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Linux on notebook Asus A1 series

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My system specification

This is the procedure to install Linux on your Asus A1356D notebook (and perhaps on A1 series entirely), avoiding LCD bug. SiS 630 chipset will work only in framebuffer mode without graphic hardware acceleration.
Here Mandrake Linux 8.0 distribution is taken in example, but the procedure could works also on RedHat and other, provided with 2.4 kernel or greater.

For RedHat 6.2, 7.1 and Slackware 8.0 you can find a great guide here.

If you need informations about sound and/or modem, please go here.

It is very important that framebuffer mode is active into the kernel, otherwise it must be recompiled (with Mandrake it isn't necessary).

  1. Begin installation without USB mouse (I've got some problems if inserted).

  2. When arrived to lilo installation, choice advanced option and set up video mode on "1024x768(framebuffer)" to make active framebuffer on boot.
    If you want to edit lilo.conf manually, please insert the line vga="791" setting up correct resolution and then run lilo from shell to apply the changes to the MBR (master boot record). If you need, this is my lilo.conf.

  3. Now you should be arrived at the X server configuration. Linux will say you that SiS 630 chipset it's supported only by Xfree86 3.3.6 version. Choice it without 3D experimental support option.

  4. At the screen configuration, leave default values (SVGA, 1024x768@70Hz).

  5. Answer NO to the question "Do you want to test the configuration?", otherwise system crashes!

    Do you want to test the configuration? Warning: testing this graphic card may freeze your computer.

  6. Answer NO also when Linux asks to set up your computer to automatically start X upon booting.

    I can set up your computer to automatically start X upon booting? Would you like X to start when you reboot?

  7. Now installation is finished. Reboot the system.

  8. On the boot, log as root to operate in the shell.

  9. Now it's necessary to install X server for framebuffer, which is XF86_FBDev. To make this, insert first cdrom and move to /mnt/cdrom/Mandrake/RPMS (verify the path, in other distributions search for RPM directory).
    The file you need is XFree86-FBDev-3.3.6-21mdk.i586.rpm.

  10. Install it with rpm -Uvh XFree86-FBDev-3.3.6-21mdk.i586.rpm

  11. Go to /etc/X11 and delete actual link with rm X.

  12. Now create a new symbolic link to the installed X server: ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/XF86_FBDev X

  13. Last step is to copy this XF86Config example file in /etc/X11, replacing the old one.

  14. Finally it's time to run startx.

WARNING: It's important to disable all power saving functions (use "Control Center" of KDE) to avoid LCD bug, leaving BIOS do it. Also suspend-standby-resume doesn't seem to work.

NOTE: with my XF86Config, you can use both mouse and touch pad.

Finally, read this for sound and modem info.

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