This page up through Updates describes what I
found out installing Red Hat 6.1
on my Sony Vaio in
Since then I have updated to Red Hat 7.0
(Kernel 2.2.16-22, April 2001)
and Red Hat 8.0 (Kernel 2.4.2-2, December 2002).
Some of the original information and queries remain useful; other
parts no longer relevant.
But I figured I would keep the original description here just as an
Additional user information on
upgrading Red Hat Linux.
- Intel Celeron 333MHz, 128M ram, 6.8G hd
- 10.4in XGA TFT screen
- Video adaptor NeoMagic MagicMedia 256Av (also known as NM2200 and
NM2360) 2.5M ram
- Serial, XGA monitor, printer, i.LINK S400, USB mouse, and USB
ports on Port Replicator
- 1 Type II PCMCIA slot: For Ethernet card (3Com
EtherLink III Lan/PC card 3c589c-tp, 3c589c-combo); CD-ROM drive
- USB port: Floppy drive
- 1.2 kg/22.2mm thick
- Windows 98 (delivered)
Linux (Red Hat/Intel 6.1 Cartman,
to install from the Net)
Subtleties: Executive summary
I do not have a
Linux CD-ROM, and I wanted to install over the net.
Linux-on-a-floppy boots fine from the USB floppy
Linux itself does not recognize the USB floppy drive and so
cannot write a lilo boot floppy, whether as part of the Install
process or afterwards.
This might not be a problem,
but for one reason or another my
install appeared to blow away the Win98 partition.
Linux booted fine but the machine
then couldn't access the Win98
information---even though the latter was all still there.
When Win98 finally got reinstated (not as arduous as one might think,
given the circumstances),
the LILO information on the MBR now had gotten wiped.
So this time Win98 booted but
Linux was unknown, even when all the
remained secure on the inaccessible partition.
The trick is to use the original boot floppy but to stop its execution
before it tries to do another full Install-Over-the-Net.
Rerun LILO but now with complete stanzas for both
Linux and Win98.
[If anyone else tries to do this and figures out where I might
have improved the procedure,
please email to let me know.
The procedure given here is purely for information.
It works for me, but I cannot be responsible for what it will do to
Also if you're going to do this,
it helps if you're comfortable
Otherwise, avail yourself of the nearest
(and, unlike software, non infinitely expansible)
Linux service engineer.]
IP address for the new machine;
netmask; a gateway
a domain name; your machine's new
- One Windows 3.5in floppy (for the partition manager boot floppy)
- One fresh 3.5in floppy (for a
Linux boot image)
Linux installation, step by step
- The European version of this machine has no builtin modem (Win
That's the machine I have so I can't test if the
(US-supplied machine) builtin modem works.
- The ethernet card setup I have (above) works.
- The trackpad works. (I haven't tried a USB mouse, and don't
plan to. I have been told, however, that USB instructions that work are
- The CDROM drive (via pcmcia) works.
I did have to
ln -s /dev/hdc /dev/cdrom, although
this will vary with setup.
I was able to browse a mounted CDROM with the GNOME File Manager
To check that the drive plays CD music properly, I plugged in speakers
Line Out on the drive itself
John.Lavagnino@kcl.ac.uk for pointing this
out to me.
If you want to do more than test the software/hardware combination
here, you might wish to turn to
- Sound and video: After compiling the extra modules for an
worked for me, but this machine clearly must be able to do better than
SoundBlaster 3.01 8-bit.
(If you're going to use SoundBlaster, it's likely also
a good idea to do an
exclude irq 5 in your
[Updated: 28 November 2000] The new
now contain code that work with this machine.
I used version 0.5.9d,
loaded in a new
and turned off PnP in the machine's CMOS
(do this with Function Key
while the Sony boot image is displayed).
Remember, if your
xmms player, for instance,
shows the spectrum going satisfactorily, but no sound emanates, that's
because the ALSA driver's mixer channels are muted by default.
aumix or an OSS mixer to set the volume.
Warning: Do not sit at your machine with headphones plugged
in and over your ears while experimenting with this (to state the
I had tried loading the sound drivers, compiled with
--with-isapnp=yes, and not turning off PnP.
On booting Linux, the machine started emitting a very loud, high-pitched
Such a setup
might, eventually, have worked but no one
within 100 meters of me was willing to let me continue the
Imagine what that will do to your eardrums if you're on headphones.
- Tweak XF86Config to improve performance?
I am currently using
- Does accelerated X server work?
I had earlier had to buy a
commercial server for use on my Dell Latitude as, at that time (1997),
XF86_SVGA did not support the NeoMagic NM2090.
That was the past, though, and
I am glad to see that XF86_SVGA now does, but no machine can ever be
too thin, rich, or fast.
Bas van der Linden reports good
results with using the accel-driver in 16-bit colormode, using his
- Parallel and USB mouse ports on the port replicator:
I haven't tried these and don't plan to for the foreseeable
- How to make rescue floppies with the USB floppy drive
unrecognized (but bootable from)?
- Red Hat 7.0 Anaconda kernel 2.2.16-22, 2001-04-18. After the
hard disk crash, since I had the opportunity, I
decided all the different partitions had to go, so
everything lives now in just
- Red Hat 8.0 Seawolf kernel 2.4.2-2, 2002-12-29. From
pcmcia.img, pcmciadd.img onto a floppy each. Boot
off the first, use the second for additional drivers.
Choose upgrade, select more swap under
/, migrate to
The first boot after upgrading got me only to
LILO. So I booted again off
pcmcia.img, and typed
root=/dev/hda2 back at the
prompt. Boot continues and gave me enough access to
my files on the root partition. Make an appropriate
lilo.conf somewhere and
-C it. I used
since (obviously) I had my
/dev/hda2 whereas a
partition had installed itself in
- Red Hat Linux upgrades:
A user perspective.