Gentoo Wiki


Please format this article according to the guidelines and Wikification suggestions, then remove this notice {{Wikify}} from the article


My Laptop with Gentoo Linux

I'm trying to make my laptop fully working with Gentoo Linux, I've just had good results thanks to gentoo official forum and to Fabio Piani's guide for the TM2600.

Operating system: Gentoo GNU/Linux stable
Kernel: 2.6.19-gentoo-r5


Everything provided on this page is distributed WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY of the author(s), without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Use the information in this document at your own risk. I'm not responsible for any damage or loss of your data and/or your computer, direct or indirect, derived by using the information provided on this page.

Kernel built-in vs Modules

My choice for most of the peripherals is to include the support directly in the kernel to make it as much possible monolithic , anyway there are some issues with some periperhals that needs their support be loaded in a different order that the kernel does, in theese cases we are forced to build their support as modules. Furthermore there are some extra modules like ndiswrapper and also proprietary drivers that cannot be compiled built-in. A case in which is more convenient making a module instead of built-in support is for removable perhiperals which we don't use often like usb flash disks.

Hotplug & Coldplug

Hotplug and Coldplug are much useful as they implements the PnP feature in Linux, so it's a good idea to merge them :

emerge hotplug coldplug

But before we can use them we must enable all the PnP features bult-in in the kernel :

Linux Kernel Configuration: Hotplug and coldplug
Device Drivers -->
     Plug and Play support  ---> (enable it all)


Bus options (PCI, PCMCIA, EISA, MCA, ISA)  --->
     PCI Hotplug Support -->
           <*> Support for PCI Hotplug (EXPERIMENTAL)
           <*>   ACPI PCI Hotplug driver

Now we can put them in the boot runlevel :

rc-update add coldplug boot
rc-update add hotplug boot

After rebooting we can test if hotplug/coldplug works listing all modules :


We can for example compile the usb mass storage support as module, then we can plug a usb flash disk and if we check the modules, usb-mass-storage (and eventually all its dependencies) will be in the list.

Knowing your Hardware (lspci)

Now the most important thing is to know which hardware you have, so this is the output of lspci :

0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon 9100 IGP Host Bridge (rev 02)
0000:00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon 9100 IGP AGP Bridge
0000:00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc OHCI USB Controller #1 (rev 01)
0000:00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc OHCI USB Controller #2 (rev 01)
0000:00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc EHCI USB Controller (rev 01)
0000:00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc ATI SMBus (rev 1a)
0000:00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc ATI Dual Channel Bus Master PCI IDE Controller
0000:00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc: Unknown device 434c
0000:00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc: Unknown device 4342
0000:00:14.5 Multimedia audio controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP150 AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 01)
0000:00:14.6 Modem: ATI Technologies Inc IXP AC'97 Modem (rev 01)
0000:01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RS300M AGP Radeon Mobility 9100IGP
0000:02:02.0 Ethernet controller: Linksys, A Division of Cisco Systems AirConn INPROCOMM IPN 2220 Wireless LAN Adapter (rev 01)
0000:02:03.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
0000:02:04.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB1410 Cardbus Controller (rev 01)

I choose to begin with issues that gave me more problems, others will come soon. Anyway this is a WIKI so I appreciate everyone who will edit and improve this page.


There are some problems with acpi, It's not possible to check battery status, acpi says : "the battery doesn't exist", There is this post on gentoo official forum, I followed the instructions, I downloaded from acpi site the Acer TM2700 dsdt, I choose the "initrd DSDT override" solution.


I followed this guide to make my touchpad work, now only the 4-directional central button doesn't work properly. In my case the right device is /dev/input/event0, I had a problem to get my touchpad recognized and so I've recompiled my kernel with this configuration:

Linux Kernel Configuration: Input
Device Drivers->Input Device Support:
  <*> Event Interface
  <*> Mice
  <M> PS/2 mouse

then I added as last line to my /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6 this:


and all went fine (:biggrin:)!



It's only a matter of choosing right devices in the kernel configuration and installing alsa:

Linux Kernel Configuration: Sound
Sound->Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  ->
  <*> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
  <*> Sequencer support
  <*> OSS Mixer API  #this ones (OSS ones)  are enabled because older programs uses only oss
  <*> OSS PCM (digital audio) API
  < * > OSS Sequencer API
Sound->Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  -> PCI devices
   <*> ATI IXP AC97 Controller
   <*> ATI IXP Modem

after recompiling the kernel, you must install alsa :

emerge alsa

and I suggest you also to install alsa-utils to save the mixer.

