Gateway T-6345U and Ubuntu Jaunty

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Gateway T-6345U
Gateway T-6345U

 

I recently got a new Gateway T-6345U laptop and (being a Linux lover) I installed Ubuntu Jaunty on it right after I made sure it all worked.

Installation

Installing Ubuntu was as easy as usual, though it went a little slow due to Gnome’s power manager’s lack of using the maximum CPU speed. Fortunately, there’s a panel applet that is installed by default to help with this. It’s called “CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor”. Due to the face that the Laptop has two CPUs, you will need two instances of this applet each set to monitor a different CPU.

First Run

When you reboot after installing it, everything works perfectly… well, almost everything. Three (sometimes vital) things don’t work right out of the box. These three are the desktop effects, adjusting the screen brightness, and the headphones and microphone jacks on the front. Don’t panic if your headphones or microphone doesn’t work, it’s a software issue which I have also found a fix for. Oh, ad you will probably want to add the CPU scaling applet to your panel.

EDIT 06/06/09: I have also found that when a memory card is put into the reader, it is recognized only as generic storage media. I will post a fix for this when/if I find one.

EDIT 07/14/09: I have added the steps to get the headphone and microphone jacks on the front to work properly.

Fixing Desktop Effects (Compiz)

First, we’ll start off by making a bash script. Open up a text editor (like Gedit) and insert the following into it:

#!/bin/bash

SKIP_CHECKS=yes compiz

Now save it as “.compiz_enable.sh” in your home directory, and make it executable by running the following in a terminal.

chmod +x ~/.compiz_enable.sh

Then, got to the “System” menu (on the top gnome panel by default) Preferences > Startup Applications. Click “Add” in that window.

Name: Compiz Enable
Command: /home/your-username/.compiz_enable.sh
Comment (optional): Make compiz work.

Finally click “Add” then “Close” and you are finished!

The script we created will be started every time you log in, forcing Compiz to work. To see the effects, logout then back in.

Screen Brightness

To be able to adjust the screen brightness, we will first need to go to the “System” menu (on the top panel by default) then to Prefrences > Startup Applications. When that opens up, click Add and put in the following:

Name: Adjustable Brightness
Command: xrandr –output LVDS –set BACKLIGHT_CONTROL native
Comment (optiona): Make brightness controls work.

Once all the information is entered, click “Add” then “Close” and you are all set. Like the previous one, this runs the command when you login. To see the effects, you must logout then log back in.

Headphones/Microphone

The version of ALSA that comes with Ubuntu 9.04 does not have complete support for the audio card built into this laptop, however just upgrading to the new version of ALSA will not fix the issue. Luckily for us there is a fairly easy way to git it all fixed up.

First off, you need to download and extract the ALSA upgrade script by soundcheck on the Ubuntu Forums which I have mirrored on my site by running this command:


wget http://tan-com.com/tyler/files/AlsaUpgrade-1.0.x-rev-1.17.tar
tar -xf AlsaUpgrade-1.0.x-rev-1.17.tar

Once downloaded and extracted, you will need to run the script.


sudo ./AlsaUpgrade-1.0.x-rev-1.17.sh -di

The script will run with no feedback except a little message telling you where the log is and how to view it. Once the script runs, you need to append a line to the ALSA configuration file. To open the config file, use either of the commands below.


gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf <- Graphical Editor
or
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf <- Terminal Based Editor

Once you open the file, add the line “options snd-hda-intel model=eapd probe_mask=1 position_fix=1” to the end of the file, save, and close. Now all you have to do is reboot, and your headphone jack will work perfectly!

For the microphone, however, you need to open the Volume Control window (Volume Control > “Volume Control…”) and click Preferences. When the Preferences window opens, check off “Capture” and “Digital”, click close, and go to the Recording tab in Volume Control. Here you must turn the volume up for both of them and choose Digital as a capture device by clicking on the microphone below the slider.

You are now ready to record audio from your microphone!

For the Curious

Here is the output of “lspci”:
[email protected]:~$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 04)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 04)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 04)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 04)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 04)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 04)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev f4)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801HEM (ICH8M) LPC Interface Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M/ICH8M-E) IDE Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M/ICH8M-E) SATA AHCI Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 04)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller (rev 01)
04:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection (rev 02)

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great laptop. The specs are amazing, and the price is perfect! Ubuntu Jaunty runs really nice on this laptop and boots up (on an ext4 partition) in about 30 seconds. If you are looking for a great laptop for a low price, I would definitely suggest yo get this one.

Have any questions? Feel free to post them in the comments!