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Linux on the 'Aldi' Medion MD8800

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Linux

The Aldi Medion MD8800 is a multimedia PC containing

  • A Pentium D 830 64bit dualcore processor
  • 1 Gig RAM
  • wireless mouse and keyboard
  • a wireless LAN card
  • a NVidia Geforce 6700 XL card
  • a 250 Gig SATA disk
  • a Philips SAA7134 TV card
  • Windows XP (32 bit) preinstalled...

Most of the config setup can be found at Martins site.

The machine is completely geared and configured towards Windows XP, but which new machine isn't nowadays ? I noticed the XP install contains MPlayer and a program called Power Cinema Linux, which has nothing to do with Linux itself, so I'm wondering if there's some copyright or trademark violated here. It was the first time I used Windows XP for a day or two, looks nice, but it seemed continuously like I was driving a Ferrarri in first gear. How sweet the system would be running a complete 64bit OS on it. Time to fetch the Linux install CDROMs...

I chose to install a Debian 64 bit version on it. For AMD64 and Pentium EMT64 (x86-64) processors, you need the Debian amd64 port (ia64 is the port intended for Itanium). I used the Debian Sarge amd64 netinst iso, but that refused to detect the SATA disk. Using the updated netinst iso from Lennart Sorensen, with an updated 2.6.12 kernel, fixed the problem eventually, though the installer detected the disks only after loading the ata-piix module.

There's a price running a 64 bit system, and that is that you can't run 32bit applications, and unfortunately, Openoffice is some of them... for the rest, all the software I use, is available in 64bit version.

Update : I run Ubuntu 32bit now.

Kernel
I tried to build myself a stock 2.6.14 kernel, using the /boot/config file, but that one paniced while trying to mount the root fs, and I didn't have any time to investigate this problem any further. There's a 2.6.14-smp image for p4 based systems in the Debian archive, which I use now. The dualcore is nicely detected as a two-processor system.

Sound
The onboard soundcard doens't reveal itself with a 'lspci -v', so this took me a little time; the soundcard is a Trident 3D Wave, so use the trident driver. The /dev/dsp device gets activated through the snd-pcm-oss module.

Keyboard
Works without problem as a USB mouse and keyboard. While powering up the machine, the mouse refused to work, but that's because you need to charge the batteries first with the USB cable. I installed the hotkeys package in order to use the multimedia keys from the Medion keyboard. Works great with a little fiddling (you need to remap some of the application startup keys).

CD- and DVD Writer
Works without problem. The DVD drives are detected as hda and hdb.

NVIdia
I use the 'nv' xorg driver. I tried to build the Debian nvidia driver from source, but that gives unresolved symbols while loading the module. Seems a global problem in Debian, though...
Using the experimental nvidia-7676 drivers, everything compiled nicely, and the module loaded without any problem. If X.org refuses to start, spewing out a message about not being able to find the module, that's because you need the nvidia-glx package.

TV Card
See Gentoo documentation for the SAA7134 driver.
update : use these options while loading the module
modprobe saa7134 i2c_scan=1 card=55 oss=1
Linux-2.6.19 will provide a better driver for this card...

Remote control
You should use the ati_remote kernel module, or use the lirc ati_usb module. You'll need to define a .Xmodmap file to remap most of the keys, though.

WLAN card
yet untested, though the driver detects the Ralink card. Probably supported with the rt2400 module.

Firewire
untested

Functional display
Works, but not out of the box. You need lcdproc-0.5.1 or higher, since that version contains the MD8800 support.

Cardreader
Only USB ports work, Compact Flash and SD card slots do not work out of the box.

I will try to update this post whenever I get additional info how to tweak some settings...

Comments

Thanks for this great blogpost. I'd like to add that I tested the pc with the Knoppix 4 live cd. Almost everything worked, with the exception of the little display (all kinds of funny signs appeared after boot finished) and the nVidia card (only generic video drivers were loaded, at reduced resolution, but that was to be expected).

I'd like to add that, at least with Nero and in XP, the DVD burner is rather fussy about the blank discs: it produced write errors on two before I had a good copy of Knoppix. Or is this yet another dirty trick of Microsoft?

It seems that the thing with the program 'Power Cinema Linux' in fact is located on a separate partition, which is activated through the left wake-up key on the functional display. I don't know if there's some source on the CD's -that way you could find a Linux driver for the display- but I know for sure you can download the sources from the Cyberlink website. See also : lists.gnu.org

I just downloaded the Ubuntu64 LiveCD and booted up the Aldi pc with it. Not surprisingly, everything worked save the status display, which was stuck on "Power on" (well, that's not *wrong* actually, just not very helpful).

