Red Hat 6.2 video problem on Dell Latitude CPx-H
- Short form: I suspect that trouble installing Red Hat Linux 6.2 on
a Latitude CPx-H is due to the fact that the agpgart.o module
was omitted from the Red Hat 6.2 kernel build. However, since a kernel
update is kind of a pain, I would like to find out if this is true
or if there is some other problem.
Long form: Having struggled over the years with the video aspects of
several linux installations, I decided to take an easier path :-). I
looked on Red Hat's web site at the "Red Hat Ready" program, which
offers manufacturers an opportunity to certify that their hardware is
compatible with Red Hat Linux. Under "notebook computers," two Dell
models were listed as compatible with Red Hat 6.2, one of them the
Latitude CPx-H. The compatibility was given the maximal value in every
category, meaning that all needed components should be on the Red Hat
So I bought a Latitude CPx-H, supplied by Dell with Windows 98, and
set it up for dual boot. The disk partition went fine. When I tried
to install Red Hat Linux 6.2 from the (store-bought) CD, it got to
the point of starting the installation GUI, when the screen went
to snow and the system froze, so that I had to remove the battery
to get control back.
I tried a text-mode install instead. This went fine, until I got to
the XConfigurator part. It recognized the video components correctly,
but at the test point, the screen went to snow and the machine froze
So I can run Linux fine in text mode, but cannot use X. I tend to
doubt that the problem is the Xsever version or the XConfig file. For
one thing, these are specifically supposed to be compatible, and the
values in XConfig do not seem to differ materially from what is
specified in various pages on line about installing Linux on machines
of this type. For another thing, Red Hat's www.redhat.com/errata page
offers a kernel update, dated April 28, that says: "The agpgart.o
module was omitted from the 6.2 kernel package. This module is
required for proper operation of i810 video chips."
Now, the Latitude CPx-H does not use the i810 chipset. Instead, it
uses the Intel Mobile 440BX AGPset, with the ATI Mobility M1 on the
2X AGP bus. Nevertheless, it is still an AGP-based system, and I
can't imagine that it works very well with agpgart.o omitted from
HOWEVER, Dell and Red Hat still list the CPx-H specifically as "Red
Hat Ready" for Red Hat 6.2 -- this allegedly means that they tested
it. And Red Hat's errata page references only the i810 chipset, not
any other AGP-based systems. And a kernel upgrade will be a pain,
so I would like to ensure that I really need to do it. Or maybe I
should punt and try another Linux "brand" that takes a little
more care with their kernel builds.
Does anyone have any specific experience with this combination of
Dell Latitude hardware and Red Hat 6.2 software? Or can anyone
confirm that omitting agpgart.o from the kernel would screw up
a machine using the Mobile 440BX chipset?
Let me add that Dell and Red Hat have been completely unhelpful so
far. Dell's support people say "We don't speak Linux"; Red Hat's
support people don't seem to answer their email. Since I've wasted
several hours on this already, I conclude that the "Red Hat Ready"
certification is basically worthless.
- --- In email@example.com, myl@u... wrote:
> Short form: I suspect that trouble installing Red Hat Linux 6.2 onkernel
> a Latitude CPx-H is due to the fact that the agpgart.o module
> was omitted from the Red Hat 6.2 kernel build. However, since a
> update is kind of a pain, I would like to find out if this is trueShortly after posting this, I tried fiddling with XF86Config, and
> or if there is some other problem.
solved the problem.
(1) The standard Red Hat 6.2 kernel is fine on the Dell Latitude
CPX-H, no upgrade is needed.
(2) Xconfigurator will produce an OK XF86Config for the Latitude
CPx-H iff you tell it that the monitor is an LCD 1024 x 768.
If you tell it "LCD 800 x 600" (which I thought was a safer option)
then the result is screen snow and a hung machine.
(3) The resulting XF86Config identifies the pointing device as a
Microsoft mouse, which does not work. This has to be changed to a
PS/2 mouse, device /dev/psaux.
It would be nice if it just worked, or if Dell/Red Hat gave this small
amount of information out on the web page where they explain how this
machine is "Red Hat Ready."