Still installing Linux

No Comments

The second Xandros installation, using an ATI Radeon 9200SE, looked promising, but didn’t handle the flat panels correctly. It said it saw a Dell 1901FP (correct, hooked into the digital video port) but it rendered on the IBM T541 (hooked into the analog port). Said there weren’t two monitors.

So then I tried downloading all of the updates from Xandros Network, figuring maybe there was a newer X driver or a new X version even. There was – X 4.3 – so I gave that a shot. This is inside the Xandros Network utility, mind you, and it automatically installs all dependencies, so I figure it must be okay. Wrong. Upon the next reboot, the display simply disappeared and the keyboard froze.

I did more research in the Xandros forums, and whaddya know – they support all ATI cards EXCEPT the SE series. Seems there’s a problem with that particular model. Oh. Okay. I gave up in frustration – not with Linux, but with dual head video cards. I’ll go return the ATI to Fry’s this afternoon, and in the meantime I’m just installing using the onboard Intel video card. It’s crummy, it won’t have 3D acceleration, and I will be limited to one flat panel instead of two, but I’m figuring out that installing Linux involves a lot of hardware compromises.

I’m not upset with that: Windows NT4 was like that. Either your stuff was on the Hardware Qualification List, or it wasn’t, and it was black-and-white. If it wasn’t specifically listed on the HQL, it probably wasn’t going to come close to working. This is the same thing. While NT4 required a lot of compromise (and a lot of new gear to buy), it was worth it in terms of improved stability over Windows 95. I’m figuring this will be a similar upgrade.

Plus, I figure after I migrate my sites to Java and plain HTML, I’ll take the P4-3ghz machine that’s currently my server, and do a from-scratch Xandros install on there with an approved video card. This system will just be a temporary learning system.

Still installing…third time (with Xandros) is a charm, I’m hoping.

Previous Post
STILL installing
Next Post
I’m in Linux!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Still installing Linux

No Comments

My office is littered with installation cd’s burned from LinuxISO.org. I’m about twenty-four hours and three Linux distributions into this, and all of them have had flaws big enough for me to start over with another distro.

I tried Mandrake first, and looking back, it was the best. Mandrake detected both the NVidia GeForce FX video card and the Intel network card, seemed to detect everything else on my system as well, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get multiple monitor support to work. I’ve got a pair of flat panels, and I can’t live without those. I followed directions on a couple of web sites on editing the X config files only to completely hose my X configuration. Unfortunately, Mandrake boots straight into X by default, and if your X configuration is broken, you can’t access anything. There’s no “safe mode” choice upon bootup – there’s a “failsafe”, but it doesn’t allow you to edit configuration files, so what’s the point of that?

Frustrated, I bombed that installation and moved on. Debian couldn’t detect my Intel network card or my video card. Fedora couldn’t get the video card to work. I came to the decision that I should start with training wheels, so I looked into Windows-friendly distributions. Lycoris hasn’t been updated in a year and a half, and Lindows doesn’t offer an online download. Xandros seemed like the best alternative, since for $90 they include a version of CrossoverOffice that will run Photoshop and Dreamweaver, two of my favorite applications.

I justified the $90 for Xandros this way: I’ve spent at least ten hours in front of this computer in the last day just trying to get Linux running. If Xandros saves me five hours, it’s more than paid for itself. So now Xandros is downloading, another hour to go. Guess I’ll start reading the manual.

Previous Post
That’s it, I’m switching to Linux
Next Post
STILL installing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Menu