OpenSUSE 11.0 GNU/Linux on ACER Aspire 9814 WKMi and other 9800 laptop series

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OpenSUSE 11.0 GNU/Linux on ACER Aspire 9814 WKMi and other 9800 laptop series


Please note that this page won't be updated anymore, because opneSUSE failed to meet my expectation. It has been replaced by Kubuntu KDE4 8.10 Intrepid Ibex, 64-bit and still beta. I haven't written a dedicated page yet, but you might want to take a look at my previous Kubuntu GNU/Linux on ACER Aspire 9814 WKMi (32-bit) webpage.

General description

ACER Aspire 9800 series are laptops featuring a 20" widescreen LCD display. 9810 series are the newest ones at the time of the writing of this webpage (update: 9920 series have been released, but they're only an update to 9810 series - newest technological refinements are useless at the moment). ACER 9814 WKMi is a full-featured, multimedia laptop, that's actually more a desktop computer you can occasionally carry from one place to another, rather than a real, nomad laptop. It comes with a TV tuner (that doesn't work on linux yet), built-in webcam and microphone, WiFi, bluetooth, and basically everything you can expect from a high-end laptop.
The 20" widescreen display is simply amazing, i.e clear, bright, and accurate. Maximum resolution is sufficient for daily use, though it could have been a little higher.
Performances are quite good, thanks to a Intel Core 2 Duo dual-core processor, 2 Gb of RAM, and decent NVIDIA graphic card. Some versions (9814WKMI_TCGF2024, like mine) come with 2 120 GB SATA hard drives, which make the computer a real desktop replacement.
Quality is correct, though some parts seem to be a bit fragile: this machine weights 7.8 kg, and care should be taken when it's moved (it's about 3 times as heavy as a "normal" laptop !). Fortunately, one can now find 20" laptop bags.
Best things of all, it's not so expensive: it is usually sold below 2'000 € (as of late 2006).

Installation

This laptop came with Badvista campaign Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) pre-installed (I believe newest ones now come with Windows Vista).
At first I tried Kubuntu 32-bit (I was a bit reluctant to 64-bit by then), and it has been a good experience: hardware support was good and improving over the new Kubuntu releases. In the need for cleaning a big messy computer, I backed up my date, wiped out all the disks, configured fake RAID array (thanks to an upgraded BIOS), and proceed to installation using openSUSE KDE 4 64-bit edition liveCD.

Installation was straightforward (except partitionning because of my fakeRAID array - but I eventually got over it quite easily). I used to be 32-bit and KDE3 on Kubuntu. I'm now 64-bit and KDE on openSUSE. Quite a leap if you ask me. For the best, and for the worse… Well, after two weeks I can say it's for the worse…

Many things actually bugged me. Here's a few ones:

On the other hand, there are some good points in openSUSE: it's fast, good-looking, apparently powerful, packages are usually up-to-date or you can find some frequently updated repos… openSUSE brings a lot to some of the major open-source projet (Linux, KDE), but in my opinion, it's nowhere near Ubuntu. I have the feeling Ubuntu is following the right path. I also have the feeling that openSUSE has some potential, which is yet to be used in a more efficient way : plenty of good ideas and concepts, but a lack of coherence and quality control that make the whole thing nice in appearance, but unfinished whe it comes to daily use and simple routine tasks. openSUSE needs more love, care and polish.

openSUSE is a big disappointment to me: I needed something that just works, without having to spend hours trying (and something failing) to fix a small issue (hardware, usability, etc.). Maybe I could try some other major distros like Mandriva and Fedora. I went back to Kubuntu, by downloading the latest beta (8.10 Intrepid Ibex). Apparently, only Ubuntu alternate installation CD supports RAID, which means openSUSE is better than Ubuntu when it comes to RAID installation. On the other hand, I found a nice and relatively easy to tutorial to get Kubuntu installed on fakeRAID (using liveCD), and in about 1.5 hour I got a fully working system, even stuff I haven't been able to fix in openSUSE. Stability-wise Kubuntu is not as good as openSUSE, but, hey, that's beta software!

