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I've been trying to fit Damn Small Linux to run on my computer (IBM ThinkPad 390E) but I've still got some work to do. Here's my system's specs: IBM ThinkPad ...
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  1. #1
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    Damn Small Linux and laptop issues - some solved, some not


    I've been trying to fit Damn Small Linux to run on my computer (IBM ThinkPad 390E) but I've still got some work to do. Here's my system's specs:

    IBM ThinkPad 390E
    64 MB RAM
    366 MHz
    4,3 GB hard drive
    800 x 600 display
    CD-ROM drive
    Floppy drive
    ESS Technology ES1969 Solo-1 Audiodrive (rev 02) soundcard


    Here's my checklist:

    1. Get the Wifi working - done
    - EDUP 54/11Mbps card with Ralink RT2500 chipset
    - Got it working with these commands:
    # ndiswrapper -i [location of the Rt2500.INF file]
    # depmod -a
    # modprobe ndiswrapper
    # iwlist wlan0 scan
    # iwconfig wlan0 essid [MYESSID] key s:[MYWEPKEY]
    # ifconfig wlan0 up
    # pump -i wlan0
    - I had some problems in the beginning because I didn't know that Knoppix based systems use the "pump" command. Now I do

    2. Get the OS freezing after 10 minutes of inactivity off - done
    - In /etc/lilo.conf change these lines:
    vga=normal -> vga=788
    append="xmodule=fbdev fb800x600 xfbdev"
    - Use Xfbdev instead of Xvesa

    3. Resolve the instability/ freezing of the net connection - not done
    - After the Wifi connection is established, browsing with Dillo or Firefox stops cold (the first online webpage, e.g. Google, will not get rendered wholly before the system freezes), freezing the whole system (the Caps Lock and Scroll Lock indicator lights both start to flash with a second interval below the laptop's display). Mouse and keypad don't work at all. The system is forced to be restarted manually.
    - By downloading MyDSL apps the system may freeze when 70-80% of the downloading is done. Sometimes it does reach up to 100% and the system doesn't freeze then. I've only tried downloading the game Doom.

    4. Get the sound working - not done
    - As said, the soundcard is ESS Technology ES1969 Solo-1 Audiodrive (rev 02). I hope this card is supported by this OS and I would be glad to get it working.
    - I haven't been found any solution yet, although I haven't done any serious in-depth research on this subject.

    5. Resolve the backup/ restore problem - not done
    - As I've downloaded Doom, then backup'd the system onto my USB drive (Kingston 1 GB), the restoration doesn't restore Doom after reboot. The USB drive is of course mounted before I try to backup.

    I hope some of you real gurus out there would help me on these issues.

  2. #2
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    3. Ralink RT2500 has native Linux driver. IMO it should be preferred over ndiswrapper stuff.
    4. Please run lspci -nv and post relevant snippet of output.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segfault View Post
    3. Ralink RT2500 has native Linux driver. IMO it should be preferred over ndiswrapper stuff.
    The RT2x00 project? I haven't yet got it to compile because Damn Small Linux doens't have make built-in. But I shall try to download make and see if I get that thing working.

    BTW. MyDSL app stopped working just now, so I'll reinstall the OS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segfault View Post
    4. Please run lspci -nv and post relevant snippet of output.
    00:07.0 0401: 125d:1969 (rev 02)
    Subsystem: 125d:8898
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 5
    I/O ports at fcc0 [size=64]
    I/O ports at fc60 [size=16]
    I/O ports at fc70 [size=16]
    I/O ports at fc58 [size=4]
    I/O ports at fc5c [size=4]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel modules: esssolo1

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    Both esssolo1 and snd-es1938 are known to drive this soundcard. Maybe you should try the other one.

    Can't you find a RAM upgrade for this lappy? You could do much better with 128 MB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segfault View Post
    Both esssolo1 and snd-es1938 are known to drive this soundcard. Maybe you should try the other one.
    Hmm, I think I should I didn't know this, so there is some hope left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segfault View Post
    Can't you find a RAM upgrade for this lappy? You could do much better with 128 MB.
    I've actually ordered a 128 MB memory chip and it should arrive next week. Then I've got 128 MB + 32 MB on this machine.

    Now when I tried to compile the rt2x00 module, make gives me the error "lib/modules/2.4.31/build/Rules.make: no such file or directory", although I just installed the kernel sources.

    Thanks for your help at this point.

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    Well, is the build symlink present in modules directory? It should point to your kernel sources directory. Here's mine:

    Code:
    $ ls -l /lib/modules/2.6.25-gentoo-r5/
    total 120
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root    31 2008-06-18 19:54 build -> /usr/src/linux-2.6.25-gentoo-r5

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    Actually, I've just gathered that the RT2x00 project needs a non-SMP kernel so it will not compile on my system.

    I think when my RAM has arrived and I've seated it into the machine, I should try again browsing with Dillo and Firefox.

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    Hey, where did you read that?
    And why are you using SMP kernel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sera88 View Post
    Actually, I've just gathered that the RT2x00 project needs a non-SMP kernel so it will not compile on my system.
    As I suspected this does not hold water. Out of curiosity I tried to build it on my quad-core desktop (had to rebuild kernel to enable wireless extensions). It builds just fine.

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    My "ls -l /lib/modules/2.4.31/" command produces this output:
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 21 Jun 22 03:11 build -> /usr/src/linux-2.4.31

    It was those old posts in Damn Small Linux forums that stated that SMP kernels are not supported by the RT2x00 project. I think it supports SMP then. Damn Small Linux doesn't have a non-SMP kernel distribution out there that I know of.

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