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Linux on the COMPAQ LTE Elite 4/75 CX Laptop



Preface

This is a survey about Linux related hardware features of the COMPAQ LTE Elite 4/75CX. I don't try to explain the usual installation details (for instance, which partitions I have made). If you like to know more about Linux and laptops take a look at my Linux Mobile Guide - Installing, Maintaining and Tuning of Linux on Mobile Computers.

Introduction

Though I am quite satisfied by the quality of the laptop, I am not satisfied by the specifications offered by COMPAQ. They are not very useful for Linux users, therefore I give the specifications below, which I collected from different sources.

I suppose these data are also valid in appropriate form for the other members of the COMPAQ LTE Elite notebook family.

A quote from: Linux on the Compaq LTE Lite 4/25 by Alex Jenner, alexj_at_ihug.co.nz:

The official Compaq web site. They have information about the older laptops including the LTE Lite range. If the following URL's are no longer valid, you should return to the main page and use the search engine." product datasheet.

Installation

On my COMPAQ LTE Elite 4/75CX I have installed the Debian distribution 2.2 Potato. I just copied an existing installation from my HP OmniBook 800CT via null modem cable (as described in my Linux-Mobile-Guide). Therefore I can't say much about the usual installation method from floppies or CD, but I suppose every current Linux distribution should work without any problems.

I use Linux and Window$95 together, using the boot manager LILO without any problems.

Hardwaresurvey

Harddisk

The COMPAQ LTE Elite 4/75 CX comes with a preformatted partition table:

/dev/hda1 Windows95 drive c:
/dev/hda3 Maintenance Partition, BIOS Setup

BIOS

As mentioned above, the COMPAQ BIOS program resides at a separate partition. As some other sites suggest, I use LILO to boot to the BIOS partition.

It seem easy to change the BIOS battery. You may access it the same way as the memory or the hard disk, see the hard disk section for further info.

Memory (RAM)

It is very easy to upgrade the memory. The maximum amount of RAM that can be installed is 32 MB (8MB fixed + 24 MB Kingston proprietary Module). The access to the memory slot is quite simple. The process is explained in the manual very clearly.

PCMCIA

The PCMCIA controller VLSI 82C146 is compatible with i82365, it is detected by probe.

PCI bridge probe: not found.
Intel PCIC probe: VLSI 82C146 found, 1 sockets.

The modules and cardmgr from the PCMCIA-CS package for 2.0.35 are loaded fine. cardctl detects the sockets and the inserted cards.

Graphics-Chip

Graphics Mode

The WD/Paradise 90C24 by Western Digital works with 640x480 and 800x600 resolution. To work with XFree86 3.3.6 I modified the XF86Config from the XFree86 3.1 and WD90C24 Notebook Video Chipset mini-HOWTO by Darin Ernst <dernst_at_pppl.gov, darin_at_castle.net> version: 0.96 8/10/95 . The XF86Config file is in the appendix below.

Textmode

This mode works well.

Sound

AFAIK the laptop doesn't have a sound card.

Framebuffer

The kernel 2.2.14 recognizes a VGA frame buffer device (vga16fb, 80x30), hadn't time to work this out more yet.

Mouse

N.N.

Floppydrive

The floppydrive works up to 1722KB with superformat (fdutils 5.2). FDC 0 is a National Semiconductor PC87306 .

Keyboard

The status of NUM, CAPS and SCRL may be displayed with setleds.

Advanced Power Management (APM)

N.N.

Battery

N.N.

Docking Station

I don't use a docking station.They seem really expansive and I can't see any usefulness. I would like to buy a PC instead and connect it via network to the laptop. Or use an external display, which works well as described above, and an external keyboard and mouse.

Other Resources

Thanks

  • David LaPointe <david_at_lapointenclick.com>
  • Matthias Kasimir <wahr_at_epost.de>
  • Others whose names I forgot to record.

TuxMobil - Mobile Linux

Please feel free to mail me if you have recommendations or criticism. I'm very receptive to additions, suggestions and changes from the readers of this document. Please note: If you don't object I will include your name and e-mail address in the credits section above.

