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Specs

The machine at hand features a Pentium-M CPU at 1.5 GHz. It offers a parallel port, a port for the docking station, a VGA- and TV-Out, a FireWire port and 4 USB 2.0 ports. It has a PC-Card slot, a Modem (AC97 Softmodem), GigaBit-LAN (Broadcom BCM5788) and a built-in DVD/CD-RW drive (Toshiba SD-R2512). It also incorporates a SD/MMC-Card slot. The graphics chip is a Mobility Radeon 9600 (M10) from ATI with 64 MB VRAM which outputs to a 15" TFT at SXGA+ resolution (1400x1050). As this is a Centrino laptop, it is based on the i855PM chipset and includes the WLAN chip Pro/Wireless 2100 from Intel. The harddisk is an astonishingly fast Hitachi Travelstar (measured 26 MB/s with hdparm) and 60 GB in size. The whole laptop, including batteries, weighs approximately around 3 Kg.



BIOS

You can reach the BIOS via F2. Hitting <ENTER> on startup lets you choose between several boot devices (hard disk, cd, removable). Note that there is a new BIOS 0206A available from ASUS(ftp://ftp.asuscom.de/pub/NOTEBOOK/M6x00N/Bios/). You can use FreeDOS(http://www.freedos.org/) for flashing.

Installation

It was installed with Novell/SuSE 9.0 which was a rather painless procedure. Afterwards, kernel 2.6.3 with patches for SWSUSP, ACPI, DSDT-initrd and laptop-mode was installed. Do not touch kernel 2.6.4 for this machine, since many things did not work out for me with that kernel version, like Modem, 3D, WLAN.

Screen

XFree86

XFree86 runs out of the box with the free radeon driver. Unfortunately, this driver does not supply 3D acceleration at the moment, so you have to switch to the proprietary driver from ATI (which only supports i386) for that. But do not use kernel 2.6.4, because the module fglrx from driver package version 3.7.6 segfaults on this kernel. XFree86 still runs without the kernel module, but also without 3D acceleration. There are several disadvantages when using the proprietary driver: the console screen is b0rked, external VGA does not work (see below), swsusp does not work (see below). The display resolution runs smooth at SXGA+.

TouchPad

The touchpad works with /dev/mouse. The synaptics driver(http://w1.894.telia.com/~u89404340/touchpad/index.html) works great and gives you the mouse buttons you miss. For X11 always disable gpm to prevent the mouse from behaving weird.

Console

The console runs fine with radeonfb at SXGA+. You lose the ability to work on the console when using the proprietary drivers from ATI, because the screen becomes garbled and unreadable.

TV-Out

You may switch the TV display type between NTSC and PAL in the BIOS. Dunno if atitvout works.

VGA-Out

Works very well on the console or XFree86 with the free radeon driver. You cannot switch between the different modes with Fn+F8, although the ACPI events are recognized (ACPI4ASUS version 0.28).
The proprietary fglrx does not work well. The console on the external display shows the same garbage as the internal display. XFree86 disables the external output when starting and the control tool from ATI does not seem to save the configured values. Perhaps playing around with the options DesktopSetup and MonitorLayout in XF86Config might help.

Cards

PC Card

PCMCIA works out of the box with yenta_socket.

SD/MMC-Card Reader

Although the device seems to be another socket for PC Cards, as cardctl ident reveals, a tested SD-Card from SanDisk did not work. Instead it broke everything in the kernel which was somewhat hotpluggable and the machine had to be rebooted to make it work again.

Network

LAN

The network interface works with the tg3 kernel driver with 2.6.3 and should work with bcm5700 for 2.4 which you might have to download from Broadcom(http://www.broadcom.com).

WLAN

Currently, there are theoretically three possibilities to make this chip running:

Power and Configuration Management

ACPI

ACPI seems to work in a way. You need a patched DSDT to have AC-Adapter and Batteries working. See the page from Andre Messerschmidt(http://www.isis.de/members/~messersch/asus-m6800n.html) for the DSDT and the ACPI4Linux pages(http://acpi.sf.net/dsdt/index.php) for instructions and more context. Or you apply a patch from mrhammy2.ath.cx(http://m6n.ath.cx/forum/).

