For other laptops, see Linux on laptops
I got the laptop mostly to use it as a tv-out video box and for normal desktop work on a desk which should normally be computer-free. In general Linux works fine at first glance, but it took some effort to get more of the hardware to work, since the chipset (i845MP) is not that well supported yet. The nVidia graphics works fine, but only after installing the proprietary driver from nVidia. Powercontrol is not supported yet (should probably change soon in the kernel 2.4.21, when it comes out) and I haven't managed (or tried very hard) to get the smartmedia slot operational. The IEEE1394 port (FireWire) should work, but I have no hardware to test this.
The most annoying thing about the laptop is the very loud fan.
I currently use Mandrake 9.0 on the laptop (and most other machines I have). I'm convinced the distribution you use doesn't make much difference, as long as you use the most recent version. Debian is a slightly different story, you will probably need at least testing or unstable to get the most out of this hardware.
The reason I bought this particular laptop was that I did not want to get a windows license with the purchase. I tried to get a Dell, IBM, fujitsu-siemens, but all of them are under the control of microsoft's license contracts. I bought this laptop via Alternate from Jewel Notebooks. The specific page with details of this laptop. This model appears to be exactly the same as the Compal ACL10.
There are a few alternatives that also sell laptops without windows licenses, like Asus and other less well known brands.
This will contain a list of hardware features and getting it supported on the laptop. I will focus on the parts that don't (yet) work perfectly, so this may look like a tough laptop to get going, it's actually not very hard. However there are a few bits that may hold off some people from buying this machine at this time (mainly ACPI and IDE UDMA support).
A thing you should note about this laptop is that it's quite free of legacy hardware support. That means that it doesn't take PS2 keyboards or mice, only USB. The powercontrol of the laptop is also completely incompatible with previous systems (see ACPI Section). It does have a few cool features like:
The output of lspci:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge(rev 04) 00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04) 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #1) (rev 02) 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #2) (rev 02) 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BAM/CAM PCI Bridge (rev 42) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801CAM ISA Bridge (LPC) (rev 02) 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801CAM IDE U100 (rev 02) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM SMBus (rev 02) 00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Audio (rev 02) 00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Modem (rev 02) 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 420 Go] (rev a3) 02:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): VIA Technologies, Inc. IEEE 1394 Host Controller (rev 46) 02:01.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C (rev 10) 02:04.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ6933 Cardbus Controller (rev 01) 02:04.1 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ6933 Cardbus Controller (rev 01) 02:06.0 System peripheral: Toshiba America Info Systems: Unknown device 0804 (rev 02)
See cat /proc/pci, lspci -v, lspcidrake or lspci-vv for a more verbose output.
Simply works once you install the drivers from nVidia, but to get it to really sing, you need some configuring in the XF86Config-4 file...
When you are installing a linux distribution, don't expect too much and don't install something you feel should work, but doesn't. As long as you have some console or maybe even fb graphics, that's enough until you get the nVidia drivers
On this laptop, you will probably want to run a custom kernel, so better get the tarballs (.tar.gz) and read the relevant section in nVidia's documentation, it's very complete!
Of course, you'll want MPlayer to view all kinds of video formats
see this thread for some helpful hints in setting up tv-out and nvidia. I haven't tried this yet.
Your best bet is to try Andrew Grover's ACPI driver development code. This is really not terribly stable and doesn't work with KDE (3.0) battery meter.
Another interesting development is CPUfreq, which might be able to reduce the laptop's power consumption when it isn't that loaded or when it should be carefull with the amount of used power (battery powered mode). Note that I haven't tried this yet, because I mostly use the laptop at home and close to an AC power source.
I posted a message to the linux kernel mailinglist once to find out more about the problems I was seeing with this laptop. One of them was a problem with device 00:1f.1 having resource collisions. This apparently results in the IDE UDMA support to be unavailbable. This will of course significantly impact disk performance until it is fixed.
There is currently no support for this hardware, but documentation is
Also, a post archived at:
This is from the reply to the posting on linux-kernel mailinglist
As I said, the firewire should be supported, but I have no firewire hardware to test it with. To activate support, try the command modprobe ohci1394 as root. This should load the driver into the kernel. If it doesn't work, you need to configure and recompile the kernel to include it.
For all you can tell, I'm a lunatic pretending to have this laptop ;-). Maybe I have a Dell running windows xp? Whatever you find here is written for my own purposes and if it helps you, fine, if not, it's not my problem you have to grok what I write before you apply it yourself, capice?