 9300 is a great desktop replacement laptop with a huge 17 inch display. Its slightly on the heavier side, that is something you have to make do with for the 17 inch display. I am running a dual boot of Windows XP and Gentoo Linux on this laptop. In this post I will try to cover the installation of Gentoo on this laptop.

Hardware componentStatusComments
Pentium M Processor 750, 1.86GHzWorks
17 WUXGA TFT DisplayWorks
128MB ATI Mobility Radeon X300WorksRequires ATI Linux drivers.
1024MB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (2x512)Works
60GB (5,400 RPM) Hard DriveWorks
NEC ND-6650 8X DVD+/-RW DriveWorksDMA requires libata support.
Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100BaseWorks
Intel ProWireless 2200 802.11b/g Mini PCI WirelessWorksRequires Intel ipw2200 drivers.
Internal Intel AC'97 56k Modem ControllerDon't knowHaven't tried.
Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth 2.0Works
Tested with Plantronics bluetooth headset.
Intel AC'97 Audio ControllerWorks
PCMCIA Cardbus: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 IISeems to workHaven't tested, dont own any hardware.
FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C552Seems to workHaven't tested, dont own any hardware.
SD Card Reader: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822Not supported

Basic Installation
Advanced Installation
I use gcc-3.4 as my compiler as it supports Architecture specific optimisation for the Pentium M processors. To install from stage1 using gcc-3.4 you need to add the following lines to your /etc/portage/package.keywords
sys-devel/gcc ~x86
sys-libs/libstdc++-v3 ~x86
Then run the script. Once gcc-3.4 has been installed edit your make.conf to change the arch type as pentium-m from whatever you were using earlier.
source /etc/profile
You need to re-source /etc/profile so that you use the gcc-3.4 as the default compiler. Re-emerge glibc and gcc-3.4. Unmerge gcc-3.3 and then proceed from stage2 to stage3.

Additional features for Gentoo Linux
The DVD drive by default runs without DMA. By editing the kernel headers you can enable DMA. Edit the file /include/Linux/libata.h, change the line
Enable scsi cdrom support if you hadn't enabled it earlier. Recompile your kernel and reboot, you need to pass ide1=noprobe to the kernel. The DVD drive will now appear as a scsi device /dev/sr0 and not as a IDE device /dev/hdc. hdparm doesn't work with scsi devices without the libata passthru patch from Jeff Garzik.

Unresolved issues
Specific information
Contact Information
E-mail: bharathblog at gmail dot com

Last updated: Sunday, February 22, 2006

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