Inspiron 9400


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Thread: Inspiron 9400

  1. #1
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    Inspiron 9400

    Hey folks
    I just ordered an Inspiron 9400 dual core laptop from dell.
    Does anyone have any experience running linux on one of these?
    Anything that I should be aware of, issues with hardware, or system quirks etc?

    I will probably be running dual boot, as much as I don't want to.
    Distro is still up in the air, debian, slackware or lfs - haven't decided yet

    Thanks
    Delryn

  2. #2
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    Nope, http://linux-on-laptops.com doesn't have any listed and neither does http://tuxmobile.com looks like a pretty new model.

    Post the specs if you can, might help us a little on how much it'll take to get working

  3. #3
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    It's like BRAND spanking new. Expect to wait a while for more feedback. It's probably got similar features and chipsets to the Inspiron 9300, though-- that might be a good place to start from.
    Registered Linux user #230403! Since March 2001! YAY.

    Try doing a forum search or a google search before asking a question. And please don't use HELP! in the topic of your post... it's so lame... Please don't PM me for help-- post a question in the forum instead.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus
    Nope, http://linux-on-laptops.com doesn't have any listed and neither does http://tuxmobile.com looks like a pretty new model.

    Post the specs if you can, might help us a little on how much it'll take to get working
    yeah, checked those, and googled before posting

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cavnar, aka alc6379
    It's like BRAND spanking new. Expect to wait a while for more feedback. It's probably got similar features and chipsets to the Inspiron 9300, though-- that might be a good place to start from.
    been looking at those, and have figured on a few things popping up

    Heres the specs - minus mundane or unnecessary info:

    Intel® Core™ Duo Processor (2.13GHz/667MHz FSB)
    17 inch Wide Screen XGA+ Display
    2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
    256MB DDR NVIDIA® GeForceT Go 7800
    100GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
    Genuine Windows® XP Professional Edition
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
    8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
    Wireless Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps)
    Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Internal(2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)
    Last edited by delryn; 02-17-2006 at 04:40 AM.

  5. #5
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    Well, lets see what I do know here...

    Intel® Core™ Duo Processor (2.13GHz/667MHz FSB)
    Should be fine, you'd probably want to build a custom kernel to take advantage of the dual core

    17 inch Wide Screen XGA+ Display
    This is a laptop?
    Will be fine but find out it's native resolution and be sure to use that because it might not work at other resolutions (black screen when X starts)

    [i]2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz[/]
    It's memory, use a large mem kernel or custom with CONFIG_HIGHMEM4G=y or you'll only use 868 or something like that

    256MB DDR NVIDIA® GeForceT Go 7800
    Perfect, nivida makes the best video drivers for Linux, be sure to use a later version since the older drivers do not have support for the 7800 (not sure if the new ones do, just check their site and they'll have it posted)

    [i]100GB 7200RPM Hard Drive[i]
    It's a hard drive...

    Genuine Windows® XP Professional Edition
    Useless, you can throw this away as it is completely incompatible with Linux

    Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
    Don't know as it doesn't list the chipset, the NIC part should work fine, good luck on the modem

    8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
    Fully supported in Linux

    Wireless Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps)
    This should have native drivers available, but it's very new and I don't recall seeing this model on the IPW2100 mailing list, be sure to check http://ipw2100.sf.net for any news or links for this as it will be supported just need to question when.
    http://ipw3945.sourceforge.net/ is an empty site but it is there, so keep an eye there too for future drivers.

    Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Internal(2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)
    Never used Blutooth but should work

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus
    Well, lets see what I do know here...
    Genuine Windows® XP Professional Edition
    Useless, you can throw this away as it is completely incompatible with Linux
    Funny how Linux is compatible with windows, but windows isn't compatible with linux

    and yeah this is a laptop, just wish I could have afforded the upgrades

  7. #7
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    Yippee
    It should be here within the hour

    Time to chewing through my options

  8. #8
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    100GB 7200RPM Hard Drive[i]
    It's a hard drive...
    Not exactly.

    Dell uses SATA controllers on most of their laptops now. So if you install a distro that has a 2.4 kernel it will be reconized as /dev/hda, and is amazingly slow.

