Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Fedora 4 on Dell XPS M140
Honestly, I would not willingly install Fedora on anything, but installation thereof is very easy. You just insert the first CD and follow the prompts. You should end up with a mostly working machine.
Important considerations are:
a. Partitioning: By default, Fedora puts everything in one partition. This is fine, till the day you want to upgrade - it is better to have at least at separate /home partition.
b. Encryption: Notebooks get stolen. Fedora doesn't provide the ability to encrypt the /home and /swap partitions, Mandriva does.
c. You wil probably run into some issues with Suspend to disk, WiFi and the modem, irrespective of the distribution you use.
d. Instruction set: FC uses the i386 instruction set, which makes your machine slow. Mandriva uses the i586 instruction set.
The trouble with FC is that it makes a brand new machine that you just spent oodles of money on, feel like something that is already 3 years old, slow and clunky - your call though.
Tux-Guy ;-) wrote:parenthetically_yours/Herman,Thank you for the feedback on Fedora 4. I can't wait until I get my laptop this week. I just need to find a howto for installing it on that laptop. Would any of you know a good place to look for it? I look threw google plus also the linux laptop . I don't see my model for F4.Plus installing it on a dell would that be hard? I want to keep Xp on it also too. So I think that I will have a dual OS on it, in case I need it for school .Thank you once again for repling.
- Tux-Guy, I'll try to give some tips on your forthcoming install.
Herman I'm shocked at your FUD... But practical help first.
When I got my Inspiron new it had an 80Gb drive with three partitions
filling the disk. The first was a small Dell diagnostic partition -
you can boot to this if you have problems and do diagnostic things.
The second was the WinXP partition and filled most of the disk. The
last one was a recovery partition.
I removed the recovery partition and resized the WinXP partition to
20Gb, leaving the diagnostics in place. Here's what I did: first check
the Dell manual which tells you how to burn a recovery disk. Make one.
Then the manual tells you how to remove the recovery partition. I then
used RIP (a lightweight linux rescue system) to shrink the XP
filesystem and it's partition. You could use other free tools (eg.
Knoppix) or something like Partition Magic. This left me with plenty
of space for a linux install.
Since the machine comes with a full disk you will have to do something
like the above no matter which distro you choose, and it's well worth
knowing about the partition layout (for example if you chose to keep
the first partition and blow away the rest you would lose XP and have
a nice diagnostics partition to boot to!).
Now a word or two on the FUD!
> a. Partitioning: By default, Fedora puts everything in one partition.Nope there's usually a separate boot, swap and the rest is a LVM
partition. This makes sense unless you think a naive user will know
how big to make the home partition. If we're not talking about naive
users then Fedora still gives you the chance to partition manually -
so where's the beef?
> b. Encryption: Notebooks get stolen. Fedora doesn't provide theThat's nice but recent Dells give you the ability to password protect
> ability to encrypt the /home and /swap partitions, Mandriva does.
the computer and the disk - many people won't use it though because
it's a pain if you want to move the disk from the machine. I suspect
for most users encrypting the disk will be more trouble than it's worth.
> d. Instruction set: FC uses the i386 instruction set, which makes yourIt sounds impressive but it's not that much of a performance
> machine slow.
difference - the full discussion of the pros and cons was had recently
on another list. The gist of it was that the small performance
improvement would cost lots of hassle in finding compatible pre-built
software and would cause hassle for people that build software. Also
the important multimedia apps already have code to detect different
CPUs and make the most of them. Not worth the hassle. Contrast this
with support for 64bit CPUs which is worth the effort.
Finally, if you decide to go for Fedora, it's well worth joining the
fedora users mailing list:
- Oh good grief - consider that I have 10 Mandriva, 7 Fedora and one
Ubuntu machine at last count (and countless Windoze machines).
>Nope there's usually a separate boot, swap and the rest is a LVMWhat I mean is that by default everything of importance is in /.
Therefore, when you want to re-install the system and have to format /,
your home dir is also formatted and all your data is wiped. It is very
easy to create a /home during installation and resizing partitions later
is easy too. Then you can re-install without having to reformat /home.
So, just be careful during the install of FC - don't just blindly accept
>I suspect for most users encrypting the disk will be more trouble than it's worth.Encrypting the /swap and /home partitions is very easy with Mandriva.
The system asks you for your passphrase at startup and after that it is
transparant. See this: http://www.aerospacesoftware.com/raid-howto.html
and scroll down to the heading Encrypted File Systems.
