Re: Z61p Installation hints
On Mar 5, 11:51 am, "Rex B" <rex.ball...@gmail.com> wrote:[color=blue]
> I just purchased a new Z61p for use as a Linux machine.
> I had a few notes that I thought might be helpful to others.[/color]
Some quick updates
> SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.1 installed, but one must use the
> "Safe mode" because there are a number of edge triggered interrupts
> that are being missed during the boot sequence.[/color]
After a few different experiments, it turns out you only have to run
with ACPI=off for SLED. OpenLinux 10.2 does not have this limitation
> When the machine comes up initially, it is only in 1024x 768 display
> because the ATI driver for FireGL cards was not included in SUSE
> 10.1. The binary ATI driver can be downloaded and installed, and
> supports dual-head mode very nicely. On the Z61p this would be for
> laptops. This can also be set to "mirror" or "wide" or "vertical"
> displays. This is a nice way to set up a "preview" area for staging a
> slide show - or for taking notes in one screen while presenting on the
Update: If you register for SLED, and configure the automated update
right away, the ATI drivers will install automatically.
You do have to manually change the driver in your x config file.
Run 3Ddiag and it will tell you how to change this.
> I got the Atheros a/b/g/n card, which is not supported yet. The
> driver is supposed to be coming out this month, but it hasn't arrived
> yet. Not sure when Atheros will actually deliver.[/color]
After doing some digging, it turns out that the Intel a/b/g card is
supported for Linux. If you order a new machine that's the card to
Atheros does offer drivers via the madwifi utility, and SLED automated
update will install madwifi for you, but it can't find the a/b/g/n
It's the Atheros 5008 chipset, and will give unknown device ID 24.
It's at pci_bus:0000:03:00.0
It turns out that this is the same chipset used on the newer Mac
iBooks as well.
> I was able to install a "Linux Format" openSUSE 10.2 distribution,
> which had a much simpler installation, but did not come with support.
> The new navigation screens on KDE are much faster and much easier to
> navigate. Looking forward to the official SLED equivalent to 10.2. I
> bought the subscription support from Novell, hopefully I'll get an
> automatic upgrade.[/color]
Once I got 3D working on the ATI FireGL chipset, I was also able to
get 3D effects working on gnome. The gnome icons are actually quite
well done, and the rotating "cube" can have as many sides as you
need. I ended up configuring mine with 6 desktops. The main
advantage over traditional virtual desktop, is that you can drag items
around the cube or leave them wrapped. Nice when you want a document
where you only need a few columns of a spreadsheet in the left half of
3D effects also had "wobbly sheets" when you moved them. I haven't
had much chance to play with the other features yet.
Once the FireGL card was configured WUXGA graphics, if you had good
vision, the detail and flexibility of being able to have 20-30 open
documents spread across a half dozen desktops is really nice. Linux
configured this way would make most Mac owners jealous.
> Once everything was configured, the performance was astonishing.
> Other than the classic 3 second wait for applications to start,
> everything was extremely fast, and very responsive. The higher
> resolution display really worked great for gnome.[/color]
One nice feature of gnome is that it does have the option of an
animated curser when you have launched an application. This did help
to know whether you had double-clicked an application quickly enough
to get it started.