    Most distro with 2.6 kernel will be fine, or you will have to roll your own.

    You should wind up with a /dev/sda harddrive.

    I bought the 6000 when they were brand new and everything worked fine. Slackware needed a custom kernel and with butnut(ubuntu) everything worked on the original install, except the internal card reader. I use a card reader anyway, so I havent checked to see if it has linux drivers yet.

    soule
    Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others. - Edward Abbey

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  9. #9
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    It's here....
    Out of the box, initial opinions
    - it's heavy, at least one and a half times my old toshiba - it's also 2x the size
    - looks good, not sure why there is a small amount of cheap white plastic trim on it, when it is predominately black and silver - simple asthetics
    - keyboard is a touch smaller than the old one and the configuration will take some getting used too.
    - turned it on, and got a warm fuzzy feeling - a windows blue screen of death (haven't seen one of those in a long time) - reboot, and get bombarded with registration after registration screens

    Have decided to go dualboot, XP/debian (XP strictly for games and for other family members)
    will post any quirks and/or workarounds I encounter
    See you all on the other side of a repartition and install

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulestream
    Not exactly.

    Dell uses SATA controllers on most of their laptops now. So if you install a distro that has a 2.4 kernel it will be reconized as /dev/hda, and is amazingly slow.

    Most distro with 2.6 kernel will be fine, or you will have to roll your own.

    You should wind up with a /dev/sda harddrive.

    soule
    Thanks for the heads up on that

    another observation for those interested
    If you are the type of person who like to put a laptop on their laps, grab a pillow. Not even half way through the partition process and I'm a tad warmer than I like

  11. #11
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    The frustration begins

    partitioned the drive using linux version of fdisk - no problems
    installed windows xp on 1st partition - almost no problems
    installed drivers provided by dell - big problem, they aren't for their laptops, they're for the desktops!
    contacted dell, spoke with 4 people to get the appropriate driver disk - they have no idea who I should talk too! ANYONE who can send me the inspiron drivers, the dimension drivers just won't cut it.
    after a very frustrating half hour, I have decided to forego the driver disk, download the drivers myself - we'll see how that goes

    for anyone out there that runs a help line, please don't have your clients have to go through identification process each time one of your reps transfers them.

    Thats it for my rant
    I can't wait to start the linux install
    It should be so much easier

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulestream
    Dell uses SATA controllers on most of their laptops now. So if you install a distro that has a 2.4 kernel it will be reconized as /dev/hda, and is amazingly slow.

    Most distro with 2.6 kernel will be fine, or you will have to roll your own.
    Honestly, most of that laptop won't even work on a 2.4 kernel

    Oh man, Dell changed their website and now I can't find anything!
    there we go, is that laptop a x64?
    http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/

    I like how Linux isn't even an option in the OS list, they use to have Red Hat in the older ones

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus
    Honestly, most of that laptop won't even work on a 2.4 kernel
    Definitely compiling my own kernel, and I'm leaning heavily towards lfs.
    oh I found the drivers, it's just a matter of getting windows to recognise them as being for windows.
    I like how Linux isn't even an option in the OS list, they use to have Red Hat in the older ones
    Still is an option, but only for the desktop units, and only if you ask nicely.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by delryn
    It's here....

    Have decided to go dualboot, XP/debian (XP strictly for games and for other family members)
    I have a strict policy. If my family wants to use my hardware, then they use my OS as well. I figure if they want their pr0n that bad, they'll figure it out. If they can't figure out how to launch a web browser in Enlightenment DR17, then their next dose of pr0n is the least of their worries.
    "There's a big difference between "copy" and "use". It's exatcly the same
    issue whether it's music or code. You can't re-distribute other peoples
    music (becuase it's _their_ copyright), but they shouldn't put limits on
    how you personally _use_ it (because it's _your_ life)."

    --Linus Torvalds

  15. #15
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    Nice specs on the new laptop. What have you got planned for the old one?
    Check out my ebay auction for my signature space on JLC.

    Hey if people can sell advertising space on thier bodies, I figure I can make $.02 on my signature space.

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