VectorLinux

The nuts and bolts => Hardware & Drivers => Topic started by: gwt on September 22, 2007, 02:58:58 pm

Title: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: gwt on September 22, 2007, 02:58:58 pm
My old Sony PCG-F580 is near retirement and I'm thinking about getting a new Dell Vostro 1500 laptop and putting Vector on it.  I'd like to know how compatible is the following hardware with it.

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?

15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD Display (1280 X 800)

128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS or the 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT
I haven't decided which video card to get.  Will there be a problem with drivers for either card?

2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
How big a swap partition will I need with this much memory?  Or do I still need one at all?

120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

8X CD/DVD Burner w/ double-layer DVD+R write capability  (not sure of the make)

Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Wi-Fi Mini Card
Again, will this work or is this card generally incompatible with Vector?  Should I go with the Dell Wireless-N 1550 mini card instead?

And of course it has the standard Dell mouse touchpad.

Any input would be most appreciated, thanks...
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: The Headacher on September 22, 2007, 03:30:18 pm
Quote
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?
Yes

Quote
128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS or the 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT
I haven't decided which video card to get.  Will there be a problem with drivers for either card?
No, you should be fine. if needed Nvidia drivers can be installed rather easily after install of VL, if you have the kernelsources installed.

Quote
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
How big a swap partition will I need with this much memory?  Or do I still need one at all?
You should be fine without one. I can't recall using more than 700 MB of my 1.5 GB.

the ipw3945 should be relatively easy to configure, I know some people here use it.

Looks like a very nice candidate for linux. The thing that might be most problematic is the intel High Definition Audio card that's in it, some of them can be hard to configure correctly.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: GrannyGeek on September 22, 2007, 07:20:46 pm
My new laptop has 1280x800 video resolution. It worked with the included Linux video drivers but things were distorted--not horribly, but graphics and type were squished down some because a 4:3 ratio is expected. Once I installed the proprietary nVidia driver (very easy to do), I got true 1280x800 resolution with no squishing.

I assume the computer comes with XP or Vista. Remember that if you run into hardware incompatibilites that cannot be worked around, you can install a VirtualBox virtual machine of any size you want under Windows and install VL there--where everything will work and the virtual machine will integrate very well with the host OS for things like Shared Directories. With a powerful processor and 2 gigs or more of RAM, Linux in a virtual machine will not show any performance hit you can detect and the rest of the system won't slow down, either.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: virtuallinux on September 22, 2007, 07:23:24 pm
I have an Intel 3945, and I run Ubuntu on my primary machine (a Dell Latitude D820).  Intel actually has an open source set of Linux drivers for this card, which Ubuntu went out and found on installation.  I've had no problems with the card or the drivers thus far, so I'd have to say that its an excellent choice.
More info on these drivers can be found at:
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?strState=LIVE&ProductID=2259&DwnldID=10315&agr=Y&lang=eng (http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?strState=LIVE&ProductID=2259&DwnldID=10315&agr=Y&lang=eng)
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: Joe1962 on September 22, 2007, 07:36:40 pm
The 3945 on my notebook worked almost "out of the box" with the kernel drivers and included firmware on VL 5.8. The Intel HDA worked even more automagically.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on September 22, 2007, 08:45:22 pm
Quote
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?
Yes
Right out of the box?

Quote
No, you should be fine. if needed Nvidia drivers can be installed rather easily after install of VL, if you have the kernelsources installed.
Kernelsources?  What would that involve to get those?

Quote
Looks like a very nice candidate for linux. The thing that might be most problematic is the intel High Definition Audio card that's in it, some of them can be hard to configure correctly.
No sound?  How have people gotten around this?
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: Joe1962 on September 22, 2007, 08:51:17 pm
Quote
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Will Vector be able to utilize both cores?
Yes
Right out of the box?
Yes.

Quote
No, you should be fine. if needed Nvidia drivers can be installed rather easily after install of VL, if you have the kernelsources installed.
Kernelsources?  What would that involve to get those?
Marking them during install.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: The Headacher on September 23, 2007, 01:00:44 am
Quote
No sound?  How have people gotten around this?
That differs... some haven't solved it at all, for others passing a "model" parameter when the driver is loaded did the trick. I shouldn't worry about it too much for now.. It's not like there is much choice, pretty much all new laptops seem to come with intel HDA cards, and most of them work fine.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: BlueMage on September 23, 2007, 02:02:39 am
If I may, I'd recommend the 802.11n standard wireless card.  a/g cards are still fine, and will continue to be in use for some time, but as far as I know, the IEEE has accepted the 802.11n specification as the new baseline standard.

