Running Solaris on the Medion Akoya E1210 - Update

After getting OpenSolaris 2008.11 and Solaris Nevada to run on the Medion Akoya E1210 with some workarounds, I spent some evenings and a rainy Sunday on getting things to work even better.

  • WiFi

    The WiFi chipset in this system is the Ralink RT2790 (pci1814,781) which isn't supported by the ral(7D) driver yet. I filed 6736786 Need support for Ralink RT2790 for this and donated my WiFi card to the folks in Beijing so they have the hardware to test with.

  • Ethernet

    The Realtek 8101E chipset (pci10ec,8136) is not yet supported by the rge(7D) driver in current releases, but it is being worked on (6717107 Need to support Realtek 8102EL and new 8101E variants).

    I built a copy of the driver with the suggested fix listed in the bug, but the driver still failed to work properly on my system with IP hardware checksum offload enabled. It turned out that the chipset is a slightly different version of the 8101E than the 8101E_B listed in CR 6717107. Unlike other all other chipsets supported by the rge driver, these don't support hardware checksum, so the driver must disable hardware checksum offload for these chipsets. The following patch against the current version of rge(7D) makes this particular chipset work without having to disable IP hardware checksum globally in /etc/system.

    The day after updating the bug with this patch, I received an email from one of the engineers in Beijing with an updated version asking if I could run the HCTS network test on my system (since they don't have this particular variant). The new driver passes the HCTS, so this should work out of the box once the fix for 6717107 is integrated.

  • Graphics

    Starting X fails horribly:

    (EE) GARTInit: Unable to open /dev/agpgart (Resource temporarily unavailable)
    (WW) intel(0): /dev/agpgart is either not available, or no memory is available
    for allocation.  Using pre-allocated memory only.
    drmOpenDevice: node name is /dev/dri/card0
    drmOpenDevice: open result is -1, (No such device or address)
    drmOpenDevice: open result is -1, (No such device or address)
    drmOpenDevice: Open failed
    drmOpenDevice: node name is /dev/dri/card0
    drmOpenDevice: open result is -1, (No such device or address)
    drmOpenDevice: open result is -1, (No such device or address)
    drmOpenDevice: Open failed
    [drm] failed to load kernel module "i915"
    (II) intel(0): [drm] drmOpen failed
    (EE) intel(0): [dri] DRIScreenInit failed. Disabling DRI.
    (\*\*) intel(0): Framebuffer compression enabled
    (\*\*) intel(0): Tiling enabled
    (==) intel(0): VideoRam: 7932 KB
    (II) intel(0): Attempting memory allocation with tiled buffers.
    (EE) intel(0): Failed to allocate framebuffer. Is your VideoRAM set too low?
    (II) intel(0): Tiled allocation failed.
    (WW) intel(0): Couldn't allocate tiled memory, fb compression disabled
    (II) intel(0): Attempting memory allocation with untiled buffers.
    (WW) intel(0): Failed to allocate EXA offscreen memory.
    (II) intel(0): Untiled allocation failed.
    (EE) intel(0): Couldn't allocate video memory
    
    Fatal server error:
    AddScreen/ScreenInit failed for driver 0
    

    Using the VESA driver by creating an xorg.conf file worked of course, but that is kind of lame (Compiz anyone?). From the error messages it seemed that agpgart and DRI were not supported for the Intel i945GME.

    Looking through the code and webrevs of the initial agpgart and DRI putbacks and for adding i965 support later on, I was able to cook up the following patch that adds agpgart and DRI support for the i945GME. I have filed 6738342 Need support for Intel i945GME to track this. The patch has been lightly tested on my system only, so use with care.

With Ethernet working, a supported WiFi replacement card in the mail, and Compiz now happily running on this Medion Akoya E1210 mini notebook, I declare victory!

With some DIY (I bought this at a DIY store after all), this EUR 399 mini notebook turns out to be a fine Solaris system.

Comments:

Cool - What sort of battery life do you get out of it running OpenSolaris? Can it do suspend/resume? Still happy with my Eeepc 701, but a bit more horsepower would be welcome at times!

Posted by Tim Foster on August 19, 2008 at 04:26 AM CEST #

Tim: the standard 2200mAh battery gets me almost 2 hours of reading email/web browsing. Suspend/resume works (as well as sound and the brightness Fn keys, btw).

Posted by Menno on August 19, 2008 at 06:57 AM CEST #

How does one apply the patch to a standard fresh install of nv_b95 to get the graphics working? Is it a patch against existing config files or the source code to the intel drivers?

Posted by Project2501 on August 19, 2008 at 10:21 AM CEST #

someone has linked to you:
http://forums.msiwind.net/post32084.html#p32084

Posted by dan on August 19, 2008 at 06:51 PM CEST #

Project2501: the patch is against the AGP and i915 DRM drivers in the kernel. You need to rebuild and install these drivers (agpgart, agptarget, agpmaster and i915).

Posted by Menno on August 20, 2008 at 03:53 AM CEST #

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