Fedora 9 on a Dell XPS M1330

Upgrading from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 is fairly straight forward on the Dell XPS M1330. During the Fedora 8 release the UVC driver for the integrated web cam became part of the standard kernel, so by the time Fedora 9 came along, all the hardware was working under Fedora 8 with no major tweaking required. Fedora 9, however, introduces a couple of new quirks.

Sound with pulseaudio

When I finished the upgrade, sound no longer worked. The snd_hda_intel driver in Fedora 8 used the following model option (in /etc/modprobe.conf):

    options snd_hda_intel model=5stack

which worked, but is not really correct for this computer. Sound card information (such as the model) can be found in the /proc/asound directory:

#cat /proc/asound/card0/codec\#* | less

In the case of the Dell XPS M1330, the codec is SigmaTel STAC9228. By looking at the ALSA documentation it is easy to work out a model that is a close match. Replacing the driver model option in the /etc/modprobe.conf to:

    options snd_hda_intel model=dell-m82

brings back the sound (after a reboot).

The New GDM

One of the most commented on "problems" with Fedora 9 is the new GDM login manager. This is not really a problem, but I understand the complaints - it is not possible to change the look and feel of the new GDM greeter (without some real hacking). Even changing the background from the pale blue night sky default is not easy. As far as the prospects for a GDM setup GUI, I wouldn't expect it soon (although it is in the pipeline). Options seam to be: just live with it, downgrade to the one used in Fedora 8, use KDM instead.