Fedora installer video problems on Dell Latitude

Q Last week, I purchased a Dell Latitude (Pentium III) laptop that came from a local university surplus outlet. It formerly had Windows on it, but was sold without any software so we thought, let's try Linux! But it freezes up.

A It looks like the Fedora installer is incorrectly reading your display details, resulting in a corrupted framebuffer display. There are a number of options that you can pass to the installer to try to correct this. When the splash screen appears, try typing this at the boot prompt and pressing Enter:

linux skipddc

This tells the installer to skip probing your monitor for details and use a (hopefully sane) default instead. If this fails, you can try specifying the display resolution with one of the following:

linux resolution=1024x768
linux resolution=800x600
linux resolution=640x480

If all else fails, you can run the installer in text mode with

linux text

This provides a basic-looking but fully-functional text installer that you can navigate with the cursor, Tab and Enter keys. I should stress that the display problem you have relates only to the installer; it will not prevent you from installing and setting up a graphical desktop during installation.

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