This started as a test to see how well a normal, default install of the openSUSE 10.2 boxed distro worked on a new Dell Precision M90 Mobile Workstation. In general, almost everything on the laptop worked fine without any special procedures. Extra software and hardware have been added since the initial install: multimedia codecs, Compiz-Fusion, VMware Workstation 6 (for Solaris 10), and a Wacom Intuos3 6x11 Tablet. Everything new has been installed, configured, and runs without any special procedures and does not negatively impact the system. When I'm done exploring openSUSE 10.2 the plan is to do a hard drive upgrade and then install openSUSE 10.3
Installing openSUSE 10.2 on the Dell Precision M90 Mobile Workstation
Last updated: 2008-01-04
General Hardware Specifications of Dell Precision M90 Mobile Workstation:
Status under Linux
|Intel Core2 Duo Processor T7400 (2.16Ghz/667MHz/4MB)
||No special procedure required during installation. Installer automatically chose x86_64 kernel.
|17 Inch Wide Screen WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Ultrasharp LCD
||Installer identified display as KH164 LCD Monitor, 1920 x 1200 resolution.
|NVIDIA Quadro FX 2500 512M RAM OpenGL
||Installer automatically chose nv driver and 1920x1200 resolution. Accelerated graphics working with nvidia binary driver.
|4G 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
||3,345,432K of maximum 3,406,364K memory reported available at boot. Max memory available is less than 4GB due to hardware limitation.
|100GB 7200RPM SATA 9.5mm Hard Drive
||Identified as Hitachi HTS72101 Rev MCZO. Installer resized Windows XP partition to provide equal space for openSUSE and configured dual boot using GRUB. No issues encountered.
|8X DVD+/-RW Drive
||Identified as Pioneer DVD+/-RW DR-K17Y Rev 0.95. Successfully ripped and burned DVDs and CDs. Plays DVD movies just fine.
|O2 Micro, Inc. Oz776 SmartCard Reader
||No special procedure required during installation. Tested with SD memory cards. Working fine.
||The interface is recognized and the driver is loaded. Works with a SanDisk Media Interface Express Card.
|Internal 56k Modem - Conexant HDA D110 MDC
||It was not recognized by the installation. I don't actually need it, but I figured I should try to set it up. After a bit of Googling I found and installed the Linuxant HSF driver and the modem worked fine after that.
|Dell NetXtreme BCM5752 Gigabit Ethernet
||Identified as Tigon3 BCM5752KFBG Rev 6002. No special procedure required during installation. Works fine on the home network automatically configured via DHCP.
|Internal Intel PROWireless 3945ABG Dual-Band Mini-card Wireless Networking
||Installer automatically found Linksys router and prompted for encryption key. Works fine on the home network automatically configured via DHCP.
|Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Module
||Tested with a Kensington Slimblade Trackball/Mouse. It works fine now, but initially required a little poke to get it to start working. After entering the command sudo hidd --search the notebook recognized the Slimblade and has since automatically recognized it whenever the trackball/mouse is turned on.
||The interface is recognized and the driver appears to be loaded. I do not have a Firewire device to verify operation.
||All 6 ports working. Tested with a variety of keyboards, mice, Memory card readers, USB hard disks, 3DConnexion Space controllers, and graphics tablets.
|Mouse (Touch pad)
||Installer identified it as SynPS/2 Synaptics Touchpad with 5 buttons. The three physical buttons all work properly. The "scroll bar" control at the right edge of the touch pad also works as the mouse wheel.
|Sigmatel 9200 Audio
||Identified as 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller using driver snd-hda-intel. System notifications in KDE are all working. Software mixer controls and the volume/mute buttons on the notebook all work.
|80 WHr Lithium-Ion Battery
||No special procedure required during installation. Power monitoring in KDE appears to be working fine.
