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HOWTO install Gentoo on the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo M7440G
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Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: HOWTO install Gentoo on the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo M7440G Reply with quote

HOWTO install Gentoo on the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo M7440G

I got my new Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M7440 some days ago. (btw. It's a good laptop, quite, fast, long runtime)
A basic installation took me one day, I needed another day to make it perfect.
(well and some additional hours to get wireless working)

This is no step-by-step guide, but I want to show how to solve some traps you discover when installing gentoo on this laptop.

1. Do a normal gentoo installation

Well, there is nothing special around the basics. Optimize for the pentium-m and don't forget to put SATA and PCI-E support into your kernel.

2. Don't use vesatng, but vesafb

I discovered that you get no image when booting the kernel when using a framebuffer console based on the default vesa-tng driver.
I solved that by using the old vesafb driver in the kernel. Don't forget to put vga=791 into your kernel commandline.

3. You will have difficulties with xorg-x11

This laptop has the i915 chipset. It's graphic-chip is not supported by the stable xorg-x11.
You will have to use a patched version of xorg-6.8.99 to use it.
There will be support for the chipset in xorg-6.8.3, but that has not been released when this is written.
Find detailed information about all this here:
Well, to make it short.
You should copy the recent ebuild of xorg-x11-6.8.99 into an overlay and add this patch to it:
After merging this version of xorg-x11 you can use xorg simply by using the i810 driver in you xorg.conf.
If you compile the DRM-moduls for the i810->i915 chipset you can easily get even DRI support.

If you don't want to use patched CVS-snapshots of xorg or all this is too hard for you, you have to other (slower) choices:
1.When you have a working framebuffer, use the fbdev driver and your x-server will run into your framebuffer. It's a good idea to use the DisplaySize „x-size in mm“ „y-size in mm“ option in your graphiccard-modul. Otherwise your fonts may look bad.
2.The other (much slower) alternativ is to use the VESA driver. That will simply work, but you will have difficulties to play videos.

4. Use fsam7440 for making your wireless working

This notebooks has a software kill-switch that is on by default. ipw2200 will complain about this when you load it.
You're wireless will not work until this switch is turned of.
For doing that you need the fsam7440 kernel module, which will turn off the switch.
I made an ebuild for it. You can find it here:
After modprobing the module wlan will work as it should (and the wlan-led will burn).

5. Have fun with ACPI

When you boot the laptop with Knoppix, you will discover that the fans are active all the time and make much noise.
When you put in all the appropriate ACPI-features and the right CPUFREQ modules in your kernel, the fans will turn off for some time.
I discovered how to keep the laptop completly quite.
You should use the ondemand, conservative or powersafe governor for managing your CPU-clock.
This way the CPU will clock down to 600 Mhz as long as you don't do compilations or stuff like that.
The fans will turn on when your system temperature goes over 55°C. That happens even when you do small stuff like transfering files over SSH.
So, the first I did is to change the trip_points, the temperatures at which the fans go on.
For that, I put echo 90:88:85:65:60 > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THRM/trip_points in my /etc/conf.d/local.start .
So it is executed at every start of the laptop. When you do that, the fans will just run up when your system goes hoter than 60°C. That never happend to me when doing stuff like surfing or working with OpenOffice.
But be warned, this might cause damage to you're system.

The other trouble with ACPI is controlling the fans.
When starting the laptop they keep loud until your laptop once got over 50°C temperature.
When its temperature fails under that line, they turn off.
So you have to stress your system after every start for some minutes, when you want the fans to go off.
So I searched for a possibility to turn off the fans manually.
The following commands will turn off both fans:

echo 3 > /proc/acpi/fan/FN2/state
echo 3 > /proc/acpi/fan/FN1/state

I put that too in my /etc/conf.d/local.start and so the laptop is quite after starting local.
The fans will turn on again when the system temperature rises above 60°C.
But it is dangerous to turn them off when your system is hoter than that. In that case they don't turn on again. I did not test it, but that may go so far that your system overheats.
So, only turn off the fans when you know that your system is cool enough!


echo 0 > /proc/acpi/fan/FN2/state
echo 0 > /proc/acpi/fan/FN1/state

This command will turn on the fans, in case you want to have the laptop colder when you have it on your knees.
You should create a script fansoff and fanson, so you can control your fans :)

Suspend States did not work for me. It may be caused by a bad DSDT table (it has errors, I tested it but was notable to correct them).
If someone gets them working, I'm interested to know how.

So, that are the traps as far as I can remember.
Feel free to ask questions if you have problems with the installation of my howto is not understandable or wrong.

There is another "Gentoo on the Amilo M7440G" guide you can find here:
Just unused Microsoft-Software is good Microsoft-Software
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