Laptop AMILO Pi 2550

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Hardware & support under Ubuntu 8.10

Chipset: Intel® 965PM+ICH8-M OK
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T8100 (2.1 GHz, 800 MHz, 3 MB L2 cache) OK
2x1 GB DDR2 (667 MHz) module (Intel® Turbo memory?) OK
HDD (SATA / 5400 rpm): 320 GB SATA hard disk OK
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 2400 with 256 MB (DDR2) dedicated video RAM OK, with 3D
  • 1x DVI-D, 1x VGA
  • 15.4” TFT LCD WXGA display with BrilliantView technology
    • Resolution (physic.) 1280 x 800
    • Brightness (typ.) up to 180 cd/m²
    • Contrast (typ.) up to 300:1
ACPI S1, S3, S4, S5 Suspend-to-RAM: OK
Suspend-to-disk: not tested
3x USB 2.0 ports OK
CIR not tested
webcam Chicony - CNF6133 1.3 Mpixel, auto focus, automatic brightness adjustment OK
Intel HDA Realtek ALC883 OK
  • Support of HD audio for S/PDIF output with up to 7.1 channels
  • 2 built-in speakers (2 x 2 W)
  • 2 built-in array microphones
DVD drive burner with Dual Double Layer support Write not tested
  • Read speed: CD-ROM 24x, DVD-ROM 8x
  • Write speed: CD-R 24x, CD-RW 16x, DVD+R 8x, DVD-R 8x, DVD+RW 8x, DVD-RW 6x, DVD+R DL (8.5 GB) 4x, DVD-R DL (8.5 GB) 4x, DVD-RAM 5x
Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 ABG OK
  • ExpressCard slot (34/54 mm)
Realtek RTL8101E PCI Express 10/100 Mbps LAN not tested
Castlenet (Motorola) ML3054 Built-in 56 K, V.92 fax modem not tested
4-in-1 card reader SD/MS/MMC/MMCPRO not tested
Li-Ion battery, 6 cells: 10.8 V / 4400 mAh
Windows Vista® Home Premium



The goal is to keep Vista and install Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10 as dual-boot


The laptop comes with a Vista not yet really installed, there are 3 partitions that don't fill the entire HD.
I booted on a FCCU v12 liveCD and used partimage to backup the extended MBR (2048x512), sda1, sda2 and sda4 to an external USB drive.

Vista "install"

As the first boot of Vista will change the partitioning of the HD we've to run it now before installing Ubuntu
=> boot on Vista, take one, two, three coffees
Reboot on Fudjitsu-Siemens backup utilities (F8 -> Recover) and burn 3 DVD+R disks, beware that apparently you can only burn them once.

Ubunbu install

I mainly followed this tutorial (fr)
After Vista install, sda1 contains recovery tools as before, sda2 is about 100Gb and contains Vista, sda4 is free and about 200Gb, that's the one we will use for Ubuntu so no need to repartition anything,
Reboot on FCCU v12
Change type of sda4 -> linux (83)
Format it (128 because grub cannot start from 256 partition)

mkfs.ext3 -I 128 /dev/sda4

Reboot on ubuntu CD
Switch to a console to save the new mbr to e.g. a USB stick (I could have done it under FCCU):
ctrl-alt-f2 -> sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/usbkey bs=512 count=2048
In gpart, choose manual -> sda4 in ext3, NO FORMAT, mount as /
Continue until "ready to install"
-> advanced -> install bootloader on sda4

MBR setup

Grub is on sda4 so we left the Vista MBR on sda, now we'll configure it with EasyBCD
Download EasyBCD and copy it to a USB stick
Reboot on Vista
Install EasyBCD -> add entry linux grub Partition2 -> add -> save (leave "grub isn't installed" disabled)
In "change settings", choose to boot ubuntu by default

BIOS upgrade

See links above to find the latest BIOS.
The windows version failed, I had to use the bootable ISO version.

Ubuntu tweaks

Freeze at boot & often in console

Especially when booting but also hen in console, the computer freezes until it receives a keyboard interrupt when you press a key.
According to this blog post the solution is to boot with kernel param "hpet=disable"
Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and append it to the kopt line (leave it commented!)

# kopt=root=UUID=... ro hpet=disable

Then sudo update-grub, this will be effective at next reboot


Is "plugged" as USB when you activate it with Fn-F7

Non-free stuffs

Add the following to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb intrepid free non-free

This repository is signed by a key not known by default apparently, so:

gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 0C5A2783

Update: apparently the right way to do it is:

wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
aptitude update && sudo aptitude install medibuntu-keyring -y && sudo aptitude update

Acrobat Reader:

apt-get install acroread acroread-plugins mozilla-acroread


apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree


apt-get install mplayer w32codecs


apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts

From the website, Ubuntu Hardy version, requires libqt4

apt-get install libqt4-test
dpkg -i skype-debian_2.0.0.72-1_i386.deb

Update: Skype is also in Medibuntu so "apt-get install skype" is enough

Uncomment the intrepid-backport stuffs in /etc/apt/sources.list then

aptitude update
aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras libdvdcss2 -y

For info on backports, see here


It was a bit hard to get them working with all the ALSA settings:

alsamixer -c 0

-> Front Mic, Front Mic Boost, Capture, Capture1, Input Source=Front Mic, Input Source1=Front Mic
Some talked about a driver option: modprobe snd-hda-intel model=6stack-dig, but I think it now works OOB.

ATI drivers

Ubuntu proposed automatically to download non-free ATI drivers, apparently it installed fglrx-kernel-source, xorg-driver-fglrx, fglrx-amdcccle

3D applications

E.g. googleearth flickers quite a lot.
This is the combination of Compiz and 3D applications, to solve it, switch to Metacity

  • Temporarily: it's easy to switch it with fusion-icon
apt-get install fusion-icon
-> Apps/System Tools/Compiz Fusion Icon
  • Permanently: select no 3D enhancements in the Control Center

Useful stuff

Extra sw not installed by default: sshfs, openssh-server, openvpn, thunderbird, thunderbird-dispmua, thunderbird-nostalgy, abiword, psi, stardict-gnome, p7zip, pwsafe, dlocate, dvdrtools, emacs21, exiv2, gphoto2, wine, vlc, amarok, preload


  • nand
  • offlineimap-courier
  • iwl3945 glitches, getting new -1 and -2 ucodes from
  • /opt/oracle /etc
  • backuppc account & root/.ssh
  • Loose kbd when changing volume by Fn => switch to console & back to X
  • A few seconds after LID is closed, the computer is not reachable anymore and the clock seems frozen, but with suspend-to-ram it's ok, same problem if screen goes blank by itself