Configuring Fedora on Dell Latitude D410 Laptop

Here are some notes from my installation and usage of Fedora Core 4 on a Dell Latitude D410 laptop.


My Dell Latitude D410 laptop already had Windows XP Professional installed on one partition, and a second partition was already created (when ordered through Dell).

The installation from CD performed smoothly except for one hiccup (described shortly). The options I chose included:

Once package selection was complete and the install process started and error immediately arose. Something about partitioning I think - the only option is to reboot. After checking quickly on the web about this it turns out that after the reboot, I just followed the same setup steps (bit annoying) and edited the partitions (changing them back to those as indicated above) and proceeded. This time it works!

All installed well, and upon startup you are prompted to do some final configuration and then you are up and running.


The laptop has a Intel Pro Wireless 2915ABG mini-PCI card built in. To enable wireless the ipw2200 driver was used. Although it took me a while to get it setup, it turned out that the wireless LAN was actually working most of the time (it just gave errors when trying to configure the eth1 interface). These are the basic steps for configuring:

  1. Download the latest ipw2200 drivers and firmware from the ipw2200 site. I used ipw2200-1.0.4.tgz and ipw2200-fw-2.3.tgz. Make sure the firmware matches the drivers - the web site explains which versions are appropriate.
  2. As root, unpack, make and intall the drivers:
    1. tar xzvf ipw2200-1.0.4.tgz
    2. cd ipw2200-1.0.4
    3. make
    4. make install
  3. The drivers were installed in the /lib/modules/KERNELVERSION/drivers/net/wireless/ directory.
    1. Unzip the firmware and copy to firmware directory:
    2. tar xzvf ipw2200-fw-2.3.tgz
    3. cp *fw-2.3* /lib/firmware
  4. Reboot the computer.
  5. You may get an error on boot that eth1 cannot be configured (e.g. error with wireless request (set bit rate) and then check if cable connected). Ignore these errors.
  6. Configure your wireless card (assuming your wireless LAN essid is 'example' and channel is '1':
    1. iwconfig should list your interface (e.g. eth1) as being IEEE802.11
    2. iwlist scan to see what APs are available. Yours should be seen.
    3. iwconfig eth1 essid example channel 1 to set the network and channel
  7. dhclient eth1 to run DHCP to obtain a network address.
  8. You should now be configured. Try to ping another computer or access the Internet.


In order to access (read) NTFS files on the Windows partition, I followed the instructions from the Linux-NTFS project.

  1. Download the kernel-ntfs RPM
  2. Login as root.
  3. rpm -ihv kernel-module-ntfs-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4-2.1.22-0.rr.6.0.i686.rpm
  4. /sbin/modprobe ntfs
  5. /sbin/fdisk -l to see which device Windows is on (/dev/hda2 in my case)
  6. mkdir /mnt/windows
  7. mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/windows -t ntfs -r -o umask=0222
  8. ls -l /mnt/windows
  9. Setup Linux to automatically mount the NTFS partition by editing the /etc/fstab file, adding the following: /dev/hda2 /mnt/windows ntfs ro,umask=0222 0 0

Now you should be able to read (and only read, there is a way to write but it is generally unsafe) your Windows drive.