Setting up Red Hat 6.1 on a Compaq Armada 1700

This page covers installation of Red Hat 6.1 (kernel 2.2.12-20) on a Pentium II 233 Compaq Armada 1700. Most everything went well (except for sound).


I did a net install (via HTTP) using a NetGear 10/100 PCMCIA card. It worked well and I didn't experience any problems during the install.

After the install, I noticed that eth0 wasn't working. I checked and no driver was specified for eth0, even though everything else was setup (IP addr, netmask, etc). I just specified ne2kpci and the network came up.

If you are having problems with getting your PCMCIA network card to work, you may not have the PCMCIA modules installed properly. Check out the PCMCIA HOWTO. PCMCIA network cards use loadable modules that are managed by the PCMCIA Card Manager. Specifying network card types in the kernel config won't help you get a PCMCIA network card working.


Update 10/29/1999: I finally got sound working properly on my system. The default kernel (v. 2.2.12-20) that is installed with RedHat 6.1 didn't have sound support set up properly for my system. The Compaq Armada 1700 has a ESS 1688 sound card built-in. This should be a 100% SoundBlaster compatible card and I didn't understand why it didn't work.

I couldn't even get a beep sound let alone get sound effects to play in Gnome. I downloaded and install the Alsa sound drivers and installed them. After I built and installed the drivers, I was able to get a beep sound, but I could'nt get any other sounds to play.

I downloaded the source for kernel 2.2.13 and configured it. Instead of making sound support as a module, I built it into the kernel. I also built in support for the ESS 1688 and specified the IO addresses, IRQ, and DMA settings. After installing the new kernel, I was able to get sound working! I don't think the kernel source update was the source of the fix. I think that if I had configured sound the same way with the 2.2.12-20 source, I probably would have got sound to work with that kernel version as well.

For information on building a kernel, consult the KERNEL HOWTO


I found a number of sample XF86Config files on the net, but none of them worked well for my system. I suspect that part of the problem is I'm working on a low-end 1700 (only a Pentium II 233 instead of a 266 or 300) and there are differences between the video chipsets on the different models of the 1700

Most of the problems I had was either:

After hacking around with different XF8Config files, I finally got one that worked properly for my system. It's available as a text file that you can use on your system.

If you're looking for more help, visit the Linux on Laptops page. This is where I found links to the different XF86Config files I tried on my Compaq 1700.

If you have questions, I'd be glad to try to help - e-mail me at: esmoon at pacbell dot net