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Gateway M285


NameGateway M285
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz
Screen14.1“ WXGA
Optical DriveDVD+/-RW DL
GraphicsATI Radeon Mobility X1400 (64MiB)
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet (Intel 82573L), Intel 3945 802.11a/g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other3 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, 1 x Type II PC card slot, MS/MMC/SD card reader

Note: This is a sample configuration.

Linux Compatibility

Device Compatibility Comments
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes See notes below
SoundYes See notes below
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYes See notes below
Tablet PenYes See notes below
Tablet ButtonsYes See notes below



The internal video hardware works with 3D and tear-free XVideo acceleration using the free-software radeon driver (included with x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati on Gentoo). For best performance, enable Kernel Mode Setting ( might be helpful). The radeon driver provides a framebuffer that can be used with fbcon for text consoles.
FIXME Add info on automating the loading of fbcon.ko, and check if load order matters.

radeon doesn't yet support controlling the backlight brightness - you can use the tablet buttons (press the one to the left of the directional pad and then use up/down) or Fn+Up/Down on the keyboard, or /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness:

# for full brightness:
echo 7 >/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness
# for minimum brightness:
echo 0 >/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness
# likewise, use 1-6 for the levels in between


The snd_hda_intel ALSA driver works for playback and recording. To use the internal microphone, turn up the “Capture” and “Mux” capture levels and set “Input Source” to “Mic” (e.g. using alsamixer). Use “Front Mic” instead for the microphone input jack. UPDATE: linux-2.6.33 and possibly other versions have changed “Mic” to refer to the microphone jack, and the only other available input is “CD”. FIXME Can this be fixed with snd_hda_intel module parameters?

Card Reader

The card reader uses the tifm driver, that is now a part of the main kernel tree. You will need the following kernel modules:

  • tifm_core
  • tifm_7xx1
  • tifm_sd (for SD/MMC)
  • tifm_ms (for MemoryStick)

If the driver is properly loaded, plugging in an MMC or SD card should create /dev/mmcblk0 for the card, and /dev/mmcblk0p1 for partition 1, etc. FIXME MemoryStick support untested.

The driver seems to be unable to read some cards, generating errors like:

mmc0: error -110 whilst initializing MMC card

FIXME What causes this error?

Tablet Pen

The tablet works with the fpit driver for Xorg, but first you have to use setserial (if you get errors about “No such device” or the like, try ”modprobe 8250“ first):

setserial /dev/ttyS0 uart 16550A port 0x6a8 irq 4 baud_base 38400 spd_normal skip_test

This will need to be run at every startup. This can be automated with udev, e.g. on Gentoo, create ”/etc/udev/rules.d/98-fpit.rules“, and put this in it:

KERNEL=="ttyS0", RUN+="/bin/setserial /dev/ttyS0 uart 16550A port 0x6a8 irq 4 baud_base 38400 spd_normal skip_test"

You'll need to add an InputDevice section to /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Pen"
    Driver      "fpit"
    Option      "AlwaysCore"
    Option      "MinimumXPosition"      "450"
    Option      "MaximumXPosition"      "12520"
    Option      "MinumumYPosition"      "450"
    Option      "MaximumYPosition"      "7620"
    Option      "InvertY"
    Option      "TrackRandR"
    Option      "ScreenNumber"          "0"
    Option      "SendCoreEvents"

Then, add a line referring to it in the ServerLayout section:

    InputDevice "Pen"

See Gateway M285 xorg.conf for a working configuration.

The minimum/maximum values listed above might not be the same as your machine - unfortunately, the only way to calibrate them seems to be:

  1. edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to change values
  2. restart X server
  3. test
  4. repeat

If you have trouble with spurious right-clicks when you bring the pen close to the screen, you can disable the right-click functionality with this command:

xinput set-button-map TOUCHSCREEN 1 0 0

You can put this in your ~/.xinitrc or ~/.xsession file
FIXME Is there a way to do this via the display manager? E.g. xdm, gdm, kdm…
FIXME Is there a way to make the side button convert taps to right-clicks like it does on Windows?

Tablet Buttons

There is no in-kernel driver available for the buttons below the screen (as of linux-2.6.35), so you have to compile it yourself. Fetch tablet_buttons_noacpi-1.12.tar.gz, extract it into a temporary directory, and compile and install:
(NOTE: if you're using a kernel older than 2.6.34, you may need an older version of the driver; check

cd /tmp
tar -xzf tablet_buttons_noacpi-1.12.tar.gz
cd tablet_buttons_noacpi-1.12
sudo make install

Then insert the module:

sudo modprobe tablet_buttons_noacpi ioport=0xcd0 irq=11

If this works, you should see events when pressing eight of the nine buttons using xev. (The button nearest to the power LED is used only by the internal firmware.) The module load will need to be done at every boot. On Gentoo, you could accomplish this by creating a file in /etc/modules.d/ containing:

options tablet_buttons_noacpi ioport=0xcd0 irq=11

And adding this line to /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6:


FIXME How can this be automated for other distributions?


MGM, 2010/01/05 09:37

This is a great help - just wanted to point out that the kernel option should be “ioport” and not “io”

zac, 2011/02/21 23:42

I get the following when I try to build the noacpi driver for the buttons

make -C /lib/modules/2.6.35-020635-generic/build SUBDIRS=/home/zac/Downloads/tablet_buttons_noacpi-1.12 CC=cc modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/lib/modules/2.6.35-020635-generic/build'
make[1]: * No rule to make target `modules'. Stop.
make[1]: Leaving directory `/lib/modules/2.6.35-020635-generic/build'
* [default] Error 2

Can you help me with this?

Mark, 2014/08/28 03:59

I ran into the same issue. I found you need to have gcc installed for it to work.
After that I ran into another issue, which is you need to make sure you download the 1.00 version.
So use this instead:

cd /tmp
tar -xzf tablet_buttons_noacpi-1.00.tar.gz
cd tablet_buttons_noacpi-1.00
sudo make install

This work for me on lubuntu 10.04

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gateway_m285.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/09 07:36 by billg
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