Install Red Hat v. 7.1 on Asus A1360

Last update: 28/10/2001

Why' RedHat 7.1 ?

Here I am grappling with a new installation of Red Hat Linux on my Asus A1360. I decide to try the 7.1 version of RH because
1] I am curious to see the last RH's product
2] I need the last libraryes to work with Kylix for Linux.
I started updating all the libraries from 6.2 to 7.1: thinking about it, this is a wrong way to go on because most of the old programs I have, uses libc2.1.x and not libc2.2.x. I think that if I want a Linux upgrade I can't change only the libraries, so I decide to maintain the Windows partition (4 GB) and erase the other partitions with the old Linux version. Remember to backup all your valuable data!!!!! You can do it whith a CD-RW, a Zip or floppy drive: don't copy the files into another partition because if you make a mistake and erase all the partitions on your can guess what I mean. And now, put your dirty hands on the notebook!!!!!

Installation steeps

After the backup, I change the boot order on bios setup: this is my boot drive order:

  • 1. CD
  • 2. Hard Disk
  • 3. Floppy

    Then, insert RH's cdrom and restart the system: I can see the first installation screen. Now if you press Enter the system go on with a graphics installation - don't worry! RH 7.1 can play better with the SiS630 card. The program change the video mode to vesa-framebuffer, show some crazy boot messages and finally draw a big red hat...check if the usb mouse works: you can use it on installation procedure!!!. In the first text-mode menu you can start the installation without vesa-framebuffer support: DON'T use this method, because of video problems.

    Let's go on:

  • select the language
  • select the keyboard layout
  • choose the mouse type - "USB 3 buttons" - and uncheck "3 buttons emulation"
  • select custom installation: be warned that if you select any other installation mode, all the harddisk partition would be erase...
  • use disk druid to partitioning the hard disk:

    Device begin end Block System Mount
    /dev/hda1 1 588 4445248 Win95 FAT32 windows
    /dev/hda2 589 927 2562840 Linux / (root)
    /dev/hda3 928 2584 12526920 Extended (extended)
    /dev/hda5 928 1659 5533888 Linux /usr
    /dev/hda6 1660 2201 4097488 Linux /home
    /dev/hda7 2202 2499 2252848 Linux /usr/local
    /dev/hda8 2500 2584 642568 Swap swap partition

    you can use a different number of partition or a different size. The important is: use the partitions in your hard disk!!! in particular, try to separate your personal data, system files, shared partitions/directories, html pages...

  • select "format all partitions"
  • manage LILO options and - very important - select "create boot floppy" : this emergency floppy will help you in many situations...
  • manage network configuration (hostname, numero IP, gateway, DNS...)
  • select the firewall security level
  • select the support language
  • choose time zone
  • insert root's password
  • select the packages that you want to install (all the packages, of course). Please check this useful rpm: koffice and MySQL.
  • check the packages dependency
  • X configuration. When I try to install Redhat for the first time, i reboot the computer at this point because i select video card (SiS 630) and video mode (1024x768) but the installation program ends. So I restart the installation program: don't try to configure XFree, next we'll can do it.
  • format the partitions and install the packages

    First boot

    My Asus restart in text-mode, so the first thing to do is modify some configuration files (I use VI editor):


    When we restart the system, linux uses vesa-framebuffer video mode: if there is any problem we can swith to text-mode shell (using "prelinux" at boot).


    Using this graphic configuration file, you must have your USB mouse plug in. See video mode section for details.
    # /etc/X11/XF86Config
    Section "Files"
        RgbPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"
        FontPath   "unix/:7100"
    Section "ServerFlags"
    Section "Keyboard"
        Protocol    "Standard"
        AutoRepeat  250 30
        LeftAlt         Meta
        RightAlt        Meta
        ScrollLock      Compose
        RightCtl        Control
        XkbKeycodes     "xfree86"
        XkbTypes        "default"
        XkbCompat       "default"
        XkbSymbols      "us(pc101)"
        XkbGeometry     "pc"
        XkbRules        "xfree86"
        XkbModel        "pc101"
        XkbLayout       "it"
    Section "Pointer"
        Protocol    "IMPS/2"                # THIS IS USB MOUSE!!!!!
        Device      "/dev/mouse"
        ZAxisMapping 4 5
    Section "Monitor"
        Identifier  "Generic Laptop Display Panel 1024x768"
        VendorName  "Asus"
        ModelName   "A1360"
        HorizSync   31.5-56.6
        VertRefresh 40-70
    # 1024x768 @ 100Hz, 80.21 kHz hsync
    Modeline "1024x768"   115.5  1024 1056 1248 1440  768  771  781  802 -HSync -VSync
    # 1024x768 @ 60 Hz, 48.4 kHz hsync
    Modeline "1024x768"    65    1024 1032 1176 1344   768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync
    # 1024x768 @ 70 Hz, 56.5 kHz hsync
    Modeline "1024x768"    75    1024 1048 1184 1328   768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync
    # 1024x768 @ 76 Hz, 62.5 kHz hsync
    Modeline "1024x768"    85    1024 1032 1152 1360   768  784  787  823
    # 1024x768 @ 85 Hz, 70.24 kHz hsync
    Modeline "1024x768"   98.9  1024 1056 1216 1408   768 782 788 822 -HSync -VSync
    Section "Device"
        Identifier  "SiS 630"
        VendorName  "Unknown"
        BoardName   "Unknown"
        #VideoRam    8192
    Section "Screen"
        Driver      "svga"
        Device      "SiS 630"
        Monitor     "Generic Laptop Display Panel 1024x768"
        DefaultColorDepth   32
        Subsection "Display"
            Depth       32
            Modes       "1024x768"
            ViewPort    0 0


