This came with a nasty force-fed license screen on the initial start-up, ie. Electronic Break The Seal.
With the exception of the Intel i830 video and the WinModem (neglected
by choice), the Inspiron 2600 works perfectly with RedHat Linux 7.3.
The video can be made to work, bypassing the default 1MB video memory BIOS limitation, through the following:
Note that as of no later than kernel 2.4.20, the first patch has been incorporated into the main kernel tree. As of 2.4.21-pre4, the last work-around is still required for DRI, however.
With OSS drivers, the i830 audio seems fixed at 48000 KHz. The ALSA drivers fix this; however, past (at least) kernel 2.4.20, there are occasional static noise problems.
This problem isn't restricted to this laptop, but it does show up and can be quite time-consuming to trace down. The RedHat-provided kernel 2.4.18-x.x sources have a small glitch preventing HID input from functioning properly. For USB input, the following options must be enabled:
USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support HID input layer support /dev/hiddev raw HID device supportAs it is, however, the configuration scripts result in the following lines within .config:
CONFIG_USB_HID=m CONFIG_USB_HIDINPUT=m CONFIG_USB_HIDDEV=mOf course, this needs to be corrected to:
CONFIG_USB_HID=m CONFIG_USB_HIDINPUT=y CONFIG_USB_HIDDEV=y
With the ACPI patches, this is almost too easy. Not quite, however; just like as for video, the BIOS seems to have broken AML code, as the kernel indicates at start-up:
ACPI-1101: *** Error: Method execution failed [\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.ACAD._PSR] (Node dfce26c0), AE_AML_REGION_LIMITAmong other nice things, this has the lovely result of breaking /proc/acpi/event, rendering the event daemon acpid useless. Fortunately, the rest of the ACPI system works, such as the battery, lid and button indicators, which need to be polled. To some extent, suspend works, and I imagine the fan and thermal features do as well.
After uptimes past a few hours, ACPI battery support fails (kernel 2.4.21-pre4-ac4, acpi patch acpi-20030122). Attempting to access /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/info gives the kernel message
exresnte-0110  ex_resolve_node_to_val: No object attached to node c15932c8 acpi_battery-0134  acpi_battery_get_info : Error evaluating _BIFwhile accesses to /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/state lock the computer for about 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, the kernels included with tomsrtbt-2.0.103, superrescue 1.3.1a and superrescue 2.1.0 hang during start-up on this Inspiron, the former two freezing at identically the same point. RedHat 7.3's 2.4.18-3 kernel works flawlessly, however.
The stock 2.4.20 kernel in conjunction with XFree86 4.2.0-8 spontaneously crashes; this is related to the DRM issues, as given by this XFree86 log:
pgetbl_ctl: 0x1ff60001 pgetbl_err: 0x0 ipeir: 0 iphdr: 0 LP ring tail: 8 head: 0 len: 0 start 0 eir: 0 esr: 0 emr: ffff instdone: ffc0 instpm: 0 memmode: 108 instps: 0 hwstam: 6000 ier: 3 imr: 6000 iir: a0 space: 65520 wanted 65528 (II) I810(0): [drm] removed 1 reserved context for kernel (II) I810(0): [drm] unmapping 8192 bytes of SAREA 0xe09c7000 at 0x40014000 Fatal server error: lockupas well as this kernel log:
Jan 27 21:55:58 localhost kernel: [drm:i830_wait_ring] *ERROR* space: 65512 wanted 65528 Jan 27 21:55:58 localhost kernel: [drm:i830_wait_ring] *ERROR* lockupFortunately, there are no such problems with the ac kernels -- for instance, 2.4.21-pre4-ac4 is stable.
As for Windows, the Windows2000 CD refuses to boot. On the other hand, it's possible to access the CD-ROM drive with at least a Windows98 emergency boot disk.
Jonathan Lee August 2002, January 2003