Install Debian on Dell Vostro200

Recently, at work we changed our desktop computers. I’ve been faced to difficulties with a Dell Vostro200. Vostro had no OS. The hardware is still very recent. After 2 days I finally succeed in it. :

The content of my box : (lspci and lspci -v).

migus@dazibao:~$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82G33/G31/P35/P31 Express DRAM Controller (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82G33/G31/P35/P31 Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 02)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82562V-2 10/100 Network Connection (rev 02)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 02)
00:1a.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 02)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev 92)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801IR (ICH9R) LPC Interface Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801IR/IO/IH (ICH9R/DO/DH) 4 port SATA IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.5 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) 2 port SATA IDE Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV516 [Radeon X1300/X1550 Series]
01:00.1 Display controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV516 [Radeon X1300 Pro] (Secondary)
02:01.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Agere Systems FW323 (rev 61)

So let me explain how I did.

  1. First, I used a netboot. I downloaded a recent netboot.tar.gz (from Debian website). I downloaded a daily image and use a Netboot PXE.. Not all the netboot.tar.gz are working… (That is to say, that I am not sure that all daily snapshot are working). I used this tarball:
    http://migus.nerim.net/vostro200/netboot.tar.gz
    I tried to build my own netboot.tar.gz without success. IRQ conflicts always vanished the debian-installer. I wish I had included the lastest e1000 drivers in my netboot…
  2. I had a problem of network hardware (Intel e1000 included in vostro 200 is too recent). So

  3. I decided to plug the time of my install an old 10OMb/s Ethernet card (e100 with PXE).
  4. Very quickly I had IRQ conflicts that blocked the disk detection. (SATA Controller had timeout).

  5. I passed the following arguments to the install command line acpi=off  irqpoll  vga=791
  6. Everything went well. The installer finished its work. The box rebooted.

  7. I downloaded module assistant, kernel-headers, gcc : aptitude install module-assistant gcc linux-headers-2.6.21-2
    and the e1000 driver from http://sourceforge.net/projects/e1000/. I just run make install
  8. (for lspci I ran a update-pciids (8)).

Everyting work well since :-)

Conclusion :
1) Install an old PCI Ethernet card with PXE
2) Install DHCP + PXE
2a) Find a netboot.tar.gz that work without freeze. (the tarball on my website works)
2b)Do not forget to plug your USB keyboard in the usb connector just bellow your ethernet connector. (If you don’t for an unknown reason, when you type on a key, Your box get it twice….)
3) Tune the installer command line : acpi=off  irqpoll
[let’s the installer worked]
4) Download e1000 driver
5) Remove your old PCI Ethernet Card.
6) Be happy
6a)If you want to enable acpi into your desktop, once you installed your system you can try acpi=noirq irqpoll.

5 Responses to “Install Debian on Dell Vostro200”

  1. Edo Says:

    Get a Mac!
    Ah non ça marche pas… ben installe une jolie Ubuntu la prochaine fois ;)

    Plus sérieusement, je suis quand même très déçu de voir que c’est toujours autant la galère d’installer un linux sur une machine ou est ce que les distributions grand public font mieux?

  2. Bingo974 Says:

    Salut Pierre,

    J’ai moi aussi un vostro 200 que je n’arrive pas à installer

    Voici mon post sur UBUNTU FORUM
    http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1175772#p1175772

  3. kdg Says:

    Can you tell me which kernel module you’re using for the sound card? Thanks.

  4. Rosa M. Montalban Says:

    Very useful information. Thanks!

  5. Daniel Says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Install Debian on Dell Vostro200, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.