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How to install (and have some fun)
with Slackware 10.2
on a japanese Compaq Presario 1621

(By Claudio H. Picolo)


I tried to install a lot of different Linux distributions without success on my old japanese Compaq Presario 1621, because I really don't care to use it's original japanese version of Windoze95, a Win98 or Me.

The WinXP and Win2K needs lots of antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-adware, firewalls... and it uses a lot of the disk, without modem driver that works!


The major challenge on install a modern* operating system on this is to make it run on 196MB of RAM (It's what I had) and fit on a 2.2GB of hard disk (the original factory-mounted one).

The great majority of Linux distros today*, needs 256MB of RAM and 4GB of hard disk to run a good desktop environment like KDE or GNOME.


On this workshop, I'll try to share my experience on installing this distribution that I think, better resolved this challenge and you will have KDE and XFCE desktop environments installed on it to choose!!! (Or naturally, you can uninstall the one that you don't use, to save hard disk space.)


The only problem I found, is that the internal MODEM still needs a driver that needs to be compiled for this distribution. Sorry! I don't had luck on this yet. If someone creates an installer for the appropriate binaries of it on this distribution, the community will be very grateful.


Before the beginning of this workshop, configure your BIOS as this:


Integrated Peripheals:

Serial port A: Enabled

Base I/O address: 3F8

Interrupt: IRQ4

Parallel port: Enabled

Mode: Bi-diretional

Base I/O address: 378

Interrupt: IRQ7

Floppy disk controller: Enabled

Local Bus IDE adapter: Both


Audio Options Menu:

Sound: Enabled

Base I/O Address: 220-22F

Interrupt: IRQ5

DMA channel: DMA1

DMA channel: DMA0

FM I/O address: 388-38B

MPU I/O address: 330-331

Joystick: disabled


Plug & Play OS: Yes

Large Disk Access Mode: Other


Power Savings: Disabled

Resume on modem ring: off

Resume on time: off

Resume time: 00:00:00


Boot: 1-Diskette drive, 2-ATAPI CD-ROM drive, 3-Hard drive


All the other BIOS configurations are irrelevant on this workshop


Well... Let's go!



1 - Boot the CD-ROM, follow the instructions and type cfdisk to partition the hard disk as this:

/dev/hda1 / 1964MB

/dev/hda2 swap 196MB


2 - type setup and follow instructions... (just basic things...)

2.1 - The keyboard of my notebook is qwerty/jp106.map

2.2 - After formatting the swap partition, choose ext3 filesystem and use 1 inode per 4096 bytes.

2.3 - Choose the "/" and "Install from a Slackware CD or DVD". You can use the "auto" option to scan the CD-ROM.


3 - Since the original hard disk on it is too small (only 2.2GB), you need to choose the minimum amount of packages to install on it.

I used ONLY the following groups of packages on my machine:

A (Applications)

AP (Applications - no X)

KDE (Yes! It works!)

L (Libraries - Sorry! It is really necessary.)

N (Networks - Who lives whithout it today?)

X (X-Windowing system)

XAP (X-Applications)


4 - The fastest way I found to install it was using the "menu" prompting mode.

Carefully I choosen as the following:


4.1 - Series A - Base linux System - install ONLY it:

kernel-ide

cups

floppy

gawk

glibc-zoneinfo

gpm

infozip

isapnptools

kbd

minicom

pcmcia-cs


4.2 - Series AP - Applications - install ONLY it:

a2ps

alsa-utils

aumix

flac

groff

ksh93

lsof

madplay

man

man-pages

mc

mpg321

rexima

rpm

screen

sgml-tools

sox

sudo

texinfo

vim

vorbis-tools

zsh


4.3 - Series L - Libraries: choose to install all, EXCEPT:

aalib

glibc-i18n

glibc-profile

libwmf-docs

pilot-link


4.4 - Series N - Network - install ONLY it:

autofs

cyrus-sasl

dhcpcd

elm

gnupg

iptables

iptraf

lftp

nail

nc

ncftp

netwatch

nmap

ntp

openssh

openssl

portmap

ppp

procmail

rp-pppoe

samba

sendmail

stunnel

tcpdump

tcpip

traceroute

vsftpd

wget

whois

wireless-tools

ytalk


4.5 - Series X - X-Window system - leave the "default" as is (only):

x11

x11-devel

x11-fonts-misc

x11-docs

x11-fonts-scale


4.6 - Series XAP - X-Applications - install ONLY this:

gaim

gftp

gimp

gimp-help-2

gkrellm

gnucharmap

imagemagick

mozilla-firefox

mozilla-thunderbird

seyon

x3270

xfce

xine-lib

xine-ui

xmms

xpdf

xvim

xxgdb


5 - Go take a coffee...

Remember that my machine was upgraded to 300Mhz (the original Presario 1621 is 266Mhz) and spend about 30min. on it.

Good thing to think about...


6 - Change the CD and continue... This CD contains the KDE packages. Choose to install ONLY the following:

kdeaddons

kdeadmin

kdebase

kdegraphics

kdelibs

kdemultimedia

kdenetwork

kdetoys

kdeutils

koffice

qt


6.1 - OK, more coffee... (About 10 min. on my 300MHz machine.)


7 - Now, you can choose a kernel from cdrom and change the CD again.

7.1 - I used /cdrom/kernels/bareacpi.i/bzImage as my default kernel.

