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Re: On the status of support for the current generation iBooks

At Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:52:01 -0600, Deepayan Sarkar wrote:
> [...]

I also have an iBook G4 1.33Ghz, since last summer.  The hardware is
basically fully supported these days, except for the internal modem.

> (b) I'm still slightly confused about power management and CPU
> scaling, but the tools are clearly there, it's just a matter of
> installing the right ones and setting them up.

You just need to enable support for cpu frequency scaling and then
this works just fine. I use this with cpudyn.

Sleep (suspend-to-ram) works fine too.  And I had the kernel built-in
suspend-to-disk working reliably with a previous kernel, but last time
i tried (kernel 2.6.16-rc2) it didn't work, but I didn't bother
looking into it.

Power management can be done with pbbuttonsd. This program also takes
care of the special keys for adjusting screen brightness, volume,

I also use laptop-mode-tools, which helps for power management of the
hard disk.  With low screen brightness, cpudynd and laptop-mode, I get
up to 4 (4.5) hours on battery (with a light load, think editing text).

> (c) I sometimes need to bring up the ethernet interface up manually
> (which may actually be a problem with my home network)

I never had any problems with that. I use ifplugd, so that the
interface is brought up automatically when the ethernet cable is
plugged in and brought down upon disconnecting the cable.

> (d) The support for the wireless (Airport extreme) card is new and
> unstable. Using bcm43xx-modules-2.6.15-1-powerpc and some related
> stuff, I can get connected to my unencrypted home network with a
> static IP (although trying to disconnect hangs the machine). A lot
> of work is going on with this, and newer kernels will likely work
> better (I haven't tried yet).

I compile the linux kernel myself, from www.kernel.org and add patch
the kernel with the bcm43xx driver. I use the devicescape branch. The
driver is not perfect yet. I never succeeded in connecting with my
accesspoint with dhcp.  However, the connection works reliably for me
when using a static ip-address. I am very close to the accesspoint
though, and I believe that you need to be close to the accesspoint
since the power regulation for transmission has not been reverse
engineered yet.

Also, I believe only accesspoint mode is supported, but adhoc mode
isn't yet. (I may be off here, but I don't know much about wireless
configs, in any case, it works to connect to my wireless accesspoint)

> (f) X works, but 3d acceleration doesn't. Messages on this list
> suggest that this will change with xorg 7.0, so I'll wait for that. My
> one experiment trying to mirror the display on an external monitor
> using the VGA connector hasn't been successful, but apparently it can
> be done. TV out probably doesn't work.

I have 3d acceleration working.  I tested this with crack-attack and
chromium.  I did however download the mesa package source and enable
the r300 driver.  The r300 driver is actually included in the source,
but not built by default (IIRC). It should be included in xorg7.0
though, which should hit unstable soon.

Ok, I just checked that. I compiled mesa 6.3.2 myself and enabled the
driver in that package, but I have mesa 6.4.1 installed from unstable
now and this one contains the r300 driver. The exact package is

Last week, I also hooked up an external monitor and that also worked
just fine with MergedFB.  I could use it like a xinerama screen.  I
didn't try clone mode and I also never tried to connect it to a tv.

> (g) Modem doesn't work (and apparently isn't even detected by Linux)

There is no driver for the internal modem.

As for the rest, I don't know whether this is important for you, but
there is in practice no Macromedia Flash support. (there are 2
projects for free flash support, but AFAIK not practically usable yet)
Also, mplayer cannot use the windows dlls for codecs, in practice this
means that you won't be able to play WMV9 videos (yet).  There is Java
support through the IBM JDK. (and of course there are also free jvms
and gcj)

Finally, there's also MOL (mac-on-linux) which let's you run OSX from
inside linux at near-native speed. (think VMWare).

I think those are the most important things to know.
Hope this helps.


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