Standby

Standby has only been tested briefly and it does not seem to work. The machine wakes up at once.

Suspend-To-RAM

It seems to work with kernel 2.6.7, but it is important to define acpi_sleep=s3_bios on the kernel command-line (or lilo.conf or menu.lst or ...). You need a custom script to stop/start services, unload/load modules (e.g. USB) and so on. That script should echo -n "mem" > /sys/power/state to do the actual suspension. Caveats: Sometimes, the USB mouse has to be plugged in and out of different ports for several times. WLAN is dead after the resume, which is somewhat known at bugzilla.kernel.org(http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2643).

Suspend-To-Disk

With a properly configured suspend.conf (unload USB, proprietary drivers), SWSUSP2 (2.0.0.10, 2.6.3-test6) works well, if there would not be the proprietary kernel module from ATI. When this modules is loaded, the system seems to enter the suspension process, but does not power off. After powering it on again, the system starts without taking notice of any suspension processes. And since the console screen is b0rked (see above), you cannot see where the suspension hangs. It works without fglrx.
Using version 2.0.0.93 with kernel 2.6.7 works fine with the free radeon driver unless you use an USB input device. If the driver usbhid is loaded on resume, the system freezes.

CPUFreq

The module speedstep-centrino should be chosen. The user-space daemon cpufreqd runs fine with it. Take care to include the old kernel-APIs for cpufreq in the config, because the daemon shipped by SuSE 9.0 does not understand sysfs.

Hotkeys

All Hotkeys work with the driver acpi_asus. They can be configured via the acpid.

Sound

Sound works with Advanced Linux Sound Architecture - ALSA driver snd-intel8x0.

Modem

The driver slmodem (slamr) from SmartLink(ftp://ftp.smlink.com/linux/unsupported/), version 2.9.6 or later can be loaded, although it was not possible to establish a connection. According to this thread(http://m6n.ath.cx/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8), the machine contains a proprietary CTX22 codec which is and will be unsupported by slmodem.
But the hsfmodem offered by Linuxant(http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/hsf/full/downloads.php) definitely works with kernel 2.6.7 (+ patches for acpi, swsusp2 and m6n), you can even hear the modem dialing and connecting. Alas you have to pay for a driver at full speed or you have to live with 14.4 kbps.

Infrared Port - IrDA(TM)

SIR

Similar to the ASUS M2400N, IrDA does not seem to work correctly with 2.6 in SIR mode. irattach cannot see other devices than the laptop itself. Check Jean's pages(http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/IrDA/IrDA.html#config) about the setup for /dev/ttyS1.

FIR

Fortunately, FIR seems to work with the driver nsc-ircc, at least irdadump can see other devices. Be careful to unload all serial drivers which could come in the way, like 8250 and irtty-sir. The IRQ routing seems to work better here than in M2400N, because no quirks like acpi_irq_balance are needed for the M6800N.
With kernel 2.6.7, it does not work anymore with the default options for the kernel module. You need a line like options nsc-ircc irq=3 dma=3 io=0x2f8 dongle_id=0x09 in your /etc/modprobe.conf (or whatever your appropriate configuration file might be called). The device then shows up as some IBM stuff and not as HP stuff as it was in older kernels.

DVD/CD-RW

The drive works fine on /dev/hdc, both reading and writing DVD/CD-RWs.

USB

Works out of the box. Tested with USB Mouse and Harddisk (2.0).

FireWire

The ohci1394 module loads fine, though FireWire was not really tested due to the lack of a proper device.

Survey PCI Devices

Output from lspci:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82855PM Processor to I/O Controller (rev 21)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82855PM Processor to AGP Controller (rev 21)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB USB (Hub #1) (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB USB (Hub #2) (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB USB (Hub #3) (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB USB2 (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BAM/CAM PCI Bridge (rev 83)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801DBM LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801DBM Ultra ATA Storage Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBM SMBus Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801DB AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc: Unknown device 4e50
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5788 Gigabit Ethernet (rev 03)
02:01.0 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev ac)
02:01.1 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev ac)
02:01.2 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C552 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 04)
02:02.0 Network controller: Intel Corp. PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI Adapter (rev 04)

Resources

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