I'm also fairly certain that currently, 802.11n hardware will also be legacy-enabled (meaning it'll support a/g network connections)
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on September 23, 2007, 11:14:18 am
If I may, I'd recommend the 802.11n standard wireless card.  a/g cards are still fine, and will continue to be in use for some time, but as far as I know, the IEEE has accepted the 802.11n specification as the new baseline standard.

I'm also fairly certain that currently, 802.11n hardware will also be legacy-enabled (meaning it'll support a/g network connections)

Hi & thanks...

Does the Dell Wireless-N card have Linux compatible drivers for it? 

And can I set a WPA key for it in Linux?

I've also read mixed reviews about Dell wireless cards in general as far as quality control goes.  Some have no problem connecting to a network in a Windows environment (let alone, Linux), while other people regret not spending the extra money on an Intel card.

I do agree that 802.11n wireless and GB ethernet are the immediate future, but if your current ISP isn't offering the bandwidth to take advantage of it, then it won't be of much use to me.

Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: BlueMage on September 23, 2007, 05:27:52 pm
Well, honestly, I don't know if there are suitable linux drivers.  Care to be a guinea pig? :D

And personally, I'm still having trouble getting WPA to work on my laptop, and I've got a well-supported (Intel) card.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on September 23, 2007, 08:40:03 pm
Well, honestly, I don't know if there are suitable linux drivers.  Care to be a guinea pig? :D

(lol -  :D)  No thanks.

And personally, I'm still having trouble getting WPA to work on my laptop, and I've got a well-supported (Intel) card.

You're using unsecured wireless?       :o

Since WPA isn't working, have you tried MAC filtering?  I may have to do that if I can't get WPA or WEP to work.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: BlueMage on September 23, 2007, 09:17:03 pm
There's unsecured, and there's unsecured ;)  Don't you worry none, I've done network security - both of my home networks run MAC filtering, permit only mode.  I run two because I've got my primary (secured) network for general purpose wireless, and I've got my secondary (unsecured) which operates at very low range and with only MAC filtering for use with my DS.

Yes, I play DS games online.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on September 24, 2007, 05:44:07 pm
Well based a lot on the feedback I've gotten here, I've placed the order for it tonight.

We'll see how it goes.    ;)
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: gwt on October 25, 2007, 02:03:09 pm
My new laptop has 1280x800 video resolution. It worked with the included Linux video drivers but things were distorted--not horribly, but graphics and type were squished down some because a 4:3 ratio is expected. Once I installed the proprietary nVidia driver (very easy to do), I got true 1280x800 resolution with no squishing.

Hi granny.  Where did you find the driver for this?

I assume the computer comes with XP or Vista. Remember that if you run into hardware incompatibilites that cannot be worked around, you can install a VirtualBox virtual machine of any size you want under Windows and install VL there--where everything will work and the virtual machine will integrate very well with the host OS for things like Shared Directories. With a powerful processor and 2 gigs or more of RAM, Linux in a virtual machine will not show any performance hit you can detect and the rest of the system won't slow down, either.
--GrannyGeek

That might be something to look at as well.  Any personal hurdles or problems you had installing that?
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 25, 2007, 08:01:12 pm
Hi granny.  Where did you find the driver for this?

I believe it was here:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_1.0-9755.html

Installation instructions are there, too.

Quote
That might be something to look at as well.  Any personal hurdles or problems you had installing that?

I downloaded and installed the full Windows version of VirtualBox. You want the full version, not the only-opensource version, because you really need the extras (Guest Additions, enhanced video and mouse drivers). The partly proprietary version is free for personal use.

I don't remember any problems. Once you get VL installed in the virtual machine, it's just like using VL on its own actual partition. I like to run the vm fullscreen because then it looks exactly like it does in a physical partition. All Windows stuff (including Taskbar) is hidden. But when you want to access something on Windows, you can get the virtual machine displaying in a window with just a keystroke.

