SUSE LINUX on Dell Inspiron 8600


Watching DVD films an other movies

Everything works, but not from the box. First you have to know, that there is a technical and a legal problem. The technical can be solved easier, so first I will describe this one:

Turning the DMA mode on

There is much confusion about the ide-scsi mode and the DMA mode to be used at the same time. Actually you can turn on the DMA mode on any DVD drive, doesn't matter, wheter this is a combined DVD/CD-writer or a DVD-writer. On SUSE LINUX the DVD-writer works without problems with growisofs (later more about this). As any other linux CD/DVD writer program, this program needs the drive to be handled as a SCSI device (ide-scsi emulation). YaST enables the ide-scsi emulation automatically, so the output of cdrecord --scanbus shows something like this:

scsibus0:
0,0,0 0) '_NEC ' 'DVD+RW ND-5100A ' '10AC' Removable CD-ROM
0,1,0 1) *
0,2,0 2) *
0,3,0 3) *
0,4,0 4) *
0,5,0 5) *
0,6,0 6) *
0,7,0 7) *

Nevertheless you can enable the DMA mode of the DVD-ROM using the hdparm command:

linux:~# hdparm -d 1 /dev/hdc

/dev/hdc:
setting using_dma to 1 (on)
using_dma = 1 (on)

Notice : this enables the DMA mode only until your next reboot. If you want to enable the DMA mode automatically at boot-up, use YaST -> Hardware -> IDE DMA mode.

Watching DVD-s

The easiest way to test, wheter the DMA mode is working, is to watch a DVD film. Unfortunately SUSE LINUX does not contain any working DVD player. This is not because the SUSE guys are lazy, but for legal reasons. To watch DVD movies, you need to update the xine-lib and the kaffeine or the xine-ui package. If you also want to watch encrypted DVD-s, then you also need the libdvdcss package. As in Hungary neither of them is forbidden, you can download this 4 packages here (right click -> Save as...).

These packages are for SuSE Linux 9.2. They may work with older versions also:

xine-lib (you need it)

libdvdcss (you need it for watching encrypted DVD-s)

And one of these two packages as graphical user interface

kaffeine

xine-ui

And these for SuSE Linux 9.0:

xine-lib (you need it)

libdvdcss (you need it for watching encrypted DVD-s)

And one of these two packages as graphical user interface

kaffeine

xine-ui

I recommend you to download them all to the /tmp directory, then install them as root with the following command:

linux:/tmp # rpm -Uvh *.rpm

Watching MOV, AVI, DIVX, XVID, MPEG4 etc. movies

If you installed the packages mentioned above, you still can't watch divx or mov movies. For this, you need a package, containing all the current video codecs. As this package contains some "hacked" Windows DLL-s, it might be not totally legal to distribute it, but if you use it just for watching movies you should get no problems. You can download this codecs from the mplayer homepage.

Have fun with SUSE LINUX 9.0 on Dell Inspiron 8600!


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