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[IMAGE:Linux NOT on a Fujitsu LifeBook 700 Series Notebook] [IMAGE:Linux NOT on a Fujitsu LifeBook 700 Series Notebook]
Disclaimer at the end of this document with copyright issues on products not made or owned by me.

I own an IBM ThinkPad 560 NoteBook, and I am happily running Linux on it. However, a friend of mine purchased a Fujitsu "http://www.fujitsu-pc.com/products/corp/corp_intro.html": LifeBook (expired) 790Tx and asked me if I could offer some pointer for the installation of Linux on his system. I told him a little bit about some different distributions of Linux such as Caldera, Yggdrasil, Slackware, TurbolinuxRed Hat, SuSE, and Debian.

After he asked me a bunch of question (including what distribution I was using) he settled on Debian. Part of this decision stemmed from amazing coincidence that I was also using the Debian distribution of Linux and that I may be able to help him more quickly and effectively if he used the distribution that I had been using. (I do plan on installing Red Hat and SuSE on some other desktop machines when I get more money, but until then Debian is free for download and is what I am used to using.)

First thing we did was to repartition his hard drive. We used Partition Magic from Power Quest to repartition his hard disk. He started out with 4 Gb of hard disk space, and still liked many games for DOS that do not work in DOSEmu, and Windows that do not work in WINE.

He settled on 1.6Gb for Windows/DOS as VFAT. We used Windows 95 and its Network Neighborhood to check my house LAN for the SaMBa (or Samba) network file server running on another Linux box in my house. We Copied the whole Debian 2 installation package tree for the ix86 architecture over the house LAN to his notebooks 1.6Gb vfat partition.
[IMAGE:Linux being installed on a Fujitsu LifeBook 700 Series Notebook]

Installation of Debian Linux did not go as smoothly as I anticipated with his notebook. There was a problem with using the Emergency Boot Disk that I created from an image in the Debian 2 disks-i386/current directory and allowing his notebook to boot properly. When set the machine to boot off of the floppy, and performed a reboot, the kernel would decompress, and then as the machine was booting, it would either:

  1. Freeze
  2. Give us a kernel panic when it was unable to find /
  3. Halt when trying to mount /
  4. Halt when trying to mount /, and then perform a soft reboot.

After a bit of thinking, I recalled that he upgraded his system from 32 Mb to 96Mb of on-board RAM. Also, I recalled that Linux can sometimes have problems getting reports on how much RAM a machine has, when the amount of RAM is over 64Mb. We also noticed that the floppy disk was too slow when compared to the Hard Drive so we decided to take the LOADLIN.EXE approach. (LOADLIN.EXE is a program for DOS/Windows that allows you to start Linux from a DOS or Windows 95 session as though you were booting up your machine. This does NOT allow you to run LINUX from within a DOS-BOX in windows 95, or as a sub-process. LOADLIN.EXE will kill everything in memory as it "boots" up a linux kernel specified. [IMAGE:Linux installed on a Fujitsu LifeBook 700 Series Notebook]

We examined the install.bat (a sample batch file) (or if that link is broken, try install.bat) that came with this distribution. It had the following line:

When this line was called from the BATch file install.bat in the DOS/Windows 95 directory that had the file root.bin and linux it would attempt to load the kernel linux with the root file system being a RAM Disk, using the data in the DOS file root.bin for the applications and config files needed in the root file system once linux was booted.

Of course we had to try this one too, to see if it worked any better than the floppy Emergency Boot Disk. It did not. I then edited this BATch file from DOS, and added the argument mem=96M as another command line option. It then read:

This time when the kernel booted up, it did not fail as before. (I have not been given access to his notebook to see if this would work as a command line option to the Emergency Boot Disk. If I get around to testing this, I will try to update this.)

So the kernel booted, and the rest of the installation followed as a normal Debian installation.

A message from a fellow Linux user that was looking to install debian from CD-ROM:

Partition Information on my friend's Notebook's Hard Drive /dev/hda:

Before he purchased his notebook, he did some searching on configuration of X to work with his video adapter and TFT screen. He did find a fellow that posted a message to USENET saying that he had a working X setup on his notebook that was the same model and make as my friend. After some e-mail was exchanged between my friend and this other fellow, the other fellow sent the XF86Config file to my friend. (More on the X setup below.)

So, now at this point we had a nearly working system. The PCMCIA card services for Linux that came with the Debian distribution did not work as well as expected. Instead of working out the problems with the card services and related modules, I suggested that he instead grab a new kernel. At the time of this installation, 2.0.35 was the latest non-developmental stable linux kernel to be released. Also, ftp://projects.sourceforge.net/pub/pcmcia-cs/ had version 3.0.4 (now newer ones are there) of card services for laptops (which was the first one to compile cleanly with linux kernel 2.0.35 without making a few modifications to the source code with respect to kernel version checking and conditionals.) Since then new versions have been made available, but we have not tested them. [IMAGE:LinkSys 10/10 PCMCIA adapter]

He purchased a 16-bit PCMCIA 10/100 Ethernet adapter made by LinkSys that did not use Card Bus support. His laptop does indeed have a 32-bit Card Bus system, but after careful review of the PCMCIA Card Services For Linux SUPPORTED.CARDS document at the time of purchase, 32-bit Card Bus support was still in testing, and the 3COM cards with 32-bit Card Bus (as well as some others with 32-Bit Card Bus) had some problems associated with function in Linux at the time of purchase. Also, going for the LinkSys instead of the 3COM meant a card that cost about $70.00 (at the time) instead of $130 (3COM). (We did not expect 32-bit Card Bus hardware to have perfect support since it is/was in developmental stages at the time of the Ethernet card purchase.)

