Dual Booting the
Clemson Dell Latitude C600:
Windows 2000 and Red Hat Linux 8.0

Bill Moss
October 2002

This article is for owners of CES Laptop Program Dell C600's who want to dual boot to Red Hat Linux 8.0. These instructions, with minor modifications, should also work for a Dell C610. Here I outline the installation of Red Hat 8.0 onto a hard disk that already contains the 2001 CES Windows 2000 image. For more Linux installation details, see the Red Hat 8.0 manuals and the Release Notes.

The good news is that 8.0 is a major new release with some nice additions. OpenOffice and the Acrobat Reader are now part of the default distribution. Ximian Evolution provides a first class e-mail client, contact manager, and calendar. The default browser is Mozilla 1.0.1 which is the core of Netscape 7.0. Both of these browsers support MathML. WhoYa!! The X Windows system now supports anti-aliasing of fonts and also supports TrueType fonts as well as Type 1 fonts (see my article on Font Installation Red for Hat 8.0). The GNOME desktop has had a face-lift and looks and feels really solid. After pounding on it for an afternoon, my impression is that this release has moved the Linux desktop to a new level.

There are some pluses and minus on the installation. I began with a fresh install of 8.0 in GUI mode on my Dell Precision 410 server. During the installation, I was notified that the /boot partition was too small. I aborted the installation and used Partition Magic 7.0 to increase its size from 47.1 to 94.1 MB by resizing my C partition. I started the server installation on the Dell Precision 410 in GUI mode again and it completed with any problems. I performed the same partition resize operation on the Dell C600 and then began a workstation installation in GUI mode. The installation froze at the screen that allows you to choose the type of installation you want to perform. I powered down and started again, trying the installation in text mode. The installation then completed with one minor difference in the GRUB configuration compared to GUI mode. I'll discuss this below.

The Red Hat 8.0 distribution can be downloaded from http://www.redhat.com/apps/download/ or one of the Red Hat mirror sites. I downloaded the following disk images and burned them on CD's using EZ CD Creator under Windows 2000. Note that only the first three disks are need for the installation.

cd /pub/Linux/distributions/redhat/linux/8.0/en/iso/i386

First, Partition Magic 7.0 was used to create the following partition table. The C and D partitions from the 2001 CES Windows 2000 image were resized but otherwise the Windows installation was not affected. Originally, the /boot partition was sized at 47.1 MB. For this installation, I used Partition Magic 7.0 to decrease the size of the C partition by 47 MB and increase the size of /boot my 47 MB. Here is the new partition table.

Partition Table, Dell C600, dual boot Windows 2000 and RH 7.3

drive letter/mount point
size (MB)
linux ext2
linux ext2
linux ext2
linux ext2

As mentioned above, I did a workstation installation in text mode by booting disc1. I chose the option of using Disk Druid to manually configure the partitions. Since the partitions had already been created, all I had to do was set the mount points. I formatted /boot and / using the ext3 filesystem, but chose not to format /home because I wanted to preserve my personal data from a previous installation.

I chose the default GRUB bootloader and installed it in the /boot partition /dev/hda3. In the GUI mode of installation on the Dell Precision 410, I was able to configure GRUB by deleting the boot to DOS option and by adding a boot to Windows 2000 option. The text mode installation has a button to delete the boot to DOS option but does not have a button to add a boot to Windows 2000 option. Consequently, I did not alter the default GRUB configuration. It can be edited after the installation is complete as I show below.

The installation program recognized the wireless and wired Ethernet interfaces. I configured eth0 and eth1 to be active on boot and to use DHCP. I chose to default medium level of firewall protection. I set the root password and create a user account. I added a few packages to the default workstation selection. At the end of the installation process, I made a boot disk.

