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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).


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Old 04-08-2005, 06:43 PM   #1
rocky raccoon
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ABSOLUTE NEWBIE: SuSe 9.1 on Averatec

Would someone please instruct me how to update the linux kernel and install a driver? (Preferably after reading the following...)

I recently chose SuSe 9.1 to install on my Averatec 3250H1 laptop to introduce me to the Linux world; everything installed fine (as far as I can tell) except the graphics. I discovered upon researching that this laptop has an s3 unichrome chipset for graphics.

I looked around and found others' solutions to the same problem I have (X server kicks on a black screen at run level 5). All these folks installed Debian distributions, and they are all WAY more advanced than me.

The general concensus is, I have to update the linux kernel with a -epia patch, and install an experimental unichrome driver. Both the patch and the driver seem to be available from the Unichrome Project on the SourceForge website.

I have the tools now, but I don't know how to use them!

Could someone please give the step-by-step kindergartener's explaination to me on how to update the linux kernel and install the driver?

Post here or email me at
Old 04-10-2005, 03:46 AM   #2
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Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
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From what I read on sourceforges site, you need xorg not XFree86. SusE 9.1 used XFree86 I believe. 9.2 went to Xorg, but I thought 9.2 was extremely buggy(case in point, they are getting ready to release 9.3 soon).

The documentation for installing that is long, but fairly straightforward and like I said, the only problem I see so far is that you are running XFree86's release instead of Xorg's.
If you wanted a debian based distro, Ubuntu will likely get everything going for you a lot quicker. If you like KDE more than Gnome, try KUbuntu. If your going to stick with SusE, you'll probably want 9.2 or 9.3, but YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED about 9.2.

Last edited by musicman_ace; 04-10-2005 at 03:47 AM.
Old 04-10-2005, 03:58 PM   #3
rocky raccoon
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Should I want a Debian based distribution? Right now I'm impartial to the distribution as long as i can get it to work with the monitor on this laptop. My only requirement is that it is installed on the hard drive and not a LiveCD so I can learn enough to start mucking around with Linux more. I do prefer KDE, though.

What do you recommend as a good KDE-based newbie distribution? Are there any that work well with S3 Unichrome chipsets as-is? What's your favorite distribution and why? Will KUbuntu be easy to install?

I balk at support documents that say "patch and recompile the kernel."
Old 04-10-2005, 05:33 PM   #4
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If you want to stick with the apt-get and a few other debian tools, then you'll want to look into what the distro is based on. I've never went with a debian based distro.

I recommend slackware, but I'm not sure that 10.1 uses xorg either since slack generally stays a little behind in features to maximize stability. Next I'd recommend gentoo, but I don't know if you want to spend hours compiling programs. Since SusE (more accurately Novell), screwed me over on a stable linux distro I went with slack then gentoo. Stability matters most to me. Some people believe that both these distro's are difficult, but if you read the manual, they are just as simple as any other.

I doubt any distro will work as-is since the driver from sourceforge is not in the mainstream kernel. I've seen the Ubuntu distro, and it looks very straightforward but I have no interest in trying it. Ubuntu is suppose to be very Newb friendly. Try it and see, what do you have to loose
Old 04-26-2005, 10:11 AM   #5
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use simply mepis 3.3

rocky racoon,

I also own an averatec 3200 series. There is a generic driver that will allow X to run on the averatec called "Vesa". However, the solution to your problem is simple: use simply mepis 3.3. I went distro-hopping for this laptop and settled on simply mepis because these things worked out of the box:

cpu power management (turning down the frequency that your processor runs at when idle so that you conserve power)

This is, by far, the easiest way to get linux up and running on your laptop, trust me. Since simply mepis is a live-cd as well as an install disc, you can boot it up and watch the magic yourself before you decide to install.

click here and choose a mirror on that site.

Post back if you have any problems, I will be monitoring this thread.


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