Graphic Card

In order to use fully and correctly our graphic card we must enable in the kernel :

Linux Kernel Configuration: Graphics
Device Drivers->Graphics Support:
 <*> ATI Radeon display support
 <*> Backlight & LCD device support  --->
  <*>   Lowlevel Backlight controls
  <*>   Lowlevel LCD controls
Device Drivers->Character devices  --->
 <*> /dev/agpgart (AGP Support)
 <*>   ATI chipset support
 <*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support)
 <*>   ATI Radeon

Network adapter

This is the card : 0000:02:03.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10) so I enabled in the kernel :

Linux Kernel Configuration: Network
Device Drivers -> Networking support -> Ethernet (10 or 100 Mbit)
  <*> EISA, VLB, PCI and on board controllers
  <*> RealTek RTL-8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter support

Wireless network adapter

This howto helped me to get my WNA working.

CD and DVD reader/writer

we must enable generic ATAPI cd support so we must enable in the kernel

Linux Kernel Configuration: CD
Device Drivers -> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
  <*> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
  <*>     Include IDE/ATAPI CDROM support

and cd specific filesystem :

Linux Kernel Configuration: CD filesystem
File System -> CD-ROM/DVD Filesystems
  <*> ISO 9660 CDROM file system support

here we are, our cd/dvd unit will works also for burning discs in programs which support burning from ATAPI cd/dvdwriter, I've got no problems with k3b and graveman (my favourites burning programs).


I discovered that the IR Port is a SMC chipset based one, so I've read a lot in the web and I found that theese are the more problematic ones. The support in 2.6.13.x and 2.6.14.x kernels is still experimental, smcinit anyway isn't needed because the BIOS can enable the port. However the kernel support is needed only for using the IR port in FIR mode (Fast Infra Red) so we can still use it in SIR mode (Serial Infra Red). I found the correct parameters to pass at module smsc-ircc2 to enable FIR mode so I edited /etc/modprobe.d/irda :

alias irda0 smsc-ircc2
options smsc-ircc2 ircc-dma=1 ircc-irq=3 ircc-sir=0x2f8 ircc-fir=0x6f8

Afterwards run update-modules and added irda0 to /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6

If this doesn't work, you should change the irda port dma/irq on the laptop bios. However is still possible to use it in SIR mode :

A IR port in SIR mode is fast as a common serial port, so unfortunatelly this means that if you want to transfer large files you must be patient.

First of all we must enable (if it's not) the IR port in the bios, (Advanced tab) , because Linux cannot enable it. Once we reboot we must check if the Serial driver has detected it and what is the right device:

dmesg | grep -n2 Serial
10:Serial: 8250/16550 driver $Revision: 1.90 $ 4 ports, IRQ sharing disabled
11-ttyS1 at I/O 0x2f8 (irq = 3) is a 16550A

The device this time is /dev/ttyS1 If nothing appear probably you didn't compile the serial support in the kernel or you haven't loaded the module, that in this case is :

Linux Kernel Configuration: IrDA
Device Drivers
       -> Character devices
         -> Serial drivers
           - <M> 8250/16550 and compatible serial support
          <M>   8250/16550 PCMCIA device support
          [*]   8250/16550 device discovery via ACPI namespace
          (4)   Maximum number of 8250/16550 serial ports

Now we must enable IRDA related stuff : config this part as this topic (point 4) says. Then load ircomm-tty and irtty-sir :

modprobe ircomm-tty
modprobe irtty-sir

Now we must install irda-utils that will help us to establish connection to irda port and to test it :

emerge irda-utils

Now we must attach our port :

irattach /dev/ttyS1 -s

If all goes well you will see some output after this command :


Now that the connection is set we must add ircomm-tty and irtty-sir to /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6 and put in /etc/conf.d/local.start to set-up ir port at every reboot :

irattach /dev/ttyS1 -s
echo 115200 > /proc/sys/net/irda/max_baud_rate
echo 2000 > /proc/sys/net/irda/max_tx_data_size
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/irda/max_tx_window

IrDA Applications

Now that our port works well we might want to use it to transfer some file, for this purpose we can install :


{*}Not in portage ---

TODO: X, full kernel config, hdparm config, laptop mode config.


This guide is linked on :

TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, notebooks, PDAs and mobile phones

Retrieved from ""

Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 10:42:00 +0000 Hits: 5,169