Werner Heuser <wehe_at_tuxmobil.org>

Appendix - XF86Config

#=========================================================================
#/usr/lib/X11/XF86Config for XFree86 3.3.6 and later (NEW)
# modified by Werner Heuser 04/2000
#=========================================================================
#
# Copyright (c) 1994 by The XFree86 Project, Inc.
#
# Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a
# copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"),
# to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation
# the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense,
# and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the
# Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
# 
# The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
# all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
# 
# THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, 
# EXPRESS OR  IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF 
# MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND 
# NONINFRINGEMENT.  IN NO EVENT SHALL # THE XFREE86 PROJECT BE LIABLE 
# FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION 
# OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN 
# CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE 
# SOFTWARE.
# 
# Except as contained in this notice, the name of the XFree86 Project shall
# not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other
# dealings in this Software without prior written authorization from the
# XFree86 Project.
#
#
########################################################################
#### This XF86Config is for XFree86 3.1.2 and later.  To use it     ####
#### with a previous version of XFree86, follow the instructions    ####
#### that appear within the comments.  Do not expect it to work     ####
#### as is with older version of XFree86.                           ####
####                                                                ####
####           --- This is version 0.9, August 11, 1995 ----        ####
####                                                                ####
#### This release provides full support for the WD90C24[A,A2]       ####
#### driving 8-bit dual scan LCD screens and/or external monitors.  ####
#### Updated versions of this file may be found on the              ####
#### home page                                                      ####
####    http://www.castle.net/~darin                                ####
#### In addition, see the                                           ####
####  "Linux, X, and the WD90C24A2 Chipset mini-HOWTO"              ####
####   (aka "X-Notebook mini_HOWTO")                                ####
####                                                                ####
#### The settings in this file were chosen for use with a dual scan ####
#### LCD display.  The external monitor was a multisync one with    ####
#### a bandwidth of 100 MHz.                                        ####
####                                                                ####
#### The settings for the LCD screen in this file                   ####
#### should be fairly universal and should work with most           ####
#### notebook computers using the WD90C24 family chipsets.          ####
####                                                                ####
#### For more information, see the file                             #### 
####            /usr/lib/X11/doc/README.WstDig                      ####
#### in the XFree86 3.1.2 and later releases.                       ####
####                                                                ####
#### Copyright D. Ernst, 1995:                                      ####
####  Permission to redistribute this file *UNCHANGED* is granted   ####
####  for non-commercial use only.  No permission is granted for    ####
####  the use of this file in sales promotions or for purposes of   ####
####  profit. In addition, any other files that make use of         ####
####  information in this file must contain this and the above      ####
####  copyright notice and be accompanied by this file unchanged.   ####
####  All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works        ####
####  incorporating this document must be covered under this        ####
####  copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative   ####
####  work from this document and impose additional restrictions on ####
####  its distribution.  Exceptions to these rules may be granted   ####
####  under certain circumstances only by written permission of the #### 
####  author.                                                       #### 
####                                                                #### 
####  If this copyright notice is not included with translations,   ####
####  derivative work, or aggregate works, then no permission to use#### 
####  information in this file is granted for any purpose.          ####
####  Permission is granted for the redistribution of this file in  ####
####  complete distributions of the Linux operating system provided ####
####  it remains unchanged.  Commercial entities wishing to         ####
####  redistribute this file or the information contained in it     ####
####  must obtain the prior written permission of its author unless ####
####  the file remains unchanged and is distributed as part of a    ####     
####  complete Linux distribution. Derivative works or translations ####
####  must be submitted to the author for approval.                 ####
####                                                                ####
####  All derivative works or translations  must also contain the   ####
####  words: "Information provided in whole or in part by the       ####
####  "X-Notebook mini-HOWTO", copyright D. Ernst, 1995.            ####
####                                                                ####
####                                                                ####
#### WARNING: Do not assume these settings fall within your         ####
#### external monitor's bandwidth.  Some monitors, esp. fixed       ####
#### freq. ones, may be damaged by these settings. We cannot be     ####
#### held responsible for any damages whatsoever that may occur     ####
#### directly or indirectly from the use of this information.       ####
#### In addition, caution is prudent when using high dotclock       ####
#### frequencies and fast vram clocks.  No guarantees are made      ####
#### or implied.  It is possible to exceed the design specifications####
#### of the video subsystem or displays by using these settings.    ####
####                                                                #### 
########################################################################   
#
# **********************************************************************
# Refer to the XF86Config(4/5) man page for details about the format of 
# this file. This man page is installed as /usr/X11R6/man/man5/XF86Config.5x 
# **********************************************************************

