Getting Linux onto a Panasonic CF-M32 Mini-Laptop

Getting Linux onto a Panasonic CF-M32 Mini-Laptop

Post by Michael E. Stora, Ph. » Sat, 15 Jun 2002 16:39:16



I am repairing a used Panasonic CF-M32 and have fixed everything so
far but the keyboard (doing micro-surgery on a torn
aluminum-foil-between-plastic-sheets-with-lots-of-strange-adhesives
cable -- can you say pass the silver paint?)  In the meanwhile I am
using an external keyboard.

I found that it will recognize a 128 MB SO-DIMM taking the total ram
to 160 MB even thought the documentation says it has a maximum of 96
MB (several websites confirm this and warn that it will not recognise
a 256 MB module).  I've overclocked the little 166 MHz Pentium MMX to
266 MHz with a simple motherboard mod and the heatsink temp is still
quite reasonable.

Ir you are not familure with this little machine, it is the size of a
thin hard-bound novel (like one of Clancy's), weighs about 2 lb, 3.5
oz with battery, has USB and a 800x600 screen that is pretty darn
sharp and a decent video chip.  It also supports ATA33 and UDMA.  It
has a small docking station with the usual ports and a laptop floppy
port, but no CD and no LAN (it does have 2 PCMCIA slots).  It also has
an exellent 2-button Logitec trackball built in.  It currently has
Win95 on it and is actually quite fast.  I'm assuming that it would be
rather quick with Linux as well.

The question is how to get Linux on there.  I own a LAN card, but do
not know if it will boot from the LAN.  I do not own a CD for it, but
could get one (if Linux will install from it).  I'd like to put SUSE
8.0 on it.

The only bad thing I can find about this unit is the fact that the
hard drive is not cushioned at all, and it is known for data
corruption because of this (Panasonic adressed this issue with the
Toughbook series).  Some people have mentioned mods, but no designs.
Are some brands or models of drive known for better shock resistence?

Thanks,

Mike

 
 
 

Getting Linux onto a Panasonic CF-M32 Mini-Laptop

Post by Nick Battl » Sat, 15 Jun 2002 20:35:10



Quote:> The question is how to get Linux on there.  I own a LAN card, but do
> not know if it will boot from the LAN.  I do not own a CD for it, but
> could get one (if Linux will install from it).  I'd like to put SUSE
> 8.0 on it.

This is a start: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/sy51/laptop.htm
Looks like the chap got it working over a network.

If you discover more info, you might like to update this page, or add
one to the Panasonic list at linux-laptops.

http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/panasonic.html

Cheers,
-nick

 
 
 

Getting Linux onto a Panasonic CF-M32 Mini-Laptop

Post by Berend Veldkam » Tue, 18 Jun 2002 19:25:08




Quote:> The question is how to get Linux on there.  I own a LAN card, but do
> not know if it will boot from the LAN.  I do not own a CD for it, but
> could get one (if Linux will install from it).  I'd like to put SUSE
> 8.0 on it.

You can install linux over a network, just set up a second pc as ftp or
http server, serving the installation files.
Redhat includes a floppy boot image for installing over a network (you *do*
have a floppy drive don't you?), the installation procedure will recognize
your NIC, and ask you for the server name.
I suspect most other major distro's can do this as well.

Berend

 
 
 

Getting Linux onto a Panasonic CF-M32 Mini-Laptop

Post by Peter Hof » Mon, 01 Jul 2002 02:46:22


 > The question is how to get Linux on there.  I own a LAN card, but do
 > not know if it will boot from the LAN.  I do not own a CD for it, but
 >  could get one (if Linux will install from it).  I'd like to put SUSE
 >  8.0 on it.

SuSE can be installed over ftp, though you won't get any of the
commercial packages. Instructions can be found at
http://sdb.suse.de/sdb/en/html/lmuelle_suselinux_internet.html

You could also install from the CD from another computer over your local
network.

Both of these require a boot floppy and a module floppy, and hopefully
the module floppy has the module for your NIC. These can be had from
SuSE's FTP site.