I don't blame openSUSE nor its community for anything, I'll check back every now and then to see how it improves…

Hardware specifications of ACER Aspire 9814 WKMi

Hardware Linux compatibility
Hardware Components Status under Linux Notes
INTEL Centrino 64-bit Core 2 Duo T5600 CPU (1.83 GHz, 667 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2 cache) Works No special procedure required during installation.
20.1" WSXGA+ CrystalBrite widescreen LCD Display (16/10, 300 nit/16 ms response time, 1680x1050@60 Hz max) Works as expected only after manual configuration openSUSE failed to detect my maximum resolution out of the box. I was stocked to a mere 1024x768. This has been easily corrected throught Yast's display configuration module, though.
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 PCI Express (256 MB DDR2 dedicated VRAM) Problems with latest proprietary drivers nv drivers (2D only) work fine. Latest nvidia drivers generate random visual artefacts with OpenGL (which should be used for good performance with desktop visual effects), freezes or even small lockups. They are barely usable at the moment. Currently under investigation (installation of older drivers ?). I suspect this is NVIDIA problem, not openSUSE nor KDE. I hope NVIDIA will fix that soon…
2GB DDR2 RAM (supports dual-channel) Works No special procedure required during installation.
2x120GB Sata 150 Samsung HM120JI HDD (5400 rpm) Works FakeRAID (Intel Matrix) was used : 30 Gb stripped for system and swap, 90 Gb mirrored for data. openSUSE installer supports this feature, although I had to check and modify the default configuration to reflect my needs (because I am so stupid I was not able to set up my partition scheme from scratch).
Modular Floppy Drive N/A No floppy drive. A good USB stick is much better anyway.
Integrated PCI-Express Gigabit Network Card Works No special procedure required during installation. Everything seems functional. KNetworkManager is an application of choice to manage your network interfaces. KNetworkManager GUI is simplified in openSUSE. I wish it was the vanilla GUI, which IMHO is better. No big deal.
INTEL PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Not tested It should work, though, as it seems to be properly detected.
Internal 56k Modem Not tested N/A
MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ-85JS (2MB buffer, 24X max for CDs, 8X max for DVD-R/DVD+R, 4x max for dual-layer DVD, slot-in Works No special procedure required during installation. No thouroughly tested, though. Troubles with KDE4's K3B.
INTEL/REALTEK High Definition Audio (INTEL ICH7 HDA) Works with manual configuration Alsa driver is installed, but no sound could be heard after installation. This is a recurrent problem on Linux distribution that use latest ALSA drivers… One has to specify the correct driver to use (6stack-dig) and play with alsamixer in order to get proper results. In order to specify the correct driver, as root edit /etc/modprobe.d/sound and add the following:
options snd-hda-intel model=6stack-dig
Then restart the sound server:
sudo /etc/init.d/sound restart
Then play with your alsamixer to set volumes and unmute sound channels:
alsamixer
Don't use Yast's sound configuration module!! It's buggy and it will either screw your sound configuration or reinitialize it! Passing the correct options won't work properly anyways. It looks like this is a known bug. You've been warned!!
AVERMEDIA H/W Hybrid M115 TV Card (digital/analog) Not tested yet N/A
ACER / LOGITECH CMOS 1.3 megapixel integrated Orbicam webcam Works, buggy The camera is correctly detected by software such as camorama. Doesn't work in Kopete, though. I guess there's a trick to be found… It looks like there is some confusion between webcam and TV card… The GSPCA driver used to get this webcam working does not offer complete support of Orbicam : as a result, features are limited (no resizing nor color adjustments for instance). This is a limitation affecting all Linux distribution out there.
Bluetooth 2.0 Not tested N/A
ACER Bluetooth phone Not tested N/A
Multimedia keyboard buttons Extra keys do not work out of the box Usual keyboard keys do work. Special keys (extra keys, hotkeys, multimedia keys, call them whatever you want…) do not work at all. Currently under investigation. although I personally think it's a shame !
UPDATE: all I achieved so far, is to get working volume keys. Create a ~/.Xmodmap file and add :
keycode 129 = XF86AudioMedia
keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev
keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext
keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
keycode 161 = XF86Calculator
keycode 162 = XF86AudioPause
keycode 164 = XF86AudioStop
keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
keycode 223 = XF86Standby
then run:
xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap
Some of the extra keys (read: only volume ones) should now be recognized. They have to be configured as keyboard shortcuts. This may be done using KDE control panel.
TEXAS INSTRUMENT 5-in-1 memory card reader (supports SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD memory cards) Works (tested with SD cards only) no special procedure required during installation.
Infrared remote control Not tested yet N/A
SYNAPTICS touchpad Works no special procedure required during installation.
USB 2.0 ports (x4) Work No special procedure required during installation. USB keys and mice work at once.
IEEE 1494 Firewire Not tested N/A. I don't own such peripherals.
Parallel port (LPT) Not tested yet N/A
VGA output Should works Not tested but I don't know why it shouldn't work…
DV-I-D output Should works Not tested but I don't know why it shouldn't work…
TV output Not tested N/A. I don't have TV at home.
PCMCIA slot Not tested I only use it to charge ACER Bluetooth phone.
Suspend to disk/RAM Not thoroughly tested Suspend to disk works fine with nv video drivers.
8-cell lithium-ion battery with ACER QuicCharge (1 hour to charge battery at 80%) Works Bbeware as newest computers seems to embed buggy BIOSes, which screw batteries after a while, even if they're barely used (it looks like even a fully charged battery can still be charging). Mine has been fucked up after one year, even though I almost never used it. This has nothing to do with Linux, the issue is hardware-based.
ACER abuse their customers : on the 20th of May 2008, I got an email from their tech/commercial support suggesting me to buy new batteries (119 € each !!).. To me, this sounds like a proof of their guiltiness : batteries are slowly damaged so that they can sell us some more. I must say I'm disgusted…
Size: 475 (L) x 352 (W) x 61.8 (H) mm
Weight: 7.8 kg
N/A Quite big and heavy, but hey, you've got a big screen and plenty of hardware. Don't expect to get something light and small.
Other ports: S-video/ TV-out (NTSC/PAL) , TV tuner aerial Not tested, should work No tested yet but I see no reason why these wouldn't work. Editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf could be needed but I guess nvidia-settings should just take care about that..

