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Installing on MSI GT72S-G220 Gaming Laptop
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Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper

Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 149
Location: USA/Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Installing on MSI GT72S-G220 Gaming Laptop Reply with quote


I thought it may be useful to someone in the future, to share my experience installing to this laptop. This is sort of an unorganized/non-linear stream of information, so before you begin, please give it a good once-over, and skim the and in the git repo and wiki page (linked below), for more detailed/updated information.

Resources: - Gentoo Wiki Page - Getting the framebuffer working; not really specific to this laptop probably but kergen wanted Nvidia FB support which apparently doesn't work. - Again, not really specific to this laptop, but it helped nonetheless. - Kernel needs Realtek HD codec support and XDM (or another displaymanager) seems to go a long way in getting your session singing nicely so pulseaudio is happy. - This is my biggest ongoing issue with this machine, but it's probably not a huge deal to most users

You will need sys-kernel/linux-firmware for the wifi adapter.

This is probably pretty important regarding the CPU microcode, and I was able to work out how to do it pretty easily based on these:

I created my kernel config using a Pappy Preconfig and kergen. I will be maintaining and sharing a configuration for this laptop here: - Please review under this laptop's directory for even more information (and more updated).

In addition to kergen and the changes from the threads above, I had to select PS/2 Mouse and NVM, as kergen didn't pick up on them. This is, of course, already done in the configuration linked above.

Note: This is just how I did it - none of this is required for installing to this laptop. You can create whatever disk/partition layout works best for you.

This laptop has two 128GB SSDs. I created 2 raid volumes on each disk, from which I created 2 128GB RAID0 arrays. On one array, is my root partition. On the other, a writeback bcache for the 1tb mechanical drive, mounted to /home. Holy throughput batman!

If you have a better suggestion for an even FASTER setup, let me know!!

Note: If you do a RAID setup like mine where the root partition is on the array, you'll need an initramfs. In my case, after building my kernel with the above configuration, I used

genkernel --mdadm --install initramfs

I also set GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="domdadm" in /etc/default/grub before running grub-mkconfig

For 3D acceleration, be sure to add your user(s) to the video group, and make sure Nvidia GLX is selected for OpenGL:

# gpasswd -a <user> video
# eselect opengl set nvidia

Final notes:
Other than that, I pretty much followed the handbook 1:1. I booted using a Sabayon live USB disk, mainly because that's what I had on my person at the time.

So far, I've had to disabled Secure Boot in BIOS...I'm not sure if it's possible to run Linux with it enabled (update: it is but I've not figured it out on Gentoo yet)? It's something I need to learn about still.

Besides sharing the above notes & resources, this thread is also to take questions/suggestions about this laptop, or if you would like me to test something specifically, I'll help as time and knowledge permits (as long as it wouldn't require significant reconfiguration of my machine, e.g. I'm not going to test systemd for you, or risk breakage).

Note to self: You have to rebuild the Nvidia drivers and generate a new initramfs when updating the kernel!
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