Gentoo on Asus M6Va (M6800VA)


1 Updates

19.4.07 - batteries section

7.4.07 - new kernel,new drivers, rebuild of these pages (for the old version go to old/asus_gentoo.html).

5.4.07-software suspend2 works

3.11.06-RICOH MMC card-slot

9.2.06-fan & ati control


9.1.06-alsa-driver works

8.1.06-playing buttons

7.12.05-ATI drivers




2 Introduction

These are the notes i gathered using gentoo linux for a couple of months on Asus M6Va notebook. There is possibility that somebody will make some more drivers work. in that case please let me know (ps at twin jikos cz), i will be happy to learn something :)

3 Hardware

$ lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML Express Processor to DRAM Controller (rev 04)

00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 04)

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)

00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 04)

00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 04)

00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 04)

00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 04)

00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 04)

00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev d4)

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 04)

00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) IDE Controller (rev 04)

00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 04)

01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8001 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 13)

01:01.0 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev b3)

01:01.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C552 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 08)

01:01.2 Class 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 17)

01:01.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 08)

01:01.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 03)

01:02.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection (rev 05)

03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M26 [Radeon Mobility X700]

4 Kernel

System runs on gentoo 2.6 kernel (linux-2.6.19-suspend2-r3). In the following sections I suppose you have read Gentoo manuals (particularly Gentoo linux ALSA guide, Gentoo linux ATI FAQ), so only brief notes. My kernel config can be found here: kernel-2.6.19-suspend2-r3.

4.1 Ethernet card

-- Networking support
Networking options -->
Ethernet (1000 Mbit) -->
Marvell Yukon Chipset / SysKonnect SK-98xx Support (DEPRECATED)
There are problems with ethernet card when booting to different system, e.g. from linux to M$ win - system is not able to connect to network. instead of re-boot you have to shutdown box and after that turn on. I have also experienced these problems when rebooting to some older kernels. Maybe update of BIOS could help, if switching between linux and windows is often.

4.2 Graphics card and display

Despite the older troubles, ATI drivers work now. ``emerge ati-drivers ati-drivers-extra'' merged 8.32.5 version of drivers to the box.

In kernel i turned on:

Device drivers -->

Character devices -->

<*> /dev/aggpart (AGP Support)

<*> ATI chipset support

<*> Intel 440LX/BX/GX, I8xx and E7x05 chipset support

<M> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support) 

<M> ATI Radeon

Before setup of modular xorg kernel module fglrx has to be loaded (``modprobe fglrx''). Also you have to switch to ATI opengl (``eselect opengl set ati'').

Standard fglrxconfig utility was able to setup drivers correctly, but didn't setup 1400x1050 display resolution, so i had to modify xorg.conf. My current version of xorg.conf can be found here xorg.conf.GLRX.

On console I'm using standard VESA framebuffer vesafb (vesafb-tng didn't work in older kernels) in mode vga=0x3451, which stands for 1400x1050 resolution (native for this display).

Full listing of possible modes you can get via vbetest utility (you can get it via ``emerge lrmi''). Then just add 200 in hex and put in your lilo/grub conf.

In kernel i turned these options:

Device drivers -->
Graphics support -->
<*> Support for frame buffer devices

[*] Enable Tile Blitting Support 

<*> VESA VGA graphics support 

     VESA driver type (vesafb) --> (X) vesafb 

<*> ATI Radeon display support
<*> DDC/I2C for ATI Radeon support

Console display driver support -->
<*> Enable Scrollback Buffer in System RAM

<*> Video mode selection support

<*> Framebuffer Console support

Splashutils work without problems, but kernel configuration has to be changed, see grub.conf needed only few changes; for inspiration i put sample config here - beware, you cant just cut and paste it - your own hdX settings must be set:

root (hd0,Number_of_your_root_disk_here)

kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.19-suspend2 resume2=swap:/dev/hdYour_swap_he root=/dev/hdYour_root_here vga=0x345 video=vesafb:mtrr:3 splash=fadein,silent,theme:Your_splash_Theme quiet CONSOLE=/dev/tty1 

initrd (hd0,Number_of_your_root_disk_here)/boot/fbsplash-Your_splash_theme-1400x1050

//newly added - i have created czech font for original -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal-16-160-75-75-c-80-koi8-r (koi8x16b.pcf.gz), which was useful for me as terminal font in 1400x1050. Czech page can be found here: font.html.

