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Installation (SuSE 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2)

The installation goes fully automatic, there is no need to configure anything! Sound, CD-R/RW/DVD, USB, etc. It seemed too easy to be true, but SuSE just rocks ;).
Ok, there is one caveat with 8.0 and 8.1: Don't install from the DVD, the second part of install won't find it, because the SCSI emulation is active at this point. You may want to try "hdc=scsi" as boot parameter when the installation is started. On 8.2 the DVD installation works very well.

Sound (VIA 82c686b AC97)

With kernels < 2.4.17 (except for SuSE kernels, don't know which magic they have put in), sound doesn't work because of wrong IRQ routing. I nearly went mad, trying with 2.4.16. Neither OSS nor ALSA drivers worked. When 2.4.17 came out, all the troubles were gone.
I'm using the ALSA drivers now, because they also support the 3D-enhancements of the VIA 82C686b onboard sound.
Note: Don't enable SonyPI (Sony Programmable Interrupt Controller), because it uses an I/O address within the port range of the VIA onboard sound. I have no solution for this so far, but it is no great loss for our models anyway.
You can download pre-compiled alsa modules for my custom kernel. Go to the root directory(!) and extract them there. They will go into /lib/modules/2.4.xx/kernel/drivers/sound. (see also the kernel section).

CD-Writer (Matsushita UJDA710)

The internal CD-Writer works perfectly with ide-scsi emulation. I use "hdc=scsi" as kernel parameter. With cdrecord dev=0,0 -atip the drive and the inserted cd-recordable can be tested.

Graphics (ATI Rage M1, some Mach64 derivate)

3D acceleration is not available out-of-the-box yet, but everything else works fine. I'm using the ati.2 driver of the GATOS project, which enables the XVideo extension. XVideo is necessary for using MPlayer, a great video and DVD player software for linux.
3D acceleration (DRI, direct rendering) works with a special Mach64 branch of XFree86, but at the moment XVideo does not work with it, so I'll stick with the ati.2.
I heard of a version that supports both XVideo and DRI, but there are no binary snapshots of it available. DRI also breaks software suspend (or the other way round ;), and is therefore not interesting for me.
TV out works (Fn+F8), but defaults to NTSC. With atitvout, you can switch from NTSC to PAL, which makes TV work as it should in europe. I have been watching MPEGs and DVD on my TV with this :)
If you change resolution, you have to switch to TV again (cycle through all combinations of screen/TV out until you have the right one), if you use another resolution for video playing.
Note, that atitvout has to run as root. I'm starting it in my /etc/init.d/boot.local.
To control the panel brightness, use Fn+F5 to increase brightness, and Shift+Fn+F5 to decrease brightness. Brightness is not software-controllable, because the SonyPI module conflicts with the onboard sound.

Mouse (Alps Touchpad)

The touchpad is auto-detected as two-button PS/2 mouse. If you press both buttons simultaneously, the middle button is emulated.
Fortunately, the touchpad is capable of more things. Unfortunately, these only work with linux kernel 2.6 (my .config for 2.6), but this is not as bad as one might think. The desktop-performance is noticeable better! But now the details:
You need the kernel patches from, and the synaptics driver software. The instructions on the homepage are very good, at least I had no problem to follow them. Most important is the README.alps file inside the synaptics package and the alps.patch file, that also needs to be applied to the kernel.
After patching and compiling the kernel, read the XFree86 section for more information and configuration instructions.

Network (Realtek 8139C)

Works just fine (except with APM, see Power Management).
A very fine tool is ifplugd, which starts and stops the network interface when the network cable is (un)plugged. It also has configurable delays and actions, when a cable is plugged. For instance, I had xosd configured to write a text on the screen (eth0 up/down).
Ethtool can also be used to query the link status, speed, duplex, etc. Note, that it only works with the 8139too driver from 2.4.19-rc1, which is included in my pre-built kernel. A patch for 2.4.18 to upgrade the driver can be found here.


Works fine, I attached an external firewire drive which was recognised as SCSI drive. Speed is ~20MB/sec which is less than I expected, but ok.
The ohci1394 and sbp2 kernel modules are needed to use the drive.


I'm using a Logitech Optical USB mouse. See the configuration section for X windows configuration. With my configuration I can plug in the mouse any time and just use it. For some reason I still have to switch to a text console and back to X sometimes, to make this work, but it's better than nothing.
2002-02-14: Update: I found out, why connecting the mouse after starting X didn't work. Edit /etc/hotplug/usb.rc (on SuSE 8.2 /etc/sysconfig/usb) and put X11_USBMICE_HACK=true near the top. (you may have to create the file on SuSE 8.2).

Onboard Modem

Thanks to the effort of Marc Boucher, AC97 modem drivers are available since 01 Jun 2002.
The HSF linmodem drivers are no longer free, but available for a very moderate price (~15$). If you need a copy of the old beta version, you can get it from SuSE cd's (8.2 at least) or ask me. A free demo version, limited to 14.4kbps, is also available.


Work. I am using a Compact Flash to PCMCIA converter to mount the CF-Card of my digital camera. The pcmcia drivers have to be unloaded before suspending (my susp script takes care of this).