To get Fedora to run on a Dell Inspiron 5150 is pretty easy. The installation procedure will take care of most things automatically.
Update: I had a complaint about leaving Windows on the machine, so I changed the text slightly ;-)
Update: Added some information about ACPI and some module configuration stuff
Update: Grub is the only bootloader available.
First you have to decide if you want to keep your Windows partition. If you want to be able to boot into Windows, you will have to resize the partition to make room for Linux. You can do this by using Partition Magic (version 8) or using the howto Villegas wrote. If you don't want to keep Windows, just create partitions over the existing partitions.
Then pop in the 1st Fedora CD and reboot the machine. I let the installer automatically create partitions in the free space Partition Magic created. Install the stuff you need and wait for the procedure to end.
On reboot you will notice that you can't boot the default SMP kernel, you will have to boot the normal kernel for the time being. Continuing to boot the normal kernel will not help much, because Fedora wil try to start X. Because the NVIDIA driver has not been installed, it will not work.
In Grub, go to the non-SMP kernel using the keyboar, then press the "A" key. Add the number 3 at the end of the command line and press ENTER. Now Fedora will boot to text mode and you can login. Login and go to the NVIDIA site and download the latest driver for X. Make sure you also download the README file if you haven't installed NVIDIA drivers before. Otherwise the installation might be a bit difficult.
After installation edit /etc/X11/XF86Config according to the README file, making sure the correct resolution for your screen is available. I had to add the 1600x1200 resolution.
Now you can start X to make sure it works, or just assume it will work and reboot and see wat else fails ;-)
After this I tried to get DVD replay to work. After some trouble with Xine, I just installed Ogle by installing the RPMS from FreshRPMs.net. They have RPM's available for Fedora Core 1 (Yarrow). See the Ogle RedHat RPM download page and look for the FreshRPMS links and download the RPM using that link. Make sure you also install alsa-lib from FreshRPMS.
While starting up, you might notice some warnings from modules failing to work or failing to be found. Villegas has a modules.conf file, from which the lines about the floppy (/dev/fd0) module, the APM BIOS warnings and the AC'97 sound warnings should be copied to your own /etc/modules.conf file.
To see the battery status, open /etc/grub.conf in your favourite editor and add "acpi=on" to both kernel boot options. I also changed the default boot choice from 0 (the SMP kernel) to 1, for the normal kernel.
Now I just need to get Power Management and Hyperthreading to work. I already know I have to get kernel 2.6 for Hyperthreading to start working properly.
For those of you wondering what is in this laptop:
- Pentium 4 3.06GHz
- 768 MB RAM
- nVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 64MB
- 60GB HD
KNOPPIX will not work, there's some problem during startup, but as the screen remains blank, I don't know which problem.