# **********************************************************************
# Files section.  This allows default font and rgb paths to be set
# **********************************************************************

Section "Files"

    RgbPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"

# Multiple FontPath entries are allowed (which are concatenated together),
# as well as specifying multiple comma-separated entries in one FontPath
# command (or a combination of both methods)

    FontPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/"
    FontPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/"
    FontPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo/"
    FontPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/"
    FontPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/"

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Server flags section.
# **********************************************************************

Section "ServerFlags"

# Uncomment this to cause a core dump at the spot where a signal is 
# received.  This may leave the console in an unusable state, but may
# provide a better stack trace in the core dump to aid in debugging

#    NoTrapSignals

# Uncomment this to disable the <Crtl><Alt>\ server abort sequence

#    DontZap

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Input devices
# **********************************************************************

# **********************************************************************
# Keyboard section
# **********************************************************************

Section "Keyboard"

    Protocol	"Standard"

# when using XQUEUE, comment out the above line, and uncomment the
# following line

#    Protocol	"Xqueue"

    AutoRepeat	500 5
    ServerNumLock

# Specifiy which keyboard LEDs can be user-controlled (eg, with xset(1))
#    Xleds      1 2 3

# To set the LeftAlt to Meta, RightAlt key to ModeShift, 
# RightCtl key to Compose, and ScrollLock key to ModeLock:

#    LeftAlt     Meta
#    RightAlt    ModeShift
#    RightCtl    Compose
#    ScrollLock  ModeLock

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Pointer section
# **********************************************************************

Section "Pointer"

    Protocol	"PS/2"
    Device	"/dev/mouse"

# When using XQUEUE, comment out the above two lines, and uncomment
# the following line.

#    Protocol	"Xqueue"

# Baudrate and SampleRate are only for some Logitech mice

#    BaudRate	9600
#    SampleRate	150

# Emulate3Buttons is an option for 2-button Microsoft mice

    Emulate3Buttons

# ChordMiddle is an option for some 3-button Logitech mice

#    ChordMiddle

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Monitor section
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of monitor sections may be present

Section "Monitor" # first section for LCD alone
                  # (not used; here FYI)

    Identifier	"LCD Screen"
    VendorName	"Sharp"
    ModelName	"Unknown"

    Bandwidth	40  #  changed from 29
    HorizSync   35.36  # X -probeonly says  
    VertRefresh 67.36  # X -probeonly says

#    ModeLine "640x480" 25.175 640 664 760 800 480 491 493 525

    Mode "640x480"
        DotClock	25.175 # The dual scan LCD uses the first clock
        HTimings	640 664 760 800
        VTimings	480 491 493 525
    EndMode

EndSection # monitor 1

Section "Monitor"  # 2nd monitor section for both LCD/CRT

    Identifier	"CRT&LCD"
    VendorName	"MAG"
    ModelName	"DX17F"
    Bandwidth	75            # changed; 100 from DX17F manual
    HorizSync	30-64         # multisync; also from DX17F manual
    VertRefresh	50-100        # multisync; also from DX17F manual

# Modelines =========================================================
# This constitutes a fairly complete set of Modelines that are as 
# close to VESA as possible.
#
# A generic VGA 640x480 mode (hsync = 31.5kHz, refresh = 60Hz) 
# use for CRT/LCD simultultaneous display
   Mode "640x480" 
    DotClock   25.175   
    HTimings   640 664 760 800     
    VTimings   480 491 493 525 
   EndMode 

# A generic VGA 640x480 mode (hsync = 31.5kHz, refresh = 60Hz) 
# use for LCD alone, but above mode works fine
   Mode "640x480.28"  
    DotClock    28.32    
    HTimings    640 680 720 864     
    VTimings    480 488 491 521
   EndMode

# VESA 800x600@56Hz Non-Interlaced mode 
# noticeable flicker; use mode below for best 800x600
   Mode "800x600.36"    
    DotClock     36       
    HTimings     800 824 896 1024    
    VTimings     600 601 603 625   
   EndMode

# VESA 800x600@72Hz Non-Interlaced mode 
# no flicker
   Mode "800x600.50"     
    DotClock     50       
    HTimings     800 856 976 1040    
    VTimings     600 637 643 666  
    Flags        "+hsync" "+vsync"
   EndMode