This laptop used to operate under Kernel version 2.6.25.

lspci -v

Why the heck is lspci hidden?? Only root can launch this command, not normal users (except using sudo and the complete path…). This is one of the stupid things I don't understand in openSUSE… Is lspci a critical command? to my knowledge, it's harmless…

$ sudo /sbin/lspci -v
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS, 943/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI 
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0    
  Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information  
  Kernel modules: intel-agp  

00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS, 943/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0  
  Bus: primary=00, secondary=01, subordinate=01, sec-latency=0 
  I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff 
  Memory behind bridge: d0000000-d1ffffff    
  Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000b0000000-00000000bfffffff     
  Capabilities: [88] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c  
  Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2    
  Capabilities: [90] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
  Capabilities: [a0] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00   
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel     
  Capabilities: [140] Root Complex Link   
  Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver
  Kernel modules: shpchp   

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI  
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 22   
  Memory at d2300000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]  
  Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2 
  Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-   
  Capabilities: [70] Express Root Complex Integrated Endpoint, MSI 00   
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel  
  Capabilities: [130] Root Complex Link
  Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel   
  Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel     

00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
  Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=02, sec-latency=0     
  I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00003fff     
  Memory behind bridge: cc000000-cdffffff  
  Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000c4000000-00000000c5ffffff   
  Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00 
  Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-    
  Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2  
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel   
  Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link 
  Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver    
  Kernel modules: shpchp 

00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
  Bus: primary=00, secondary=03, subordinate=04, sec-latency=0     
  I/O behind bridge: 00004000-00004fff     
  Memory behind bridge: c8000000-c9ffffff  
  Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000c0000000-00000000c1ffffff   
  Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00 
  Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-    
  Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2  
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel   
  Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link 
  Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver    
  Kernel modules: shpchp 

00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
  Bus: primary=00, secondary=05, subordinate=06, sec-latency=0     
  I/O behind bridge: 00005000-00005fff     
  Memory behind bridge: ca000000-cbffffff  
  Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000c2000000-00000000c3ffffff   
  Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00 
  Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-    
  Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2  
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel   
  Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link 
  Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver    
  Kernel modules: shpchp 

00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
  Bus: primary=00, secondary=07, subordinate=08, sec-latency=0     
  I/O behind bridge: 00006000-00006fff     
  Memory behind bridge: ce000000-cfffffff  
  Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000c6000000-00000000c7ffffff   
  Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00 
  Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-    
  Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2  
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel   
  Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link 
  Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver    
  Kernel modules: shpchp 