Post-installation Configuration

I rebooted to Linux as root. I edited /etc/grub.conf and changed the three lines for DOS to the following.

title Windows 2000
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

In order to load the correct wireless module, I edited the file /etc/pcmcia/config. I searched for the text

card "Intersil PRISM2 11 Mbps Wireless Adapter"
manfid 0x0156, 0x0002
bind "wvlan_cs"

and changed wvlan_cs to orinoco_cs.

I rebooted to Linux as root and opened the network configuration tool: RH -> System Settings -> Network. I did the following: Devices tab -> Add -> Wireless connection -> Lucent -> specified SSID -> cuairnet -> Key -> type the Clemson wireless key. I edited the eth0 and eth1 profiles. I setting both to "Allow all users to enable and disable the device." Users can use RH -> System Tools -> Network Device Control to activate or inactivate these interfaces. In the profiles, I set the Ethernet interface eth0 to be inactive at boot and the wireless interface eth1 to be active at boot. I activated eth1 and the wireless interface came right up. Note that setting the interfaces eth0 and eth1 to be inactive on boot does not work but a work-around is given below.

In Windows "Suspend to disk" can be activated by the Fn-Esc key combination. You get a fast bootdown and bootup. With the above setup, this key combination also works with Red Hat Linux 8 .0. Note that after a Linux "Suspend to disk," you will have to manually restart your network interfaces.

The installation process for the C600 recognizes the video processor but treats the display as generic. You can identify it as a Dell 1024X Laptop Display Panel during installation or or you can configure the display after the installation is complete. After the installation, as root, do the following. RH -> System Settings -> Display -> -> Advanced tab -> Monitor Type -> Configure -> select the Dell 1024X Laptop Display Panel -> OK -> Set DPI -> adjust the screen size to 282 x 211 Millimeters. This screen size translates into a screen resolution of 92 x 92 dpi (dots per inch). Logout and login as root, and then issue the command xdpyinfo | grep resolution. The output should be resolution: 92x92 dots per inch.

Linux users will find it convenient to mount their Windows 2000 partitions. To mount C and D from Linux, as root add the following lines to /etc/fstab

/dev/hda1 /mnt/windowsc vfat rw,nouser,auto,uid=500,gid=500 0 0
/dev/hda5 /mnt/windowsd vfat rw,nouser,auto,uid=500,gid=500 0 0

and then issue the commands

# mkdir /mnt/windowsc
# mkdir /mnt/windowsd
# mount /dev/hda1
# mount /dev/hda5

Note that Red Hat continually releases updates including a kernel updates. It is strongly recommended that you follow the recommendations in my article on updating your system. It only takes a few minutes to do this. Login into the Red Hat Network, and deleted my profile for the C600 running 7.3. The then did RH -> System Tools -> Red Hat Network and registered a new profile for the C600 running 8.0. At the end of this process, I found there were two package updates available and I installed them. Once your profile has been registered, there is an icon in the task bar which will inform you when updates are available. Click on this icon to begin the update process or type up2date at the command line.


The configuration option ONBOOT=no in the files /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and ifcfg-eth1, is suppose to leave the interface inactive on boot. This does not work on any PC card interface. There are two such interfaces in the CES laptop Dell C600, the Xircom NIC/modem card and the Dell TrueMobile wireless mini-PC card. The start up sequence for these interfaces is

network script -> pcmcia script -> start cardmgr -> register cards -> hotplug interface startup events

If ONBOOT=no is set, the interface is not made active by the network script but is always started as a hotplug event. It doesn't matter how ONBOOT is set, the interface will always be started. It is possible to recover the correct behaviour by editing the last startup script to be executed on boot. Add the following lines to the file /etc/rc.d/rc.local

if egrep "^ONBOOT=\"?[Nn][Oo]\"?" /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 ; then
    ifdown eth0
    echo "eth0 down in rc.local"
    echo "eth0 down failed in rc.local"

if egrep "^ONBOOT=\"?[Nn][Oo]\"?" /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1 ; then
    ifdown eth1
    echo "eth1 down in rc.local"
    echo "eth1 down failed in rc.local"