# 1024x768  Interlaced mode             
# no flicker and clear but interlaced character shows
   Mode  "1024x768i"       
    DotClock     45       
    HTimings     1024 1048 1208 1264 
    VTimings     768 776 784 817  
    Flags        "+hsync" "+vsync" Interlace
   EndMode 

# 1024x768@60Hz Non-interlaced Mode  
# has snow problem with default MClk (use mode below)
   Mode "1024x768.65"    
    DotClock     65.1     
    HTimings     1024 1032 1176 1344    
    VTimings     768  771  777  806 
    Flags        "-hsync" "-vsync"
   EndMode 

# 1024x768@60Hz Non-Interlaced mode (non-standard dot-clock) 
# minimum refresh rate for VESA: noticeable flicker
   Mode "1024x768.62"    
    DotClock     62     
    HTimings     1024 1064 1240 1280   
    VTimings     768  774  776  808
   EndMode
 
   Mode "1024x768.60"    
    DotClock     60     
    HTimings     1024 1064 1240 1280   
    VTimings     768  774  776  808
   EndMode 
  
#   To use the modes below, you need to uncomment the "fast_dram" option
#   in the devices section to increase the memory clock (MClk).
#   With any of the slower vram clocks, you may see a wavy
#   picture with some noise.  Note these modes are beyond the design
#   limits of the WD90C24A2, with the exception of the 1152x900i Modeline.

# VESA 1024x768@70Hz Non-Interlaced mode 
# sort of works, but has snow problem
   Mode  "1024x768.75"    
     DotClock     75     
     HTimings     1024 1048 1184 1328   
     VTimings      768  771  777  806 
     Flags        "-hsync" "-vsync"
   EndMode

# 1024x768@70Hz Non-Interlaced mode (non-standard dot-clock) 
# looks great (slight focus problem?): at last, a useable 1024NI mode.
   Mode "1024x768.72"    
     DotClock     72     
     HTimings     1024 1056 1192 1280   
     VTimings     768  770  776 806   
     Flags        "-hsync" "-vsync"
   EndMode

# 1024x768@76Hz Non-Interlaced mode (doesn't sync; not expected to)
   Mode "1024x768.85"    
     DotClock     85     
     HTimings     1024 1032 1152 1360    
     VTimings     768  784  787  823 
     Flags        "+hsync" "-vsync"
   EndMode

# from Nick Sayer (same as Sun screens) 
# nice
   Mode "1152x900i"    
     DotClock     65 
     HTimings     1152 1200 1296 1496  
     VTimings     900 905 916 950 
     Flags        "Interlace"
   EndMode

#   ModeLine "1152x900.77"  77 1152 1200 1296 1496  900 905 916 950
#   ModeLine "1152x900.75"  75 1152 1200 1296 1496  900 905 916 950

#  bad flicker
   Mode "1152x900.72"  
     DotClock     72 
     HTimings     1152 1200 1296 1496  
     VTimings     900 905 916 950
   EndMode

EndSection # monitor 2

# **********************************************************************
# Graphics device section
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of graphics device sections may be present

Section "Device"
    # SVGA WD90c24a2 in Twinhead Slimnote with simultaneous display
    Identifier	"WD90C24A2"
    VendorName	"Western Digital"
    BoardName	"RocketChip"
#    Chipset     "wd90c31" # comment out for use with XFree86 3.1.2 or later
                           # uncomment for use with XFree86 3.1.1 or before

#### begin first config with lcd only display (unused) 
##    VideoRam     512
##    Clocks      28.29  28.32  28.30  28.29  28.30  28.32  28.29  28.30      
##    Clocks      28.30  28.31  28.29  28.30  28.30  28.31  28.30  28.30
##    Clocks      49.79
#### end first config with lcd only display

#### begin second config with crt/lcd display: orig. XF86_SVGA (pre-3.1.2)
##     VideoRam     1024 # leave commented out
##        Clocks  25.15  28.32  64.97  35.96  25.15  28.30  64.92  36.00 
##        Clocks  25.15  28.30  64.92  35.96  25.17  28.41  64.97  35.96 
##        Clocks  44.26
#### end second config with crt/lcd display

