Linux on the Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S-4572 Subnotebook

Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S-4572

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones Linux On Laptops

I recently bought a Fujitsu-Siemens LIFEBOOK S-4572 (sub)notebook on eBay for less than 150 Euros, a really great little machine.

It's a Pentium III, 750 MHz, 256 MB RAM (the chipset cannot handle more than that unfortunately), 12.1" screen, ethernet, 2x USB 1.1, CD-ROM/DVD reader + CD-ROM writer, PCMCIA, IrDA, modem, and a 15 GB hard drive. No floppy, no serial ports, no parallel port. There's no wireless builtin, but I use a cheapo PCMCIA adapter.

The greatest feature compared to all other laptops I previously owned is that the battery life is really great, it lasts almost 3 hours (compare that to 45 minutes on my current "main" laptop).

I'm running Debian unstable on the box (of course). Here's the Linux support status as far as I have tested things:

Networking

Works out of the box using the e100 driver.

Sound

Works out of the box using the snd_intel8x0 driver.

X11

Works out of the box, using either the vesa or the ati driver (at a max. resolution of 1024x768).

Touchpad

Works out of the box. Using the Option "SHMConfig" "on" line in /etc/X11/xorg.conf's InputDevice section (using the synaptics driver) also works fine and allows you to scroll using the touchpad, e.g. in a browser. More info in the SynapticsTouchpad page on the Debian wiki.

CDROM, DVD

Reading CD-ROMs and DVDs as well as burning CD-ROMs works fine. I don't think the drive is capable of writing DVDs.

External VGA

Displaying the screen contents on an external VGA monitor (or beamer) works just fine, switching is done using Fn+F10.

PCMCIA

Works fine, tested using the Sitecom WL-112 wireless card. The driver installation for that is straight-forward, too:

$ apt-get install rt2500-source
$ m-a a-i rt2500-source
$ dpkg -i /usr/src/rt2500*deb

Special keys

All the Fn-keys work fine (brightness, volume, etc.). There are five other special keys (for starting a browser or something) which I haven't tested, but I don't really care...

USB

Works fine, but it's only USB 1.1, so some higher-speed devices will not work (DVB-T USB devices for example; PCMCIA DVB-T adapters might work).

IrDA, Modem

Untested, I don't care.

Powersaving, Suspend to RAM

It seems this CPU (Pentium III, Coppermine) doesn't support frequency scaling, so cpufreq-set doesn't work. I'm using laptop-mode-tools to improve battery life a bit more, though. Also, Suspend-to-RAM works fine out of the box:

$ apt-get install hibernate
$ hibernate-ram

Suspend-to-Disk works fine, too, even though I'm using a dm-crypt'ed disk (+ LVM), as with all my boxes:

$ hibernate-disk

lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Intel Corporation 82440MX Host Bridge [8086:7194] (rev 01)
00:00.1 Multimedia audio controller [0401]: Intel Corporation 82440MX AC'97 Audio Controller [8086:7195]
00:00.2 Modem [0703]: Intel Corporation 82440MX AC'97 Modem Controller [8086:7196]
00:07.0 Bridge [0680]: Intel Corporation 82440MX ISA Bridge [8086:7198] (rev 01)
00:07.1 IDE interface [0101]: Intel Corporation 82440MX EIDE Controller [8086:7199]
00:07.2 USB Controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 82440MX USB Universal Host Controller [8086:719a]
00:07.3 Bridge [0680]: Intel Corporation 82440MX Power Management Controller [8086:719b]
00:12.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Intel Corporation 82557/8/9 [Ethernet Pro 100] [8086:1229] (rev 09)
00:13.0 CardBus bridge [0607]: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ6933/711E1 CardBus/SmartCardBus Controller [1217:6933] (rev 02)
00:13.1 CardBus bridge [0607]: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ6933/711E1 CardBus/SmartCardBus Controller [1217:6933] (rev 02)
00:14.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Mobility P/M [1002:4c52] (rev 64)
01:00.0 Network controller [0280]: RaLink RT2500 802.11g Cardbus/mini-PCI [1814:0201] (rev 01)

Other resources

I'm really considering making this my "main" box even though it's a bit older/slower, as my current laptop with 45 minutes battery life is a major pain when travelling...

Comments

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http://www.batteryeshop.com/

GOOD, Thats a good tip would be better using something like hibernate as it doesn’t consume as much power as booting up.

Powertop

Hi Uwe,

first, since battery life appears to be important to you, have you heard of and tried powertop?

Second, according to [1] aptitude is the preferred package management tool in Debian. I know, most of us are used to apt-get, but could you maybe write aptitude in your blog (and use apt-get for on your computer), so that it gets propagated? Just a thought ;)

Thanks so far.

Paul

[1] http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/release-notes/ch-whats-new.en.html

powertop

Yep, powertop is very nice and I use it regularly...

Suspend to disk

AFAIK suspend to disk doesn't really depends on hardware, and I can confirm it works (on a dell desktop) using encrypted LVM (LUKS).

dm-crypt and suspend to disk

Hi, this is interesting.

Which setup do you have exactly? I have one big partition which is encrypted and a small unencrypted one for /boot. The big dm-crypt'ed partition has LVM on top, and my swap is just another (dm-crypt'ed) LVM volume.

AFAIUI, suspend to disk uses a swap partition to save the RAM contents. Is this supposed to work if the swap partition itself is on an encrypted partition?

Having an unencrypted swap partition for suspending is not an option, of course, as that would compromise the security you're trying to establish by encrypting the disk in the first place.

Uwe.

Suspend-to-Disk

Update: I tested Suspend-to-disk and it does indeed work flawlessly, even despite dm-crypt and despite LVM. Very cool!