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MSI Wind U115 Hybrid

Introduction

This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid specifications page.

NameMSI Wind U115 Hybrid
ProcessorIntel® Atom™ Z530 1.6GHz Processor
Screen10“ WSVGA Widescreen
RAMUp to 2GB
Disc 1: SSD8GB or 16GB
Disc 2: HDD80GB, 120GB or 160GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsIntel GMA 500 (US15W)
Network10/100 Ethernet
Built-in 802.11b/g or 802.11b/g/n WLAN Card

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorks
ScreenWorksnot automatic detected, s. Graphics
SSDWorks Out of the box
HDDWorks Power off not tested
ECO mode (HDD on and off)Hotkey does not workBattery saving profile possible
GraphicsWorksMandriva One/powerpack 2010 has a driver, but that does not work out of box. Installation of this rpm: dkms-psb-4.41.1-6mdv2010.1 resolves the problem. 1026×600 works, vga port not tested
Soundworks with alsanewest alsa package has to be installed
EthernetWorksubunut,opensuse, mandriva
WirelessWorksubuntu 9.x
BluetoothNot Tested
ModemNot Tested
USBWorksOut of the box
Card Readerworksubuntu 9.x
WebcamNot Tested

Notes

The only dist. that support the Poulsbo graphic card is mandriva one/powerpack, but during installation the chip set is correctly recognised, but the x fails (problem with edid data). The updated package dkms-psb-4.41.1-6mdv2010.1 resolves this problem.
Installation with ubuntu and opensuse woks with generic graphics at resolution of 800×600. With 855resulution 1024×600 can be achieved, but the external vga is not working simultaneously (bad for presentations). Hopefully the 2.6.32 kernel has full support.

Summary

It's still a bit tricky getting the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid to work with Linux, future releases will add hardware support for this netbook however.


Discussion

Postman, 2010/05/27 16:51

After being happy with the vesa driver for a while I tried again to compile the pouslbo, this time with success! The advantage is that it supports simultaneous use of the LCD panel and external screen (with the vesa I had to reboot to enable the external screen and the panel would stay black). However, still no backlight control… anybody out there in the know of a trick to make it work? Dimming would be great to conserve battery. With full backlight and WIFI enabled, a whole day off grid is stretching it a bit…

Postman, 2010/02/23 15:21

Forgot to mention: WIFI driver rt2860 from RPMFusion had to be installed manually.

Craig, 2009/10/05 16:03

Hey folks.

Recently bought a u115 with the intention of at some point replacing xp with ubuntu or some other linux based OS. Have been hesitant because I don't know what will work and what won't… If anyone could give me some advice, it'd be much appreciated.

Cheers

Postman, 2010/02/23 11:15

I successfully installed Fedora 11 (kernel-2.6.30.10-105.2.23.fc11.i586) on my MSI Wind U115. With LXDE desktop, Firefox, Evolution, OpenOffice suite, Gimp and a 1.5 GB swap partition there is still 1.7 GB free space on the SSD. Only downside is the poulsbo graphics driver xorg-x11-drv-psb from the RPMFusion repository does not work (system hangs on boot). I'm using the vesa driver instead. Had to install 915resolution to make it work with 1024×600 pixels. External VGA only works when connected before boot, but then the LCD panel stays black.
WIFI works flawless using wicd. The combined WIFI/Bluetooth hotkey works to turn on/off WIFI and/or Bluetooth, but sometimes the system locks up when I disconnect the WIFI while running, ifdown ra0 before hitting Fn+F11 may help. Backlight dimming does not work for me. I would be interested if anybody got this working. I get about 7-8 hours of battery life with WIFI and normal usage (surfing, typing, emailing), 10-11 hours with WIFI off. I set hdparm -B 10 for the HDD to conserve battery.
I've also tried ubuntu remix without success, the system hung on boot, didn't investigate further. Mandriva works with out-of-the-box support for the GMA500 graphics chip set, including 3d effects (compiz). However, I couldn't get WIFI to work, haven't tried too hard, though. Also the console (Ctrl+Alt+Fx) did not work for me on Mandriva (black screen). Switching back to X (Ctrl+Alt+F7) was possible, though. Still, if X hangs or won't start you're screwed.

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msi_wind_u115_hybrid.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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