So as I finally got my hands on this new laptop, I cut out a drive about half the size of the full HDD (leaving me with a 160 GB and a 142GB partition). As I had a Kubuntu Jaunty disk shipped, I popped it in and went through the usual process, the same I have done countless times. With having Kubuntu 9.04 x86 installed on an ext4 partition, I could comfortably dual boot with the pre-loaded Windows Vista Premium and Jaunty. I noticed a big list of stuff that I needed to fix before having the box usable, unlike my older laptop which had everything working out of the box immediately after install.
So anyway, I began with the GPU, an ATI Radeon HD 4570 card, and finally this guide worked out for me. Also a backport modules installation gave me my sounds.
I am pretty happy with the performance, and it works out fairly well for me right now. Although there are a few things that don’t work yet. But I just cant seem to find the time from my office projects and other high priority stuff like the KDE Forum upgrade work in order to do extensive research on how to get these issues fixed. Or honestly, I am really lazy.. 😛 Not that these glitches bother me much, as I have started focusing on more critical stuff, I guess. So here’s what all that don’t work:
- The thing that bothers me the most, my display brightness. As for the articles google gave me, I found some unsolved issues with my model, and no workaround. It’s strange, and somewhat funny.. the keys are very moody. They work fine when I boot in, ie. before Kubuntu loads. Now if I adjust them beforehand, the keys works for a short duration even when kubuntu has loaded. If I don’t nudge them before bootup, I’m left with full brightness until I reboot. I also read that switching to the tty’s and back to tty7 can make the keys operational for some users, but not me.
- Next come sleep and hibernate.. I can’t suspend anymore, unfortunately. If I suspend to RAM, the laptop never wakes up. If I suspend to disk, upon waking up, I lose my display. But considering Kubuntu takes not more than a minute right from Grub to desktop, I can live with it for now.
- My bluetooth button.. its a combo button with F2, and well, Jaunty doesn’t seem to care if I go crazy hitting on those buttons hard. But as a pretty acceptable workaround, I switched my bluetooth on by booting into Vista a few days back, and never switched it off since then 😉
But yet again, these are small issues, or “good to have” if you may call it. I’ll try to file bug reports if not reported already. I also need to configure Jaunty to recognize my full RAM (4GB of memory) which is currently shown as around 3 GB. I tried out the server kernel, but guess I need something else to have 4GB RAM on a x86 OS. Or if I manage, I’ll switch to x64 soonish. Save these points, other stuff like KWin works seamlessly, HDMI and media controls work fine as well.
So overall, it’s really good to have *buntu working on a Dell 🙂