### begin third config with crt/lcd: new XF86_SVGA (3.1.2 or later)
#
# Brad Bosch's server allows one to *program* the dotclocks.  This 
# makes it possible to achieve much better refresh rates and resolutions 
# that were previously not possible. See README.WstDig for more details.
#
# (instructions here are Brad's, for his modified pvga1 driver)
#
# The VRAM clock (Mclk) is adjusted by adding ONE of the 
# following option lines:
# 
# Option      "slow_dram" # Set Mclk to 47.429 MHz
  Option      "med_dram"  # Set Mclk to 49.219 MHz
# Option      "fast_dram" # Set Mclk to 55.035 MHz
#
# The default is to leave Mclk as the BIOS sets it.  This is 44.297 on
# our (Twinhead) systems.  There is also a faster clock than 55 MHz, 
# but it caused display bit errors on my system.  I was surprised the 
# 55 MHz clock worked.
#
# To use dotclocks above 60, it appears necessary to use the "fast_dram"
# option.  This makes 1024x768NI@72Hz possible.  The 85 MHz clock
# still does not appear to work. It is beyond the design limits of 
# the WD90C24 series.  The databook states that the 65 MHz clock
# MClk values of 44.297 are the maximum the WD90C24A2 is designed for. 
# In addition to possible risks to the hardware, memory errors sometimes
# occur when using fast_dram.  If you see corrupted pixels, try a slower
# setting.
#
# The second and fourth group of 4 clocks are now adjustable.  That is,
# clocks 5,6,7,8 and 13,14,15,16 (counting from 1).  These clocks are
# set by the Clocks line.  Be sure to adjust the 17th (last) clock if
# you change Mclk via above.  Here is a sample clocks line with more
# unique clocks defined.  The NON-programable clocks (1-4 and 9-12) MUST
# be set as indicated here.
#
# These clocks chosen for 800x600NI@72Hz and 1024x768NI modelines 
# and circumvent "snow" problems (Darin):
#
  Clocks 25.175 28.322 65     36     # These clocks are *not* programmable
  Clocks 29.979 77.408 62.195 59.957 # these are programmable
  Clocks 31.5   35.501 75.166 50.114 # these are *not* programmable
  Clocks 39.822 72.038 44.744 65.1   # these are programmable
  Clocks 49.219                      # Change this if you change Mclk 
                                     #   above.
#
# You can program the clocks in increments of .447443 MHz.  It will warn 
# you and adjust to the nearest increment if you use a clock which does not 
# fit this formula.  Clocks 1-4 and 9-12 (fixed clocks) are not constrained 
# to this multiple, which is why I didn't make them programable (so they 
# could be the exact standard clocks).
#
### end third config

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Screen sections
# **********************************************************************

# The colour SVGA server

# Use ctrl_alt_kp(+) and ctrl_alt_kp(-) to flip through these modes
# without restarting X. 

Section "Screen"

    Driver	"svga"
    Device	"WD90C24A2"
#    Monitor	"LCD Screen"
    Monitor     "CRT&LCD"
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth	    8
#
# Modes must be one line: format below is for documentation only
#
#   Modes     "640x480"     # works: Use for LCD/CRT
#   Modes     "640x480.28"  # works: Use for LCD only (not needed)
#   Modes     "800x600.36"  # works but flicker
#   Modes     "800x600.50"  # works well - no flicker
#   Modes     "1024x768i"   # works well - clear focus - no flicker
#   Modes     "1024x768.65" # snow problem
#   Modes     "1024x768.62" # works but flicker
#   Modes     "1024x768.60" # works but flicker
#   Modes     "1024x768.72" # wavy unless use "fast_dram" but then works
#   Modes     "1024x768.75" # wavy unless use "fast_dram" but then works
#   Modes     "1024x768.85" # doesn't sync; polarities don't help
#   Modes     "1152x900i"   # very nice
#   Modes     "1152x900.77" # 54 Hz - flicker 

# Following line is valid "Modes" line:

    Modes "640x480" "800x600.36" "1024x768i" 
       # "800x600.50" "1024x768.60" "1024x768.72" "1152x900i" "1152x900.72"
       # commented out to avoid monitor "toast"

        ViewPort    0 0
#        Virtual     1024 768    # Virtual for CRT only use
				 # comment out if you want 800x600 virtual
				 # on LCD.  uncomment if you want 640x480 LCD.
    EndSubsection

EndSection

######   end XF86Config for 3.3.6  #########################################







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© Werner Heuser 1997-2014 · http://tuxmobil.org/compaq_lte475cx_en.html · last change Mon Aug 31 2009