Gateway 5300 Notebook : what I did to make it work with Debian Linux


Disclaimer, Thanks, What I run | USB Memory Stick | Hot-swapping the floppy and CDROM | Playing Audio CDs | Wireless Ethernet | Copyright, who I am

Disclaimer, Thanks, What I run...

I'm running Debian Linux. (Note that Red Hat configuration files are sometimes named different things and in different places than Debian's.) I don't know much about Linux. I can run it only because I have knowledgable friends and brother. And because other people have HOWTOs posted on the web. And because Windoze sucks. Thanks also to In short, if you do something I suggested and it doesn't work, don't blame me. (Jun 2003): kernel 2.4.20

USB Memory Stick

(Feb 2004)

I had to recompile my kernel with support for SCSI. At this point, the option of support for "USB Mass Storage" also appeared among the options, and I compiled that in as well. (This worked for me for kernels 2.4.20 and 2.4.23). To use the memory stick, as root I run:

  mount -o umask=000 /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb
and the contents of the memory stick appear as a user-read/writeable directory at /mnt/usb

Hot-Swapping of the DVD-ROM / CD-ROM and floppy drives

(Jun 2001)

The short story is that you compile your kernel such that the floppy and CD-ROM are both modules. Boot the machine with the CD-ROM inserted.

To use the CDROM:

To swap devices (use floppy):

To swap devices again (use CDROM):

Playing Audio CDs

(Jun 2001)

Edit the file /etc/modules.conf, add an ``alias sound-slot-0 maestro3'' line, and run ``depmod -A''. I installed WorkMan as my CD player: ``apt-get install workman''

Wireless Ethernet

(Jun 2003) Recent kernels include the orinoco driver. Most of the muck below isn't necesary.

(Nov 2001)

I installed a Lucent Technologies Orinoco wireless ethernet card. PCMCIA support was already compiled into my kernel when I began. First off, an excellent site to read about the Orinoco driver is The way the story goes is there was once a driver called wvlan_cs which is being phased out in favor of the better and newer orinoco_cs. There is also a binary-based driver from Lucent wavelan2_cs about which I don't know much. I'm using orinoco_cs.

orinoco_cs download/compile: First, I downloaded the driver source code from I first tried orinoco-0.08a.tar.gz but it complained about problems in one of the .c files during compilation. Rather than debugging the code, I downloaded orinoco-0.07.tar.gz Once I copied dummy_cs.o (from /lib/modules/2.2.19pre17/dummy_cs.o) into the same directory as the untared/gunziped orinoco files, everything compiled beautifully with nothing more than 'make'. I then copied all the .o files (hermes.o, orinoco.o, and orinoco_cs.o) to /lib/modules/2.4.5/pcmcia/. (I don't know whether this is the "elegant" and "correct" place to put them, but hey, it works. If you know where they "should" go, send me an email.)

Adding the modules At this point, I had to tell Linux to actually look at and use the driver files. There are three options available, listed in order of preference. The first is a permanent fix; the latter two need to be re-run every time you reboot.

  1. /lib/modules/2.4.5/pcmcia does not get searched by default upon bootup. I added /lib/modules/2.4.5/pcmcia to /etc/modutils/paths. This will scan the listed directory for modules beyond those compiled into the modutils tools.
  2. Run 'modprobe orinoco' This should check for dependencies between the three .o files. Then restart PCMCIA support: '/etc/init.d/pcmcia restart'
  3. Run (in this order): Then restart PCMCIA support: '/etc/init.d/pcmcia restart'

Copy hermes.conf from the directory where you gunziped/untared/compiled the orinoco driver to /etc/pcmcia.

I also modified: /etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts Before the "START SECTION TO REMOVE" I added:

# Ania added this hoping it would work for Lucent Wavelan Orinoco:
# Lucent Wavelan IEEE (+ Orinoco, RoamAbout and ELSA)
INFO="Ania's attempt at Orinoco (Lucent default settings)"
ESSID="Wavelan Network"
# RATE="auto"

I then popped the PCMCIA card out of the slot and back in, and the LEDs came to life. Also, now when I run 'ifconfig', the card shows up as eth1 (my non-wireless card is eth0).

The last thing left to do is to configure your communication to your network. Here at Caltech, I had to do two things:

The latter of those applies to anyone using DHCP (dynamic IP address allocation); and if you'll be using a static IP address, it's pretty obvious which fields you need to fill in.

Copyright, Who I am...

Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003. Ania Mitros. But feel free to share this info with anyone you like. Or don't like. Or anyone else for that matter.