This document describes my currently installed system. Older versions of the document are available and should also be consulted. I will try to keep this one up to date but I will "forget" things. Please so the older ones for more complete information.
The MS-1013 is sold in a number of forms and often goes under the name Megabook S270. This hardware is also sold as a barebones system which is rather rare or laptops. It is the only laptop I found with an AMD64 CPU and a 12 inch screen.
As of January 2006 there are many online retailers that will allow you to customize your laptop. I purchased mine from AVADirect and have been happy with it so far. Besides picking all the components you can also pick the OS you want. In my case that was none! RedHat was an inexpensive option and, though I don't want to use it, in retrospect it probably would have helped having a working configuration on the machine to look at while trying to get some things working. In the end it wasn't necessary, it may have sped things up a little though.
The information provided here is a collection of things I learned/discovered while getting this laptop working. Although I try to provide all the relevant details I do not provide a step by step guide.
update-managermethod. Some of the issues I outline may be due to upgrading, not doing a clean install.
I have recently upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04, "Hardy Heron", AMD64 variant on the machine. Roughly speaking everything works and the upgrade was straightforward. Roughly since the wireless configuration changed and required update/modifications by hand. Furthermore converting to pulse audio required some work and getting compiz running required modifying the start up wrapper.
In this system is the following hardware:
MS-1013 Turion64 Ultraportable Series Laptop, 12.1" WXGA LCD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200M Graphics AMD, Turion 64 MT-34 1.8GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 25W DDR400, 1GB DDR 400MHz PC-3200 SDRAM SODIMM, Non-ECC FUJITSU, 80GB MHT2080AH, 5400-RPM, 8MB cache, 9.5mm, EIDE MICROSTAR, MP54GBT2 Combo Wireless-G + Bluetooth Adapter, IEEE 802.11b/g 11/54Mbps, MiniPCI (for MSI n/b only)
For gory details you can view the lspci -v and /proc/cpuinfo output.
As noted above almost everything on the laptop just works in the default Ubuntu install. Everything that I have tried works after some tweaks. Here is a brief summary of the tweaks. More details are given below.
rt2500driver by hand. See below for details.
fglrxdriver which allows for 3D acceleration doesn't work with compiz. See below for how to get it working.
pulse audiosound system. By default it is only partially installed. See below for full conversion.
For the configuration described here I am using BIOS version 4.30 which was the latest as of 10 January 2006. I upgraded this from 4.10 which had been on the machine. You can find more information from MSI. Be aware that there are two versions of the BIOS, a 6.x series and a 4.x series. Please carefully read their information to determine whether you have the RS480 or RS482 chipset.
Note that to upgrade your bios you can boot from a USB flash drive.
The MS-1013 will only show this boot option in the BIOS boot menu
if the USB drive is plugged in at boot and if it has a
bootable image on it. Under
Linux I just used
dd to write such an image to the drive. You can find
images in lots of places including Bootdisk.Com. Make sure you copy
the new bios and flash utility to the drive before you reboot.
The CPU speed is controlled by
powernowd. The default
mode is to run at the lowest speed (lowest power consumption) when
the machine is idle, to step it up as demand increases, and to step
it back down as demand lessens. Some of this can be controlled by
powernowd, see its manpage for more
details. This is installed and run by default.
There are two options for driving the video display. The first is
to use the open source driver (installed by default). The second
is to install the proprietary driver. You may also want to read
about my DVD playing experiences when decided
which driver to use. I have chosen to just use the
fglrx driver. If you want more information on other
drivers see my old Breezy page.
ATI does release a binary only driver that works with this card.
You can install different versions of this. If you want to install
fglrx driver you should read the Ubuntu
Typically one just has to install the prebuilt package that comes
with Ubuntu: just
apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx.
This also requires one to install
is the kernel version you are using.
compiz working there is a
from the Ubuntu forums. The first page of the forum contains
all the information needed.
