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Averatec_3150

This article is part of the Hardware series.
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Contents

Introduction

The Averatec 3150x series of laptops are a good price/performance match for running Linux. With the exception of Suspend To RAM, all the hardware on the laptop is well supported and works under Linux. This document attempts to list the basic information you need to get Gentoo running on your Averatec, it doesn't really go into enough detail for beginners (yet!), but should provide all the information an experienced Gentoo user needs to set up the laptop. If there's an area lacking in information (the Video section would be one), please jump in and help!

Video

The savage dri driver in the kernel or in x11-drm supports accelerated 3d on this laptop. However, due to the bug listed here and here, to get stable support right now, you will have to stick with xorg-7.0-r1, mesa 6.4.2-r2, and xf86-video-savage 2.0.2.3. As of November 28, 2006, the latest testing builds of mesa(6.5.1-r2), xorg-server (1.1.1-r2), and the latest savage driver (2.1.2) have fixed the bug listed about and work well with x11-drm.

Touchpad

Emerge x11-misc/synaptics for an X driver for the touchpad. In the "Module" section of your xorg.conf, you'll need a line that reads 'load "synaptics"' to load the driver. See the README and INSTALL files in /usr/share/doc/synaptics-* for more information on configuration. The synaptics driver does cool stuff like enabling the scroll regions on the touchpad and letting you use one, two or three fingers for left, middle and right clicking. See this wiki entry for more information.

802.11b

Wireless on this laptop is a royal pain. It uses a prism3-usb chipset and the linux-wlan-ng driver. Unfortunatly, the version in portage does not play nice, so you have to download and build it manually. See the linux-wlan page for details.

Ethernet

The internal ethernet uses the via-rhine module supplied with the kernel.

Modem

The drivers for the modem are also in portage, emerge net-dialup/slmodem for them. The SmartLink modem driver is in two pieces, a kernel module and a user space daemon that handles the modem control. You have two choices for the kernel module, you can use the closed-source slamr module that is installed when you emerge slmodem, or you can use the ALSA modules in later versions of the kernel. As I've not used the modem extensively, I can't vouch for one over the other, but I prefer to use an open source solution when practical. To use the ALSA drivers, you'll need to reconfigure your kernel and compile the new modules.

Linux Kernel Configuration: ALSA Modem Drivers
Device Drivers--->
 Sound--->
  Advanced Linux Sound Architecture--->
   PCI Devices--->
    <M> VIA 82C686A/B, 8233/8235 AC97 Controller
    <M> VIA 82C686A/B, 8233 based Modems

You'll want to load both modules at startup, I recommend making the AC97 controller snd-card-0 and the modem controller snd-card-1. Load the modules, emerge slmodem and run /etc/init.d/slmodem and you should be set. Make sure that any user you want to be able to use the modem is in both the "dialout" and "uucp" groups. The slmodemd daemon will use a pts and create a link to it in /dev called ttySL0. It also creates a /dev/modem symlink.

Sound

The kernel ALSA drivers for via-82xx work nicely and require no special configuration. See the modem configuration above for which modules to include in the kernel.

PC Card

See this guide.

USB

The accessible USB ports are USB 2.0, and work fine with the EHCI driver. Unfortunately, it is quite well-known that the USB bandwidth and implementation on this laptop is definitely lacking.

Serial and Parallel Ports

There aren't any, so if you need them, you'll also need USB adapters.

Power Management

Power managment works for the most part. Brightness control and fan speed control are lacking. There is a custom DST avalable for this laptop, but I have not experimented with it at all.

This may not be a power management issue per se, but to get reboots to work without hanging, I have had to add the kernel parameter reboot=bios to the kernel boot parameters in grub. Oddly enought, shutdowns work fine.

Suspend

Suspend to RAM (S3) seems to be seriously broken in this laptop, it may work under Windows, but it definitely doesn't work under Linux (any version, so far as I can tell). However, both the Software Suspend built into the 2.6 kernel series and Software Suspend 2 work quite well for suspending to disk. For Software Suspend 2, emerge sys-kernel/suspend2-sources and sys-power/hibernate-script. For that matter, sys-power/hibernate-script is also useful for the kernel version.

Other Resources

Another good resource for the Averatec systems in general is the unofficial Averatec support forums site. They have a lot of general information on the machines and quite a bit on running linux on them. This guide is listed at the TuxMobil Linux laptop and notebook installation survey.

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Last modified: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 11:30:00 +0000 Hits: 9,445