Linux on a Higrade Notino A1300/Asus A1300A laptop

Last updated 03 Dec 2003.

As of June 2004 I'm running Debian Sid/Unstable. RedHat 8 users should look here

I have installed SUSE 7.3/8.0, RedHat8, Mandrake 9/9.1, Debian Woody/sid, Morphix and currently have RedHat 9 on my Higrade Notino A1300 (rebadged asus A1300A) laptop. The majority of hardware works well. The best reference for installing linux on this series of laptops is to visit Alf Martone's site. That site tells you pretty much everything you need to know. I'll just note down my RedHat 9 experiences here. Feel free to mail me at if you need any help.

Here's the link to the official Asus website for this series of laptop.


  1. DVD - You may want to enable scsi emulation for the drive. You usually do this for the benefit of cdburning applications but xcdroast seems to work with atapi devices now so there is probably no need if you only use xcdroast. If you want scsi emulation then grub is now the default bootloader so add hdc=ide-scsi to grub.conf. Also add "options ide-cd dma=1" to modules.conf to enable dma for the dvd drive. RedHat init scripts take care of loading the ide-scsi kernel module and the symbolic links (/dev/cdrom etc) for the drive were automatically updated on my machine.
  2. Harddisk - The disk in my machine is ATA66 so to get them up to speed I had to edit /etc/grub.conf and add 'idebus=66 ide0=ata66 ide1=ata66' to the kernel entry.
  3. Memory - As standard my laptop came with 128MB of ram (64MB built in and one 64MB SODIMM). I swapped the 64MB SODIMM for a 256MB SODIMM and it really makes a difference. I bought my memory from DABS in the UK.
  4. Modem - It's a winmodem and believe it or not it does work. Dag Wieers has an apt package available which provides kernel modem drivers. See below for how to install apt. Then do 'apt-get install kernel-module-slmdm#2.7.10-1_2.4.20_20.9.dag.rh90'. Once installed edit /etc/modules.conf and add 'options slmdm country=UK'. Then do a 'modprobe slamrmo'. You should then be able to use the modem via /dev/modem. If you look at dmesg it should report itself as '7013 Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 56k Winmodem (Smart Link HAMR5600 compatible) : SiS630 card'
  5. Psion Dacom Gold Card V34 Fax Modem - PCMCIA services detects this and makes it available via /dev/ttyS3. Works great.
  6. SIS630 Graphics card - Works fine but DRI doesnt. Under RedHat 8 but you needed to visit Thomas Winnischoffer's site to get 3D acceleration working. DRI is not working with RedHat 9 as it uses XFree 4.3. XFree 4.3 uses mesa4 and the sis DRI module has not been ported to mesa4...consequently no DRI. See Thomas' site for more info. I recommend that you visit Thomas' site and download his sisctrl application. It allows you to change resolution on the fly, switch to TV and monitor output. Great app. Make sure you follow the instructions precisely to get it working.
  7. Network card - Uses kernel module sis900 which works fine.
  8. Lexmark Z11 - It seems to me that the driver is missing from RedHat's install. Go here and download the driver. Compile and install it. You should just be able to setup the printer using RedHat's tools now and it will work. Make sure that you select the cz11SomSom driver and set the paper to be A4 or it will only print out diagonal lines.
  9. Epson CX3200 - This is a combined scanner and printer. Redhat 9 supports the printing function out of the box. You simply add a new printer and select the CX3200 printer. It works great. The scanning function does not work without a little elbow grease. Edit /etc/sane.d/epson.conf. Comment out the line which says 'scsi EPSON', uncomment the line which says 'usb /dev/usb/scanner0' and save it. Next you have to download the sane-backends version 1.0.12. Backends verson 1.0.13 also works so use that if you wish. Untar it and do the usual ./configure followed by make. Don't make install. cd to the backends/.libs dir and do:

