Linux on a Gericom Webgine Advance 1400c

Document history:

  • 2005-11-01: I have the laptop back :) no more battery life though…
  • 2003-12-30: I do not have the laptop any more :-/
  • 2003-05-13: IEEE1394 port is an ilink port (not firewire) Still don't know if it works…
  • 2003-02-23: pcmcia in fact is supported!!!
  • 2003-02-01: is pcmcia really supported?
  • 2003-01-12: cd-rw burning is ok;
  • 2003-01-01: winmodem support is ok; acpi support is ok, apm is not.
  • 2002-12-30: initial release.


You can find cheap laptops in supermarkets now; some of them even have many options that would cost you twice or three times their price if they were from some well known manufacturers… The only problem for me was compatibility with linux…

I finally decided to go for this Webgine Advance 1400c from Gericom, even with the lack of information certifying that linux would run, and how it would…

So, here is a page that gives:

  • Products specifications of the webgine Advance 1400c
  • Linux compatibility chart
  • Usefull files

Of course, information provided in this document is absolutely not warranted and using piece of it is your entire responsability ;-)

Linux came here for me in replacement of the WinXP provided with the laptop. As you can guess, the initial partition table was a single NTFS huge volume. I used Debian 3.0 which may not be the most appropriate considering versions of servers and kernel required, but this is my favorite distribution and the one I know the best…

Laptop specifications


Processor AMD Mobile Athlon XP1400+
L1 cache128kB
L2 cache256kB
System memory
Default256MB, 3.3-Volt 64-bit bus
Memory expansiontotal of two 144-pin SO-DIMM sockets, Max 512x2MB
display panel14-inch XGA active matrix
ControlerVia Twister K with S3 savage4 VT8362 (int. 2D/3D accelerator) AGP4x Motion compression and IDCT supported for DVD playback Shared memory from 8 up to 32MB S-Video encoder
Floppy3.5“ 1.44MB
Hard drive2.-inch/3-inch format 20GB
CDRW-DVDROM5.25-inch 24x speed
ChipsetVia Twister K with integrated VT8231 Full-duplex and independant sample rate converter for audio recording and playback 64-voice polyphony wavetable synthesizer
ChipsetVia Twister K with Modem controler integrated with MDC card
SpeedV90/K56flex, V34, V17, v29 supported
ChipsetVia Twister K with integrated PCI Fast ethernet function for 100base-TX network standards
FeaturesIEE802.3u (auto negociation and parallel detection for automatic speed selection) Integrated DMA controller for low CPU and bus utilization. Remote Wake-up Scheme supported
PCMCIA controllerO2Micro OZ 6912TE controller
FeaturesSingle slot for type II
VGAone 15-pin CRT connector
Audio portone stereo line-out jack & one microphone-in jack
Infrared portone FIR led
Parallel portone 25-pin parallel connector (ECP/EPP)
Ilinkone Ilink (IEE1394) host connector
USB Porttwo USB connectors
S-Video portone s-video for analog output
Modem portone standard phone jack (RJ-11)
LAN portone standard network connector (RJ-45)
Power portone DC-connector
PS/2 portone 6-pin connector (keyboard/mouse)
Physical/electrical specifications
Main batteryLi-Ion 8-cell, 59.2W, 14.8V, 4000mAh
System OFF recharge3~4hour (100%)
System ON recharge8~10hour (100%)
power managementAPM 1.2 and ACPI 2.0
Size255(D)x316(W)x39(H) mm
Weight3.2Kg with CDROM

Linux compatibility chart

This chart is a result of a Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 install. I guess that other distribs will manage to get it out easily too… Kernel at setup is a 2.2.20 which recognises quite a lot of things, but as this laptop incorporates interesting modern features, I quickly switched to a self compiled 2.4.20. Stock XFree is a 4.1.0 version which needs some of the improvments done in the next releases (4.2.1 for example).

X11 S3 ProSavage KN133 OK with XFree 4.1.0, but hangs in switching from X to vt… Better with XFree 4.2.1 (no more nasty bug, better X-Video accelerations) s3switch is a utility allowing to switch output between crt/lcd/video: Not tested (I have no Svideo-cinch adapter) Usefull link: S3 savage support on XFree 4.x.xOK
Sound VIA TwisterK + VT8231 OK with via82cxxx_audio, ac97, uart401 oss modules.OK
USB VIA UHCI USB OK with usb-uhci module (test with a wacom tablet and sony powershot)OK
Network VIA VT6102 Rhine-II OK with via-rhine moduleOK
Modem Smartlink AMRMO winmodem, VIA AC97 Modem Controller:VIA3058 card Ok with theses modules (2.7.7 tested OK) provided by Smartlink (non-GPL but sources!)OK
IRDA Via fast infrared device Known not to be supported at allNOK
IEEE1394 VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller ? (I have no firewire/ilink device to test, but the ohci1394 can load)???
PCMCIA CardBus bridge O2 Micro OK yenta_socket module loads but with theses errors: > PCI: No IRQ known for interrupt pin A of device 00:08.0. > Yenta IRQ list 0820, PCI irq0 But then, every card can get an irq…OK
CDRW+DVD OK DVD/CD fs access: with ide-scsi, scsi_mod, sr_mod modules.OK
DVD play from mplayerOK
CD Burning: 8x speedOK
Keyboard OK. Extra '@' key has a keycode of 178.OK
Touchpad OK.OK
COM Port OK. (tested with a palm and as a console to a sparc box)OK
LPT Port Not tested. Seems OK.OK
Energy management APM/ACPI NOK: APM, OK: ACPI (processor, ac_adapter, battery, system, thermal, ec, button)OK

Usefull files/commands results

comp/gericom1400c.txt · Dernière modification: 2007/05/01 09:12 par cbellot