Orzel:Asus W3Z

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Gentoo/linux on the Asus W3Z

This page describes my experience on installing/configuring linux on the Asus W3Z. The distribution is gentoo/amd64

I haven't found it on http://usa.asus.com although I've found the Asus page about the W3Z in french.

I do maintain this page. I would be happy to incorporate feedback from other users as well.


Summary

What works:

  • Ethernet
  • Sound
  • cdrom
  • IDE Chipset
  • ati/radeon 2D driver (sucks, but i can read divx)
  • Wifi (ndiswrapper ok, bcm43xx.sf.net driver freezes)
  • PC Card / PCMCIA

Still to investigate:

  • Modem(can't test, dont care)
  • Bluetooth (probably works, don't have any bluetooth device here to test)
  • SD card reader (probable works, can't test)

Unresolved issues:

  • ati/radeon 3D driver
  • Irda / SIR (seems ok,but can't get any signal)
  • Irda / FIR
  • Boot (when you reboot, grub freezes, you need to stop, and restart the computer physically)

I have no problem booting, with grub or from the cdrom. Press F2 to go to the bios and configure boot order if you want to boot from the cdrom.

Ethernet

The module is skge. I have only tried with 100Mb, as I dont have anything 1Gb related at home (switch, other computer..).

Something strange to be noted, my 10/100Mbs switch light for the cable connected to the laptop doesn't light up. It works but the light is not up. I've tried other ports of the switch of course.

Video/Xorg

Summary : ATI sucks, i'm not the first nor the last one to swear I will never ever buy a computer with ATI card. I use xorg-x11 7.2.


First try : I failed to use the proprietary binary driver from ATI(fglrx). X does nothing, can't be killed -9, and eventually makes the computer freeze. I can of course use the "NoDRI" trick (google for it), but then, i dont have Xvideo, i dont know why, and so i can't read divx... 
Second try : So i went the DRM/DRI way. 
I've configured VIDEO_CARDS="ati radeon" in /etc/make.conf 
Install xorg-x11 and x11-drm. 
I load the drm module through kernel.autoload.d. 
And it fails as well (the drm module doesn't find the card) I tried the drm/radeon modules from the kernel (last try : 2.6.17.13) and from the x11-drm package. 

Last one... So i'm back to raw ati/radeon driver, but without DRI. X says : ((EE) AIGLX: Screen 0 is not DRI capable) This way, i have NO 3d (no googleearth), but Xvideo (i can play divx fullscreen).


Bluetooth

I can't test it (i have nothing related to bluetooth), but there's a button on the right of the notebook. If you press it, the blutooth led becomes blue, and you can see the bluetooth device appearing in dmesg as usb, exactly as if some usb device has just been plugged externally. So i guess it's ok :)

Wifi

(last update : march 23th, 2006) The wifi chipset is a Broadcom BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g]. I installed the package net-wireless/bcm43xx from gentoo. I have then an eth1 that i can configure with iwconfig, but i've never managed to attach to my access point (which works, i can connect with other computers) That's the best i've been able to get(I've changed the key, dont laugh so stupidely):

 iwconfig eth1
                 
 eth1      IEEE 802.11b/g  ESSID:"freehackers"  Nickname:"farfalla"
           Mode:Managed  Access Point: Invalid   Bit Rate=11 Mb/s
           Tx-Power=off
           RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
           Encryption key:1234-5678-9a   Security mode:restricted
           Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0
           Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0
       

Half of the time i try to monitor (using "iwlist eth1 scan"), it works, half of the time, it doesn't. (device does not exit).

Also, the laptop went into complete freeze.

Unlike i highly dislike it, i tried ndiswrapper, and it worked.. :/ The difficulty was to find a proper amd64bit windows driver. (see the last section "links"). Unzip the file, and use ndiswrapper -i on the *.inf. then insmod the ndiswrapper module, and you're done.

Last thing i want to say : the wifi card is a mini-pci card, easily accesible from behind the laptop. So you can easily change it for another more linux friendly mini pci card.

Internal 56k modem

It's said to work, haven't tried yet.


Sound

No problem, you just need to configure Intel HD Audio in the kernel configuration (Device Drivers --> Sound --> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --> pci devices) and modprobe snd-hda-intel. (it took some time to find out this was the one).

Even when i put all levels to 100%, the sound isn't very loud. Even worse when i put a headset. I'm kinda upset by this limitation. Be aware of it before deciding to buy this laptop.

PC Card / PCMCIA

It just works, using the yenta_socket module. Just emerge pcmcia-cs.

Irda

According to the BIOS the irda can only be configured as FIR, not SIR. well..

Following the section Laptop port in SIR mode (using irtty driver) on this link Basically, i emerged net-wireless/irda-utils, added a file /etc/modules.d/irda (see Files section below), changed /etc/conf.d/irda (ttyS2 changed to ttyS1) and it seems to work:

 from syslog 
                 
 farfalla irattach: executing: echo farfalla > /proc/sys/net/irda/devname
 farfalla irattach: executing: echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/irda/discovery
 farfalla irattach: Starting device irda0 


Now.. i've never been able to get any signal with either lirc or various irda utility (obex).

I failed to configure it with SIR driver. (haven't tried a lot, though). There's suppose to be a utility but it doesn't compile on my amd64.

The chipset is a SMsC LPC47N07 Super IO. (according to the bios).

Misc

I configured /etc/conf.d/hdparm with all_args="-d1 -c3 -u1 -m16"


Information

 cat /proc/cpuinfo
 processor       : 0
 vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
 cpu family      : 15
 model           : 36
 model name      : AMD Turion(tm) 64 Mobile Technology MT-32
 stepping        : 2
 cpu MHz         : 800.058
 cache size      : 512 KB
 fpu             : yes
 fpu_exception   : yes
 cpuid level     : 1
 wp              : yes
 flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36
 clflush mmx fxsr sse   sse2 syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt lm 3dnowext 3dnow pni lahf_lm
 bogomips        : 1601.85
 TLB size        : 1024 4K pages
 clflush size    : 64
 cache_alignment : 64
 address sizes   : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
 power management: ts fid vid ttp tm stc


My kernel config My make.conf My /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6 My /etc/X11/xorg.conf The dmesg lspci -v Wireless 64.zip Windows amd 64 bit driver, the one that works for me. modules configuration file /etc/modules.d/irda.