Quick Summary

Core Kernel 2.4/2.6 Debian
Display X Rotation1
DPMS Brightness2
Touchscreen Basic Pen Input3 Right/Middle Clicks Alt/Ctrl/Mod Clicks
Power Management Power Switch Lid Switch
Power Off Sleep4 Suspend
Battery Status5 Sensors CpuFreq
Audio OSS3 ALSA3
Misc Joystick

  1. At present must restart X to change screen orientation.
  2. For 2.4, via a device driver derived from a few bits of proprietary code. For 2.6 scratch written driver.
  3. Sound drivers and pen input conflict in 2.4
  4. 2.4/2.6 use ACPI S1 sleep mode which only halts processor.
  5. For 2.4, directly from SMBus via i2c, not through ACPI. For 2.6 via a driver the provides ACPI functionality, but not really ACPI.
These are notes regarding installing or upgrading Linux on the ProGear 1050. Even though some versions of these devices come with Linux installed, support for critical pieces of hardware comes from customized, proprietary drivers. As a result installing a generic distribution and using standard tools with a standard kernel turns out to be frustratingly non-trivial.

This document started as comments for my own reference during the project and so is in places informal and rambling. I ended up doing enough work that it seemed worthwhile to expand the comments into what should serve as a useful guide to others with the same or similar struggle. Though this is specific to this particular Progear device, many of the problems are quite general and the observations and solutions should apply to other problems with unusual hardware or unconventional OEM support of it.

The project is still in part a work in progress and so this document also serves as a solicitation of ideas about tying up the remaining loose ends. Though I am now perfectly satisfied with the Progear's new functionality, I continue to intermittently work on some of these less important problems, so if you are really interested check for updates.

Please note that this document varies in scope. On one hand it might be considered advanced in that I am not going to explain how to configure, compile and install a kernel, except where it might deviate from standard procedures, nor do I attempt to explain in detail how to configure your network, or modutils. In fact, this is so advanced that I won't even tell you where to look for instructions on any of the above. These are not trivial, but they are basic and common and help is easy to find.

On the other hand, don't read this as if I know what I am talking about. I do have extensive experience dealing with hardware at its lowest level interface, but that is mostly from the days of DIP switch set I/O ports and interrupts. The days when you couldn't find out what was inside a machine or where without a screwdriver unless you or someone you knew put it there and remembered. Regarding this specific Progear hardware or the general systems they are particular examples of, I know only as much as I learned trying to get things working. So don't assume any suggestions here are the best solution. Don't even assume they are a safe solutions. I would be pleased to hear of better ideas where they exist, or of 'The Right Way' to do things and why.

Finally, note that you may want to skip the long-winded introduction and go right to the details, [*].

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