Posted by: Richard Chennault | September 15, 2007

Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu (part 1)

Challenge: Install Linux on HP Compaq NC6400 Centrino Duo Core CPU  T7200

The challengers were Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu.   I’m a fanboy of Gentoo and threw it in the mix.  I know performance with Gentoo vs. non-source distributions is negligible but hey you’ve got to be true to your peeps, right? 

First up was Redhat 7.2 X_64.  Installation was smooth and it did a great job of detecting all my hw.  One snag was I could not get it to grab a IP from my access point.  I’m still investigating that point.   The interface felt a bit lackluster to me and while I’m a fan of cool blue it seemed to lack crispness.  

Second up was Gentoo.   Gentoo didn’t make it onto the harddrive.  While I’m sure it would have installed just fine I began thinking, "Do I really want to spend hours compiling this thing?"  Ultimately I decided Gentoo is better suited on my Compaq Armada M700 than a HP Compaq nc6400.   I should run a start up test and see which Compaq boots to X faster.

Third was Ubuntu.  I have a mixed feeling about Ubuntu.  It is pretty, easy and solid.  Which is good for n008s of which I’m not.  I cut my teeth on linux with Slackware back 1994 so Ubuntu doesn’t seem butch enough.   However unlike Redhat, Ubuntu was able to get an IP from my Belkin router with no problems.  

Redhat score 1, Ubuntu 2, Gentoo 0 😦

The challenges continue with stability, resolution setting, VPN, Lotus Notes 8, and windows share mounts.


My computer specifications:

Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)

USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)

USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 01)
SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller AHCI (rev 01)
CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 Cardbus Controller
Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments 5-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD)
Generic system peripheral [0805]: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller
Communication controller: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 GemCore based SmartCard controller
Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5753M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 21)
Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)


  1. Hmmmm. Fedora 7 worked flawlessly on my 3945.
    Network-Manager connected to my WEP fine. Then it found my

    Ubu found the house but was picky on the others.
    Then it randomly crashed firefox.

  2. Fedora 7 recognized the card, saw my access point but refused to obtain an IP from the AP. That drove me crazy. I’m going to slap the Live CD and try one more thing.

    AJ: You didn’t do any thing special did you; like install the ipw3945 drivers or ndiswrapper?

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