Ubuntu Linux on a Gateway M520s
I actually booted into Windows XP, and made some Gateway system restore Cds--just in case. Then I used SystemRescueCd to partition my drive, with a smaller XP partition, and several partitions for Ubuntu. I booted with the Warty Warthog installation CD and installed using the 2.6 kernel. Installation was a breeze. Removed the CD and rebooted into Ubuntu's version of Gnome--which is very pretty.
After I got my wireless working (see below) I installed KDE so that I could use some apps that I can't live without--eg Quanta.
So basically about a month after writing this guide (when the 5.04--Hoary--release of Ubuntu came out, I deleted my Windows partition, and have been Windows free on this computer ever since. (I've, also, since then, upgraded to Ubuntu 5.10--Breezy, with no problems.) I've, also, gotten rid of most of my KDE stuff, and only have a couple of KDE based programs on it. I got rid of Quanta, because I was annoyed at it's slowness in starting up, and am using Bluefish instead, but, I did keep K3B, because no other burning app in Linux compares to it.
Integrated Wireless Card
The Ethernet and wireless cards are both Broadcom. The ethernet works flawlessly, but there are no Linux drivers for the wireless, therefore I used the ethernet connection to install ndiswrapper-tools (Ubuntu/Debian's version of ndiswrapper), installed the XP drivers for it that came with the Gateway, and set ndiswrapper to load on boot up.
Sound seems to be a pain in the ass for Debian-based distros, but mine is working using ALSA, and not ESD (which is the ubuntu default sound server).
Cd's play great with XMMS
Had to do some work to get DVDs playable, but there is a great tutorial on setting up Mplayer, with the Windows codecs here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=94&highlight=multimedia which also shows how to install the Mplayer plugin for firefox DVDs play marvelously, as do videos on websites.
The 6 in 1 card reader just workstm .
The keyboard works (of course), and the extra buttons can be mapped to do whatever you want them to with the Gnome Keyboard Shortcuts utility. I mapped them to do what they were originally meant for. (AND--the backspace key works like "it's supposed too"(I really don't like the alt+backarrow way of going back a page.))