    Erase the line:
    and replace with:

    With this changes, your linux system will restart in graphic mode. We don't need a text-mode shell because we have a more comfortable graphic terminals in ours desktop...

    Asus Touchpad

    During the bootstrap, Linux's kernel can check all USB ports to verify the attached devices, so we can configure our notebook to avoid automatic detection of mouse. If you'll work far from your office and forget the mouse, or you won't attach the mouse when you'll query your MySQL database, you'll be able to use the touchpad without modify any configuration file. Isn't it ??? So let's create two configuration files, copying twice the "/etc/X11/XF86Config" file; rename the files "XF86Config.usb" and "XF86Config.touch". Then, edit both and modify as:


    Section "Pointer"
        Protocol    "IMPS/2"
        Device      "/dev/mouse"
        ZAxisMapping 4 5
    Section "Pointer"
        Protocol    "PS/2"
        Device      "/dev/psaux"

    Append this text to /etc/rc.d/rc.local:

    #Mouse configuration:
    rm -rf /etc/X11/XF86Config
    if dmesg | grep "USB Mouse"
       echo "I use USB mouse..."
       ln -s /etc/X11/XF86Config.usb /etc/X11/XF86Config
       echo "It's better if I use touchpad !!!..."
       ln -s /etc/X11/XF86Config.touch /etc/X11/XF86Config
    Next time you reboot the system, Linux search "USB Mouse" string into boot messages; if present, Linux use the USB mouse, otherwise the touchpad will be active.

    Video section

    I have just explain to you all troubles and solutions!!!! With the above modifies, you should use Linux in graphic mode (1024x768 a 32 bit). If not, reboot the notebook and type "prelinux" at LILO prompt: in text-mode resolution you must check all the configuration files. As RedHat 6.2, I can't close XFree server and return into text-mode: I think that SiS630 is not very supported by Linux OS...

    SiS900 card

    The best card I have found in my notebook; it's automatically detect and configure during RedHat7 installation, so next time you reboot you'll use immediatelly the SiS900 card.
    It's simply to plug in my notebook with my office's network and use it dialing or transfering files with other computers. If you don't install sis900.o module during Linux installation and after you want to configure SiS900, you must:
  • take installation CD, mount it and copy linux kernel source into your temporary directory;
  • untar this file, type con "make xconfig" and modify kernel's parameters
  • into network section, select "Y" to sis900 card (you can also use modules)
  • recompile Linux kernel and modules, install vmlinux, modify /etc/lilo.conf and run /sbin/lilo
  • verify with: dmesg | grep "SiS 900"
  • modify /etc/sysconfig/network and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 with your network params.

    I say: use RH7 installation procedure to configure all network cards!

    PCMCIA card

    Because I use many linux kernel, I download the package pcmcia-cs-3.1.27.tar.gz. Every time I recompile kernel source, I install my pcmcia source. I have a "Global Modem 56k" card that is a 56k modem-fax and an Ethernet 10/100 card: both work without any problems.

    IrDA port

    I didn't configure my IrDA port because I didn't have any IrDA devices... now I have a Motorola 250 cellular and I'm going to use it to connect with internet. I have read many pages on various web site and now I can use the Motorola GSM system to receive email or navigate...don't get excited, GSM has only 9600 bps....

    Motorola WinModem

    On Motorola's web site I don't find any information about my internal winmodem...what a pity. This is the only card that doesn't work with Linux!

    There are some grammar mistakes? Please email me!