Linux on Laptops

For Linux configurations on many specific laptops, see this page.

Linux On Laptops

Linux on the Clevo 8880

 


Introduction

The manufacturer's characteristics of this laptop can be found here.

In short, this laptop has the following characteristics, as finally configured:

Being Clevo/Kapok, surely it is sold under different brands worldwide. It included an adequate manual (for Windows 2000 and XP), and the following CD's:

Outstanding characteristics:

It is big, heavy and power hungry, but more than expected compatible with Linux. I installed Mandrake 9.2, with kernel 2.4.25-3, later upgraded to Mandrake 10.0, and later to Mandrake 10.2.


BIOS

For the rest, the important items in bios are:

However, choosing CRT on bios output is the same on both laptop screen and external monitor. A real rotation can then be done with keys Fn+F6, but not in X.


Operating systems

With so many disk space, I installed three operating systems:

For making things easy, the order of installation should be:

  1. Windows 98 Second Edition (hda1).
  2. Mandrake (/ on hda2 and /usr on hda3).
  3. Windows 2000 (hda4).

Windows virtual memory is at the second disk at hdd1, and Linux swap at hdd2.

What results briefly is:


Partitioning

First disk is alone at primary IDE. The CDRW/DVD is the first IDE device at the secondary IDE, and the second disk is the second one. The laptop documentation indicates that IDE devices are connected as "cable select".

'fdisk' shows:

As seen, I have not yet completely partitioned the second disk. The trick for Windows 98 and 2000 to share the same virtual memory file, apart for its partition being formatted in FAT, is to force the virtual memory Windows 98 file name the same as that from Windows 2000 ("pagefile.sys"), including at 'windows\system.ini' something like the following:

[386Enh]
...
PagingDrive=d:
PagingFile=d:\pagefile.sys
MinPagingFileSize=500000
MaxPagingFileSize=1000000


Windows information

Most internal components can be seen below, where appear screen captures from Windows 2000 Control Panel (Device Manager). On it appear an Epox USB BT-DG02 Bluetooth adapter and a USB to serial converter, which are connected to the laptop USB ports.

Intel CPU identification utility shows the following information about the processor:

Intel(R) Processor Identification Utility
Version: 1.5.20050202
Time Stamp: 2005/05/21 08:14:53
Number of processors in system: 1
Current processor: #1
Processor Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.53GHz
Type: 0
Family: F
Model: 2
Stepping: 4
Revision: F
L1 Trace Cache: 12 Kµops
L1 Data Cache: 8 KB
L2 Cache: 512 KB
Packaging: FC-PGA2
EIST: No
MMX(TM): Yes
SIMD: Yes
SIMD2: Yes
SIMD3: No
Enhanced Halt State: No
Execute Disable Bit: No
Hyper-Threading Technology: No
Intel(R) Extended Memory 64 Technology: No
Expected Processor Frequency: 2.53 GHz
Reported Processor Frequency: 2.53 GHz
Expected System Bus Frequency: 533 MHz
Reported System Bus Frequency: 533 MHz

As storage devices appear:

The fast infrared port can be further inspected as being manufactured by National Semiconductor (see below).

The memory stick controller is being manufactured by Winbond. Windows shows resources used, which are port 0x110 and interrupt 5, but all this is not seen at all in Linux (see below that neither port 0x110 and interrupt 5 don't appear).

The MP3 player is the Newtrend MMC Reader USB Bulk Device. Linux sees its SD chip as a USB storage device, identified by 'lsusb' as Trumpion.

See multimonitor in Windows 98 Second Edition (BIOS LCD+CRT) in a photo:

What is important here is that outputs in the laptop screen and in an external monitor can be independent, which calls in Linux for:


Kernel


Modem

Smart Link, its manufacturer, supports it in Linux. See http://www.smlink.com.

Decompressing "slmdm-2.7.14.tar.gz" (or whatever version), running commands:

make; make install-amr

and modifying '/etc/modules.conf', the modem should work.


LIRC

With the Avermedia TV module you can control mouse and programs with its remote control and LIRC; life is easier if you use LIRC distribution at http:///www.lirc.org. See LIRC configuration files. Configuration is done with './configure --with-driver=avermedia'.

It is a mistery to me where is located the receiving diode is located; it works even if you don't aim at the laptop.

Another mistery is the Power button at the remote control: it turns on and off the laptop even without LIRC working and within Windows. It even does an orderly shutdown!

LIRC related items appearing in /dev and /tmp (pipe, character device, socket) depend on devfs usage:

$ ll /dev/lirc*
crw-r--r-- 1 root root 61, 0 abr 20 2004 /dev/lirc
prw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 abr 20 2004 /dev/lircd|
prw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 mar 16 11:12 /dev/lircm|
$ ll /tmp/.lircd
srw-rw-rw- 1 root root 0 mar 16 09:37 /tmp/.lircd=

With 'irw' and pressing the TV remote control, it is easy to test if LIRC works.