This notebook is operating under Kernel version 220.127.116.11-0.7-default #1 SMP Tue Oct 2 17:21:08 UTC 2007 x86_64
|Here is screen capture of the Compiz-Fusion "Cube" with a few extra sides. This includes Solaris 10 (8/07) x86 64-bit as a guest OS under VMWare Workstation 6 and video playing directly from a DVD with no dropped frames while rotating the Cube!|
Click picture for full 1920x1200 version
|I like NASA and Hubble telescope starfield pictures for backgrounds.|
|KDM Background||Desktop Background||Skydome Backgound|
|Click picture for full version||Click picture for full version||Click picture for full version|
Basic Installation of openSUSE 10.2:
- Why to use openSUSE 10.2
While I write programs FOR Unix at my day job, I don't write the Unix kernel itself. So, I'm not really a cutting edge kind of guy and prefer not to play system administrator if it can be avoided. I like a distro that is stable, predictable, and can manage most configuration issues with a GUI interface (lazy slob that I am). openSUSE comes with Gigabytes of productivity software and all the geek accessories necessary for programming. SUSE/openSUSE has worked well for me on a wide variety of hardware going back to SUSE 8.0.
- Obtaining openSUSE 10.2
- This install was started as an attempt to see how well everything works on my new Dell Precision M90 Mobile Workstation with openSUSE 10.2 straight out of the box.
- The BIOS had to be instructed to boot from the DVD drive before the hard drive.
- During the openSUSE install defaults were accepted wherever they were offered.
- The only things chosen were the timezone and locale preferences.
- The notebook arrived with Windows XP Professional pre-installed, so the default choice offered by the openSUSE installer was to shink the XP partition to make equal space for openSUSE and configure GRUB to dual boot the system.
Surprisingly, almost everything *I need* worked perfectly the first time. Bluetooth needed a little prodding, and the modem needed a swift kick in the behind, but I don't need the modem.
- Post-Install modifications/tweaks
- Bluetooth merely required a nudge from the command line and it has worked properly without intervention since then. After entering the command sudo hidd --search the notebook recognized the Slimblade Trackball/Mouse and has since automatically recognized it whenever the mouse is turned on.
- YAST Online Update has been performed a few times since the initial install which resulted in at least one update to the Kernel.
- Several updates have been applied per the directions in Hacking openSUSE 10.2 to provide accelerated graphics for the NVIDIA hardware and additional video codec support.
- Compiz-Fusion was added per the documentation at http://en.opensuse.org/Compiz_Fusion. It works fine with no surprises.
- I installed VMare Workstation 6.0.2 for running Solaris 10. The install went without a hitch and has caused no impacts to Linux. Surprisingly, Solaris as a guest OS opted to install the 64-bit version, and it is also running fine.
- I spent a week reading the documentation on The Linux Wacom Project pages in preparation for installing a a Wacom Intuos3 6x11 Tablet only to discover it was completely unnecessary. The tablet was already completely supported by the kernel and standard openSuse configuration tools. Yast Control Center >> Hardware >> Graphics Card and Monitor is a front-end for Sax which provides X11 configuration for the tablet, stylus, and eraser.
Setting up additional features for openSUSE 10.2
- The modem was not recognized by the install. While I have no use for it, I figured I should try to set it up for the sake of anyone else who might want to use it. Google eventually led me to the Linuxant web site www.linuxant.com and the driver. Simply execute the directions for the general Conexant modem chipset Installer (cnxtinstall.run) at http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/hsf/downloads-installer.php and everything works automatically. (p.s. execute the install script as root.) I tested the modem with minicom and was able to dial it and hear the dial progress and connection on the notebook speaker.
- I don't have a device that uses FireWire. openSUSE sees the interface, so I believe it should be working.
- No configuration file tweaking necessary.
More Specific Information. Specific stuff such as:
- df -h (FYI: This includes additional devices/media: 160G Memorex Ultra Traveldrive USB 2.0, the openSUSE 10.2 DVD in the drive, and a 2G Kodak SD card in the SanDisk Media Interface in the ExpressCard slot.)
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda6 19G 5.4G 13G 31% /
udev 1.6G 92K 1.6G 1% /dev
/dev/sda7 28G 13G 13G 51% /home
/dev/sda2 45G 24G 22G 53% /windows/C
/dev/sr0 7.9G 7.9G 0 100% /media/SU1020.001
/dev/sdb1 147G 134G 6.1G 96% /media/disk
/dev/sdc1 1.9G 48M 1.9G 3% /media/Kodak
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 01)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 01)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G71 [Quadro FX 2500M] (rev a1)
03:01.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0832
03:01.1 Generic system peripheral [Class 0805]: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 19)
03:01.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0843 (rev 01)
03:01.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 0a)
03:01.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 05)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5752 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
- lsusb (This includes the SanDisk Media Interface in the ExpressCard slot, the Memorex 160G Ultra Travel Drive, and a Wacom 11x6 Tablet)
Bus 005 Device 003: ID 4855:7288 Memorex Ultra Traveldrive 160G 2.5" HDD
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 009: ID 0781:b6d0 SanDisk Corp.
