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Old 01-10-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
archfed
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Registered: May 2013
Distribution: Slackware
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Good distro for a Gateway ML3109


I used to have Crunchbang on this laptop. But now I'm looking for another distro. Recent versions of Crunchbang don't work on it for some reason or they just freeze once the kernel loads.

I've thought of maybe putting Arch or Debian on it. But I'm not sure how to go about it. The graphics card, the wireless card and the sound card are all problematic because of support. They usually require some extra work.

I tried puppy and some other puppy variants and super light distros but they wouldn't recognize the wireless card or I just didn't know how the set it up well.

Does anyone have any ideas what distro would be good for it if not compatible?
This is pretty much a learning experience because I want to use this laptop to experiment with bash among other things.

**I managed to run an hardware info scan from puppy. It has a really good utility for that. I think it has pretty much all the info needed.

This is out output of lspci and lsusb:

lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Device 5a31 (rev 01)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:04.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:05.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller (rev 80)
00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller (rev 80)
00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB2 Host Controller (rev 80)
00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 SMBus Controller (rev 83)
00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 IDE Controller (rev 80)
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB4x0 High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-ISA Bridge (rev 80)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-PCI Bridge (rev 80)
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RC410 [Radeon Xpress 200M]
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8038 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (rev 14)
08:09.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8185 IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 20)

lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 05dc:a777 Lexar Media, Inc.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

***I was looking at Linux-From-Scratch and thought of maybe using this computer for that while trying to build a working OS just based on the command line as snowpine suggested
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GatewayLaptopSpecs.pdf (161.5 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by archfed; 01-13-2014 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Adding more detail.
 
Old 01-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
camorri
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Quote:
I tried puppy and some other puppy variants and super light distros but they wouldn't recognize the wireless card or I just didn't know how the set it up well.
This is a common problem for people new to linux. It is not possible to make a good distro recommendation based on what you have posted. I went to the Gateway site, displayed your hardware, and they don't show any useful information about your hardware. There are some linux commands that will show what is needed to help you out. We need to know the chip set for things like your wireless card. Vendors of hardware use many different chip sets in manufacturing, what they post is not the the chip set.

I would suggest you get a live distro, there are plenty to choose from. A live distro is booted from a CD drive, or can be put on a USB stick and booted from there. Once loaded, you can run commands like 'lspci' to show us what video card, wireless card etc, you have. Then we can tell you what kernel module ( driver ) to load. The command 'lsusb' will list devices on the USB bus.

Quote:
They usually require some extra work.
This is the nature of linux. If you don't want to learn, you would be best advised to go back to what worked before.

You probably will have people recommend Mint, or one of the buntus. Its your choice, pick one, and fix one configuration problem at a time. That way you will become self sufficient.
 
Old 01-11-2014, 12:09 PM   #3
DavidMcCann
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The big problem seems to be the graphics, ATI Radeon Xpress 200M. I even found an on-line petition to AMD asking them to produce a driver! There's a thread at the Mint forum that doesn't reach any conclusion.

If Puppy (or something else) did cope with the graphics, then stick with it. Post your wireless problem on their forum and you're more likely to get a solution to that problem from them than here. And please do tell people what the components are. I found out about your graphics by searching for the specifications of the computer, but it didn't mention the wireless...
 
Old 01-11-2014, 12:20 PM   #4
snowpine
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If you can't get the graphics card issue sorted, then I'd recommend to do a text-only install of a distribution such as Debian and use this laptop for bash-learning projects (jukebox, torrent slave, etc.)

Here are some fun project ideas for old computers: https://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/0...-old-computer/
 
Old 01-12-2014, 03:46 PM   #5
bradshaw79
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Registered: Jan 2014
Location: Plano, TX
Distribution: Centos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camorri View Post
This is a common problem for people new to linux. It is not possible to make a good distro recommendation based on what you have posted. I went to the Gateway site, displayed your hardware, and they don't show any useful information about your hardware. There are some linux commands that will show what is needed to help you out. We need to know the chip set for things like your wireless card. Vendors of hardware use many different chip sets in manufacturing, what they post is not the the chip set.

I would suggest you get a live distro, there are plenty to choose from. A live distro is booted from a CD drive, or can be put on a USB stick and booted from there. Once loaded, you can run commands like 'lspci' to show us what video card, wireless card etc, you have. Then we can tell you what kernel module ( driver ) to load. The command 'lsusb' will list devices on the USB bus.

This is the nature of linux. If you don't want to learn, you would be best advised to go back to what worked before.

You probably will have people recommend Mint, or one of the buntus. Its your choice, pick one, and fix one configuration problem at a time. That way you will become self sufficient.
Its all GNU to me
 
Old 01-12-2014, 11:34 PM   #6
archfed
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Registered: May 2013
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 6

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camorri View Post
This is a common problem for people new to linux. It is not possible to make a good distro recommendation based on what you have posted. I went to the Gateway site, displayed your hardware, and they don't show any useful information about your hardware. There are some linux commands that will show what is needed to help you out. We need to know the chip set for things like your wireless card. Vendors of hardware use many different chip sets in manufacturing, what they post is not the the chip set.

I would suggest you get a live distro, there are plenty to choose from. A live distro is booted from a CD drive, or can be put on a USB stick and booted from there. Once loaded, you can run commands like 'lspci' to show us what video card, wireless card etc, you have. Then we can tell you what kernel module ( driver ) to load. The command 'lsusb' will list devices on the USB bus.

