lunes, noviembre 06, 2006

Gentoo 2006.1 Linux (from Live CD) on a Dell Inspiron 8200

I've re-installed the great Gentoo Linux on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 8200 + Nvidia GeForce 440 Go 64 MB).

This time I've choosen to use the Live CD installer, that comes with quite a lot of precompiled things, so in a very short time you end up with a running system.

The first trouble I found was with the keyboard: when in X, it was not responding to CTRL+ALT+Fn to switch back to consoles. I've read the modular X HOWTO, and there it shows the solution: unmerge xkeyboard-config and emerge xkbdata solved the thing for me (also note that in xorg.conf the option xkbrules is no more "xfree" but "xorg").

At this point it was good to do an 'emerge --sync' and then an update 'emerge -uD worl', which took one night to put everything compiled with '-march=pentium4m -O3'. Yes, I compiled things again, but I found very useful not to start with the minimal CD and chrooting ... this is more intuitive, and gets Gentoo closer to the big audience.

Well, regarding the specificic configuration of the Dell i8k2, (I will attach here my kernel .config file). Note that I have included everything I use in my laptop, and only support for the wireless card I have (Benq AWL 1000), so you will need to add support for other cards if you use it.

Next, I have used the NVidia Beta drivers for x86 ia32, which provide direct support for the GL based Beryl window manager. This, along with the X 7.1 server, yields compositing in your Dell i8k2, without the need of Xgl server, just the plain X 7.1 server.

It is also fairly easy to have framebuffer text consoles, also with nice backgrounds. Please, follow the gentoo fbplash and gensplash HOWTO.

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