Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex Install for Advent 9415
This is an installation exercise for a colleague of mine who asked for a Linux distro to be installed to a Laptop Advent 9415 this comes equiped with the following features:
Advent 9415 Laptop
|CPU||Intel Core Duo T2330|
|BIOS||Phoenix BIOS. Press F2 to enter|
|Memory||2GB DDR2 PC2-5300 (1 Memory Slot. Max 2GB)|
|Hard Drive||120GB SATA|
|Screen||15.4" TFT WXGA (1280x800)|
|Video Card||SIS Mirage3 integrated graphics (256MB shared)|
|Sound Card||Realtek High Definition Audio|
|Network Card||Realtek RTL8201 LAN controller|
LiteOn WN6301L Wireless LAN *
|Ports||4x USB 2.0|
1x 4-in-1 Card Reader
1x Kensington Lock
|Dimensions||34.65 x 255.5 x 358 (HxWxD in mm)|
|Made By||Uniwill U50SI2|
* The wireless is enabled on this laptop by pressing the function (Fn) key and F10 key at the same time. Note that the wireless needs to be turned on every time the computer is restarted.
Fashion dictates the correct approach for installing a Linux Operating System to a laptop or any other PC for that matter is to check that the Linux OS for the installed hardware is actually supported. Or you can just try one distribution after another in the given CD or DVD reader, either way you are likely to spend several hours researching or testing or both. The Advent 9415 was purchased by a third party as a result there was little point in research, the purchase had already been made.
Not all flavours of Linux are the same even when distro's are closely related it is sometimes worth giving it a go just in case it works, tabled below is a list of the distributions that where tried, all where standard LiveCD installations running from the Live CD only. The premise being that if a Laptop or PC runs using a Live CD there is a good chance once installed to hard disk and provided the Live CD works the installation once performed will work also.
- Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex 32 bit
- Mint Version 6 i386 32 bit
- PC Linux OS 2007 i386 32 bit
- Pure:Dyne Leak and Potatoe i386 32 bit
- #!CrunchBang 8.10.2 i386 32 bit
All of the above distributions exhibit exactly the same problem, which is apparent during the startup process the distro will stall, this fault is repeatable without any signs of being intermittent. There is nothing technically hardware wise on the Advent 9415 that is at odds with the Linux OS so attempts where made to modify the boot command on each of the distro's or wherever this was possible.* PCLinuxOS 2007 process and startup failed to complete Live CD run
The following command line options where tried unsuccessfully on PCLinuxOS 2007 on each attempt and despite various permutations the OS stalled successively. This in part may be due to the fact that this OS has not be updated since 2007. However if anyone one has achieved this I would be happy to print a retraction or an update once verified.* noapic * acpi=off * nolapic
With Ubuntu and it's Debian derivatives, only "nolapic" was required as an option modifier, for each distribution the exact method to modify this line line will differ, but in the main you need to press the escape key during the startup sequence just shy of the Laptop boot process completion. After this you need to add to the executable line "nolapic". Your Linux OS on CD or USB fob should now boot correctly, most of the menu startup selections display once accessed the key sequences necessary to edit boot time command line options.
Pure:Dyne 'Leek n Potatoe' also failed to run as a Live CD despite the fact that Pure:Dyne now is a Debian derivative it stalled during the startup sequence despite using the options that worked on Ubuntu and other Debian derivatives, this could be because Pure:Dyne uses a Real Time kernel or an RTkernel but this is pure speculation on my part.
After a successful boot had been completed on the Laptop it was obvious all was not as well as it could have been, the display was at a resolution of 800 x 600 even though the screen is capable of much higher resolutions 1280 x 800 as yet no fix has been found for this problem still looking, a smaller problem exhibits itself with regard to wifi connections. It appears the connection between the realtek 8187 wireless adapter and the wireless router is very weak this looks like a problem with the card itself rather than anything else and can be correct by moving closer to the wireless router.
The remaining thing to remember once installation is complete and by that I mean that you have installed the OS onto the Hard disk itself, is that you will need to modify the menu.lst entry in '''"/boot/grub"''' you need to add the same boot command option as you did to run the LiveCD distro. You also need to remember that it will be necessary to edit menu.lst every time the boot kernel is updated.
Ubuntu, Mint Ver 6, Pure:Dyne and #!Crunchbang are known to work on the Advent 9415 however the display to the screen on each of these is very disappointing. I am not altogether sure that the command below is the accepted means to increase the xserver display resolution, this used to work very well on certainly Pre Fiesty Fawn Version 8.04, but has had little effect on current Ubuntu distro's.
Possible temporary fix might be to edit the '''"/etc/rc.local"''' and before the entry '''"exit 0"''' place '''"iwconfig wlan0 rate 5.5M fixed"''' all without quotes. This in effect reduces the rate data is passed between the router and your laptop, the higher transfer rates increase the timeouts and impair the quality connection.
You can follow these guidelines instead but for us showed no improvement.Ubuntu Realtek Wireless help
This type of laptop is not desirable for Linux at least not at the moment as the Video driver being used is only Vesa as a result laptop does not use any accelerated graphics. Games using 3D graphics do not work well on this laptop and wireless Lan support is still very poor. Trigger and Torcs games where installed and where virtually useless, if you are thinking of installing a laptop with these same specifications we recommend waiting until you have all hardware supported. If you intend to run fast paced games and applications forget it, using this laptop for office applications internet and email via ethernet is the only sensible route. This is very much a budget laptop and perhaps you get what you pay for.
Jaunty Jackapole Alpha release 5
The two desktop properties that do not function in '''"Intrepid Ibex"''' at least properly, are the desktop screen size and wireless network, the desktop screen does work but only recognises a maximum resolution screen size of 800 x 600 this falls a long way short of the screens true resolution capabilities. Using the above release of '''"Jaunty Jackapole Alpha release 5"''' as a LiveCD there was a least the remotest of possibilities that one or both these features had been fixed, sadly at least on these two features there is no improvement to either screen resolution or wireless network.