Linux on a Dell D620 Laptop

So with my new job, I got a new Dell D620 laptop. I thought about what OS would be best to install on the laptop and decided I’d start with Fedora Core 6 (FC6) thinking that is should be pretty up to date and should be able to handle this newer hardware. Boy, was I wrong. I first resorted to installing the OS through the text installer (since the graphical installer crashed – when will Fedora stop using the old Anaconda installer?), which I thought is no big deal, after a `yum update` I’ll get all the latest stuff I need for this to work. Unfortunately, after the 300+ MB of updates already available for FC6, I still couldn’t start X. So off to Google I went, and found several different people already going through it:

Again, I thought, ok, no problem, these guys have already done the hard work. So I followed the instructions and got my display working half the time (the other half of the time, the system would crash when starting X or randomly while working on the OS. After installing a bunch of other stuff (wireless rpms, etc), I could no longer get X to start reliably.

At this point, I decided to try the other distro I had been considering, Ubuntu. I have always wanted to try Ubuntu and since they just came out with 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) and Dell has announced that they will be shipping their first Linux laptops on Ubuntu, I thought that a lot of work that they are doing on that should make it easier to install. I found this be quite an understatement. I put in the Ubuntu 7.04 Desktop Edition CD and booted up the laptop. Boy, was I surprised when it actually booted perfectly fine into the Ubuntu OS right off of the CD with no problems whatsoever! I went ahead and installed the OS onto the hard drive and rebooted to that installation. Again, no problems whatsoever. I went ahead and installed the 14 updates currently available and called it a day. I’ll be testing it out some more tomorrow, but Ubuntu looks like the best choice — I see now why Dell chose it as well, it is much more solid.

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