Debian on Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo M7405

Last updated: 2005-11-17

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho


General Hardware Specifications of my Amilo M7405 (small variations among specific machines are possible):

Hardware Components
Status under Linux
Intel Pentium M 1.5 GHz Works See frequency scaling notes below.
15" TFT XGA, 1024 x 768 pixel Works
Integrated Intel 855ME video Works (also XFree86) driver i810; acceleration works but is incompatible with suspend to RAM
512 MB DDR SDRAM Works
80 GB IDE Hard Drive Works
Integrated RealTek RTL8139 Ethernet Interface Works
Internal Modem Untested I have no use for this
CD/DVD Read-Write Drive Works (only partially tested) CD boot and reading have been tested; CD writing and DVD functionality not tested yet
Internal Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Works Update 2005-11-17: Drivers are included in the kernel since 2.6.14. Requires proprietary but downloadable firmware. Radio on/off switch works out of the box.
Li-Ion battery, 10.8/11.1V / 4400mAH Works Battery status is sometimes not available under ACPI. Charge/discharge rate information is not available under ACPI.
Internal Intel ICH4 Sound Controller Works
Firewire Untested Detected, and drivers are loaded automatically
USB Works Tested with a Palm Zire and a SanDisk memory stick.
PC Card port Untested Detected, and drivers are loaded automatically
Memory card slot Untested
Hotkeys Partially work Sleep (Fn+F1), Power and Fan (next to Power) are visible through ACPI. Info (next to Fan), Mail (next to Info), Mute (Fn+F3), Volume up (Fn+F5) and Volume down (Fn+F6) are visible as keys in X. Display toggle (Fn+F4) and LCD brightness (Fn+F7 and Fn+F8) are not visible through X or ACPI. Power and Fan have standard bindings as halt and reduce noise, respectively; LCD brightness keys work; the others have no default bindings.
Touchpad Works Visible as a standard mouse. When using the synaptics drivers (kernel and X), a scroll wheel is emulated.

This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.12

I installed Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (Sarge) without great problems using an official business-card-size network-install CD. Most notable was that X wasn't autoconfigured, so I did not get an optimal X.

For reasons unrelated to this laptop, I upgraded to Debian unstable fairly early. That gave me access to the packaging; even it had problems autoconfiguring my X. I ended up doing some customization on xorg.conf:

ACPI provides power button events, silent mode button events, and sleep button events. It also provides battery status and AC adapter status events. Battery status is available (though sometimes asking for it triggers an ACPI error in the logs and no battery status is then reported; asking again once or twice usually works). AC adapter status is available. Temperature is reported as a constant 11 degrees Celsius (some sources suggest that this will change if overheating occurs, but I have not observed this). The packages acpid, acpi and laptop-mode-tools are indispensable.

CPU frequency scaling needs two things: the loading of the modules speedstep_centrino and cpufreq_userspace (easiest is to list them in /etc/modules) and a scaling daemon. I like powernowd. Other configurations are also possible.

Suspend to RAM takes some work to configure but then works reliably. The Debian package hibernate is able to use the prepackaged Linux 2.6.12's ability to do a graceful suspend-to-RAM, if configured correctly (follow the instructions in /etc/hibernate/hibernate.conf or use mine). It is necessary to add acpi_sleep=s3_mode to the kernel command line for the display to work after resume (I have also enabled VBETool, which requires the vbetool package, as you can see from my configuration; I cannot say right now if that has any effect, as I haven't tested without them). I have bound the sleep hotkey (Fn+F1) to suspend-to-RAM by creating the file /etc/acpi/events/sleep with the following content:


Wakeup is triggered by pressing the power button. Note that X will not work properly after wakeup if hardware acceleration is enabled (see above).

I have not tried suspend to disk.

Wireless networking requires a separate module, which is packaged as source, so the module needs to be compiled separately (almost) every time the kernel is upgraded. With module-assistant, the module compilation is very simple: install the linux-headers package corresponding to your kernel, install the module source package, and run module-assistant a-i ipw2200. With recent ipw2200 drivers, the ieee80211 module needs to be compiled beforehand using a similar process. The preceding is obsolete information since Linux 2.6.14, which includes the ipw2200 driver.

I used too many sources during the configuration of my laptop and the writing of this report to list them here. However, reports written by others on the similar model Amilo M7400 (especially by Tuukka and Aktaion) and on other i855-equipped laptops were very helpful. The kernel documentation on suspend to RAM was indispensable while figuring that one out (I would have had it working much sooner had I looked there in the first place). Thanks for all who helped in such an indirect fashion!

Linux on Laptops was my first reference site on any difficulty. TuxMobil was also helpful.

<> - feel free to contact me if you have suggestions or pertinent questions

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