Installing Fedora Core 5 on a Dell D810 Laptop

Tutorial from

Pentium M 2.13 GHZ Processor
2 GB Ram
80 GB 7200 RPM HD

General Installation
Configuring Intel ipw2200 B/G Wireless
Configuring DVD/Xine
Configuring VMware

General Installation

Fedora Core 5 was the easiest install I ever conducted from the RedHat product line. My last installation was FC3 and I had to fight constantly to get sound and video correct. FC5 has a much simpler install and great hardware detection. FC 5 picked up the following devices without any configuration:
  • Soundcard: Intel 82801 Series
  • Video: ATI Radeon Card 1280x800 24bit Color

After install, I upgraded the kernel to a newer version:

# uname -a
Linux training01 2.6.17-1.2174_FC5 #1 Tue Aug 8 15:30:55 EDT 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Intel ipw2200 B/G Wireless

Luckily, Intel puts out drivers and firmware for the ipw2100 and ipw2200 chipsets. You must download 5 packages: the a generic 80211 kernel driver, 80211 kernel driver utilities, ipw2200 firmware, kernel modules, and command line utilities. I am not a "compile from source" guy. So instead, I found binary RPMs of all 5 packages at the site http:/// Make sure you update your kernel. I could not find any rpms for the stock 2154 kernel.

Download the 80211 Drivers:

Download the ipw2200 firmware:

Download the ipw2200 packages:

Install the ieee80211 kernel modules and command utilities first. After you install these, install the 3 ipw2200 RPMs. After completion, load the modules:

# depmod -a
# modprobe ieee80211
# modprobe ipw2200

If you get no errors, then add these lines to the /etc/rc.local file and reboot.  After you reboot, you should have a wireless device configured. The little green "WiFi" light will NOT show on your laptop. Use the iwconfig command to check to make sure the firmware and drivers loaded:

# iwconfig eth1
Warning: Driver for device eth1 has been compiled with version 20
of Wireless Extension, while this program supports up to version 19.
Some things may be broken...

eth1      IEEE 802.11b  ESSID:"hochs"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: 00:06:25:77:63:8B
          Bit Rate=11 Mb/s   Tx-Power=20 dBm
          Retry limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XX   Security mode:open
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=64/100  Signal level=-62 dBm  Noise level=-81 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:21   Missed beacon:1

I manually assigned an IP address to the interface and a route. I was able to ping hosts on the Internet:

# ifconfig eth1 up; route add default gw 192.168.1.
# ping

Installing DVD and Xine

Make sure FC5 detected your sound card, if the FC5 install reports "Vesa" driver, you will never get clear DVD playback. Check to see what card the system has selected using system-config-display.

Otherwise, this was also simple. Using yum, I installed all of the Xine DVD reader packages. Be sure to add the development package. This contains many wrappers and helpers to make Xine function properly.

# yum install xine xine-lib xine-lib-devel

Run the xine-check utility. This utility is really good at ensuring you have all the appropriate dependencies installed on your sytstem. To further improve performance, I tweak my DVD drive using hdparam to do more read ahead. This will take most (but not all) of the chop out of the DVD playback:

# hdparm -d1 -a8 -u1 /dev/hdc

I dropped this in /etc/rc.local to catch at boot.

Installing VMware

There are numerous posts about FC5 and VMWare Workstation 5.5. I had no problems. First, I downloaded VMWare WS version 5.5.2 and used the 2147 upgraded kernel. After I installed vmware and ran the script, everything worked fine. Since VMWare must compile custom drivers, be sure to install the kernel source FIRST:

# yum install kernel-devel

Intel Centrino handles CPU interrupts in some wierd way. I am not a device driver writer, but I was able to Google the following tip. You must tune the kernel to take less advantage of Centrino's battery optimization:

# echo 1 > /sys/module/processor/parameters/max_cstate

If you don't do this, VMWare will run horribly due to the fact that it will be in a constant sleep state. Once you have done this step, VMWare WS works fine.

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