The sound card is supported by alsa using the
It worked without further configuration from me. Note that you
also have to make sure that the
External Amplifier is
turned on. You can check this with
example. I believe it was for me but I don't remember.
Pulse Audio is a new sound system that ships
hardy. It provides some advantages to prior
sound systems. In the upgrade not everything required gets
installed. For more details see
the Wiki entry on
this topic to get it fully working.
The miniPCI card includes a Ralink RT2500 WLAN device. This is
supported without changes by an opensource driver. In Gutsy the
name of the device is now
wlan0 (in the past it was
ra0). The default driver did not
work! I had
the correct module by hand. I presume this will have to be done
in the future whenever the kernel is upgraded (unless the kernel
package fixes this in the future).
Unfortunately this isn't quite enough. The module doesn't
compile. The reason for this is is
SET_MODULE_OWNER is no longer defined in the
kernel. Thus it should be commented out
rtmp_main.c. This is a known problem. The code
for the new Ralink driver should be fixed in the 2.6.25 kernel,
unfortunately there are no plans to backport this fix. For now we
can hope the compilation bug in the rt2500 module gets fixed soon.
I have verified that the miniPCI card installed is the MP54GBT2
(aka MS6533B). This contains bluetooth. The vendor claims it was
tested under windows and worked (I have no way of confirming this).
I have not been able to get it to work under Linux. The
expectation is that it should be controlled by the
hci-usb module (that is, the bluetooth is implemented
as a usb device). However I see no new usb device when I load this
module. I have found a report with working
bluetooth. I'm not sure if this is the same device as I have.
I expect it should work and I just got screwed by my vendor.
No tweaks were made to acpi. The
web buttons work by default (using your gnome
preferences for your email client and web browser). The "wireless"
button toggles the wireless LED (on the bottom, furthest to the
right) but doesn't do anything else. It does not generate
an acpi keycode so it is not handled by the acpi system. I don't
know how to check the state of the LED. Using
setkeycodes you can cause it to generate a keycode
that can be assigned to a task (through a gnome keybinding, for
example) though I haven't done this. The last button for bluetooth
does nothing. I thought it was suppose to change the color of the
wireless LED to indicate that bluetooth was active. This concerns
me a little as there were some mini PCI cards that were originally
shipped with the MS-1013 that were suppose to include bluetooth
support but they didn't work with the motherboard. Again it isn't
controlled by acpi but a key binding can be assigned to it.
Works with no changes. This includes scrolling. It is controlled
xorg-driver-synaptics package, I think, which was
installed by default for me.
Both suspend (to RAM) and hibernate (to disk) work using the built in software suspend.
For Gutsy see information about the video
driver to get suspend and hibernate working with
By default suspend (to RAM) isn't turned on. Edit
/etc/default/acpi-support and uncomment the
ACPI_SLEEP=true line. After this when you login to
gnome the logout options will include both Suspend and Hibernate.
Works with no changes. This includes highspeed USB2.0 devices.
Works. I found for my external hard drive I had to turn it on first, then plug in the firewire otherwise it wasn't reliably detected/automounted.
Hmm, so, there does appear to be a modem in the machine. This means I haven't looked at it. I haven't even considered looking at it. I expect it requires some proprietary driver. I have no reason to test it and expect I won't.
There are many other things I have done in configuring this laptop/Ubuntu. Not everything is ideal but I'm continually surprised by how many things work and how well.
In general 32 bit programs "just work". It is best to search the
Ubuntu Forums for specific
programs you want. Installing
gives you flash. You can install
Playing DVDs works great on this laptop, however, some
configuration is needed. This includes both the dvd device and the
video driver choice. For the player I use
would expect any of the many other choices (
vlc, etc.) to
work fine too. It is necessary to install the
libdvdcss2 package, and follow its instructions, to
play encrypted dvds that you have legally obtained and legally want
to view (yes, it is a shame that one must still go through
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