Ubuntu Dapper Drake running on a Gateway M685

I got a new notebook today at work. It's a Gateway M685. The M685 is the next generation of my current notebook, the M680. The M685 comes with the following:
  • T2500 Core Duo at 2GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 100GB Fujitsu MHV2100BH SATA HD
  • nVidia GeForce Go 7800 video card
  • 17", 1680 x 1050 video
  • Intel PRO/1000 PL Ethernet adapter
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG WiFi adapter
The performance of the M685 is smooth as silk and noticeably faster, even though processor of the M685 is slightly slower than the M680 (2GHz vs. 2.13GHz).

The first thing I did when I got my hands on the system was install Symantec's PartitionMagic 8 and re-partition the hard drive. Half of the drive will host Windows XP, while the other half will host Linux. After that I installed ZoneAlarm, then hooked the system up to the network behind a firewall and installed 38 Windows XP patches. Finally, I installed Firefox and made it the default browser.

I then attempted to install SuSE 10 Linux, the same distribution I have running on my current notebook. It failed in the first attempt because it failed to find any hard drive partitions. After having been bloodied once already by installing Linux on my older Gateway, I stopped the SuSE installation and rebooted the M685 with Ubuntu Alpha 6. I was amazed by what happened next.

Ubuntu nailed the video system first boot. It ran the display at 1680 x 1050 resolution. Hardware 2D was perfect. Text rendering was superb. No display problems what-so-ever. It still didn't find the hard drive, the wireless chipset (I didn't expect it to), or audio, but everything else such as my USB wireless mouse and various thumbdrives were detected and handled accordingly. Oh. The reason I believe Linux can't see any hard drive partitions is that it's not booting with the serial ATA driver. I need to find out how to boot Linux from a SATA drive and try loading SuSE tomorrow evening.

For now, I'm throwing in an Ubuntu screen shot from its run on the Gateway M685.


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