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Gnu/Linux on the Medion MD2812 Laptop

Overview of the MD2812:

lspci output :
00:00.0 Host bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 650 Host (rev 11)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS 530 Virtual PCI-to-PCI bridge (AGP)
00:02.0 ISA bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 85C503/5513 (rev 04)
00:02.3 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] FireWire Controller
00:02.5 IDE interface: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 5513 [IDE]
00:02.6 Modem: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] Intel 537 [56k Winmodem] (rev a0)
00:02.7 Multimedia audio controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7012 PCI Audio Accelerator (rev a0)
00:03.0 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7001 USB Controller (rev 0f)
00:03.1 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7001 USB Controller (rev 0f)
00:03.2 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7001 USB Controller (rev 0f)
00:04.0 Ethernet controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS900 10/100 Ethernet (rev 90)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS650/651/M650/740 PCI/AGP VGA Display Adapter


This system will run pretty much without any problems with Gnu/Linux. Myself I have installed Debian, but I suspect a Mandrake or Red hat install will progress smoother and faster.

Almost all peripherals are working. Firewire and IR should work without problems, although I've not tested them. As for the modem, it's a winmodem, and apparantly there is no driver yet. And also, there is no 3D acceleration support (DRI) yet. Although 2D graphics works fine.



Video
The SiS315 based SiS650 card has no official Linux support from SiS but Thomas Winischhofer has written a perfectly good 2D driver (no 3D or DRI acceleration support).

The TV-out port works without a problem.

If you're lucky by now the driver is in the xfree86 stock and your distro supports it.

Otherwise head over to his page and get the driver. You will find it in the ``Linux and SiS VGA chipsets'' section.

It installs out of the box for debian systems, otherwise you might need to compile it for yourself if the precompile binaries won't work.

Sound
The SiS 7012 audio controller has alsa and OSS support. Just use the intel8x0 modules in alsa. Not sure of which is the OSS module, but the i810_audio module should work.

Network interface
Use the sis900 module for this NIC. HOWEVER I could not get it to function with the 2.2 kernels, had to use the newer 2.4 for this two work.

Touchpad
This one works like a charm, it uses a simple PS/2 inteface it seems like, device /dev/psaux. My XF86Config-4 lines below:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
        Option          "Protocol"              "PS/2"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
        Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Generic Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"              "ImPS/2"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
        Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"
EndSection


USB
For USB 1.0 support, just load the usb-ohci module. For USB 2.0 load ehci-hcd module.

In 2.6 kernels, the names are ohci-hcd and ehci-hcd.

ACPI
ACPI seems to function as supposed to with the 2.6 kernels who have ACPI support. One can throttle the CPU bu 50 %, check temperatures, and shut the fan down , and even go into suspend-to-memory mode.

For controlling the fan, run the script below at startup as root. I placed mine in /etc/init.d/ and a link to it in /etc/rc5.d/.

#!/bin/sh

# Sets temperature trip points and sets temp polling for 20 seconds.
# Trip points are: 80 degrees ``critical'' shutdown, 70 degrees ``hot'' 
# suspend-to-disk, 63 degrees ``passive cooling'' (not using this since it 
# throttles CPU), 53 degrees ``active cooling'' starts fan.
if [ -d /proc/acpi ]; then
    echo -n "80:70:63:53:0" > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THRM/trip_points
    echo 20 > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THRM/polling_frequency
fi

I also enabled suspend-to-memory or standby mode. For this you need acpid installed. A configure file and executable script file is below. You activate suspend mode by hitting the power button:

# This is the ACPID default configuration file /etc/acpi/events/default,
# it takes button/power events and passes them to /etc/acpi/powerbtn.sh
# for further processing. Make sure powerbtn.sh is executable.

# event keeps a regular expression matching the event. To get
# power events only, just use something like "event=button power.*"
# to catch it.
# action keeps the command to be executed after an event occurs
# In case of the power event above, your entry may look this way:
#event=button power.*
#action=/sbin/init 0

# Optionally you can specify the placeholder %e. It will pass
# through the whole kernel event message to the program you've
# specified.
event=button/power
action=/etc/acpi/powerbtn.sh


and the script file:

#!/bin/sh
# /etc/acpi/powerbtn.sh
# Initiates a shutdown when the power putton has been
# pressed.

# Check if we have returned from sleep, remove sleep file then, otherwise we
# get an endless loop of sleep actions.
if [ -e /var/inSleepState ]; then
    rm -f /var/inSleepState
else
    touch /var/inSleepState

    echo mem > /sys/power/state

    # Graphics get messed up. Changing vt back and forth solves issue.
    chvt 1
    chvt 7

fi


DVD-ROM/CD-RW
As for the DVD-ROM/CD-RW I can say that cd writing works without problems. The DVD works out fine with xine.

Under 2.4 kernels one can only write to scsi devices. If you have scsi there is no problem. But most people have IDE/ATAPI writers, the MD2812 writer is an ATAPI device too. For IDE/ATAPI one must enable scsi emulation. Do this by;

  1. first unloading ide-cd module
  2. loading sr_mod, ide-scsi, sg
  3. do your burn with gnome toaster or xcdrost (see below)
  4. unload ide-scsi and load ide-cd again

This is troublesome to do. To get away from the difficult steps above with loading and unloading modules you can use the 2.6 kernels instead, since one can then write directly to IDE/ATAPI devices. Just make sure your kernel has IDE CDROM support. However the burning utilities have limited support for IDE/ATAPI writing, so using scsi emulation is still recommended.

The ``Gnome Toaster'' or XCD-roast burning utilities should work without problems.

And I would advise you not try to flash the DVD drive region-free, all attempts I've heard of ends up with a useless drive. Some can't even restore it. It happened to me:(



Please do mind that I do not have any affiliation with Medion. For support contact the Medion crew.

I am afraid there are things I have not yet tested. If you have any suggetions then give them to me: cenk(at.cutthisout.at)bredband.net




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Cenk Oguz 2005-11-04