00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI  
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23 
  I/O ports at 1800 [size=32] 
  Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd    
  Kernel modules: uhci-hcd    

00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI  
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19 
  I/O ports at 1820 [size=32] 
  Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd    
  Kernel modules: uhci-hcd    

00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI  
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18 
  I/O ports at 1840 [size=32] 
  Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd    
  Kernel modules: uhci-hcd    

00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI  
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16 
  I/O ports at 1860 [size=32] 
  Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd    
  Kernel modules: uhci-hcd    

00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23     
  Memory at d2304000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K] 
  Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2     
  Capabilities: [58] Debug port: BAR=1 offset=00a0  
  Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd  
  Kernel modules: ehci-hcd  

00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2) (prog-if 01 [Subtractive decode])
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 
  Bus: primary=00, secondary=09, subordinate=0d, sec-latency=32     
  I/O behind bridge: 00007000-00007fff
  Memory behind bridge: d2000000-d20fffff   
  Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000088000000-000000008bffffff    
  Capabilities: [50] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c 

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GHM (ICH7-M DH) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0 
  Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information 
  Kernel modules: iTCO_wdt, intel-rng   

00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 02) (prog-if 8a [Master SecP PriP])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c   
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18    
  I/O ports at 01f0 [size=8]     
  I/O ports at 03f4 [size=1]     
  I/O ports at 0170 [size=8]     
  I/O ports at 0374 [size=1]     
  I/O ports at 1880 [size=16]    
  Kernel driver in use: ata_piix 
  Kernel modules: piix, ide-pci-generic, pata_acpi, ata_piix, ata_generic  

00:1f.2 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation 82801GHM (ICH7-M DH) SATA RAID Controller (rev 02)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c 
  Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 4346     
  I/O ports at 18c8 [size=8]   
  I/O ports at 18ac [size=4]   
  I/O ports at 18c0 [size=8]   
  I/O ports at 18a8 [size=4]   
  I/O ports at 18b0 [size=16]  
  Memory at d2304400 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]    
  Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+    
  Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 2  
  Kernel driver in use: ahci   
  Kernel modules: ahci   

00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 9814 WKMI   
  Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 19 
  I/O ports at 18e0 [size=32]  
  Kernel driver in use: i801_smbus   
  Kernel modules: i2c-i801     

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G70 [GeForce Go 7600] (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Acer 9814 WKMI   
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16   
  Memory at d1000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]  
  Memory at b0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]     
  Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]  
  I/O ports at 2000 [size=128]
  Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 2 
  Capabilities: [68] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-   
  Capabilities: [78] Express Endpoint, MSI 00   
  Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel  
  Capabilities: [128] Power Budgeting  
  Kernel driver in use: nvidia
  Kernel modules: nvidia, nvidiafb  

02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8055 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 12)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c 
  Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 4345  
  Memory at cc000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]   
  I/O ports at 3000 [size=256] 
  [virtual] Expansion ROM at c4000000 [disabled] [size=128K] 
  Capabilities: [48] Power Management version 3  
  Capabilities: [50] Vital Product Data 
  Capabilities: [5c] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable+    
  Capabilities: [e0] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00   
  Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
  Kernel driver in use: sky2   
  Kernel modules: sky2   

07:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
  Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device 1001    
  Flags: fast devsel, IRQ 19
  Memory at ce000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K] 
  Capabilities: [c8] Power Management version 2     
  Capabilities: [d0] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable- 
  Capabilities: [e0] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
  Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting   
  Capabilities: [140] Device Serial Number d0-f6-40-ff-ff-de-18-00    
  Kernel driver in use: iwl3945   
  Kernel modules: iwl3945   

09:04.0 Multimedia controller: Philips Semiconductors SAA7133/SAA7135 Video Broadcast Decoder (rev d1)
  Subsystem: Avermedia Technologies Inc Device a836   
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 16
  Memory at d2005000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]   
  Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2 
  Kernel driver in use: saa7134     
  Kernel modules: saa7134     

09:06.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 Cardbus Controller
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c  
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 168, IRQ 21 
  Memory at d2007000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]     
  Bus: primary=09, secondary=0a, subordinate=0d, sec-latency=176
  Memory window 0: 88000000-8bfff000 (prefetchable) 
  Memory window 1: 8c000000-8ffff000    
  I/O window 0: 00007000-000070ff 
  I/O window 1: 00007400-000074ff 
  16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001 
  Kernel driver in use: yenta_cardbus   
  Kernel modules: yenta_socket

