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I decided tonight to install Redhat 9 on my new laptop knowing NOTHING about it. I installed it okay so now I can dual boot along with Win XP but since my laptop is new, it did not find any hardware I have in it. My question is simple I think. I downloaded drivers (I think) and I want to install them, but I have NO IDEA how to do it. I am I right to think that the only way to install this is from the command line or shell? If so, how do I get to the shell? Please help me. Thanks!!!!!
Hi! What kind of drivers you have? They must be in .rpm format! If they are, in the console type: rpm -i "name".rpm. You must be loget as root to do this.
Drivers (actually, kernel modules is normally the term in linux) are all unique in their installation.

What is the make and model number of the laptop, what hardware wasn't recognized, and what did you download?

Normally the files come with an extension of either .tar.gz, .tgz, or .bz2

You can use the command (from the command line terminal):

tar -xvzf filename
(for .tgz or .tar.gz)


tar -xvjf filename
(for .bz2 files)

to uncompress the files into a directory ... then use the command ls to see the new directory and cd directory_name to change to the new directory.

You should be able to see a file named readme or install to tell you have to proceed with installation. (Filenames are case specific in linux ... so to read the file named INSTALL, i would type this in the terminal:


Guys! Thank you so much for your replies!!!!!

Okay, I have a new Dell 8600 laptop and RedHat did not find much, so I figured I would start with the newtwork card and work my way from there.
I downloaded a .src and a .tar file for what I think is my network card kernal modules.

Since my laptop does not have a floppy, I burned the files onto cd, and put the cd into the drive. RH opens the cd for me, but I am not sure what to do then. Do I go to the command prompt? I am not sure how to get to that. I have a small red hat in the left corner (where a start menu would be) and I am not sure where to go from there.

The files I downloaded are a .src and a .tar file.

Thanks for helping a newbie out!!!!
I went to Dell support and for the Inspiron 8600 (which I think is what you mean by Dell 8600 Laptop) ... and I don't see any Network Drivers for Linux ...


Where did you get the drivers {URL please smile.gif }and what are the filenames.
Thank you SO much for getting back to me about this. I went here and saw that this person provided a link for the drivers for the ethernet card.

Thanks again!!!!
Oh, I almost forgot

I popped the cd into the drive and it displayed the contents of my cd where the drivers we. I double clicked onto the driver file (rpm) and it asked for the root password, which I supplied. After that, it did nothing. I went into the network section in system settings and under hardware, it is not showing up.
A problem I foudn with RedHat and rpm files is that if the file has dependencies (it needs other files as well) and can't find them it doesn't always tell you that if you run it by just clicking on it. It just quits and doesn't really do anything. Try installing it from the command line and see what error codes it gives you.
Ugh, this sucks. I think I am going to try Mandrake and see if I have any luck with that.
You are probably going to run into many of the same problems with Mandrake. You best bet is to tough it out for a wile in one system and than when you are better you can start to play around with other ones. I spent more than four weeks fighting my system before I got it up and running the way I wanted to. Linux is different, but ounce you get the hang of it you will love it.
Well, I installed Mandrake 9.2 and it found my network card no problem. That is a major plus so I don't have to burn countless cd's for drivers.....

I just need to get a book on Mandrake and read it, then make the switch if I want.

one thing, how do I change the LILO file so it goes to windows before linux. Also, speaking of LILO, I have 5 different boot options, including windows2. What is that?

Thanks again!!
This is how I do is using KDE, if you arenít using KDE this might not help you.

Go into the program menus and go to Configuration, and than configure computer. Select Boot from the left hand menu than DrakBoot. It allows you to configure LILO (or GRUB if you would rather use that).

Click configure. This alows you to change wich program you want to use to boot and which mode. It also lets you change the delay time. I wouldn't change anything on this screen except the delay time if you would like. Click 'ok' you get a list of your boot options. You can than select the Windows1 option and choose modify. Thre is a check box for defualt. After than click 'ok' and close out and now it will boot to WIndows by defualt.

The windows2 is probably because of some other windows partition you have. Like a NTFS or FAT32 storage drive or something. You want to boot into 1 because nothing else will work since there is no OS on that drive.

Which linux version you want to use depends on what kernel you want to boot into. By default 'linux' boots you to the kernel you installed from the CD. If you upgrade the kernel it will give you another boot option for that one.
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