State of the mm20 in Linux (Debian tested) as of December 2006:


News (08 May 07): A few months ago both my server and laptop hard drives crashed. Because of this I no longer have any of the old conf files for the laptop. I also cannot test with my mm20, since I've been having issues with Sharp's extended warranty people. I've done some minor updates that needed adding.

News (26 Sept 05): I've switched to Debian. And so I'm updating this page to reflect the state of my machine before my switch. I will put up a page reflecting using Debian on the mm20 in the near future. Please also note that some of the install steps may not be accurate (as Gentoo has changed in some areas), but most of this page should be independant of that. Sound is working in the newer kernels too.

News (11 Mar 05): Updated, much information. Prism54 is updated and has a new method in Gentoo. Sound is still unworking in 2.6.11 so far, but I've got some things to try yet. Important changes in the X configuration if running 2.6.11, no not enable DRI!

News (17 Nov): Submitted the prism54 ebuild to Gentoo's bugzilla. See my blog post on the topic.

News (12 Nov): I've done a bit of hacking at my prism54 ebuild. Since 1.2 is included in the the kernel as of 2.6.8, it's a tad redundant to rebuild for those cases. This new ebuild will check your kernel version and build the driver only if necessary. Very cool stuff. If you're running a new enough kernel, it will only install the firmware. I hope this is usefull, I'm going to submit it to portage in a little while, so feedback would be appreciated. Take note that the version number makes it older than the current ebuild, so you have to specify the version by hand.


I recently got a Sharp mm20, and have since installed gentoo on it. Here are my tips and tricks. A lot of information comes from David C.'s howto for the mm20. His howto is an invaluble read, and without it I probably wouldn't have half this stuff working.

You'll probably notice that the laptop gets very warm while compiling, and ACPI will tell you the processor is at 70-some-odd degrees C. Don't worry, you're still within opperating tempuratures of an efficeon processor, it's max is 100 C. Previously I mentioned how compiling takes a longer time than on my AMD Athlon 1 GHz, but it turns out all that was due to the lack of DMA on my hard drive (see above).

A note from a fellow mm20 user: Dock the mm20 in the cradle, mount the drive, and chroot into it. Then compile and take advantage of the faster processor. Of course my desktop's processor is the same speed as the mm20.

Follow the Gentoo Handbook installation instructions. There's a reason they're there.

Also note that I installed Fedora Core 2 first following the above mentioned howto. I got a lot of help from this, along with most of my xorg.conf

Gentoo Handbook Items

Initial Live CD

I just hit enter and watched the pretty framebuffer bootsplash load up. No hang ups.


Updated 9/4/04

I did a stage 1 install. Bootstrapping took more than 3 hours. I went to be first. In stage 2 (emerge system) I was a little smarter and started in the morning after bootstrapping and left for school/work after that. I have no idea when this finished, but 10 hours later it was done. You can view my USE flags if you want to see how that affected this portion.

Compiler flags: These are my current flags. I've experienced no problems with them.

CFLAGS="-O1 -mcpu=pentium4 -msse2 -mfpmath=sse -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"
Please take note that I have tried to compile with -O2, but compiling failed with this set on perl and freetype. (Both with compiler errors that stopped happening when I set my CFLAGS to -O1)


Updated: 3/11/05

I'm runing the 2.6.11 kernel, it's a vanilla kernel (development-sources in Gentoo). There's a number of patches that I have applied to the kernel. First is the swsusp2 (software suspend 2), more information can be found at Nathan's howto.

One this to take note of is if you're seeing "spurious 8259A interrupt: IRQ7", you'll need to change some settings, otherwise you may experience hardware lockups. (information to return in near future)

I've also been informed that if you want to get the pcmcia modem to work you'll need to compile ppp and the serial_cs driver. (kudos to Jason for letting me know)


udev was a fairly easy install. I kept devfs support in the kernel, just in case. It looks like I may remove it come next time. The main thing that gentoo users must do is emerge udev before rebooting. Also in your grub.conf you need on the kernel line to add devfs=nomount to have sysfs mount instead. With that you've got udev all set and ready to go


My grub.conf looks something like this: (this doesn't reflect swsusp2)

default 0 
timeout 10

title=Gentoo Linx 2.6.6-7.1.04
root (hd0,0)
kernel /kernel-2.6.6-7.1.04 root=/dev/hda3 video=vesafb:ywrap,mtrr vga=0x317 i8042.nomux devfs=nomount splash=silent
Please note that the statement i8042.nomux is required. Without this your touchpad will not work. A fellow mm20 owner was having trouble with his touchpad (didn't show up at all), and it turned out he didn't have this enabled. So if your touchpad is not working with the 2.6 kernel, be sure to enable i8042.nomux on the kernel line in grub (or lilo). See David C.'s howto.

i8042.nomux is not needed in recent kernels.