09:06.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments PCIxx12 OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 20
  Memory at d2005800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
  Memory at d2000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
  Capabilities: [44] Power Management version 2
  Kernel driver in use: ohci1394
  Kernel modules: ohci1394

09:06.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments 5-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 21
  Memory at d2004000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
  Capabilities: [44] Power Management version 2
  Kernel driver in use: tifm_7xx1
  Kernel modules: tifm_7xx1

09:06.3 SD Host controller: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller (prog-if 01)
  Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 006c
  Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 21
  Memory at d2006000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
  Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2
  Kernel driver in use: sdhci
  Kernel modules: sdhci

lsmod

$ lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
af_packet              42624  2
ip6t_LOG               23940  7
xt_tcpudp              20480  2
xt_pkttype             18944  3
ipt_LOG                23428  8
xt_limit               20356  15
ip6t_REJECT            22272  3
nf_conntrack_ipv6      36424  4
ipt_REJECT             21120  3
xt_state               19712  8
iptable_mangle         20608  0
iptable_nat            24976  0
nf_nat                 39576  1 iptable_nat
iptable_filter         20736  1
ip6table_mangle        20480  0 
nf_conntrack_netbios_ns    19968  0
nf_conntrack_ipv4      29576  7 iptable_nat,nf_nat
nf_conntrack           91536  6 nf_conntrack_ipv6,xt_state,iptable_nat,nf_nat,nf_conntrack_netbios_ns,nf_conntrack_ipv4
ip_tables              39056  3 iptable_mangle,iptable_nat,iptable_filter
cpufreq_conservative    26248  0
cpufreq_userspace      23556  0
cpufreq_powersave      18816  0
acpi_cpufreq           27536  0
ip6table_filter        20608  1
ip6_tables             40720  3 ip6t_LOG,ip6table_mangle,ip6table_filter
x_tables               43144  11 ip6t_LOG,xt_tcpudp,xt_pkttype,ipt_LOG,xt_limit,ip6t_REJECT,ipt_REJECT,xt_state,iptable_nat,ip_tables,ip6_tables
ipv6                  331544  19 ip6t_REJECT,nf_conntrack_ipv6,ip6table_mangle
snd_pcm_oss            68992  0
microcode              32808  0
snd_mixer_oss          35584  1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_seq                83600  0
snd_seq_device         26516  1 snd_seq
binfmt_misc            30220  1
fuse                   72384  1
loop                   37508  0
sr_mod                 35764  0
cdrom                  53416  1 sr_mod
piix                   25480  0 [permanent]
ide_pci_generic        21892  0 [permanent]
ide_core              160048  2 piix,ide_pci_generic
pata_acpi              25472  0
arc4                   19072  2
saa7134               175452  0
ecb                    20992  2
snd_hda_intel         497580  5
v4l2_common            29824  1 saa7134
videobuf_dma_sg        32644  1 saa7134
pcmcia                 61336  0
videobuf_core          38532  2 saa7134,videobuf_dma_sg
snd_pcm               115208  3 snd_pcm_oss,snd_hda_intel
ata_piix               43396  0
ir_kbd_i2c             28048  1 saa7134
iwl3945               116196  0
ppdev                  26504  0
gspca                 704144  0
sdhci                  35980  0
ohci1394               50868  0
snd_timer              45072  3 snd_seq,snd_pcm
rtc_cmos               28728  0
rtc_core               41012  1 rtc_cmos
yenta_socket           45836  1
ir_common              57476  2 saa7134,ir_kbd_i2c
ata_generic            26244  0
acer_wmi               30536  0
irda                  164676  0
iTCO_wdt               30800  0
rtc_lib                20224  1 rtc_core
led_class              22920  1 acer_wmi
snd_page_alloc         28688  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
parport_pc             59592  0
parport                60448  2 ppdev,parport_pc
tifm_7xx1              25472  0
nvidia               8165472  46
mmc_core               74304  1 sdhci
tveeprom               34704  1 saa7134
i2c_i801               27804  0
ieee1394              122216  1 ohci1394
compat_ioctl32         25984  2 saa7134,gspca
sg                     56912  0
serio_raw              24708  0
firmware_class         27776  3 microcode,pcmcia,iwl3945
crc_ccitt              19072  1 irda
joydev                 30848  0
iTCO_vendor_support    21124  1 iTCO_wdt
rsrc_nonstatic         29824  1 yenta_socket
videodev               52096  3 saa7134,gspca,compat_ioctl32
snd_hwdep              28424  1 snd_hda_intel
tifm_core              28856  1 tifm_7xx1
container              22528  0
v4l1_compat            29444  1 videodev
video                  43156  0
snd                    96248  16 snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_hwdep
pcmcia_core            61604  3 pcmcia,yenta_socket,rsrc_nonstatic
output                 21248  1 video
ac                     24328  0
wmi                    26048  1 acer_wmi
i2c_core               45344  6 saa7134,v4l2_common,ir_kbd_i2c,nvidia,tveeprom,i2c_i801
button                 27040  0
battery                33672  0
intel_agp              48240  0
soundcore              26000  1 snd
mac80211              220568  1 iwl3945
sky2                   69892  0
cfg80211               39568  1 mac80211
dm_mirror              38272  1
dm_log                 28932  2 dm_mirror
usbhid                 65488  0
hid                    59296  1 usbhid
ff_memless             23176  1 usbhid
sd_mod                 47280  2
ahci                   51080  4
libata                195232  4 pata_acpi,ata_piix,ata_generic,ahci
scsi_mod              195032  4 sr_mod,sg,sd_mod,libata
ehci_hcd               56204  0
uhci_hcd               43936  0
dock                   29344  1 libata
usbcore               188376  5 gspca,usbhid,ehci_hcd,uhci_hcd
dm_snapshot            36552  0
dm_mod                 88600  21 dm_mirror,dm_log,dm_snapshot
edd                    28176  0
ext3                  170896  3
mbcache                27396  1 ext3
jbd                    82368  1 ext3
fan                    23944  0
thermal                44448  0
processor              72920  4 acpi_cpufreq,thermal

/etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Files"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/misc:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/local"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/Type1"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/URW"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/Speedo"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/PEX"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/cyrillic"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/latin2/misc:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/latin2/75dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/latin2/100dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/latin2/Type1"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/latin7/75dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/baekmuk:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/japanese:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/kwintv"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/truetype"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/uni:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/CID"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/ucs/misc:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/ucs/75dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/ucs/100dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/hellas/misc:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/hellas/75dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/hellas/100dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/hellas/Type1"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/misc/sgi:unscaled"
  FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/xtest"
  FontPath     "/opt/kde3/share/fonts"
  InputDevices "/dev/gpmdata"
  InputDevices "/dev/input/mice"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
  Option       "AllowMouseOpenFail" "on"
  Option       "ZapWarning" "on"
EndSection

Section "Module"
  Load         "dbe"
  Load         "type1"
  Load         "freetype"
  Load         "extmod"
  Load         "glx"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver       "kbd"
  Identifier   "Keyboard[0]"
  Option       "Protocol" "Standard"
  Option       "XkbLayout" "fr"
  Option       "XkbModel" "pc105"
  Option       "XkbOptions" "caps:shiftlock"
  Option       "XkbRules" "xfree86"
  Option       "XkbVariant" "oss"
EndSection


Section "InputDevice"
  Driver       "mouse"
  Identifier   "Mouse[1]"
  Option       "Buttons" "12"
  Option       "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
  Option       "Name" "Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse"
  Option       "Protocol" "explorerps/2"
  Option       "Vendor" "Sysp"
  Option       "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver       "synaptics"
  Identifier   "Mouse[3]"
  Option       "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
  Option       "Emulate3Buttons" "on"
  Option       "Name" "Touchpad"
  Option       "SHMConfig" "on"
  Option       "Vendor" "Synaptics"
  Option       "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection


Section "Monitor"
  Option       "CalcAlgorithm" "XServerPool"
  DisplaySize  305 230
  HorizSync    30-66
  Identifier   "Monitor[0]"
  ModelName    "1680X1050@60HZ"
  Option       "DPMS"
  Option       "PreferredMode" "1680x1050"
  VendorName   "--> LCD"
  VertRefresh  50-61
  UseModes     "Modes[0]"
EndSection