//newly added - for new kernels (>=2.6.15) began my framebuffer work pretty slowly. This can be solved by ``video=vesafb:mtrr:3'' kernel parameter

4.3 Sound

The past problems with alsa-driver are gone and recent media-sound/alsa-driver-1.0.11_rc2 works properly.

In kernel only :

Device drivers -->
Sound -->
<*> Sound card support
Now just:

emerge alsa-driver alsa-utils alsa-lib alsa-oss


Extensive manual can be found here:

4.4 Wifi

For Intel 2915ABG ipw2200 drivers are used. Following instructions i did not face any problems.

You can see whether your system see wifi:

modprobe ipw2200

cat /proc/net/wireless

Another useful utils:

emerge -av net-wireless/wireless-tools 


For connecting to network i used wifi-radar:

ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=~x86 emerge -av wifi-radar
In /etc/wifi-radar.conf you have to set appropriate eth device, in my case the line:

interface = eth1
After that i was able to see the wifi spots around... :


4.5 Other devices

4.5.1 cd/dvd

USB devices worked without any problem (ohci,ehci,uhci modules). CD-mechanic works also fine, only the device in fstab had to be changed into /dev/cdrom instead of standard /dev/cdroms/..

Backuping the whole system via /dev/dvd worked on the first attempt:

growisofs -Z /dev/dvd -R -x /proc -x /sys -x /tmp -x /dev /

4.5.2 Mouse/touchpad

For mouse and touchpad in X11 small addition in xorg.conf:

Section "InputDevice"         

  Identifier  "PS/2 Mouse"   

  Driver      "mouse"

  Option      "Protocol" "auto" 

  Option      "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"   

  Option      "Device" "/dev/psaux"     

  Option      "Emulate3Buttons" "true"      

  Option      "Emulate3Timeout" "70"        

 Option       "SendCoreEvents"  "true" 


To add touchpad features i just followed wiki pages

If you suffer from mouse ``single-clicks'' which are involuntary interpreted by X as ``double-click'' (eg one click on your terminal runs two terminals at the same time), try - Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2" - in PS/2 mouse section in xorg.conf.

4.5.3 Audio buttons

For the audio playing buttons on the left side you have to use xmodmap and bind to their code some symbol - you can choose any symbol from /usr/X11R6/include/X11/keysymdef.h (without the ``XK_'' prefix). So you can make some funny bind for playing-backward button via xmodmap -e "keycode 144 = Hiragana" and then associate this symbol with your favourite player. All the keycodes can be found using xev utility.

4.5.4 RICOH //newly added

SD card is working on M6Va now. See ricoh_mail.txt.

bluetooth, firewire and other devices i haven't tried yet.

4.6 ACPI

My original intention was, to make the notebook silent, i.e. to slow down fans and CPU frequency.

To install ACPI i grabed 2.6.192 kernel and followed the basic gentoo manual at

with the following additions:

ACPI  -->
<*> ASUS/Medion Laptop Extras
   CPU Frequency scaling  -->
<*>   Intel Enhanced SpeedStep 
[*]     Use ACPI tables to decode valid frequency/voltage pairs 

[*]     Built-in tables for Banias CPUs     

I'm finally using cpufrequtils and ondemand governor: /etc/conf.d/cpufrequtils contains GOVERNOR="ondemand" , then run rc-update add cpufrequtils default . For that ondemand governor must be checked in kernel config.

There is possibility to undervolt Pentium M, but i havent tried it. See the following links, (If you have tried, let me know the results; i have some report, that it works on a slightly different asus model.)

4.6.1 Sensors

To get in contact with fan-controls i used the advices in the following page

sensors-detect found the following bus and chips:

Device Drivers -->
I2C Support -->
I2C Hardware Bus support --> 
<M> Intel 82801 (ICH)
Miscellaneous I2C Chip support  -->    
<M> EEPROM reader 
Hardware Monitoring support  -->
<M> National Semiconductor LM85 and compatibles            
Up to this point there was no problem. sensors statistics work as well as the gkrellm displaying modules (Sensors section). But after first boot, kernel kacpid module stick to 100% CPU usage. This was related to sensor initialization and when i disabled it (INITSENSORS=no) in /etc/conf.d/lm_sensors, this problem disappeared (i dug-out that the command ``set in1_min vid * 0.95'' in config is responsible for trigering kacpid).

