Compaq Armada M300

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This article describes the additional configuration needed on a brand new Arch Linux installation to get the most of a Compaq Armada M300 laptop.

This laptop is very old but with Arch Linux and the following setup it is still useful for browsing, skyping and even "light open officing".

Hardware identification

After installing Arch Linux i686, please check that:

# lscpu
Architecture:          i686
CPU(s):                1
Thread(s) per core:    1
Core(s) per socket:    1
CPU socket(s):         1
Vendor ID:             GenuineIntel
CPU family:            6
Model:                 8
Stepping:              6
CPU MHz:               600.000

and

# lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX Host bridge (AGP disabled) (rev 03)
00:04.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1211
00:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc 3D Rage LT Pro (rev dc)
00:07.0 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ISA (rev 02)
00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 IDE (rev 01)
00:07.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 USB (rev 01)
00:07.3 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI (rev 03)
00:08.0 Multimedia audio controller: ESS Technology ES1978 Maestro 2E (rev 10)
00:09.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82557/8/9/0/1 Ethernet Pro 100 (rev 09)
00:09.1 Serial controller: Agere Systems LT WinModem

corresponds to your hardware.

Hardware setup

Lets get the features of the laptop correctly working in order to get the most of it.

Video

Necessary driver packages:

Note:
  • For additional information, see the Xorg page.
  • Update: Oct, 24, 2010: The AUR package mach64drmAUR should bring back 3D rendering for current kernel versions.

CPU scaling

See CPU frequency scaling.

Note: If you are unable to switch frequencies, please check the BIOS settings for SpeedStep support

Wireless

Even though the M300 has no default wireless support, you might have a PCMCIA card. For it to work, you must first install iproute2, then bring it up:

# ip link set wlp2s0 up
Note: Your card may be given a name other than wlp2s0. Check by issueing the command iwconfig

and watch the neighborhood:

# iwlist scan
Note: If you run into troubles with your wireless card, check the Wireless network configuration article

Additional configuration

Restore values at boot

In order to have the mixer to always get back to the presetted values, install alsa-utils and add the following to a script

# mixer settings
amixer set Master on 31
amixer set PCM on 25
amixer set Mic cap
amixer set Capture on 8

Then call it from a systemd unit. Enable that unit.

For you to get your clock always updated, install ntp, add to the previous script:

# set the time
sleep 20        # give sometime for the network to connect
if (($(ip route| wc -l) > 3)); then
        ntpdate pool.ntp.org
fi
Note: You might need this if your CMOS battery is gone

Hotkey configuration

LCD brightness

Add the following to /usr/local/bin/backlight_control:

/usr/local/bin/backlight_control
dec}"
esac

LCD / VGA switch

Create /usr/local/bin/switch_display and add the following:

/usr/local/bin/switch_display

Volume up, down and mute

Create a script called /usr/local/bin/volume_control:

/usr/local/bin/volume_control
 tail -n 1 

Problems and not tested issues

Dual monitor

You'd probably have to do it by hand. Add this to the beginning of your ~/.xinitrc:

# set multiple monitors
xrandr --verbose --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x768 --primary
xrandr --verbose --output VGA1 --mode 1024x768 -r 75.1 --right-of LVDS1