Linux on an Acer Travelmate 292lmi


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I've always be found of Acer as laptop producer, at least after seeing the 'quality' of some dell... so on my new TM 292 I installed Linux right away.

I've installed so far two different distribution on this machine: Slackware and Fedora C4. There isn't much difference between the installation of the two, so I'll just specify the 'special' things.

For some reason the Fedora installer doesn't like the Frame Buffer of the machine, so is necessary to start the installation with the nofb switch, at the prompt type 'linux nofb' and it should be ok.

The installation recognized everything OK so no big deal.

Sound card

The configuration of the sound card was ok, but the default mixer configuration had the 'external amplifier' turned off. The problem is that with that turned off, not a peep came out of the sound card. Use alsamixer to turn on the amplifier.

Wireless

To turn on or off the wireless hardware Acer uses a 'soft' key, the physical switch on the side of the machine is actually software opearated, to activate it you need the acerhk module, and to use that you need the kernel sources, so install the sources first. When you've done that you can download the sources for acerhk from http://www2.informatik.hu-berlin.de/~tauber/acerhk/, compile it, to load it correctly you need to 'force' the model using modprobe acerhk force_series=290 then use echo "1" > /proc/driver/acerhk/wirelessled to activate the hardware. Note that you need to do it regardless if you want to use the wireless or not. This is only to activate the switch. The switch will then activate or de-activate the hardware.

Also, note that the switch is a wireless suppressor, so it has to be turned ON to turn OFF the wireless card (yeah, I know...)

Fedora has the driver for the Intel IPW 2200 built-in, but you need to add the firmware. You can download the firmware from http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/ put the firmware in /lib/firmware and you should be ok.

If the nic doesn't activate, check in the dmesg what kind of problem you have, maybe you need to rename the actual firmware file from 'ipw2200' to 'ipw2.2'...

To configure the wireless I just changed the /etc/sysconfig/networ-script/ifcfg-eth1 script adding the wireless parameters in there.

That's about it, everything else worked out of the box.

I've installed Slack 10.1, the installation was flawless, mostly because slack uses a textual only installation, and this remove the problem with the framebuffer.

Again, I had to use acerhk to activate the wireless (see previous paragraph). Since I was using a custom-compiled kernel I had to compile the ipw2200 module on my own, but it wasn't such a problem.

To configure the wireless Slack uses /etc/rc.d/rc.wireless.conf, simply put in there the configuration.

Xorg

Use xorgconfig to configure it, specified an Ati Rage display with the Ati driver provided by Xorg, it worked immediately.

Everything else worked out of the box.

The internal modem (winmodem), but actually I didn't even tried to make it work, I don't use it anyway so...

Suspend-to-disk, never used in my life.

Configuring X at 1280x1024 made the LCD display works at 1024x768 (native resolution) but switched to 1280x1024 when an external display is in use.


Comments are added when and more important if I have the time to review them and after removing Spam, Crap, Phishing and the like. So don't hold your breath. And if your comment doesn't appear, is probably becuase it wasn't worth it.

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Davide Bianchi, works as Unix/Linux administrator for an hosting provider in The Netherlands.

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