Running SUSE on a DELL Inspiron 2600


I have an ancient Dell Inspiron 2600 and I want to get SUSE running properly. Yes, I know it’s an antique and I should probably just bin it.

I have a live disk with SUSE 11.3. If I boot normally, SUSE boots successfully, but the screen is blank. If I boot with resolution set to 1024x768 and in compatibility mode, everything works just fine. My screen is as it should be, my wifi works, everything is absolutely great.

Thus, my conclusion is that I can run 11.3 on my laptop with no problems.

Once I install it, however, I get into trouble. SUSE boots successfully, because I hear the intro tune, but the screen is blank. There are no options for me to boot in a similar way that I do from the live disc. I can boot into the compatibility mode and then do startx and everything works just fine. But how can I reproduce the successful boot that I get from the CD?

Many thanks for any suggestions,


On 10/21/2011 10:06 PM, petermac2 wrote:
> SUSE 11.3

please take the time to be precise…there is no, as far as i know a
“SUSE 11.3”, so i wonder if the live CD you have is of openSUSE 11.3 or
SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP3

if the former, then work through here until you find a smile–“1st thing
to try (nomodeset)” will probably work for you:

if the latter i wouldn’t have a clue, but the folks at probably will…

in either case be sure and do this prior to installing:

openSUSE®, the “German Automobiles” of operating systems

As DenverD mentioned, you should clarify whether or not you mean openSUSE 11.3. Assuming that you do have openSUSE 11.3 installed , it is likely that the old Intel graphics hardware is the issue. (BTW, if you care to google with terms like ‘Dell, 2600, graphics, linux, ubuntu, fedora, etc’, you’ll see this is not a distro-specific problem, but rather a consequence of old hardware running with new OS versions).

Anyway, this guide may assist you with getting your hardware functioning. I’m not familiar with old Intel chipsets (like the i830 contained in your laptop), but the ‘intellegacy’ driver might work for you.

intellegacy - this is a free open source driver for older Intel hardware, where this driver contains the legacy version 2.9.1 of the Intel X.Org driver which does not require KMS (together with some patches), and it was included with the distribution commencing with openSUSE-11.3. To use this driver, one needs the rpm xorg-x11-driver-video-intel-legacy installed

First the dell ins 2600 is a slow machine your best option with this would be to make sure you have the max amount of ram (512 MB) the more ram the faster it will run, second i would install open suse 10.1 as the demands are not as high then run updates from there. the machine will work fine with a back issue installed. and they are very dependable machines. the graphics requirements in the newer versions are much higher.

On 10/22/2011 09:26 PM, TKS1125 wrote:
> i would install open suse 10.1

i disagree with this advice as it would cause the OP to run a system
with no security patches…

imo, it is MUCH better to choose a different distro requiring less
resources which is current…

have a look at the list available here:

if it were me, i would start with Puppy…

openSUSE®, the “German Automobiles” of operating systems