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Author Topic: Would like to set Vector up on a new Dell laptop. Any hardware / driver tips?  (Read 8425 times)
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2007, 07:01:12 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
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
rbistolfi
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2283


« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2007, 09:27:15 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).
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

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Jumalauta!!
gwt
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Posts: 69


« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2007, 01:41:49 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?
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2007, 04:20:13 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
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 04:35:14 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
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
gwt
Member
*
Posts: 69


« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2007, 03:37:54 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?

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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2007, 04:02:26 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. Sad
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
gwt
Member
*
Posts: 69


« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2007, 08:16:31 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. Sad
--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.
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2007, 10:36:59 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
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
gwt
Member
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Posts: 69


« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2007, 08:28:21 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.

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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2007, 05:18:55 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
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
gwt
Member
*
Posts: 69


« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2007, 11:31:30 pm »

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.   Sad   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.   Cheesy
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2007, 03:13:55 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
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
gwt
Member
*
Posts: 69


« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2007, 07:33:00 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!.    Smiley

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. 
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2007, 03:33:55 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.
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
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