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Linux on a Dell Inspiron 3700/7000/7500

Table of Contents

Computers This Page Applies To

Frequently Asked Questions

Setting Up Linux To Coexist With Windows98/NT

Base Installation

PCMCIA Configuration


X Windows


Accessing the Linux filesystem from Windows98/NT

Other Links

Laptop Cases and Travel Bags

Other Flavors Of UNIX

My Configuration


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Other Flavors of Unix

If you have any success/failure reports with other unices besides Linux, let me know. If you would like your name and/or email address withheld from being published below, please tell me when you send your email.

  • "I just got a 300 MHz i7k with 15" LCD, 128M RAM, 8G disk, and the 2x DVD ROM. I repartitioned the drive and have installed OpenBSD 2.4, NT 4.0, and win 98 on separate partitions and am booting them via the NT boot loader. under OpenBSD I was able to get X running at 1024x768x2^32 with the server mods mentioned on your page. I did need a different modeline than what you have however to get rid of some stray lines on the screen:"
    Modeline  "1024x768"   74.00 1024 1048 1184 1328 768 771 777 806 -hsync -vsync
    Andrew Lambeth, email

  • "I'm running FreeBSD 2.2.7 on an 14.1"/8Gb machine. I also used PM to resize the disk [3/5 win98/bsd]. It complains about the suspend to disk feature on boot [haven't fixed this yet] The 3c589D pc-card using stock ep driver works fine [kernel rebuild to add pccard services] Xi Accelerated server [demo worked great] on order..."

    Greg Moncreaff, email

  • "I got FreeBSD 3.0 up and running without too much trouble on an Inspiron 7000 (15in screen). The main things I had to do were:"
    1. Boot off of the PAO boot floppy to get PCMCIA support, then change the release name in the installation options from "2.2.8-RELEASE" to "3.0-RELEASE". Note that this was only necessary because I wanted to install over the net (ftp or nfs). Once I got 3.0 installed, 'pccardd' found my network card without any problems.

    2. Apply your patches to XF86_Mach64 and use your XF86Config

    3. file. (Actually, I still get some noise on the screen occasionally. Is this a known problem, or should I look into tweaking the XF86Config?) I haven't tried the Xi server.

    4. Sound: I can't add anything to what you have, since OSS doesn't support ESS Maestro-2 yet, and I don't have Windows.

    5. Zip disk: I was able to get it to work with no fuss whatsoever: just install 'mtools' and add the line
           drive z: file="/dev/wfd0s1"     exclusive
      Alternately, if you want to use 'amd', then the following map ought to work (though I haven't tested it):
         /defaults   type:=host;fs:=${autodir}/${rhost};rhost:=${key};\
                     mount:="/sbin/mount mount -t ${rfs} ${opts} ${dev} ${fs}";\
                     unmount:="/sbin/umount umount ${fs}";
         /zip        type:=program;rfs:=ufs;\
                     dev:=/dev/wfd0s1;opts:="-o rw,nosuid" \
                     opts:="-o rw,nosuid"
    Andrew Arensburger, email

  • "I used FIPS without a hitch to resize my FAT32 partition, then installed FreeBSD 3.1 from CD. I'm running FreeBSD 3.2-STABLE now with the patched Mach64 XFree86 server although I wasn't too happy downgrading the BIOS (it came with A08 pre-installed).

    FreeBSD 3.x uses ELF executables, while pre- 3.x used aout. Unfortunately the Xig Accelerated X server is aout and you'll need compat22 support installed to run it. A Xig support guy told me that the next version, 6, *may* be ELF. Personally, I'm not prepared to pay hundreds of dollars for outdated executables, particularly while the patched XFree server works.

    The APM code in 3.x works very well, though I don't have any PCCards to test the pccard code yet."

    Toby Hutton, email

  • "I'm running NetBSD-1.4 and I have the ATI Mach64 card."

    Nick Amato, email

  • "I have successfully installed OpenStep 4.2 on a Dell Inspiron 700 (266 MHz, 64MB, 14.1") with a 8Mb ATI Rage Pro LT video card. I use 1024x768 resolution with 32 bits color. (NOTE: OpenStep's window system is NOT X, but Display Postscript)."

    Bruno Bienfait, email

    Also see Timothy Van Zandt's OpenStep on a Dell Inspiron 7000 web page and Fred Haibach's OPENSTEP 4.2 on the Dell Inspiron 5000.

  • "I have successfully installed OpenBSD on my I7000 (300 MHz, 64MB, 14.1"). It has the same XFree86 problem but the external monitor hack works as well (and the XiG BSD/OS version of their X server should work as well)."

    Doug Wyatt, email

  • "SCO UnixWare 7.1 works out of the box on the I7k. 1024x768 16 bit. I'm using an Etherlink III (556) for lan connectivity. Sadly no multifunction support for pcmcia cards yet. Sound is still an issue, but I think I'll have that nailed this week."

    Chris, email

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