Fedora on a Dell

Fedora Core 2 on a Dell Inspiron 8600

Sound Summary.

Please Note:

This is no longer an issue in Fedora Core 3. Simply set your keyboard shortcuts.

Sound worked pretty much 'out of the box'. With Fedora Core 2 Alsa is the default sound system. Volume needs to be set and saved, but otherwise sound works well given the limitations of laptop speakers. I haven't tried them with headphones as yet but have heard there are some issues with muting when they are used.

Sound Juicer(a ripper), Rhythmbox(a music library and player) and the CD Player all worked well. Sound Juicer looks up the cd's artist name and track titles, if your connect to the net, when they are imported into the program. This occurred even with some of the older less well known Australian cd's that I imported.

Sound setup.

The only real thing that needs doing to get sound going is to set the various sound levels in the mixer and to save those settings. At the command line simple run

# alsactl store

to save the settings. This command can be found in /etc/modprobe.conf where the sound settings are restored and saved as you log on and out.

Multimedia Keys.

Getting the Dell multimedia keys working was a bit more of a problem. The start/pause, stop, previous and next buttons work after setting them up in Keyboard Shortcuts tool, however they only work with Rhythmbox and not the CD Player.

Getting the volume and mute buttons going took a little work. I found a bit of code posted on the web that will grab the keycodes and act upon them. To get it to work it was simply a matter of editing the system calls to use the alsa command line program aplayer. I spent more time getting use to aplayer then getting the code to work. Once working it was just a matter of getting the audio_keys program running at start up.

Compile the audio_keys.c file with

# cc -o audio_keys audio_keys.c -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lX11

to produce a program audio_keys and set it to run on start up. I set up a .xsessions file to do this and it works well. It can be tested without running at start up. Simply run

# ./audio_keys

at the command line. Just ensure that the volume and mute keys are disabled in the Gnome Shortcut Keys tool or the program will produce an error message.

When I get the time I will have a go at extending the audio_keys code to control the Play/Pause, Stop, Previous and Next buttons. It should be possible to get it to control playback of a number of programs, though it would most likely require restarting the program, which would be handy to control playback in a DVD player.