Section "Modes"
  Identifier   "Modes[0]"
EndSection


Section "Screen"
  DefaultDepth 24
  SubSection "Display"
    Depth      15
    Modes      "1680x1050" "1600x1024" "1600x1000" "1400x1050" "1280x1024" "1440x900" "1280x960" "1366x768" "1280x800" "1152x864" "1280x768" "1280x720" "1024x768" "1280x600" "1024x600" "800x600" "768x576" "640x480" 
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
    Depth      16
    Modes      "1680x1050" "1600x1024" "1600x1000" "1400x1050" "1280x1024" "1440x900" "1280x960" "1366x768" "1280x800" "1152x864" "1280x768" "1280x720" "1024x768" "1280x600" "1024x600" "800x600" "768x576" "640x480" 
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
    Depth      24
    Modes      "1680x1050" "1600x1024" "1600x1000" "1400x1050" "1280x1024" "1440x900" "1280x960" "1366x768" "1280x800" "1152x864" "1280x768" "1280x720" "1024x768" "1280x600" "1024x600" "800x600" "768x576" "640x480" 
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
    Depth      8
    Modes      "1680x1050" "1600x1024" "1600x1000" "1400x1050" "1280x1024" "1440x900" "1280x960" "1366x768" "1280x800" "1152x864" "1280x768" "1280x720" "1024x768" "1280x600" "1024x600" "800x600" "768x576" "640x480" 
  EndSubSection
  Device       "Device[0]"
  Identifier   "Screen[0]"
  Monitor      "Monitor[0]"
EndSection


Section "Device"
  BoardName    "GeForce Go 7600"
  BusID        "1:0:0"
  Driver       "nvidia"
  Identifier   "Device[0]"
  VendorName   "NVIDIA"
  Option       "NoLogo" "true"
EndSection



Section "ServerLayout"
  Identifier   "Layout[all]"
  InputDevice  "Keyboard[0]" "CoreKeyboard"
  InputDevice  "Mouse[1]" "CorePointer"
  InputDevice  "Mouse[3]" "SendCoreEvents"
  Option       "Clone" "off"
  Option       "Xinerama" "off"
  Screen       "Screen[0]"
EndSection


Section "DRI"
    Group      "video"
    Mode       0660
EndSection

Section "Extensions"
  Option       "Composite" "on"
EndSection


Carrying this "laptop"

This laptop is a huge one. Its 20" screen makes it quite heavy (7.8 kg), and ACER doesn't sell any suitable bags for this computer. Fortunately, you can find a computer bag for laptops up to 20". Please search the internet for "Dicota Multigiant", and you should be able to find it at reasonable price (I bought mine for about 45 €).

Taking care of this laptop

It is much easier to carry this laptop using a bag such as the one I mention above. But care should be taken if you want it to last long. I let the plastic film on the lid, so that it's slightly protected from bad manœuvres.
First of all, beware the buggy BIOS which will slowly destroy your battery. I suspect any 9800 owner don't use this laptop for nomad purpose, but believe me it's a bad surprise to realize that your battery although it's barely used.

Cleaning the machine

Body

Dust is an issue affecting every computer. Clean your computer every now and the using a dry, soft cloth.

Monitor

Take care of your flat screen : I recommend using a soft microfiber cloth, moistured with demineralized water. It just does wonders and is harmless.

Inner dust

CPU fan beneath the computer gets dusty, because of ambient air being sucked in. After one year I realized my CPU temperatures could rise up to 88°C (I use BOINC, which means my CPU is usually under full load). I used my vacuum cleaner to suck (probably most, but not all) the dust out, through the grid. It lowered CPU temps by 20°C and made my machine silent again.

General advices

Generally speaking, keep your machine not too dirty, but don't become one of those Mr Proper maniacs : by over-cleaning your computer you'll do more harm than good. I usually kindly sweep the screen every 1 to 2 months or so.

Artwork

You may want to take a look at my personal contents on kde-look.org. You will especially find a Kubuntu KDM theme that may be use with other stuff (wallpaper, splashscreen, etc.) to get a consistent KDE 3.5.x visual look. Please remember that I'm no artist. My personal stuff is available under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, other works are adapted from existing third party works (with artists' authorization) and usually published under GPL license.

Contact

Should you have any comments, suggestions, questions, ... regarding this webpage, please use this form to send me an email. Your feedback is welcome !

Linux on Laptops TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones


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