This is the nature of linux. If you don't want to learn, you would be best advised to go back to what worked before.

You probably will have people recommend Mint, or one of the buntus. Its your choice, pick one, and fix one configuration problem at a time. That way you will become self sufficient.
When I talk about extra work I mean it in a good way. As in I will do the extra work. ^^

This is the output I got from the ls commands:
lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Device 5a31 (rev 01)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:04.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:05.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller (rev 80)
00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller (rev 80)
00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB2 Host Controller (rev 80)
00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 SMBus Controller (rev 83)
00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 IDE Controller (rev 80)
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB4x0 High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-ISA Bridge (rev 80)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-PCI Bridge (rev 80)
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RC410 [Radeon Xpress 200M]
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8038 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (rev 14)
08:09.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8185 IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 20)

lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 05dc:a777 Lexar Media, Inc.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
 
Old 01-12-2014, 11:47 PM   #7
archfed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
The big problem seems to be the graphics, ATI Radeon Xpress 200M. I even found an on-line petition to AMD asking them to produce a driver! There's a thread at the Mint forum that doesn't reach any conclusion.

If Puppy (or something else) did cope with the graphics, then stick with it. Post your wireless problem on their forum and you're more likely to get a solution to that problem from them than here. And please do tell people what the components are. I found out about your graphics by searching for the specifications of the computer, but it didn't mention the wireless...
Puppy works but they explicitly recommend not to install it to the hard-drive. The graphics fail every now and then on puppy. It's really unstable. It will work fine an entire day and then next day it'll freeze mid-use.

*I'm running the slacko-puppy from an usb right now and it doesn't really have an option to install to the hard drive of the laptop. Or I can't really find it.
 
Old 01-12-2014, 11:55 PM   #8
archfed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
If you can't get the graphics card issue sorted, then I'd recommend to do a text-only install of a distribution such as Debian and use this laptop for bash-learning projects (jukebox, torrent slave, etc.)

Here are some fun project ideas for old computers: https://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/0...-old-computer/
What kind of things can I do with a text-only install?
And that's pretty cool idea. Are there text only apps or programs (I mean as in not strictly CLI) that I play around with? Say for example: could I use midnight commander?
I could probably do with a system based on programs just like that.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
adamk75
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The Xpress 200M chipset has been supported by the radeon driver for a very long time and should not pose any problems.

Adam
 
Old 01-14-2014, 06:29 PM   #10
rokytnji
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Read your Slack0 text specs. Specs are pretty close to this IBM M41 but I have a different graphics chip. AntiX, or Semplice (what I am posting from) should run just fine on that.
At least I could do it. YMMV.

Code:
inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: biker Kernel: 3.2.0-4-486 i686 (32 bit, gcc: 4.6.3) 
           Desktop: Openbox 3.5.0 Distro: Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (wheezy)
Machine:   System: IBM product: 679421U
           Mobo: IBM model: IBM Bios: IBM version: 20KT46AUS date: 06/04/2004
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium 4 CPU (-UP-) cache: 256 KB flags: (pae sse sse2) bmips: 3587.82 clocked at 1793.913 MHz 
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA NV6 [Vanta/Vanta LT] bus-ID: 01:00.0 
           X.Org: 1.12.4 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1024x768@85.0hz 
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI nv05 x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 1.2 Mesa 8.0.5 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card: Intel 82801BA/BAM AC'97 Audio Controller driver: snd_intel8x0 ports: 1c00 1840 bus-ID: 00:1f.5 
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82801BA/BAM/CA/CAM Ethernet Controller driver: e100 ver: 3.5.24-k2-NAPI port: 2000 bus-ID: 02:08.0
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Adapter usb-ID: 001-002
           IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 48.5GB (-) 1: id: /dev/sda model: WDC_AC28400R size: 8.5GB 
           2: id: /dev/sdb model: IC35L040AVVA07 size: 40.0GB 
Partition: ID: / size: 27G used: 4.4G (18%) fs: ext3 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 25.0C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A 
Info:      Processes: 108 Uptime: 1:14 Memory: 295.8/1136.6MB Runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.7.2 
           Client: Shell (bash 4.2.37) inxi: 1.8.45
ATI has never been a problem with me using the free open source radeon driver.

By the way, Slack0 you can install it, from a pendrive. Just mount the pendrive with pmount and
use the puppy universal install from the menu in JWM and when it asks where are the Puppy files. Point it to the mounted pendrive. I have a full install on a Atom Netbook of Slack0 5.6 that way. Just remember. Mount the pendrive. Run the installer. Pick full or frugal (I picked full for the netbook). When it asks for puppy files location. CD or File? Pick file. Be sure to pre-format Your puppy partition, Flag it as boot in gparted. Label it as /. The video I am posting should walk you through everything. Either AntiX (Debian) or Slack0 (Slackware 14 Puppy)

I am currently doing a massive upgrade in Semplice. This Desktop computer is a playtoy and is for the peoples bikes I work on to stay out of my hair while I work on their bike in the shop. I have not upgraded it in months.

Leaving you with
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kCotJWcoiE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxVOH3mo3Gw

Last edited by rokytnji; 01-14-2014 at 06:31 PM.
 
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