LAPTOP - ACER TRAVELMATE 661lci (LInux & BSD)
- Ethernet (Broadcom 4400)
- Video (82852/855GM)
- Sound (Intel Corp. 82801DB AC'97 Audio)
- USB (Intel Corp. 82801DB USB EHCI)
- Firewire (Texas Instruments TSB43AB21)
- Memory Card Reader ()
- Wireless (Intel 2100)
- Modem (Intel Corp. 82801DB AC'97 Modem)
- CDRW (QSI CD-RW/DVD-ROM SBW-242)
- SmardCard Reader (O2Micro, Inc)
- PCMCIA (O2 Micro, Inc)
Got my brand new Acer on 09.09.03 and installed Linux without even trying the Microsoft crap. There was something called XP Home on the disk and i don't accepted the EULA. I hope that with my next Laptop there will be a choice to either get Linux or no OS at all with that Notebook. Acer offers this (no OS) but not for the TM 661LCi (100+ bucks wasted #%$!).
Some words on the Acer itself. Despite its 'low' CPU Frequency the Notebook has quite a impressive performance. It looks good, has all features i need (SXGA, USB2, Firewire, LAN, Modem , etc.) and makes a good deal for that price.
kernel compile : bzImage 3:09 ; modules 16:11 (real)
one user ; no X ; running 2.4.23-pre7 , comp. 2.4.23-pre7
RH9 20-20-9 conf with ACPI added
Since the Linux install involved some searching this description is maybe
useful for other Acer TM 661LCi owners. Here is how it goes :
[root@proton linux-2.4]# uname -a
Linux proton.warpnet.com 2.4.20-20.9 #1 Mon Aug 18 11:45:58 EDT 2003
i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
=> Redhat 9. The installation went through without any Problems. I used the 2nd Edition from the German Redhat Mag. and updated through up2date. With 1st boot press F2 and change the BIOS to boot from the DVD/CDRW drive. If i had known that before it would have prevented me from the annoying experience of the XP Setup Shit. No other BIOS changes are necessary (maybe more memory for the Intel Card - i changed the value to 32 MB). To get around stupid restrictions with the Redhat disk druid i used the good old fdisk on vt2 and then disk druid to assign the fdisk created partitions.
Older Kernels fail to report the correct cache size of the Pentium-M. They show 0KB in /proc/cpuinfo instead of 1024KB. This error is corrected with 2.4.23-pre? (works with 6 and 7. dunno about others).
=> Fedora Core 1 since Oct 2003
=> Fedora Core 2 since May 2004
=> FC5 since May 2006
=> OpenBSD 3.6 (bcm 4401 issue resolved in 3.5)
=> Solaris 10 (since bmc4401 support)
Solaris installation on external USB2 Disk !
The Broadcom bmc4400 is supported via a Driver from Broadcom. Was
quite easy to obtain and install. Newer Kernels should support that card out of
the box. In the 2.6.x series its called b44. Just get the Kernel Source install and
configure. The Broadcom Driver should build without any Problems.
bcm4400 32736 1
Don't know why Redhat (RH9) does not include this stable driver. Gentoo Linux and maybe others do so. I used a Lucent Wireless Card to transfer this driver to
Update: In 2.4.22+ (kernel.org) this driver is build in. The name is b44 instead of bcm44 (modules.conf has to be modified). If you use 2.6.x and 2.4.x be sure to get the old modutils back when you use mkinitrd on 2.4.x kernels. The insmod.static from 2.6.x modutils creates images that fail with 2.4.x (sytsem hangs on boot) !
4 Video / XFree86
The BIOS does not return the Panel resolution which prevents X from
choosing the native Panel resolution. Got it working with 1280x1024x16M.
Wrote a Letter of complain to Acer and Intel for better Linux support. Intel
provides Modules for Acceleration but they don't compile.
The resolution thing sucks a bit but better than crashing, slow performance, security Problems and the like Windows user face. If someone has a solution to these Problems i would like to know !! (got it - THX)
Update : One Solution i found is to use the www.xig.com 'Summit' Laptop Drivers. This commercial XServer has 2D and 3D Acceleration and supports many non - BIOS resolutions including 1400x1050x16M. XIG has a try & buy download. Simple installation - good docs.
* Update : Alain Poirier (see link below) managed to write a program that copies the BIOS to RAM and manipulates it there. http://www.temil.com/855resolution.c . Thx 2 Rene Joldersma for submiting the Link. xdpyinfo after running ./855resolution 3c 1400 1050 = > [xdpyinfo | grep dimensions: 1400x1050 pixels (474x356 millimeters). Local copy.
5 DRI / Acceleration with XFree86
- i810 XFree Driver for 82852/855GM
- i830 Kernel Modul (needs agpgart)
- i810_drv XFree Aceel Modul
- CVS stuff from the dri project => unresolved Symbols (drmAgpUnbind()).
- Binary upgrade dri prj => unresolved Symbols (same as
- Intel supplied Drivers => compilation error (RH Kernel) and unresolved symbols (same ..) with 2.4.22+
- giving up ...
Update : FC2 and still no working acceleration.
Simply Works. I have a external USB Floppy, DigiCam, Memory Stick and MP3
Detected but i don't know if it works. I think about buying a Firewire Disk.
With kernel 2.4.22 the Laptop hangs on boot in the Firewire init. With
2.4.23-pre6 and pre7 it works.
9 Memory Card Reader
Simply works. Its /dev/sda.
The Intel 2100 isn't supported yet. Waiting for Intel to complete that work (see Intels Page on Centrino - its worked on) . Using a Lucent Orinoco until that's finished.
Update : There are several solutions like ndiswrapper, driverloader and ipw2100. Right now i am using the ipw2100 driver.
Found a Page with a reference to the Linux Driver. The smlink Driver Works.
slamrmo 282080 0
slmdm 1291968 0 [slamrmo]
Works. Burned a-lot with K3b and gcombust.
Don't know if it works. See 1st entry in 'more Links'. I have no use for that.
14 Smart Card Reader from O2Micro
Don't know. Found no driver downloads on the O2mirco website. Someone mentioned (dejanews search) that the .tw or .com office has a binary Driver. Will try to contact them later since i want to use that instead of the normal login procedure (pam).
product info: "O2Micro", "SmartCardBus Reader", "V1.0"
manfid: 0xffff, 0x0001
Update : Still nothing. Someone with more Info ??
Works. I use a Lucent Orinoco, Flash Card Adaptor and a 2nd Ethernet Card
Upgrade : I had to manual insert mods and start the pcmcia service after using
kernels from kernel.org. Seems a matter of fixing some configs ..
Not tested what happends with 2.6.0-preX.
Forgot to plug the power in and the Notebook was running around 5h. The 'boot' afterwards was only a few seconds and Linux was back in the state it powered down (surprise). I had to manualy restart the network subsystem.
Its deactivated in Redhat Kernels. I use 2.4.23-pre7 with RH config + ACPI activated. Newer Kernels also have support for Acer specific stuff which i also turned on. Take a look at a project called ltpconf on freshmeat (ACPI Control GUI / qt based. The prog crashed if the modules (= proc entries) are not present).
Linux on TM 661LCi
Linux Tux Mobile
Linux & Centrino
Laptop Forum Laptop
Linux IRDA Project