Final Gentoo Handbook Steps

Ensure that you remember to make a net.eth1 symlink in /etc/init.d and in my case while the livecd had the ethernet as eth1, it became eth0 in my own system. Otherwise you should be ready for reboot

Post Install


Updated 9/26/05

Xorg is now stable in gentoo, so just emerge xorg-x11, and you're good to go. Update: the xterm bug (not working outside of root) is related to the ssh bug, the permissions on /dev/tty please see that section on how to fix it. More of an Update: The xterm bug should no longer occur.

Note: the special ati-radeon drivers (fglrx) will not work . You should use the radeon driver.

If you're running the 2.6.11 (up to 2.6.19), X will not start without disabling DRI. My xorg.conf reflects this situation. Though if you disable AGP you can have DRI running again, though I have not tested this (Thanks to David C. on this tip, his page should reflect this information).


Gentoo has a new system for providing the prism54 driver. If you're running a fairly recent kernel, it has the most recent driver, and all you need is the firmware. Simply emerge prism54-firmware and you're ready to go. If you run an older kernel you'll need to set ~x86 for the net-wireless/prism54 ebuild and then emerge prism54 (which should get the firmware). Now simply just modprobe that sucker in, and you've got running wireless.


First of all ensure that your kernel has:

Ensure they load at boot. With these in place you're ready to use longrun. The first step is to ensure you have /dev/cpu/0/ in this directory should be the devices cpuid and msr. If they are missing you will need to manualy create them. Run these commands to make the nodes:
mkdir -p /dev/cpu/0
mknod -m 444 /dev/cpu/0/msr c 202 0
mknod -m 444 /dev/cpu/0/cpuid c 203 0
You'll only need to create them once if you're using the Gentoo udev tarball. It'll save them for future use.

Longrun has finally been updated in portage! Feel free to emerge longrun and you should have a working version. longrun -h should help out in use.


ACPI works very well on the mm20. To take advantage I went a slightly different route, as described in this howto. To take advantage of longrun whenever you're running on battery add this script: (pm.cpu)

start () {
	ebegin "Activating Lonrun"
	longrun -s 0 36 -f economy
	eend $?

stop () {
	ebegin "Deactivating Longrun"
	longrun -s 0 100 -f performance
	eend $?
Put this in /etc/init.d/ make sure it's executible (chomd +x /etc/init.d/pm.cpu) and then add it to the battery runlevel rc-update -a pm.cpu battery. Now whenever you take out the ac-adapter longrun will start.

As for sleeping, I have yet to get even close to having it work as well as David C. does. Currently passing echo -n "mem" > /sys/power/state will put the laptop to sleep, with a nice apple-ish flashing power light. To come out of sleep I press the power button, and it starts to do stuff. With no screen, and the hardware buttons no longer work (wireless, screen brightness, etc). If done from the console, restarting X will give you X working, but no console, and if you do a reboot, you won't see the boot at all. Only a hard reboot wil bring things back to their proper state. So I'm just going to go without for now.

I sent an email off to the Emperor Linux guys, and asked how they get the mm20 to sleep. They were nice enough to respond that they use the swsusp2 patch to the kernel. I'm going to try this during summer break and I'll put up a good howto for this.

Nathan, a fellow mm20 owner, got swsusp2 working on his machine. Check out his howto. I followed those steps and have the laptop hibernating like a charm.


Framebuffer is working great, you just need to follow the steps provided on this Gentoo Forum howto, and for your vga settings, use the same as mine, found in the grub section. (16M colors doesn't work in fb). Works like a charm.

tty permission problems

These have been resolved in Gentoo. Mainly because they're doing the permission edit for you.

Synaptics Touchpad

ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge synaptics will give you the driver, and then you should just need to edit your xorg.conf file. For information on what settings do, read about it in the synaptics directory of /usr/share/docs/. Also once you have the driver as your mouse driver in xorg.conf, you'll need to have it be it's own device, and set up /dev/input/mice as a second input device for an external usb mouse. Please note that before starting X if you use my xorg.conf, ensure that the synaptics driver is installed.

For finding values you enjoy, try the synclient utility to edit settings on the fly, till you get what you want.

Don't forget to add i8042.nomux to your grub kernel line! Else you won't have a working touchpad! (not needed on newer kernels)

Thanks and links

I owe my current state of affairs to many people and their help, David C.'s howto, and my correspondance with him have helped greatly. The Gentoo Handbook, especially with xorg and udev. The Gentoo Forums in general are a great blessing of information. My thanks also to the Fedora project as I used many of their settings to assist in this process, the mm20 is supported wonderfully under FC2, I recommend it to those who don't want to wait for 3 days to use their mm20. My thanks to these people and all the help that they have provided. I also thank the BYU-UUG, PLUG, and various individuals who have helped me reach where I am today in my understanding of linux

I'd also like to add thanks to the many people who have contacted me in result of this page, I'm glad to know that It's helpful. Don't hesitate to ask me questions, I'm glad to help out, and as often as not learn a thing or two.