However, pwmconfig was unable to change the fan settings and printed out some permission error messages. After some searching in lists it seems, that it is known problem with this chip, which was not fixed till now.

//Good news: instead of using pwmconfig you can try changing direct values in /sys/bus/i2c/devices/0-002d/. The only noisy component is for me the second fan of graphic card represented by the pwm2 files. Direct change of the pwm2/_auto_pwm_freq didnt work. The reason is probably the fact, that you cant lower the frequency more, than is in pwm2_auto_pwm_min (credit for this point goes to Istvan Gutasi as well as the aticonfig section below, thanks). So without any additional changes the following command solved the problem and fan goes silently now:

echo 50 >/sys/bus/i2c/devices/0-002d/pwm2_auto_pwm_min
//newly added: Note, that for 2.6.19 kernel you have to disable ``ACPI sleep states'' option in order to get sensors working. This should be repaired in 2.6.20.

4.6.2 Buttons

Buttons on the right side from ``power button'' can be handled by editing files in /etc/acpi directory. So, for example, if you want to contol your fans manually without any script, you can add the following lines into /etc/acpi/ and the most right buttons will put down/up frequency of the second fan:

if [ "$1"a == hotkeya ]; then   


  x=`cat $fan`

    if [ "$3"a ==  0000005ca ]; then     echo $[x-10] > $fan  ; fi

    if [ "$3"a ==  0000006ba ]; then     echo $[x+5] > $fan  ; fi


4.6.3 ATI power-management

/opt/ati/bin/aticonfig -lsp lists the available powerstates for the X700:

$ /opt/ati/bin/aticonfig -lsp 

core/mem [flags] 


1: 105/120 MHz [low voltage] 

2: 209/182 MHz [low voltage] 

3: 344/331 MHz [overdrive, default state] 

You can set the desired powerstate with: /opt/ati/bin/aticonfig -set-powerstate=1 -effective=now . That should lower the core/mem values thus save some battery life. The lowest value has a measurable effect on the temperature of video card (->lower noise from fans).

4.6.4 Batteries

If your acpi works, you can read your power consumption by cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state (dont forget to unplug el. supply).

The lowest value gives me the present state of 20175 mW (powersave cpu governor,lowest voltage of aticonfig, display on min), the highest gives me 31665 mW (performance governor,highest aticonfig, max of display).

I have some reports, that it is possible to come to some 13-16 mW under M$ win. I have no idea, what could be done more, to gain this in linux (except cpu undervolting, which i dont believe it have such a drastical effect?). If you have any additional info, please let me know.

4.6.5 Suspend2

With new kernel suspend2-sources-2.6.19-r3 suspend worked without problems. Detailed course can be found here:

In short :

This was enough for me to run suspend2 smoothly just by pushing power button. The only small problem is, that audacious is not able to continue in playing the current song and playing song must be started again. If you face and solve this problem, please let me know (i positively know, that this feature works with this sound card on another boxes).

5 Modules

Loaded modules:

$ lsmod

Module                  Size  Used by

fglrx                 513808  9 

eeprom                  5904  0 

lm85                   28708  0 

hwmon_vid               2944  1 lm85

snd_pcm_oss            38816  0 

snd_mixer_oss          14336  2 snd_pcm_oss

snd_seq_oss            30336  0 

snd_seq_midi_event      6144  1 snd_seq_oss

snd_seq                43984  4 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event

snd_seq_device          6924  2 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq

fuse                   38420  6 

sd_mod                 16272  0 

sg                     25884  0 

usb_storage            31876  0 

parport_pc             21156  0 

parport                20032  1 parport_pc

ohci1394               30768  0 

ieee1394               79156  1 ohci1394

i2c_i801                9100  0 

snd_hda_intel          16152  5 

snd_hda_codec         205312  1 snd_hda_intel

snd_pcm                66312  4 snd_pcm_oss,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec

snd_timer              18052  3 snd_seq,snd_pcm

snd                    43876  15 snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer

snd_page_alloc          7816  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm

Any questions and improvements welcomed.


see vesafb.txt in your documentation
... 2.6.192
when changing to the new kernels (>=2.6.15) check, that Symmetric multi-processing support is disabled, otherwise the notebook runs very slowly. Also check that framebuffer parameter as noted in graphic card section.