The problems I've had in the virtual machine are:
*  The CapsLock key doesn't work. If I want CapsLock, I have to click back into Windows, press CapsLock there, then click back into VL in the virtual machine and I'll now have CapsLock working. But when I want to get rid of CapsLock, I have to click back into Windows to do it. This is pretty annoying, so I don't use CapsLock unless I have more than a few letters to type.
*  USB is unreliable. Sometimes plugging in a flash drive works like it does in an actual VL partition, but more often, it doesn't. What I do for USB drives is click back to Windows, plug in the drive and make sure it's recognized, then click back to the virtual machine and mount the drive as a temporary Shared Folder. From that point it's just like using it in a physical VL partition.
*  It's probably no good for games. glxgears scores are poor (83 fps). I'm not a gamer, so it's not an issue for me.

Internet access has worked perfectly. (I have DSL and my computers are connected to a router, which is connected to a DSL modem.) I have a /mnt/win as a Shared Folder. /mnt/win is my entire 32-gig Drive D, which I formatted as FAT32 for easy sharing with Linux. I have not tried networking with any other computer. It looks complicated to set up--or it might just be that the instuctions are beyond my understanding.

Linux in a virtual machine under Windows has advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is easy switching between both OSes. And of course, hardware that is troublesome with pure Linux will work in the virtual machine (the hardware does have to be supported by the host OS, in this case Windows). Backing up is extremely easy because you just have to copy the VL virtual machine file. The disadvantages include somewhat limited hardware support (USB is one example) and your awareness that the host OS is Windows, so the Linux experience is somewhat tainted. Some software doesn't work as well--example: Picasa for Linux. It was so slow in the vm as to be unusable. There would be serious performance issues if the computer didn't have a fast processor with loads of RAM.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: rbistolfi on October 26, 2007, 10:27:15 am
If you go with any virtual machine, you must not to choose the x auto config thing, that will lock the system. You have to skip the x configuration and use the shiped vesa xorg.conf, or make another one by yourself (I use the generic xorg-vesa.conf and works for me, but I dont have weird stuff, just a regular ps2 mouse, I just edited the keyboard layout).
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: gwt on October 26, 2007, 02:41:49 pm

I believe it was here:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_1.0-9755.html

Installation instructions are there, too.

Thanks, Granny.  I noticed that the driver was from March 7, 2007.  Is this the latest version for a 128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS video card?
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 26, 2007, 05:20:13 pm
I noticed that the driver was from March 7, 2007.  Is this the latest version for a 128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS video card?

I don't know. Did you see this page?
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

There are a few things you can check out there.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 26, 2007, 05:35:14 pm
If you go with any virtual machine, you must not to choose the x auto config thing, that will lock the system. You have to skip the x configuration and use the shiped vesa xorg.conf, or make another one by yourself (I use the generic xorg-vesa.conf and works for me, but I dont have weird stuff, just a regular ps2 mouse, I just edited the keyboard layout).

In VectorLinux running under VirtualBox, I'm using the vboxvideo driver. For the mouse the driver is vboxmouse. I have a corded USB optical mouse. The touchpad also works and is much less sensitive than the touchpad on a real VL partition.

I don't remember if I had to set up X configuration manually. The video and mouse drivers come with Guest Additions, but you can't install Guest Additions until the operating system is running.

I ought to take better notes while I'm doing this stuff.<g>
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on October 27, 2007, 04:37:54 pm
I noticed that the driver was from March 7, 2007.  Is this the latest version for a 128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS video card?

I don't know. Did you see this page?
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

There are a few things you can check out there.
--GrannyGeek

Again, thanks Granny.  I'll check it out. 

Btw, what model graphic card do you have on your machine?  Is it the same as mine?

Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 27, 2007, 05:02:26 pm
Btw, what model graphic card do you have on your machine?  Is it the same as mine?

No. It's a laptop and the onboard graphics chip is an nVidia GeForce Go 6100. It works quite well in Linux. I wish I could say the same for the wireless and the sound. :(
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on October 28, 2007, 09:16:31 pm
Btw, what model graphic card do you have on your machine?  Is it the same as mine?

No. It's a laptop and the onboard graphics chip is an nVidia GeForce Go 6100. It works quite well in Linux. I wish I could say the same for the wireless and the sound. :(
--GrannyGeek

You've no sound?         

