Running Linux on an Elitegroup Computer System (ECS) Desknote Model A530.


This is a nice little laptop with a Transmeta Crusoe TM-5800, ALI sound chipset,
SIS video, a 30Gb drive, a DVD player & CD writer combo, and 256Mb of memory standard.

I can be purchased without an OS, so it's the perfect candidate for SuSE Linux 9.1 Pro.

I initially tried a hard disk install of knoppix, which, while it did work, failed to detect the modem.
It was fast though.

Before you start installing anything, you'll need to know that APM is not supported in the bios,
only ACPI.  Install all the ACPI packages except acpid.  SuSE has replaced that with friendlier
alternatives.  There is something fishy about the ACPI battery interface.  Don't expect to be able
to read the charge left in it.  Keen bods might want to check out this page.

Once i finished installing SuSE, i fired up YaST, selected (amongst others) smartlink-softmodem,
removed xine and all associated rpms (in preparation for installing ones that can decrypt DVDs),
and you may as well remove the PCMCIA packages as well.

I also went into /lib/modules/2.6.5-xxx and removed serial_*.ko, as the machine has no serial ports
either, and this module can reportedly interfere with the operation of the modem.

Once that is done, you'll need to make sure that the modules slamr is loaded.  This is the kernel-space
component for the smartlink modem.  It's included in the kernel (2.6.5-7.75 or something).
As root type "modprobe slamr", and to make sure it reloads after the next startup,
edit /etc/init.d/slmodemd and put "modprobe slamr", just after start).

Next make sure the user-space daemon is running, and started when booted.  The standard runlevel
is 5, so make sure that there is link called /etc/init.d/rc5.d/SXXslmodemd (replace XX with some number).
The installation should automatically link /dev/ttySL0 to /dev/modem, but if that is not there then
cd /dev
rm modem
ln -s ttySL0 modem
chmod 666 /dev/pts/2 (or where-ever ttySL0 links)

SuSE annoyingly set the pppd daemon to run not setuid, which is a bit annoying, so while you have
the root shell open, type
chmod 4755 /usr/sbin/pppd

Now you can configure kppp.  Follow your nose, it's fairly intuitive.

Other software you'll want is SisCtrl, and a non-broken version of Xine.

I installed SisCtrl (it has an sis 315pro vid chipset), i did not need to replace sis_drv.o from the xserver,
just add the Option "EnableSisCtrl" "true" in the Driver section of /etc/X11/XF86Config. The precompiled
Sisctrl uses libXv.so.1, which doesn't appear to be on the SuSE 9.1 CDs, you'll need to grab that from
elsewhere.  An ldconfig later and it was up and running too.  This is needed to get the other video output
options up and running.



If you want the laptop to suspend when you close the lid, create a script like this

#!/bin/bash
echo 4 > /proc/acpi/sleep

save it as /usr/bin/hibernate.sh
edit /etc/sysconfig/powersave/default
look for LID.CLOSED or somesuch, and replace the proxy command line with a call to your script.
When you resume, you will find that neither the audio, nor the modem will now work.  You'll need to reboot
to get this to work.