Now he was at the point where he was just about ready to compile his kernel. The Linux sound configuration, as well as the kernel prefer to have statically assigned IRQ, DMA, and IO ports. Since he wanted to have Windows 95 around for games, and other things (?) I had him go into START => SETTINGS => CONTROL PANELS => SYSTEM => DEVICES (tab) => SOUND/Devices => Sound Blaster/Compatible and manually configure his sound card in windows 95 to not be set by Windows 95, but instead manually set it to use IRQ 5, DMA 1,5, I/O 220 (SB) and I/O 330 (Midi/FM). This is necessary, since it is possible for the IRQ to be reassigned by Windows 95 after insertion of a PCMCIA card that wants or needs that IRQ unless Windows 95 is not longer able to manage the IRQ, I/O and DMA as a Plug and Play device. Windows 95 may place a blue exclamation point by the device in the System Control Panel under device listing. This just means that Windows 95 cannot dynamically allocate resources (such as IRQ, I/O and DMA) for this device anymore.

After the sound information was set up with static values for resources, (and other IRQ/hardware information was gathered from Windows 95 Device Manager) he set out to "make config" his 2.0.35 kernel.

He also has a Parallel Zip Drive, and wanted to use it with Linux. For this reason he compiled the Printer Port as a module for printers. Also, he compiled the IOMega "ppa" kernel option as a module as well. (This allows for switching between printer and a ZIP drive. Also, both modules can be removed, so as to use IRQ passing in DOSEmu for specialized devices that want to use the parallel port in DOSEmu. (No, I have not tested the guest.exe in DOSEmu and with the IOMega. There is not point to doing this. Once it is mounted in Linux, you can use LREDIR and it is much better. There are other parallel devices that we wanted to test in DOSEmu...)

Some kernel related stuff:

For more information on compiling a kernel for your system, please check out the KERNEL-HOW-TO.

X was simple to configure since we had an XF86Config file from Stein.Stromme@mi.uib.no (Stein A. Stromme) that set his Fujitsu up to work with X. Here are some X related items for configuration:


Read this next part if you are working on X and have an older Linux distribution.

Due to this e-mail from him, and for those that may ask, my friend was using:

Next we went out and downloaded the latest stable version of Netscape which was Communicator 4.x. We installed this.

Next we acquired UMP which is a MIDI plugin for use with Netscape that can call timidity (a midi player that can be installed from the debian packaging system with dselect) for EMBEDed midi files in HTML documents.

Both Netscape and UMP (actually timidity as called from UMP) work better with Environmental variables set. Since he uses bash, and not tcsh/csh, we only had to modify /etc/profile, not the /etc/csh.cshrc. All that we added was:

and then added MOZILLA_HOME and TIMID_DIR to the end of the "export" line and then set the MIME-Type in Netscape assigned with "midi" and "x-midi" to use the Midi Plugin instead of xplaymidi.

Next, we added SSH client and service version 1.2.26 from ftp://ftp.ssh.com/pub/ssh/

We have not started working on the built-in modem, but I did get an e-mail from a user by the name of Rob Briber and he had this to say about it:

I have not yet started work on this, but if I have any developments, I will post them here.

I did get another e-mail message from a another Linux user on the modem in his Fujitsu lifebook. He contacted Fujitsu about this, and they gave him a URL of http://www.lucent.com/micro/K56flex/PN96053.html (expired) and I will try to keep a copy on this server of this document, just in case Lucent move or alter their page on their site, or their server is unavailable to you. To access my LOCAL copy click on the word LOCAL. (E-mail address may be published when I have his permission.)

(At the time this document was duplicated for redundancy in ensuring this information from Lucent Technologies could be made available in the event of Lucent altering the location of the page, or removal, or end users being segregated from being able to access the Lucent site directly, I was entitled to duplicate this document, and still fulfill their copyright for educational use that was not profit motivated, and that thier document should contain their copyright which was also duplicated on this server. It is suggested that you review their site for the most up-to-date information. My copy is just a "backup" in the event you are unable to reach them.)

Work Still In progress. Most files (links) have been uploaded to the server.

To cover (maybe) BOOTP setup with PCMCIA ethernet cards and use of boot flags with respect to PCMCIA networking setup, netatalk, samba, lilo, (general overviews, not comprehensive.) The internal modem may be worked on this weekend (10/26/98 (or 26.10.98 for those from Europe).)

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