I ran into the same thing when I ran the PCLinuxOS live CD.  Squished graphics (which can be fixed, as what we were talking about up above) and no sound.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 28, 2007, 11:36:59 pm
You've no sound?

Right. In addition to VL 5.8 and 5.9 (including the 64-bit alpha 3), I've tried numerous LiveCDs, one of which was PCLinuxOS. No sound has ever come out of the speakers regardless of distro. Fortunately, I have no sound problems on my VL 5.8 running in VirtualBox under Windows Vista. I've tried every possible solution I've found on the Web but nothing has helped. My next step will be to contact the ALSA folks IF I can get Linux installed in its own partition and get a reliable wireless connection.

Squashed graphics disappeared as soon as I installed the NVIDIA proprietary driver. It supports 1280x800.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on October 29, 2007, 09:28:21 am
Right. In addition to VL 5.8 and 5.9 (including the 64-bit alpha 3), I've tried numerous LiveCDs, one of which was PCLinuxOS. No sound has ever come out of the speakers regardless of distro. Fortunately, I have no sound problems on my VL 5.8 running in VirtualBox under Windows Vista. I've tried every possible solution I've found on the Web but nothing has helped.

Wow, sorry to hear that.  I may have a different sound card from you, so the workaround might be different.  What soundcard do you have?

My next step will be to contact the ALSA folks IF I can get Linux installed in its own partition and get a reliable wireless connection.

Can't you just go ahead and tether it to an ethernet cable, for the time being?  That is, until you get the audio working?

That may be what I have to do until I get the video and audio issues resolved.  Then I'll save the wireless for last.

Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 30, 2007, 06:18:55 pm
What soundcard do you have?

lspci identifies it as nVidia Corporation MCP51 High Definition Audio (rev a2). Windows calls it a SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC. alsamixer identifies the chip as SigmaTel STAC9200.

Quote
Can't you just go ahead and tether it to an ethernet cable, for the time being?  That is, until you get the audio working?

I could, but that would be unacceptable to me. I don't want more cables snaking through the living room (the access point is on top of a hutch). Even more, the connector for Ethernet on this laptop is on the right side as I look at it. When I have a cable plugged in, it interferes with the mouse. I don't like touchpads.

Right now I'm using beta 2.4 and wireless is working. The problem I had on beta 2.3 was that the connection would just disappear after a period of time and getting it back was difficult or impossible. I'm waiting to see whether that happens with beta 2.4. The connection never fails in Windows.

The wireless is the most important thing. If I can get that to work reliably, I'll work more on the sound.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on October 31, 2007, 12:31:30 am
lspci identifies it as nVidia Corporation MCP51 High Definition Audio (rev a2). Windows calls it a SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC. alsamixer identifies the chip as SigmaTel STAC9200.

I too have a SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC ver. 5.10.0.511 and it might be very similar to yours.  If I can't get sound on this laptop, I may have to give Linux a pass for the time being until a proper driver is created.   :(   It might be that it's too new and the ALSA folks just haven't caught up to it yet.

But I'll give it a try, anyway.  See what happens.  I already Ghosted the drive so if I blow out anything, I can always go back to my Windows image.

I could, but that would be unacceptable to me. I don't want more cables snaking through the living room (the access point is on top of a hutch). Even more, the connector for Ethernet on this laptop is on the right side as I look at it. When I have a cable plugged in, it interferes with the mouse. I don't like touchpads.

Right now I'm using beta 2.4 and wireless is working. The problem I had on beta 2.3 was that the connection would just disappear after a period of time and getting it back was difficult or impossible. I'm waiting to see whether that happens with beta 2.4. The connection never fails in Windows.

The wireless is the most important thing. If I can get that to work reliably, I'll work more on the sound.
--GrannyGeek

Yeah, I've got an ethernet snaking around the baseboard of my living room I'd like to get rid of.  Hopefully I'll get WPA2 to work with Linux someday.  And you're right, the connection never fails in Windows.   :D
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: GrannyGeek on October 31, 2007, 04:13:55 pm
Do keep my posted about how you do with your SigmaTel Audio. I'm not getting sound out of the speakers; I did test it late last night. Once I get the final version on the laptop, I'll again attempt to get the sound working.

So far so good with the WPA wireless connection. It held up for several hours last night, all the way until I turned off the computer. I got it started easily today, set up my NFS network and was able to copy files from my other computer over the network, and my Internet connection is holding up. This is VERY exciting to me!