It works on servers too. If a server would reboot due to a power
failure, then the passphrase request will timeout. You can then later
log in via SSH and mount /home manually, at which point the system will
ask for the passphrase.
The Dell password system is useless - a 10 year old can rip the disk
drive from a machine and read it on another...
>The gist of it was that the small performanceSorry, it is a performance hit and what is that about difficulty with
>improvement would cost lots of hassle in finding compatible pre-built
>software and would cause hassle for people that build software.
finding software? My Mandriva 2006 mirror occupies almost 30GB. That
is the opposite problem of having a shortage. Anyhoo, source code is
BTW, all my Fedora machines are running standard kernels downloaded from
kernel.org and compiled for i586. That happened due to a SSL problem in
FC4. I had to re-install and recompile a shedload of stuff to make FC4
work. Overall, I am extremely unimpressed with FC4 - it cost me a hell
of a lot of time and money, but the client wanted it...
I hope we're on the same side here - pro linux on Dell laptops. To be
honest I have nothing against Mandriva, but I find your anti Fedora
> Oh good grief - consider that I have 10 Mandriva, 7 Fedora and oneFine - I would have thought that gave you a more balanced viewpoint.
> Ubuntu machine at last count (and countless Windoze machines).
You suggest disk encryption, which will cost a 2% performance hit
(according to the link you gave). It will also make it harder to reuse
the home partition with other installations of linux.
You recommend using i586 optimised binaries on an i686 which will give
you what performance improvement over typical i386 code? I'm guessing
you'd struggle to get 2% without fiddling the benchmarks. Try harder,
read the kernel docs and go pester your distro for i686 binaries :)
Now bear in mind that most processes are IO-bound (rather than CPU
bound). I'll take my 2% performance boost by having unencrypted disk
Finally, you say the Dell HDD password is useless, I disagree, you'll
find that it's cheaper to replace the HDD in a stolen notebook than
send it off to get the HDD password reset. Yes it's possible to
circumvent but the disk won't just work in another machine, and the
average 10yo won't be much help. It also protects the whole disk,
including the windows partitions, with no overheads (unlike software
encryption of specific partitions).
>Finally, you say the Dell HDD password is useless, I disagree, you'llYou can't replace the HDD in a stolen notebook - the machine is gone -
>find that it's cheaper to replace the HDD in a stolen notebook than
>send it off to get the HDD password reset. Yes it's possible to
>circumvent but the disk won't just work in another machine, and the
>average 10yo won't be much help. It also protects the whole disk,
>including the windows partitions, with no overheads (unlike software
>encryption of specific partitions).
you don't have it anymore. Unless you are the asshat whole stole the
The purpose of encryption is to prevent the person who stole the
machine, from reading your accounting and other sensitive data.
Mandriva uses AES encryption. Without the passphrase, a thief cannot
access your data. The only thing the thief can do, is format and
re-install. (I had an IBM Stinkpad stolen and got an $8000 credit card
bill a couple of months later - since then, I'm using encryption
The Dell BIOS password doesn't help in this regard, since it is trivial
to circumvent. As I mentioned, simply insert the disk drive in a
desktop machine and read it. The password may be good protection
against your little kid sister who doesn't know how to use a screw
driver, but it sure won't help against my teenage son... :)
Not sure if you're aware of the Dell passwords. There are three, user,
admin and a separate HDD password.
The HDD password does pretty much what you describe, and more. It
prevents the disk from being used outside the machine. IT WON'T WORK
IN A DESKTOP WITHOUT THE PASSWORD. A thief can't even reformat and
reinstall which is why I say it's cheaper to replace the locked disk
than read it. The links I posted give more details.
You mention being defrauded after losing a thinkpad - out of interest,
why did you feel the need to store information that could let you be
defrauded in the first place? If you knew you had lost such
information surely you'd have to do the same things you'd do for a
lost wallet (cancel cards etc.)?
- parenthetically_yours wrote ..
> prevents the disk from being used outside the machine. IT WON'T WORKOK, wasn't aware that Dell now use those kind of disks. However, all you need to do to recover the data, is replace the controller card. If a perp has hardware access to the disk drive, then only encryption can keep the data safe.
> IN A DESKTOP WITHOUT THE PASSWORD.
Only the paranoid will survive... :-)
> why did you feel the need to store information that could let you beI run Quickbooks on my notebook, since I work all over the place, this is handy. Older versions of Quickbooks work on CxOffice.
> defrauded in the first place?
However, I think what the perp accessed was a scan of a credit card statement, which was still on the desktop. Fortunately, the damage to me was only $50, thanks to state law.