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A day of 1600x1200 at 60Hz caused this PC CHIPS M841LR (SiS740 based) and Linux (specifically RedHat 7.3)

These are some quick notes on getting the M841LR working with RH7.3. If you haven't bought the board yet don't bother, as it's a pain in the arse to get going and the X support is a bit ropey. Having said that if you're stuck with one these notes should help. I should have known better. Avoid SiS stuff for linux.

Problem 1, PCI

To scan the PCI bus correctly you'll need to supply the kernel with :

Add this to your kernel's line in /etc/grub.conf

Problem 2, Ethernet, Disk and Sound

The on board ethernet may well initialise now, but either way you'll need to build a new kernel with the following set in .config or through whatever kernel configuration interface you use:

SIS900 is for the onboard ethernet. I810 is for on board sound support. SIS5513 is for the disk controller (which without this configured in the kernel will do reads at a less than blistering 2Mb/s as it will drop back to PIO mode). After trying your kernel you should be able to up idebus= in your grub.conf line to 66. My read speed went up by a about 30Mb/s with a custom kernel with SIS5513 set.

Problem 3, WinModem

Who cares? I have ADSL, work it out yourself :)

Problem 4, X Windows

You can use the SVGA X drivers and they'll work, but with a 60Hz vertical screen refresh, which will make you want to gouge your own eyes out within minutes. By using these new SiS drivers you can get a slightly more respectable 75Hz at 1600x1200 (perhaps more at lower colour depths or with DDR RAM rather than SDRAM installed, I have yet to experiment). His instructions are rather long, so in summary for RH7.3 and to just use the one monitor output my M841LR board has :

  • Copy this file to /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/sis_drv.o
  • Copy this file to /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri/sis_dri.so
  • ...and edit your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 using mine as a base - take the Monitir section from your original XF86Config-4 or alter it to suit the specs of your monitor. I've set it up for my Ilyama Visionmaster Pro 410. Here's my XF86Config-4. Note that the Section "Screen" Monitor line will need changing to match the name of your monitor definition. If you're using a different board with more output options you should probably take a look at the full documentation (it's not a bad idea even if you aren't). Keep in mind that the sample XF86Config-4 linked to from the original documentation has a German keyboard mapping, so if you aren't using a German keyboard you'll be best served to change the
    Option      "XkbLayout"	"gb"
    line before restarting X.

That should do it. Sound, LAN, decent disc performance and a half decent X display. This all assumes you know how to build/install kernels and tweak grub options. I can't make it much simpler.

Lastly here's my current dmesg output which may be of use, and my kernel .config.

If I've missed anything do contact me.

Tony Howat
Cheapskate Linux Chimp

P.S. : I briefly tried Redhat 8.0 on my system, it crashed into a miserable heap during install, and so I'm holding back until they get their acts together :)

Last modified on: Sat Jan 30 09:55:25 2010
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