My laptop is working!

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After a lot of work my shiny new IBM R40e is up and running with almost working ACPI, internal network adapter and a 3Com 54g wireless PCMCIA card, all on Gentoo Linux.

A Mini HOWTO:

  • Get an old PCMCIA card for the installation as the internal network adapter is not supported by the Live-CD
  • I choose the Gentoo Stable kernel which is working great
  • Do not enable PCMCIA in the kernel, emerge the pcmcia-cs package instead for continued setting up of the system.
  • Get the network card driver from Broadcom, the card is a BCM-5700. Compile it and put it in the /lib/modules/*kernel-version*/kernel/driver/net/ folder. Run update-modules and modprobe bcm-5700 Add it to /etc/modules.autoload/kernel-2.4 if needed
  • Get the ISL driver for the 3Com card. Follow the instructions closely, but patch the gs-sources kernel instead. I removed the pcmcia-cs package before compiling the kernel as it provides its own cardbus implementation. Supposedly only the card drivers can be compiled, but I didn’t try that.
  • Emerge the wireless-tools package. iwconfig is your friend.
  • ACPI is somewhat unstable, the battery information comes and goes in a undetermistic way.
  • The modem is supported by the HSF driver but that in turn does not support preemptible kernels. Choose whatever you want

I’ll probably update this as I learn more. This is posted over wireless by the way :)