Linux on a Lifebook B2154


2004-01-08: Trimmed a bit. USB is nothing new any more. 2003-09-16: After a long sleep, this page has been updated again: two new reports from other Biblo users. Own USB experiences. Earlier update: Debian Woody, link to XFree86 4.x touchpanel driver, contributed USB experience.


The Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook B2154 is (at least in the configuration I bought it in) equipped with: I run Debian-Woody on it. Earlier, I used Debian-Potato.

What is supported


The Trident Cyber9525 chip is supported by XFree86 in version 3.3.6. Add "option accel" to the Device section for more speed. XFree86 4.1 as supplied with a Debian Woody prerelease was not stable, at least when switching to the console. Daniel Korzinek, proud owner of a Lifebook B2130, told me that his model was equipped with a Neomagic NM2160 and it worked with the "neomagic" driver.


There is an XFree86 module for Fujitsu touchpanels. It was written for XFree86 version 3, so you may not get to use XF 4 soon. The touchpanel driver can be downloaded from the author's site. It works together with the trackpoint. I had no luck using gpm pass-through -- XF wouldn't start -- so I disabled gpm entirely. The computer is fast enough to work mainly in XTerms, so GPM is not really missing.

The touchpanel is fun with GIMP and even with daily tasks under X11. Calibration is possible using magic numbers in the XF86Config file. Funny that, under Windows, the calibration program won't do anything useful. It worked before the reinstall. Nah, don't know.

For the XFree 4 folks out there, there is a driver for XFree86 version 4.x, but I have not yet tried it (the system as of now is a "running system" :).


I activated Suspend To Disk in the BIOS setup (needs a primary partition of type A0 (IBM thinkpad hibernation)). Suspend-resume cycles mainly work, except for: Be sure to use an APM-enabled kernel. I compiled one myself.


The integrated 10/100 ethernet chip is supported by the eepro100 module.


The kernel 2.2/2.4 sound driver module i810_audio can make use of the internal AC97 sound chip, but there are no sampling rates except 48000 Hz. I tried ALSA shortly, but without success (I even tried setting the mixer to a nonzero volume!). Esound (0.2.12) can be told to resample, but the result sounds terrible. The internal speakers are nothing for musicians, but they work well enough. The internal microphone is nothing famous.

External Floppy

The external floppy is recognized by the kernel, seems to be software compatible to standard floppy controllers.


The PCMCIA controller is supported by the i82365 module and, in newer kernels, by yenta, but there are some probing sensitive port regions. I excluded everything except a small IO port window at 0x300 and IRQ 11, then it worked1 . I'm using kernel-supplied pcmcia-cs, but in Potato/2.2-kernel times, pcmcia-cs 3.1.22 worked, too.


The CD-ROM adapter card seems to include a standard IDE host adapter. It can be accessed by loading ide_cs.o, which cardmgr does. Of course, booting from CD-ROM is not an option. I installed the Debian base system using floppies and the Windows partition before I used the PCMCIA CD-ROM for the remaining eight CDs. Fortunately, Debian is very flexible about install media.


works. There exist drivers for certain winmodems. "ltmodem-6.0b7" (with 2.2.20) and "ltmodem 8.00a3" (with 2.4.18) worked for me. It still is a winmodem.


works (UHCI). I verified this with a cheap digicam (Plawa Spypen Luxo, supported by gphoto2) and a noname USB stick. Another Lifebook user, Lukas Geider, has reported that at an IntelliMouse USB works with 2.4.19. Then, DagW reported that a TrakStor 128MB USB flash stick facilitated his installation.

Application panel (Quickpanel)

There seems to be a driver for the quickpanel of a different lifebook model. I have not tried it.


I installed Debian Woody because that's what my desktop is running on. There is a report of somebody using Suse (website abandoned?), but I like having just one platform to maintain.

I left 1GB to Windows (just in case I ever need it, like when I fill my DaVinci DV3 PDA toy) and divided the rest among root, var, home and hibernation (210MB type A0 (IBM hibernation)).

The kernel is Linux 2.4.24.

Working around the PCMCIA probing problem

The routine port probe for the PCMCIA address pool caused a crash whenever I tried to install Debian Potato using the recommended way for PCMCIA CD-ROM drives. So I copied the base_2_2.tgz to the windows partition, created boot, root and three driver floppies and chose the harddisk installation to copy base system, kernel and device driver modules. Then I could edit /etc/pcmcia/config.opts to include only the port region 0x300-0x31f and the IRQ 11, booted into the new Debian system and continued with the installation from CD-ROM.

Daniel Korzinek reported that Woody's installation worked out of the box (without any config.opts change!) using boot, root and driver floppies. The difference may be that he is using a B2130 and not a B2154.



The Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook B2154 is a nice little laptop which runs Linux without bigger problems. More problems than my old Compaq LTE Elite 4/75cx (which works like it was made for Linux), but no showstoppers. The touchscreen is a nice feature, a lot more natural than touchpads (which I like even less than trackpoints). The new battery lasted for approximately 2.5 hours of work. That's not paradise, but something to work with.

Related links


  1. So I don't know exactly which regions are probing sensitive. (zurück)