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 413c:8103 Dell Computer Corp. Wireless 350 Bluetooth
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 0b97:7762 O2 Micro, Inc. Oz776 SmartCard Reader
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0b97:7761 O2 Micro, Inc.
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 413c:a005 Dell Computer Corp.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 056a:00b5 Wacom Co., Ltd
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
/: Bus 05.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=ehci_hcd/8p, 480M
|__ Port 3: Dev 3, If 0, Class=stor., Driver=usb-storage, 480M
/: Bus 04.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
|__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=HID, Driver=wacom, 12M
/: Bus 03.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
/: Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
/: Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
|__ Port 1: Dev 3, If 0, Class=hub, Driver=hub/4p, 12M
|__ Port 2: Dev 4, If 0, Class=hub, Driver=hub/3p, 12M
|__ Port 2: Dev 6, If 0, Class=scard, Driver=, 12M
|__ Port 3: Dev 9, If 0, Class=stor., Driver=usb-storage, 12M
|__ Port 4: Dev 5, If 2, Class=app., Driver=, 12M
|__ Port 4: Dev 5, If 1, Class='bInterfaceClass 0xe0 not yet handled', Driver=hci_usb, 12M
|__ Port 4: Dev 5, If 0, Class='bInterfaceClass 0xe0 not yet handled', Driver=hci_usb, 12M
- Ken underscore Jennings at Bellsouth period Net
- The good:
- It was overall very easy to get everything working! This is probably the first system I've had that comes closest to having 100% functionality with a default Linux install. After only a few minor tweaks everything is working. There are no problems with Compiz-Fusion. Installing optional extras and VMware also causes no problems.
- The build quality is phenomenal. I've always been impressed with the quality of Dell computers having had several D series notebooks at work, an Inspiron 1505 notebook (my wife's) and a 4700C at home, plus a couple Inspiron 1501 notebooks bought for relatives. I'm happy to see the M90 leaves me feeling satisfied with the higher price tag by blowing all the others away. I've never seen a laptop frame so rigid. The "strike zone" on the bottom feels like it is made of rock.
- It has more USB ports than even I can use (normally). Well, as a test I plugged USB pen drives into all the ports at the same time and they all work. But it sure looked funny.
- It's Faaast. It's faster than my current linux desktop system at home. OpenGL works great, too. According to all the sensors and monitors surprisingly little CPU load is incurred even with Compiz-Fusion and VMware running.
- The multimedia keys work without any special effort. I expected to have to edit an X11 config file somewhere to make them work. Surprise!
- Remarkably, the Intel PROWireless 3945ABG Dual-Band Mini-card has worked fine through several kernel upgrades. Other people seem to have intermittent problems with this card in other distros, but nothing special was done to make it work here.
- As reported earlier openSUSE 10.2 supports the Wacom Intuos3 tablet out of the box.
- The bad:
- Something being pushed as a high-end Workstation should at least be able to address all 4G of RAM (if not more.) But, 3.4G?!? (grumble, grumble)
- No PCMCIA. I have lots of PC Card memory readers and other such gizmos. In all fairness I probably won't miss them on the M90 with its many USB ports and internal SD card reader.
- The notable and weird:
- With nothing else plugged into a USB port the power output of the M90 USB is just barely strong enough to power a Memorex 160G USB hard drive (which is based on a laptop hard drive). This is expected, since it is a notebook. If anything else is plugged into another USB port the Memorex drive alarms due to low voltage and stops working until plugging in the optional USB accessory cable to provide more power.
- While K3B has successfully burned many disks including dual-layer DVDs AND it has not yet produced a coaster, there is small issue. Attempting to burn successive copies of the same .iso by simply removing the finished, burned disc, inserting a new, blank disc and starting the burn is met with complaints concerning a failure to set the proper write mode on the drive. IF the K3B program is shut down, restarted, and the .iso project reloaded, then the burn is accomplished without incident. Alternatively, it will work if the system is simply left alone for a couple minutes after inserting the blank disc. I suspect it might be a conflict caused by the KDE media recognition temporarily locking access to the drive somehow.
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This Page Last Updated: 2007-01-04 00:09