Monday, 12 May 2008

Dell Precision M6300

I've just come back from a three and a half week holiday interstate to see my new Dell Precision M6300 has finally arrived! If it wasn't for a new toy to play with, I would have found it hard to get out of bed this morning (first day back after a great holiday is usually like that...)

Anyway, now to install Gentoo Linux on it!

The first problem I encountered was the classic install cd "no bootable medium found":
Attempting to mount media:- /dev/sda
No bootable medium found. Waiting for new devices...
Could not find CD to boot, something else needed!
I used the minimal install cd, which booted but couldn't "find itself" (after booting the kernel, the cd tries to mount itself so it can use the files contained on it). I tried all-generic-ide, acpi=off, playing with AHCI vs ATA in the BIOS and various options to no avail. In the end, I copied the install cd to a usb key, and booted from the CD. The install found the usb key media and continued to run! Thanks to here for this solution!

Now I've finished installing the basic system and I have the machine booted and logged in. I'm currently compiling gnome! I'll provide more details here soon...

Edit: 20/5/08
The system was mostly installed within a day. This is my success so far:

Processor frequency scaling
works (2.6GHz, 2GHz, 1.6GHz, 1.2GHz and 800Mhz. Conservative scheduler works well)

works (1920 x 1200 native resolution)

LCD backlight control
mostly works (DPMS works, but I haven't got the lid to switch off the display yet)

Touchpad (synaptics driver)

Hibernate to disk
doesn't (resume properly yet!)

ACPI and power button

Speakers / sound card


MMC reader

multimedia keys
mostly works (Some issue with play, pause, etc buttons)

DVD burner
untried (DVD / CD reader works)



VGA / DVI / TV out


I'll post more details again soon!

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