Friday July 19, 2024

Fujitsu i-4187 & Slack 8

Author: Wayne Eggert
Last Updated: 02/11/02

This document's purpose is to serve as a reference for installing Slackware on a Fujitsu i-4187 Laptop. I began this document due to the lack of information on the Fujitsu i-4187 and linux (namely zilch). In continually updating this with my 'trials and tribulations,' I hope to help others who are interested in doing the same type of thing, as well as myself if/when it comes time to format my hard drive :) Another possible goal of mine is to discuss various aspects of hardware or software woes on this particular laptop with others that perform the same feat, and hopefully straighten out some bugs that I'm currently having, as well as keeping this page updated with any new info.

Newest Fixes/Achievements

  • USB floppy drive now working!
  • DVDs play great with Ogle! W00t!
  • Determined upgradeability (see below)

Current Known Problems

  • Modem (which I believe is a Win Modem). I haven't spent any time with this yet, but there should be linmodem drivers available for it.
  • Touchpad scroll button & Lifebook Application Panel are not working. The 'rocker' scroll button isn't going to be as easy as I thought to get working. The imps/2 protocol just makes the touchpad jittery.. and from what I've read thus far, the touchpad needs to be run in "absolute" mode, which XFree86 does not currently do. I'll continue to try to find solutions for this.. for now I'm emulating the third button =(


I took apart the laptop to see whether the cpu could be upgraded and would like to report to anyone who had the same question that the cpu is not upgradeable. It's soldered onto the motherboard (which BTW is about the same size as the keyboard). From the looks of it, the modem *could* be upgradeable to a network card, since it's a mini PCI-based card. Other than that and replacing the cooling fan, there's really no reason to open her up. The hard drive and memory can be upgraded from the bottom, and the DVD player (no cables, just a port inside) has only one screw in the bottom that needs to be taken out. I installed an IBM Travelstar 40GN 30gb drive (fluid ball-bearing), since the 10gb Toshiba drive that originally came with the laptop was periodically stalling. The 10gb Toshiba drive is now in my Webplayer and doing quite well.

Initial Installation

If you've ever done an installation of Slackware (or any type of unix), the installation's pretty straight-foward. Partition your hard drive if you want to do any dual-booting with Micro$oft or another OS. I usually just use Parition Magic (if I already have Windows installed) because that's the way I partitioned when I first started playing around with linux, so I'm comfortable with it. The Fujitsu i-4187 has a 10gb hard drive, but when you get it from the manufacturer, you may find Windows reporting a capacity of 7.8gb or so. This is because Fujitsu installs a hidden FAT partition that contains two backup images created with DiskImage in case you fsck up your notebook. You can use Fujitsu's unhide utility to gain access to this partition, or do what I did and delete it with Partition Magic. After you're partitions are all setup, get out your Slackware CD (in my case it was Slack 8.0) and boot off of it. Log in as root and setup your linux partitions (swap & native), then enter setup and follow the menus. Yada Yada Yada.. you have a nice clean copy of Slack 8.0 installed. So that's it, right? WRONG!

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