Linux on a Gateway Colorbook

The Story

Very little special consideration was needed to get RedHat 4.2 up and running on this unit. The lack of a CD-ROM required an NFS install, but this posed little problem (note the Logicraft CD Server next to the laptop, now happily running RedHat 5.1 instead of the less capable LanCD software originally shipped) to a successful install.

There were no serious incompatibilities with this unit, except for a problem switching between X and a virtual console while running on an external monitor; Basically, don't do it. With an external monitor 800x600x8 resolution was possible, which is barely enough to run real apps like Applix and Netscape. The 320MB hard drive did pose a few challenges to getting everything loaded with enough free space to work, but it is doable. Upgrading the memory to the max of 20MB was required to make it capable of running without beating it's brains out swapping, so keep that in mind if you want to run X. With the additional memory it should also be possible to upgrade to RH5.2 but the disk space concerns have kept me from trying yet.

The Specs on this unit

Getting the pointer going

Have had several questions regarding the pointer on this unit, so here's a quick howto:

First off, make sure it's enabled in setup and on COM2 (or change the stuff below)

Then edit /etc/rc.d/init.d/gpm and replace the line that actually starts GPM with the following:

        gpm -3 -g 1 -R -t $MOUSETYPE  ||
                gpm -R -B132 -a5 -r20 -m /dev/ttyS1 -2

The example above assumes a Alps Glidepoint is the external pointer. If that isn't the case you might need to remove the -g 1 part.

Now setup /etc/X11/XF86Config (or /etc/XF86Config) to use a Mouse Systems mouse on /dev/gpmdata so that X doesn't have to worry about multiple mice.