7.2 - Now, you can choose if you want to create or not a bootdisk...

7.3 - I do't set a /dev/modem link. It never worked on "softmodems" like the one you have on the Presario 1621...

7.4 - I choose YES to start hotplug subsystems like PCMCIA network cards...

7.5 - Simply choose to install LILO automatically...

7.6 - Choose a framebuffer 800x600 pixels. It's the maximum resolution of the Presario's 1621 LCD display.

I normally choose 800x600x256, because it's quickly mode than the other framebuffer options.

The standard mode is ugly, but very faster.

7.8 - No extra parameters for the kernel.

7.9 - Install LILO on MBR...

7.10 - PS/2 mouse is the one that can be used on the port behind the Presario 1621 or the trackpad. Use it.

7.11 - Choose to run gpm... it's useful!


8 - Now, you can choose to configure your network. I configure initially like this:

hostname: presario (but can be "notebook", "bananacomputer", anything)

domain name: localdomain (you can use any domain name here.)

static IP (it boots faster, because this way, it don't need to search for a DHCP server.)

IP address: 192.168.0.2 (I used this number, because normally the home broadband internet router have its standard IP address set to 192.168.0.1.)

netmask: 255.255.255.0

gateway: 192.168.0.1 (The standard IP address of home broadband internet routers.)

Nameserver? No (I'm not using one, now!)


9 - Services to run at startup:

rc.pcmcia

rc.sendmail

rc.syslog

rc.sshd


10 - Custom screen font: I choose gr737b-8x11.psfu.gz because it's small and have a good reading.


11 - Hardware clock is set to local time

11.1 - Choose your timezone


12 - Now, you must choose a default window manager

xinitrc.kde is most powerful, but slow on this machine

xinitrc.xfce is a good choice, but little limited

xinitrc.twm is poor


13 - Use a root password! Always!


14 - Installation complete!!! Now you can exit setup, reboot the machine and after the LILO prompt, press [Enter] and leave it loading for the first time... (and auto-configuring certain things.)


15 - After the first boot, you need to logon as root and type your password (item 13 of this workshop).

15.1 - Look! You Have mail! (Forget it! It's blablabla like "Welcome to Linux..." and "Please register...") Now, there are some customizations to do.


16 - Because the sound system of the Compaq Presario 1621 isn't a REAL plug-n-play device (just a "Legacy ISA" or perhaps a "plug-n-pray"), let's begin configuring it by typing alsaconf. It will run "Alsa Configurator". Hit [ENTER] on the main screen. It will search a sound card, but will not find it.

16.1 - Just choose "Yes" to probe Legacy ISA sound cards/chips... and "Yes" again, because you are sure that it's really what you want.

16.2 - After a little wait time, you will see a list of cards/chips. "Choose ONLY the es18xx ESS ES18xx AudioDrive" and click "OK" (remember that you choosen to run gpm at startup?)

16.3 - Just hit "Yes" again to try all possible configurations on this device.

16.4 - Hit "Yes" to save the alterations on /etc/modules.conf file.

16.5 - After some little time with an idiot bug warning on the screen, you will have a screen saying "OK, sound driver is configured." Just click on "OK"


17 - WARNING! Now, the next items to configure require that you have some skills with vi text editor, or you can edit the text files using any other good text editor like kedit on KDE.


18 - Configure LILO to startup automatically:

On the file /etc/lilo.conf, search for the following line:

message = /boot/boot/message.txt

And leave as this:

#message = /boot/boot/message.txt

It will disable the message at startup! (Gaaaaaa!!!)

Not, search this line:

prompt

and leave as this:

#prompt

to disable the prompt to load the system! (Gaaaaaa, again!)

Now, let's disable the timeout time for this prompt (that is already disabled):

timeout = 1200

You can leave just

#timeout =1200 or timeout = 0

Don't forget to type lilo for this changes take effect on next boot!

18.1 - If you want to startup your notebook on graphic mode unless the multiuser text mode, edit the file /etc/inittab changing the line:

id:3:initdefault

by

id:4:initdefault


19 - This is very important: Gaim don't access MSN networks without this modification on the file /etc/ld.so.conf because it needs some libraries used by "secure" network software like Mozilla Firefox. Just add the following line on it:

/usr/lib/firefox


20 - Now, let's install the best Slackware package manager from Slackware CD3. Insert it and type mount/dev/cdrom and /mnt/cdrom/extra/slackpkg

20.1 - Type pkgtool and choose "Current" from the pkgtool screen, and confirm with "Yes".

20.2 - To configure slackpkg, the only things you need to do is edit the /etc/slackpkg/mirrors uncommenting the line thet refers the location of the source packages you want to install/upgrade. And after all, just type slackpkg upgrade to refresh the cache before manage packages.


21 - On KDE, open the KDE Control Center and customize it as you wish.

There's a tip here: on Sound&Multimedia - Sound System, disable it if you don't want to see a Sound Server message. But if you want sounds on your system, go to Sound&Multimedia - System Notifications, click on Player Settings and use an external player. (I use /usr/bin/play it plays all KDE's ".ogg" sounds perfectly and using low memory!)


22 - Now, you can have fun with this powerful, secure and modern operating system!


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Please note that I made this workshop just by hobby. I am not a Linux support, and don't have time for it. But you can visit my website (Sorry! It's in Brazilian Portuguese, only): http://www.yunes.com/picolo/ if you're curious about me.





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