Hardware Configuration

CPU AMD Duron 800 MHz
Hard Disk 15GB Hitachi DK23CA-15
Display TFT 14.1" XGA
Video Card ATI Rage Mobility P/M AGP 2x with 8MB of memory
Optical Drive QSI DVD-ROM SDR-081
Network Realtek RTL-8139
Modem Conexant Ambit SoftK56 HSF
Sound VIA AC97
PCMCIA 1 type III or 2 type II
USB 2 UHCI ports
FireWire (IEEE1394) 1 port (known as i.Link on SONY systems)
Ports Serial, Printer, VGA
Misc. floppy drive, touchpad (Alps)

Linux distro

The Slackware 8.1 has been tested. It comes with a 2.4.18 kernel and XFree 4.2.0.


The installation is straightforward. You can boot from the CD. It's the installation I choose. Because of the laptop comes with WinXP already installed, I decided to re-install WinXP and keep a free partition used for Linux and FreeBSD. The installation ran without problems and after the reboot, I had a Linux box running.

Now I use the 2.4.21 kernel with ACPI patch. I upgraded the X Server to XFree 4.3.0 and DRI+XVideo+TV-OUT patch.


The video card was recognized during the automatic configuration. XFree 4.2.0 has no support for 3D hardware acceleration. If you want acceleration, you need to install DRI or XFree 3.3.6. To install DRI, you need to download source from CVS (DRI homepage). To have XVideo extension and TV-OUT, you need to look at the GATOS project or DRI+XVideo+TV-OUT patch from Now, I have DRI enabled, XVideo extension and TV-OUT.
The TV-OUT works for me.


The VIA chipset was detected. No need to use the ALSA drivers.


With the USB support enabled in the kernel, there is no problem. I can plug my USB mouse and it's detected.

The laptop came with a special offer: the FX-401 + a SONY DSC-P20 digital camera + a MSAC-PC2 adaptor card for Memory Stick. Even if there is no Linux driver for the camera, I can load the pictures through the USB link. You must enable the SCSI and SCSI disk support, The USB device filesystem and USB mass storage support and the VFAT file system support in the kernel configuration. You can access the Memory Stick by mounting it as a SCSI disk:
mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/memorystick


For a long time, it was the dark point. Now, with the latest driver, the modem is recognized and it works. All the features are not yet implemented. The driver for the Conexant Ambit SoftK56 HSF is available here


It works fine.

I can read the pictures I took with my SONY digital camera with the MSAC-PC2 card. For this, you need to enable the PCMCIA/CardBus support and the PCMCIA IDE support in the kernel configuration. You can access the Memory Stick by mounting it as an IDE disk:
mount -t vfat /dev/hde1 /mnt/memorystick

Power Managment

I choose to use ACPI instead of APM for the power management. It seems to work.


Works fine, I can watch DVD with Xine without problems. You can change the region only 5 times.


The Realtek RTL-8139 is detected and it works.


Not tested yet.


XFree86 provides support for the ALPS GlidePoint and it works. I have defined the touchpad as the "CorePointer" and my USB mouse as "SendCoreEvents". So, I can use the touchpad and the mouse at the same time.


Now, I have a triple boot laptop: Linux, FreeBSD and WinXP. I use LILO as boot loader and I can boot the 3 OS. I can also mount the FAT32 and FreeBSD partitions from Linux.

Useful Links

You can reach me at :

Last update: 3rd September 2003