fedora 7 on the acer travelmate 2420

This post is a reminder to myself in case I re-install my OS (as I do every now and then).

Fedora has a few bugs on the Acer TravelMate 2420. The most annoying one is that every now and then, the system freezes for a few seconds at a time. There have been reports of this in the Fedora forums, but no clear indication of what was causing it.

To solve the freezes, you need to compile a new kernel – there is something wrong with the Fedora kernel, but I’m not sure what it is (scheduler, maybe, but I can’t be certain).

So, get a copy of the most recent full kernel from kernel.org. I’m using version 2.6.23-rc2. Create a directory ~/compile/ and unzip the file in there.

The simplest way to get up and running is to go into that directory and run make bzImage && make modules, then su -c "make modules_install && make install". That will build and install the kernel, but with a load of modules that you don’t need. It will also take a very long time to finish, as it is compiling almost /everything/…

If you want, though, you can use my own kernel config. I’ve tried to cut it down to only the modules used by the TravelMate 2420. I’ve left out PCMCIA and Parallel Port support (I don’t use them). Download this file [removed], move it into the root of your kernel source, and rename it to .config. Then run the above commands.

You will also need MadWifi to get your Atheros wifi to work. cd ~/compile; svn checkout http://svn.madwifi.org/trunk madwifi.

Now build MadWifi: cd ~/compile/madwifi; make -C /lib/modules/2.6.23-rc1/build SUBDIRS=/home/kae/compile/madwifi modules. Make sure to replace the 2.6.23-rc1 with your kernel version, and kae with your username. Then, reboot into the new kernel.

Install madwifi: cd ~/compile/madwifi; su -c "make install". Reboot again. Sorry about that – can’t be bothered finding the right way to do this, but it only takes a minute or so anyway.

That’s it – you’re done. You should not experience any of those freezes, and the system should be a tiny tiny little bit faster as well.

If you upgrade your kernel at any time, or recompile the present one, then remember to install madwifi again.