Synaptics touchpad

An interesting option for X is use synaptics rpm (such as "synaptics-0.12.4-1mdk.i586.rpm"). It makes wheel work in X.


IrDA

From Windows information and from the loading of module nsc-ircc I suppose the FIR chip is NSC 87393.

'/etc/sysconfig/irda' is:

IRDA=yes
DEVICE=irda0
#DEVICE=/dev/ttyS1
#DONGLE=actisys+
DISCOVERY=yes

There are other important parameters at '/etc/modules.conf'.

When module nsc-ircc is loaded the lines written in '/var/log/messages' are:

Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi kernel: nsc-ircc, Found chip at base=0x04e
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi kernel: nsc-ircc, driver loaded (Dag Brattli)
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi kernel: IrDA: Registered device irda0
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi kernel: nsc-ircc, Using dongle: HP HSDL-2300, HP HSDL-3600/HSDL-3610
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi irattach: executing: 'echo chinito > /proc/sys/net/irda/devname'
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi irda: inicio de irattach succeeded
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi irattach: executing: 'echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/irda/discovery'
Apr 22 17:46:20 chinito-wifi irattach: Starting device irda0


TV tuner

As said, it is an Avermedia card. I used 'scantv' for 'xawtv' configuration and channel assignment. If not having DRI enabled (check with 'glxinfo'), should be used 'xawtv -nogl'.


Software suspend

It is supported by the kernel.

(To be tested)


Euro symbol

In X applications the Euro (0xA4) and Cent (0xA2) symbols appeared without any effort, but getting it in text virtual terminals required:


X

X version in Mandrake 9.2 is 4.3. Here is a simple configuration file that works with the LCD screen at 1600x1200: "/etc/X11/XF86Config-4". See that it supports the LIRC mouse and the Synaptics touchpad.

Attaching an external CRT, I have also tried Xinerama but it didn't work. This is the file: "etc/X11/XF86Config-4 for Xinerama".

Tha graphic chip is made by ATI. It is a Radeon R250 Lf (Radeon Mobility 9000 M9).


Miscellaneous

Having connected at the laptop the following:

and having loaded:

which gives this 'dmesg', this is miscellaneous information:

Cdrecord-Clone 2.01a32-dvd (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2004 Jörg Schilling
Note: This version is an unofficial (modified) version with DVD support
Note: and therefore may have bugs that are not present in the original.
Note: Please send bug reports or support requests to <warly@mandrakesoft.com>.
Note: The author of cdrecord should not be bothered with problems in this version.
scsidev: 'ATAPI:0,0,0'
devname: 'ATAPI'
scsibus: 0 target: 0 lun: 0
Warning: Using ATA Packet interface.
Warning: The related Linux kernel interface code seems to be unmaintained.
Warning: There is absolutely NO DMA, operations thus are slow.
Using libscg version 'schily-0.8'.
Device type : Removable CD-ROM
Version : 0
Response Format: 2
Capabilities :
Vendor_info : 'TOSHIBA '
Identifikation : 'DVD-ROM SD-R2412'
Revision : '1015'
Device seems to be: Generic mmc2 DVD-ROM.

Everything appears except the Winbond memory stick chip, which uses port 0x110 and interrupt 5.

'rpm -qa|wc -l' shows 1085. Some interesting programs are:

For measuring the performance of the different storage devices (the two disks, the CDROM unit (with a data CD inside), and the SD card on the MP3 player, but not the floppy), I tried the following script:

#!/bin/sh
time dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/null bs=4096 count=50000
time dd if=/dev/hdd of=/dev/null bs=4096 count=50000
time dd if=/dev/scd0 of=/dev/null bs=4096 count=50000
time dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/null bs=4096 count=50000

and the result was:

50000+0 registros leídos
50000+0 registros escritos
0.05user 0.29system 0:08.16elapsed 4%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 0maxresident)k
0inputs+0outputs (170major+47minor)pagefaults 0swaps
50000+0 registros leídos
50000+0 registros escritos
0.04user 0.35system 0:06.74elapsed 5%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 0maxresident)k
0inputs+0outputs (170major+48minor)pagefaults 0swaps
50000+0 registros leídos
50000+0 registros escritos
0.05user 0.29system 1:44.42elapsed 0%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 0maxresident)k
0inputs+0outputs (170major+47minor)pagefaults 0swaps
50000+0 registros leídos
50000+0 registros escritos
0.03user 0.32system 8:35.54elapsed 0%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 0maxresident)k
0inputs+0outputs (170major+47minor)pagefaults 0swaps

Also interesting:


Files

/etc/lilo.conf

/etc/modules.conf

/usr/src/linux/.config

LIRC configuration files

/etc/X11/XF86Config-4

/etc/X11/XF86Config-4 for Xinerama (does not work)


New/to do


Conclusion

(Pending to be filled)

For sharing experiences about all this: webillo<at>gmail.com.


Last update 11/08/05