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.