[ILUG] Debian or Fedora?
rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jan 9 00:20:57 GMT 2004
Forwarded on account of the mention of Serial-ATA, and the easy way to
deal with it:
----- Forwarded message from rick -----
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 14:34:48 -0800
To: bad at bad.debian.net
Subject: Re: 1st post/help-request: Putting "sarge" onto a Pavillion a350n ?
Quoting sms at sonic.net (sms at sonic.net):
> Yes, I'm a newbie to BAD.
> As per the subject line, I'm hoping to put a recent burn of "Sarge"
> onto a new HP a350n, and I'm wondering if any of you can send me
> pointers (I've Googled a fair bit, but not found much to go on).
Hmm, HP/Compaq have made an entire career out of being uninformative
concerning chipset selection. I'm trying a little googling of my own on
"HP A350N" (with or without "Pavilion"), to see what I can turn up:
Composite of several retailer pages:
P4 2.8GHz, 512MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440AGP card w/video out
2 Firewire / IEEE 1394 ports
DVD+RW/CD-RW combo drive (presumably ATAPI)
6 USB ports
front-access 7-in-1 media card reader (presumably a USB device)
160GB ATA hard drive
100BT ethernet interface
some Realtek (?) "AC97" sound chipset in the motherboard
HP "multimedia" keyboard
As my old boss used to say, "That was almost useful."
Motherboard chipset: i865G "Springdale" northbridge w/ i82801EB "ICH5"
southbridge (S-ATA, sound).
Switching to searching for "Linux i865G":
Onboard video apparently requires a recent 2.4.x kernel and agpgart driver.
For onboard video, desirable to set BIOS parameter "Video Buffer" to 8MB.
Onboard video uses i830 driver (no big surprise).
Serial ATA/RAID, gigabit ethernet
Ethernet chipset is possibly i82547EI.
Sound chipset is possibly i82801EB + Analog Devices AD1980 (?).
(I thought it was Realtek? or was it Intel ICH5?)
Similar system under different branding.
Apparently, at least some similar systems require (required?) a
kernel patch to support the ICH5 audio (as of kernel 2.4.21).
Well, that was a typical HP/Compaq exercise in non-information, mostly
-- but we've glean a few actually useful chipset details, even though it
was like pulling teeth.
The biggest problem that suggests itself immediately is the SATA chipset
(whatever it is). Some Web pages suggest that, if you find that your
Linux installer lacks the driver, go into the BIOS and select
"compatible mode", which makes the drive array operate in regular PATA
mode. Later, you can acquire some hopped-up kernel and then re-enable
SATA at that time.
The alternative is to build a custom installer image with a 2.4.23 or
later kernel and the "libata" patch for SATA support, and that's a whole
lot more trouble.
The ethernet chipset is going to require some stripe of eepro100 or e100
driver. If we're reasonably lucky, some installer's bf2.4 installer
kernel will have a recent-enough one of those drivers. The e100 might
not be there, in which case you'd have to do some little dance with
floppies to provide it (if eepro100 doesn't work).
Then, there's your GeForce4. Jeez, you don't want to make it _easy_ for
us, do you? XFree86 support for that video chipset was introduced only
in the XFree86 4.3.0 release. Official Debian packages for that exist
(on i386 arch) currently only in the "experimental" branch -- not
sarge ("testing"), and not even sid ("unstable"). Or you can start out
using one of the _cousins_ of Debian that include 4.3.0, such as
Large array of possible installers for Debian:
"Installers" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Debian
A few of the other hardware details (such as your faxmodem, which I
suspect will turn out to be some sort of poxy winmodem) remain unclear
-- but less immediately vital. I'd suspect that it's do-able.
The next CABAL meeting is this coming Saturday, at my house in Menlo
Park (4 PM - midnight). Sorry about the drive, but you're welcome to
bring your problem child and get help with it.
> Also welcomed (if not eagerly) is advice to NOT put Debian (or not
> Sarge)onto an a350n (e.g. due to driver problems)... in that case, I'd be
> grateful for a pointer to alternate distro's that might suit the box
CABAL keeps more around than you can shake a stick at:
Bear in mind that I have only a rather slow CD burner.
Of course, NBLUG would apparently be a lot closer, and you might now be
able to get some help there, especially armed with some of the above
Cheers, Founding member of the Hyphenation Society, a grassroots-based,
Rick Moen not-for-profit, locally-owned-and-operated, cooperatively-managed,
rick at linuxmafia.com modern-American-English-usage-improvement association.
----- End forwarded message -----
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