Quote
If I can't get sound on this laptop, I may have to give Linux a pass for the time being until a proper driver is created.

Do consider running Linux in a virtual machine under Windows if you can't get your sound and wireless working. I'm assuming you have enough RAM and a fast enough processor. Your sound and network connection will work in the virtual machine and if you run it full screen, you won't even see any signs of Windows (though of course it's there). The VirtualBox virtual machine under Vista on this computer has been a lifesaver for me as I've struggled with wireless and sound on the real Linux partition. Most times I'd start Vista, wait till my antivirus was updated, and then immediately start VirtualBox and VL 5.8. That's all I'd see until I was ready to shut down for the night.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: gwt on November 01, 2007, 08:33:00 am
Do keep my posted about how you do with your SigmaTel Audio. I'm not getting sound out of the speakers; I did test it late last night. Once I get the final version on the laptop, I'll again attempt to get the sound working.
Hi granny,

Sure I'll keep you posted, but searching through the Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS forums, I can tell you that right now that it doesn't look too hopeful (at the moment) as far as the sound goes.  The issue isn't so much the actual sound card itself, but the SigmaTel codec it uses.

So far so good with the WPA wireless connection. It held up for several hours last night, all the way until I turned off the computer. I got it started easily today, set up my NFS network and was able to copy files from my other computer over the network, and my Internet connection is holding up. This is VERY exciting to me!

Excellent!.    :)

Do consider running Linux in a virtual machine under Windows if you can't get your sound and wireless working. I'm assuming you have enough RAM and a fast enough processor. Your sound and network connection will work in the virtual machine and if you run it full screen, you won't even see any signs of Windows (though of course it's there). The VirtualBox virtual machine under Vista on this computer has been a lifesaver for me as I've struggled with wireless and sound on the real Linux partition. Most times I'd start Vista, wait till my antivirus was updated, and then immediately start VirtualBox and VL 5.8. That's all I'd see until I was ready to shut down for the night.
--GrannyGeek

I may consider that later if that's all I can do.  Personally, I've avoided Vista like the plague and do not intend to buy a machine with it on there.  The new Dell Vostro I bought fortunately had XP as an option.  Saved me a lot of hassle since many people on the forums I've been to are either trying to downgrade their Vista machines to XP, or they're trying to get Linux on their machines and blow the Vista partition off.  Either option can be a struggle.

Let me know what you come up with as far as the ALSA folks are concerned.  It could be that they are working on a solution to it as we speak. 
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: GrannyGeek on November 01, 2007, 04:33:55 pm
searching through the Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS forums, I can tell you that right now that it doesn't look too hopeful (at the moment) as far as the sound goes.  The issue isn't so much the actual sound card itself, but the SigmaTel codec it uses.

You don't have to tell me--I've already read through everything on those forums that might apply to the situation. I've also tried everything suggested. I've gotten my hopes up, only to have them dashed when the problem remains. But I think I have the wireless problem solved as my connection has been perfect for three days, so I'll turn my attention to sound once the beta cycle for 5.9 is over.

I'm wondering if snd-hda-intel really is the proper driver. I've never found "Intel" mentioned anywhere as far as this specific sound chip goes. nVIDIA and SigmaTel, yes, but no Intel. Maybe the snd-hda-intel driver is "close, but no cigar."

Quote
I may consider that later if that's all I can do.  Personally, I've avoided Vista like the plague and do not intend to buy a machine with it on there.  The new Dell Vostro I bought fortunately had XP as an option.  Saved me a lot of hassle since many people on the forums I've been to are either trying to downgrade their Vista machines to XP, or they're trying to get Linux on their machines and blow the Vista partition off.  Either option can be a struggle.

VirtualBox works fine on XP. I liked VL 5.8 Standard in VirtualBox on Vista so well that I installed it on my XP desktop (3 gigs RAM, Athlon 64 X2 4200+). I do have a large Linux partition on that computer where VL works very well, but I like having the virtual machin, too. There are advantages to running Linux in a virtual machine under Windows (or vice versa) if you need to access something from the other operating system regularly. But there are disadvantages, too, such as weak (or no) USB support and the whole networking issue beyond the Shared Folder, which just applies to the host computer.

