9 Nov 2004
(updated 9 Nov 2004 at 16:10 UTC) »
Acer Aspire 1703
Right, so today I reïnstalled my laptop with Debian, which was a living nightmare. The network card is a sis900 which doesnt work during the installation of Debian (nor the 2.2.20-ide kernel nor the bf24 kernel) so you'll have to install everything by the cds.
Here is a quick step what I did to get the default stuff working.
Boot from CD1 with the vanilla kernel (2.2.20-ide)
Follow the installation like any other Debian installation
After you made your system bootable and rebooted the machine make sure to remove the PCMCIA packages. If you don't do this you'll end up with nice trace calls whenever you reboot your system after the installation is completely done.
Add CD[1-7] to your apt sources list.
Do an 'apt-get install kernel-source-2.4.18
Compile the kernel source. Do not enable SiS IDE support! Instead use the "Generic IDE Bus master driver".The SiS driver in kernel 2.4.18 does not support ATA100 and enableing the SiS driver will render you with a kernel that can't mount his root FS. Further the SiS900 Ethernet card (an onboard one) wont work :s I get an Invalid EERPROM (yes, the spelling is right) and I can't configure the device. Luckely for me I have a PCMCIA wireless card so I have network support anyway...
Ofcourse there is more to configure, I'll leave that up to you. I'll put my .config file on my homepage later on which you may use incase you dont feel like configuring everything by hand or when you have no idea how to configure a kernel.
After you have configured your kernel, compile your kernel. (make dep && make bzImage && make modules && make modules_install)
Copy System.map to /boot/System.map-2.4.18 and copy arch/i386/boot/bzImage to /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.18
Now go to the / directory and do: rm vmlinuz ; ln -s boot/vmlinuz-2.4.18 vmlinuz ; ln -s boot/vmlinuz-2.2.20-idepci vmlinuz.old ; lilo
Reboot your laptop and boot the kernel labeled "Linux". Now your system should work with PCMCIA support and all the other things you've configured in the kernel. If something goes wrong and your system doesnt come up, reboot and boot the kernel labeled "LinuxOLD".
Well, you still dont have network at this moment, which doesnt do alot of good on a laptop. So, I hope you have a PCMCIA WIFI card that's supported by the Linux kernel. I myself have a Lucent card which uses the orinoco chipset.
apt-get install pcmcia-cs
apt-get install wireless-tools
Now edit the file /etc/network/interfaces
You should add an entry that kinda looks like this(but ofcourse with your preferences etc.:
iface eth0 inet dhcp
wireless-essid <your ESS ID>
wireless-key <your webkey> restricted
You should now be able to bring your interface up with the command ifup eth0
Now you have network :Decho > /etc/apt/sources.list
You can do Debian updates/package installations now by doing the following:
And select the method and location which you want to use as your repository.
Now you're able to use Debian on your laptop like anyone else, yay!.
But I don't have wireless... what now? how can I update
I can't help you with that on the moment other than saying "Download the latest 2.4 or 2.6 kernel on another PC, burn it on CDROM and copy it to your laptop". Finding a fix is on my todo list and anyone who has some advise or comments, please feel free to contact me.
On my TODO listGet SiS900 to work via a patch for the 2.4.18 kernel shipped with Debian.
Get ACPI powermanagement to work 100 percent without throwing errors.
More will follow soon I hope