    cp /usr/lib/sane
    cp /usr/lib/sane

    Note that will already be installed so I suggest that you back it up before overwriting it. After you have copied these new libs into place you should be up and running. Check that the scanner is recognised by doing scanimage -L or launch xsane and see what happens.
  10. Aries Scanit 4800 Pro scanner - This is a re-badged Plustek scanner and works. You need to get the driver from this site and install as per the instructions. Then launch xsane with the following command so that it uses the correct driver 'xsane plustek:/dev/pt_drv'. The results tend to come out a little green so some fiddling with xsane's settings is required to get good image reproduction.
  11. Zip 100 Parallel - Use kernel module ppa which should make the drive available via /dev/sda4. I can't get it to work at the moment.
  12. Olympus D-230 (C2) camera - Works great. Add the following line to /etc/fstab. "/dev/sda1 /mnt/camera auto noauto,user,exec 0 0" and then you can mount it. You will need the usb-storage kernel module loaded. If you have hotplug installed then it will automatically load the usb-storage module for you.
  13. Zip650 USB CD-Writer - Works great. Plug it in and do cdrecord --scanbus to check it's been recognised. Tested it with xcdroast and my homebrew app gnomebaker.
  14. Oregon Scientific DS3868 Webcam/Digital Camera - Working fine. Automatically recognised by the kernel as a stv680 device and is assigned /dev/video0. Gnomemeeting/xawtv etc can then all use it. Pictures can be downloaded using gtkam but you have to do 'rmmod stv680' before gtkam will recognise and talk to the device as it seems gtkam wants to use it's own driver.


  1. Apt4RPM - Go here and download apt4rpm from Dag Wieers' site. Once installed do "apt-get install synaptic" and manage your packages with ease. Dag's reposity has all the latest software and is very very good. There are good instructions on the site about how to use apt.
  2. XFree86 security - By default XF86 opens a port for tcp. I only have one laptop and will only ever run XF86 locally so I don't need that port open. I closed it by editing /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf and added '-nolisten tcp' to the X command line as shown below.

    # Definition of the standard X server.
    name=Standard server
    command=/usr/X11R6/bin/X -nolisten tcp
  3. RealPlayer 8 - Get it here. RP8 needs a hack (found it on realplayer discussion board) to get it to work under RH9. As root cd to /usr/lib/RealPlayer8 and 'mv realplay realplay.bin'. Create a file in that directory called realplay with the following content:

    export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.1
    /usr/lib/RealPlayer8/realplay.bin $1

    Now 'chmod 775 realplay' and you are done.
  4. Fonts - Most of Redhat 9 uses fontconfig so you can add fonts to your ~/.fonts directory and they will be ready for use. OpenOffice on the other hand doesn't use fontconfig so you have to work a little harder. I didn't bother copying my windows fonts into my ~/.fonts dir, instead I created /usr/share/fonts/ttf and copied the fonts from my windows partition into there. I then ran the following commands:

    ttmkfdir -d /usr/share/fonts/ttf/ -o /usr/share/fonts/ttf/fonts.scale
    mkfontdir /usr/share/fonts/ttf/

    Then I edited /etc/fonts/fonts.conf and added <dir>/usr/share/fonts/ttf<dir>. Restart X and you are away. Your fonts will now be system wide (hopefully). (You may have to add /usr/share/fonts/ttf to your XF86Config font path too)
  5. Mozilla and Java - Good old Dag Wieers provides an apt package (mozilla-j2re) which I haven't tested but I'd bet it works. I write Java so I have Sun's J2SDK 1.4.2 installed and I created a symlink in mozilla's lib dir to the plugin which comes with the SDK. The critical bit is making sure you have a Java runtime that is compiled with GCC3.2 as I understand it.
  6. RedHat9 Menus - I really like RH9 but I think the menu layout is unintuitive (8 was bad too) so I've hacked the menu files by hand. I've consolidated the preferences, system tools and system settings menus so that preferences and system tools appear under the system settings menu. I also got rid of the 'more' menus and all apps now appear in the top level menus. Here's a screenshot. You can download the modified files here. Copy them to /etc/X11/desktop-menus. Make sure you back up the old files first.
Note that this information is provided as is. Use it at your own risk.