Vista is not as bad as people on some forums say. In fact, it's not bad at all if you have enough RAM and enough processor power. There is a large element of "geek-chic" at work, where the group-script takes over and people form opinions before they even try something, or have made up their minds to hate it and nothing will convince them otherwise. My Vista laptop is speedy and stable and almost all the software I've installed has been compatible. Some of that software goes back to the very early 1990s (DOS and Win 3.1 software). I have four printers and they all have Vista drivers. One goes back to 1993 and one to 2000. I wouldn't spend money on a Vista upgrade for my XP desktop because Vista just doesn't have any features that feel compelling enough to warrant the expense and the bother; if I were an eye-candy junkie it would be different. But I wouldn't avoid a new computer with Vista already installed as long as it came with at least 2 gigs of RAM.
--Judy M.
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: uelsk8s on November 01, 2007, 05:14:43 pm
granny & gwt,
If you dont mind testing more drivers these are supposed to work with the nvidia/sigmatel chipset and have reports of people with the same laptop model as granny's with working sound. Unfortunately I can only report what i read and pass on what they say works nothing for me to test with here.

you will want to uninstall all alsa packages from your system and move the lib/modules/2.6.22.10sm/kernel/sound/ folder somewhere safe while testing these packages:
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/Uelsk8s/alsa-driver-1.0.15_2.6.22.10sm-i586-3vl59.tlz
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/Uelsk8s/alsa-1.0.15-i586-1vl59.tlz

These packages are built for 5.9 and probably shouldn't be used on another VL version

Thanks,
Uelsk8s
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: gwt on November 02, 2007, 01:05:12 pm
VirtualBox works fine on XP. I liked VL 5.8 Standard in VirtualBox on Vista so well that I installed it on my XP desktop (3 gigs RAM, Athlon 64 X2 4200+). I do have a large Linux partition on that computer where VL works very well, but I like having the virtual machin, too. There are advantages to running Linux in a virtual machine under Windows (or vice versa) if you need to access something from the other operating system regularly. But there are disadvantages, too, such as weak (or no) USB support and the whole networking issue beyond the Shared Folder, which just applies to the host computer.

Like I said, I'll consider it but it isn't my first choice.  I don't want any RAM slowdown since that's primarily why I bought a new machine in the first place.

Vista is not as bad as people on some forums say. In fact, it's not bad at all if you have enough RAM and enough processor power. There is a large element of "geek-chic" at work, where the group-script takes over and people form opinions before they even try something, or have made up their minds to hate it and nothing will convince them otherwise.

I've used Vista many times on other people's machines including my dad's, so I have a good exposure as to how it works.  The learning curve for Linux (or Apple) is far greater for XP users than for people going from XP to Vista.  Underneath all that eye candy, Vista didn't seem terribly new to me.

What bothers me about it is it represents everything I can't stand about Microsoft.  Things like DRM, TPM and having to continually authenticate itself every few hours to Microsoft's servers to see if your legit or not.  I don't like the whole big brother "I don't trust you" premise and if Microsoft can't trust me to use their operating system, I really can't trust them to do the right thing other than price gouging the consumer.  And now with ugly reports of the next generation Windows 7 operating system being tied to a subscription service, that'll be the deal killer for me.  Which is also why I'm here...

My Vista laptop is speedy and stable and almost all the software I've installed has been compatible. Some of that software goes back to the very early 1990s (DOS and Win 3.1 software). I have four printers and they all have Vista drivers. One goes back to 1993 and one to 2000. I wouldn't spend money on a Vista upgrade for my XP desktop because Vista just doesn't have any features that feel compelling enough to warrant the expense and the bother; if I were an eye-candy junkie it would be different. But I wouldn't avoid a new computer with Vista already installed as long as it came with at least 2 gigs of RAM.
--Judy M.

XP will be sold until the middle of 2008, so Microsoft will support it for at least 10 years beyond that.  There's a lot of fear mongering out there that MS will drop the ball and kill support for XP next year, but that's not gonna happen.  Not when you have about 85% of the business and governmental desktops out there running XP and suddenly being left high & dry.  Hell, even extended support for Windows 2000 won't end until 2010.

You're right about upgrading, though.  There's just no compelling need to do so unless one wants to spend even more money on hardware upgrades.

