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Ubuntu On a Dell D400

Posted on 2009-04-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I would like to try to build an Ubuntu-based package on a Dell D400.  Where can I find resources on how this is done and where I can find drivers?

Mike
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Question by:shacho
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8 Comments
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 24189805
It's not quite clear what exactly you wish to do.

If you aim at creating packages from source code that can be installed on Ubuntu, look into the 'checkinstall' tool that may be installed via Synaptic.

Once installed, you would run the following commands on a source package in order to create a .deb file:
./configure
make
sudo checkinstall

Check these pages out for more info on creating deb files or complete repositories:
http://www.linuxscrew.com/2008/06/11/create-deb-or-rpm-from-targz-with-checkinstall/
http://mediakey.dk/~cc/howto-create-your-own-debian-or-ubuntu-package-repository/

If you need even more detailed info, here' the link to the Ubuntu Packaging Guide:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PackagingGuide
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Assisted Solution

by:ai_ja_nai
ai_ja_nai earned 1000 total points
ID: 24191988
torimar, I belive he wants to create a Dell400 specific Ubuntu edition, with working drivers and stuff to work out of the box.

Ubuntu 8.04 should work without problems, except if your screen goes blank (in that case, you should add the kernel argument irqpoll and get rid of quiet splash and it should bypass/fix the problem)
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Author Comment

by:shacho
ID: 24201675
ai_ja_nai, that's correct.  Does "without problems" mean that Ubuntu loads with those drivers, or there is some means by which Ubuntu downloads them from an online repository as needed?

Mike



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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 24201913
The reason why I did not understand what you were after is that I couldn't imagine someone with intentions like yours would discuss things in theory - rather than insert an Ubuntu live CD and boot off it in order to check what hardware is supported out of the box. It only takes minutes.

I have a Dell laptop as well, an Inspiron. So I can tell that, whereas most hardware  will be supported automatically (including 3D acceleration for the integrated Intel graphics chip), the most problematic part used to be the Broadcom wireless. In Ubuntu 7 it still required the ndiswrapper and Windows drivers for working.
I expect Ubuntu 9.04 (release is due tomorrow!) to support it without any hassle though, because on my laptop I run Linux Mint (Ubuntu 8 derivative) which recognized the wifi readily and offered a choice betweeen two drivers. So wireless setup took only a minute. I also run Dreamlinux on this laptop (released in february), and this distro comes with out of the box broadcom support.
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Author Comment

by:shacho
ID: 24202006
I have not used Ubuntu yet so I just assumed hardware drivers had to be procured, installed and configured manually.  In retrospect I see why that's an odd assumption; after all no-hassle setup is part of what makes Ubuntu so popular.  Still, I am curious why it 'just works'.  Does Ubuntu load with all known and published drivers, or there is some means by which Ubuntu downloads them from an online repository as needed?

Mike
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:ai_ja_nai
ai_ja_nai earned 1000 total points
ID: 24202438
Ubuntu comes preloaded with a set of standard opensource drivers, that fits most needs. Sometimes, it can download the original one written by the manufacturer ("restricted drivers") upon user request, so that you can use all the functionalities
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Accepted Solution

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torimar earned 1000 total points
ID: 24203327
Many drivers that Windows needs to be installed separately are integrated into the Linux kernel; so as long as the distro you choose doesn't use an outdated kernel, everything that has been said applies not only to Ubuntu, but to most current distros around (there are ~ 400 active distros listed on distrowatch.com).

Just think of the hassle we've had with SATA drivers in Windows for years: in Linux, they are automatically detected and appropriate drivers installed.

Restricted proprietary (most common ones: Nvidia and ATI) are not included in most Linux distros because they don't fit into their strict open-source licencing scheme. In this case, most popular and easy to use distros offer you a comfortable way of downloading and installing them separately. For Dell laptops with Intel graphics this is no problem, however.

I admit I'm still amazed that you are planning to design your own Ubuntu without having ever run it. Just try it out and check; maybe the support for your laptop is already so good that you don't even need to embark on your project.

ps:
If you plan on downloading the brandnew 9.04 due tomorrow, refer to the torrent download options if you don't wish to be discouraged by extremely long download times: the onslaught will be heavy.
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Author Comment

by:shacho
ID: 24220764
Groovy.  I'll give it a try.

Mike
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