Installing Linux Distro Fedora Core 4 on Dell Inspiron 700m Laptop

I've spent a lot of time installing and configuring Fedora Core 4 on my Dell Inspiron 700m. I decided to write this down for my own reference and so that you all don't spend your valuable time on things which I learnt the hard way.

How to get Fedora Core 4



For partitioning, I downloaded Knoppix, burnt it on a CD and then ran ntfsresize. However, I think there might be a simpler way. If you find one let me know.
Digital Wolf adds
I happen to have access to ghost and a usb hard drive. my laptop's hd is 60gb and was partitioned as a C: drive for XP Pro. The usb drive is 40gb. I cleaned up my 60gb, ghosted it to the 40gb (booting into BartPE with ghost installed), then re-ghosted it back. When ghosting it back, I am given the option to resize the partition its going on. I selected 40gb and was left with 20gb for my linux.
Some tips by Kambiz
in response to the partitioning section check out I find it a very useful disk aside from it's ability to resize partitions (NTFS too) because of it's other uses. Here's the description of it: SystemRescueCd is a linux system on a bootable cdrom for repairing your system and your data after a crash. It also aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk. It contains a lot of system utilities (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic ones (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It aims to be very easy to use: just boot from the cdrom, and you can do everything. The kernel of the system supports most important file systems (ext2/ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), and network ones (samba and nfs).



OK, so here is where the fun begins! ;-) Almost all of the following require you to be root.

Setting up the wireless networking

I have Intel Pro Wireless 2100 card in my 700m. To check which one you have, run:

#lspci | grep Wireless

which should give an output like:

02:01.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI Adapter (rev 04)

If you get an output which says the adapter is 2200, then scroll down for some tips regarding that.

  1. Download the IPW2100 Firmware from: (I used v0.55) Extract all the files to the /lib/firmware directory.
  2. Download the IPW2100 driver files from I used version 1.1.0. Make sure you use a version ending with .0 since only these are the stable ones.
  3. Extract all the files to a directory and run #make. After that run #make install to install the driver.
  4. Copy this file as /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1
  5. Reboot your computer (you can issue the #reboot command on the terminal for this) and wireless networking should now be working.
  6. I also found the Wifi-radar utility very useful for managing my wifi connections in GNOME. Download it from:
Tips for Intel Pro Wireless 2200 and setting up closed and encrypted wi-fi

Here are some tips from Thomas Savarimuthu:

Actually, i had an Intel 2200 BG mini PCI card and hence i had to guess (from IPW2100 URL) and find the right URL for IPW2200 - Even though i downloaded the correct firmware, i had trouble connecting to my office wireless network, since it is a closed and encrypted wi-fi network. So, i knew that i had to explicitely declare the SSID and WEP KEY in a config file, but i don't know which files to edit and what parameters to add. After a quick search i found the necessary information from one of the reference link you mentioned in the bottom of your page. He had mentioned about the parameters and configuration files to edit.

I had to add the following parameters into /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1

( if you want non-root user to start/shut this port)
(put your closed network name)
( in cased of WEP key in "Shared" security mode)

and create a new file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/keys-eth1 to add the corresponding WEP key as below:

More over the IPW2200 driver available in the kernel-2.6.11 works fine if i just download and copy the corresponding firmware to /lib/firmware .

Guido Maneman adds...
I was fiddling around with getting wireless lan to work.

Thomas Savarimuthu told you to put SECURITY=Restricted ( in cased of WEP key in "Shared" security mode) in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1, but this doesn't work.

I found a hint in , removed SECURITY=Restricted in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1 and added KEY="restricted 12345678901234567890123456" to /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/keys-eth1

Screen Resolution

To get the screen resolution of 1280x800 (the default for Dell Inspiron 700m) follow these steps:


Accessing Windows files

The following applies only if you have an NTFS partition on which windows is running. To check that, run #fdisk -l | grep NTFS If you see a line like

 /dev/hda2   *           7        2456    19679625    7  HPFS/NTFS
, then it means that you are having your windows ntfs partition on /dev/hda2.

I will now explain how to read files from the ntfs partition.

Installing Realplayer

Plugins - java and flash

Software Suspend a.k.a. Hibernate

Here's how to get your box to hibernate and wake up as in Windows.

Playing movies and listening to MP3s

I use xmms for listening to mp3s and xine for viewing DVDs, etc. You may also need the MPlayer package to play Windows media files. Here's how to get it.

Hard disk performance tuning and solving the heating up problem

At this point everything was working fine, except that my laptop was unusually hot (as compared to Windoze). It turns out that although CPU throttling is inbuilt in the kernel (and works fine), hard disk is not put in the 'spin down' mode automatically.

Here's what I've done till now:

Bug fix to get a console by hitting Alt+Ctrl+Fn (Bug 160470)

I could not get a terminal by hitting Alt+Ctrl+Fn (for example try Alt+Ctrl+F1). It turns out that this is a documented bug on bugzilla: To fix this bug, download this file as /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libvgahw.a and restart. Now the problem should be fixed.


Please send me any comments, corrections and suggestions at : scs49 at cornell dot edu. All corrections/suggestions will be acknowledged. My only aim of maintaining this page is to make life easier for other people.


Here are a few useful links

Thanks to...

Last updated: November 01 2005

The latest version of this document can be found at :

Built with gvim on a Dell Inspiron 700m running Fedora Core 4

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