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Old 12-26-2009, 11:53 AM
Willie Wong
Default Gigabyte T1028M Install Journal

Hi list,

Having troubled the list much in the past, I figure one way to
contribute is to here list some pit-falls I encountered in getting a
working environment set up on my Gigabyte T1028M netbook. I will
gradually update this thread as I run into more problems and figure
out how to solve them.

* Installation

The 1028M, like most netbooks, does not have an optical drive. But the
BIOS is capable of booting from USB. So one way of installing Gentoo
is to boot from a USB disk running SystemRescueCD, which has enough
bells and whistles that the built-in Realtek RTL8101E ethernet jack
works. Then one can just follow the Gentoo Handbook to do the install.

Just for reference (in configuring the kernel), the hardware on my
netbook includes
- Realtek RTL8101E ethernet
- Atheros wireless
- The IDE/SATA/PCI/USB chip set is Intel 82801G
- VGA is Intel 945 GME
- Audio is hda-intel
More on other bits of kernel config later.

If you just want to nuke the pre-installed stuff, then a quick fdisk,
untarring the stage-3, and installing the bootloader and kernel is
pretty much all you need to get a (re)bootable machine.

But, as I said before, the computer does not come with optical drive,
even though they do include a set of Install CDs in the purchase. The
recovery system, like many netbooks, consists of an extra partition on
the Hard Drive that boots and re-images the harddrive to factory
state. One may want to save that partition for a rainy day.

To dual boot, I found out the hard way that the partition table is
fragile. gparted does a good job resizing the Windows partition. But
to re-partition the newly freed space, remember: Windows has a quirky
behaviour. If one does not change the entry units to "sectors" in
fdisk, the Windows bootloader will crap out the next time you try to
boot into Windows.

The 160G harddrive is big enough to contain a 20G Windows partition +
a 4G FAT32 partition I use to copy files between the two boots. The
rest (minus the ~1G rescue partition) is dedicated to Gentoo.

* Drivers for the Kernel

I use intelfb on the console. The native resolution of the netbook is
1024x600-32. The frequency probably doesn't matter that much as it is
a LCD display. One should read the Kernel Doc if one needs help with
the boot parameters.

The netbook comes with a touchscreen, which requires the USB
Touchscreen support in the Kernel (under Device Drivers -> Input ->
Touchscreen). That's right, the built-in eGalax TouchScreen is USB
connected. Though I have not quite managed to get it working yet (as a
mouse). Not a big deal since I haven't installed X at the moment. I'll
deal with that later. At least now with the proper kernel support, I
have a device in /dev/input/event6 that registers whatever happens to
the touch screen.

The netbook also (like the eeePC and friends) come with the ElanTech
Touchpad for a PS/2 mouse device. Be sure to select the proper kernel
support (Device Drivers -> Input -> Mouse -> ... something here...).
It is the one for the ElanTech PS/2 support, and hard to miss (though
I did on my first time through the configuration).

Now, if your computer is like mine, just this is not enough to get
mouse working. You'd find after booting that dmesg lists no ElanTech
devices! This is a known bug! It happens also for eeePC and MSI Winds,
that whatever chipset is responsible, is causing a problem that
overflows the kbd driver, which causes the mouse driver to not load at
boot-time. A workaround is to pass "i8042.noloop=1" as a kernel boot
parameter. With this, and with gpm pointed to the proper mouse device
(on this box it is /dev/input/mouse1) one gets the pointer on the
console. (Useful if you browse the net in links on a console in
framebuffer mode.)

* Console

I have the console set-up to use unicode. Of course, the available
codepages are still limited to basically European glyphs. I emerged
"terminus-fonts" and am using ter-v16n in conf.d/consolefont.

Of side interest, I just found out that lynx now has CJK support. Of
course, in the normal console where Chinese/Japanese/Korean glyphs are
not available, this doesn't do much. To see CJK on the console, one
needs to install a console emulator. In my case, I am mostly
interested in Chinese support, so I emerged zhcon. Now, I am not
exactly sure if zhcon has UTF-8 support (their webpage suggests yes,
but I am still looking to toggle it on). Right now I run zhcon with
the locale set to zh_TW.Big5. A downside to this is that when starting
lynx, one needs to go to the options (which now shows in Gibberish
since lynx by default outputs to UTF-8 which the locale now doesn't
parse), and tick the option to set output locale to the environment
locale. After hitting submit the text will be all "right" again.

To be continued... (?)


If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
Sortir en Pantoufles: up 1114 days, 11:07

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