Anyway, I will take the plunge this weekend and see what happens... 
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: GrannyGeek on November 02, 2007, 04:21:28 pm
you will want to uninstall all alsa packages from your system and move the lib/modules/2.6.22.10sm/kernel/sound/ folder somewhere safe while testing these packages:
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/Uelsk8s/alsa-driver-1.0.15_2.6.22.10sm-i586-3vl59.tlz
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/Uelsk8s/alsa-1.0.15-i586-1vl59.tlz

I think I followed your directions exactly. First I removed through removepkg the three alsa* packages as listed in /var/log/packages. Then I moved /lib/modules/2.6.22.10sm/kernel/sound ro /usr/tmp. Then I unchecked the ALSA service through VASM. I rebooted and installed the two packages you posted.

Result: no sound modules are listed in lsmod. I tried to run alsamixer and got this:
alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default. No such device

There is no soundcore module loaded in lsmod. There is a new /lib/modules/2.6.22.10sm/kernel/sound/ folder which seems adequately populated, except that there is no soundcore.ko, but there is one in the old /lib/modules/2.6.22.10sm/kernel/sound/ folder.

So what more do I need to do? I'm very eager to see if this works.

Thanks so much for continuing to work on this! I have a very solid wireless connection with WPA now and if I get the sound going, everything will be perfect.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: uelsk8s on November 02, 2007, 06:51:37 pm
move the soundcore.ko from the old modules dir into the /lib/modules/2.6.22.10sm/kernel/sound/ folder
then run depmod -aq and reboot
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?
Post by: GrannyGeek on November 02, 2007, 07:26:26 pm
I HAVE SOUND!!!!!!!!!!

I did the final steps, rebooted, and now, at long last, sound is coming from the speakers.

No words can express how grateful I am for all your help, Uelsk8s. I am so happy to have a fully functioning VL on this computer. While running VL in a virtual machine under Vista has some good points, running pure Linux is better.

I hope none of this breaks in the rc.<g> I'm almost afraid to try it.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: uelsk8s on November 02, 2007, 08:46:15 pm
Very good news Granny.
We will do our best to get this working out of the box.

Thanks for helping me get this solved,
Uelsk8s
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: gwt on November 04, 2007, 06:17:15 am
I HAVE SOUND!!!!!!!!!!

I did the final steps, rebooted, and now, at long last, sound is coming from the speakers.

No words can express how grateful I am for all your help, Uelsk8s. I am so happy to have a fully functioning VL on this computer. While running VL in a virtual machine under Vista has some good points, running pure Linux is better.

I hope none of this breaks in the rc.<g> I'm almost afraid to try it.
--GrannyGeek

Congratulations, Granny!    ;D

I haven't had time this weekend to install it although I did download and burn an .iso of 5.8 SOHO.

Will these updates that uelsk8s described not work for it?  I really want a KDE (or Gnome) desktop.

Let me know how your hard partition install goes.  I'd be most curious if you run into anything. 

Btw, what laptop do you have?  Is it that different from mine?
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: GrannyGeek on November 04, 2007, 01:31:51 pm
Will these updates that uelsk8s described not work for it?  I really want a KDE (or Gnome) desktop.

Several messages ago Uelsk8s said,"These packages are built for 5.9 and probably shouldn't be used on another VL version" You should probably check with him.

Quote
Btw, what laptop do you have?  Is it that different from mine?

I have a Gateway MT3423.

Remember I'm on 5.9 beta 2.4. If you have the same sound chip and same problem, you may want to wait until 5.9 Final is out. You can add KDE or Gnome to the Standard version. I expect that 5.9 SOHO will be out not too long after 5.9 Standard but that's just a guess.

Personally, I've never cared for KDE or Gnome as a desktop. I love XFce. Over the years, I've added whatever parts of KDE I've wanted, without changing my desktop environment, however. Thus, I add K3B, which doesn't require much from KDE. I might put in Amarok when 5.9 goes Gold.

I don't have any really old, low-RAM computers, so I'm not compelled to use VL Standard. However, what I like about Standard is that I can build the system I want.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver ti
Post by: uelsk8s on November 04, 2007, 01:39:22 pm
The packages might work in 5.8 you would need the kernel and the alsa packages. If it were my system I would try it but I dont feel like I should recommend trying it to someone else.

By the way kde-3.5.8 is already in the 5.9 repos