What baffled me was that Ubuntu64 Live /does/ come with OpenOffice.org; the loading window says it's version 2.0, but the "about" mentions version 1.9.something.

It was a very short session (what with it being Christmas an'all), but AFAICT everything worked. Maybe more later.

I have one as well. I wanted to load Suse 10.0 (the 64-bit DVD version), but when I start the install, the existing partitions aren't seen at all. So it's happy enough to trash my disc completely and grab the lot for Suse! But that would delete my recovery partition and leave me with no path back to XP. I'm not quite that brave. Anyone tried this and found a way round it?

Have you tried booting with Knoppix LiveCD? AFAIK it contains a partitioning tool that can resize NTFS partitions.

Obviously, if it all goes pear-shaped, I didn't do it. :)

Hi Karel, thanks, and yes I have done that. Before putting in the Suse disc, I'd set up the partitions for Suse using a partitioning tool from Acronis that works under Windows and does a very good job. Then I tried the Suse disc, intending to tell the installer to use the partitions I'd already set up. But the installer doesn't seem to see any partitions - it acts as if the disc is blank! So puzzled, I put in a Knoppix 4.0 live CD to see what it makes of the disc. It sees all the partitions (except the Linux swap partition which isn't formatted) and will happily mount them. So I remain puzzled. It's a SATA disc and I have no experience of setting up with SATA. Does anyone know if it's different?

AFAIK, SATA repartitioning is exactly the same as any other. The only difference I see is that they are considered scsi devices by Linux.

It's probably a SuSE thing. It's a good distribution if you get it working, but I've had no end of problems with it (mostly with nVidia drivers though). Have you tried using Knoppix to put a filesystem on the partitions? Or, failing that, using Knoppix itself to re-create the partitions? It could be that the Windows partitioner is doing a funky Windows thing that Knoppix will allow for (it being a nice guy an'all :) ) but SuSE not?

when the installer gives an error, did you try to switch to a console, and load the ata-piix module ? I had this problem too : the Debian installer didn't recognized the disc, but after loading the module, it came online.

the source is provided on the pc.. if you look on the D partition as supplied you will find there a folder and if you explore you can get at all the kernel .config, kernel and drivers for the power cinema linux kernel designed for this system.

Not only do you get linux compatible but everything can be made to work by examining the stuff in this folder.. even the lcd i think. (ive only had this machine for 2 weeks and havent got to installing linux yet.. but i am going to and im sure it can all be supported.)

the wifi card is a ralink based card so linux drivers are available free and open (and its configured in the linux stuff thats included on the D partition again), the remote should even work as it does in power cinema linux (which is based off linux as mentioned earlier and boots from a special second power button on the left of the machine)

I will be updating my sambartle.co.uk website with links to the medion info i collect as i go along installing linux on this over the next few weeks.

Hello,

Sorry for my english because I'm french.
I would like to use the TV card under linux.
I read the topic (http://archives.devshed.com/forums/linux-97/tuner-setup-troubles-with-quad-tv-tuner-card-from-medion-1663222.html )
but no success :
I get a bad picture like this (http://docze.free.fr/P1010012.JPG) with saa7134 card=81 tuner=54.
I don't know if SECAM (the french standard) is badly detected...
The DVB part is not working too : tda1004x pll set failed
I used a Ubuntu dapper drake flight 3 installation 64bit.
I tried the geexbox but no more success.

Any hints to help me.

Thank you for your great job.

Are you doing this on the MD8800 ? Caus I'm sure that the card number is 12 there. So you should use card=12. I haven't been able to test the card out, cause I don't have cable tv at home...

Yes it's on the MD8800.
I tried "modprobe saa7134 i2c_scan=1 card=12 tuner=33 oss=1"
But no success. Anyone succeded with the analog part ? and the DVB part ?

dmesg dump

[ 1057.577660] saa7130/34: v4l2 driver version 0.2.14 loaded
[ 1057.578319] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:01.0[A] -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 217
[ 1057.578538] saa7133[0]: found at 0000:02:01.0, rev: 209, irq: 217, latency: 32, mmio: 0xfdeff000
[ 1057.578736] saa7133[0]: subsystem: 16be:0007, board: Medion 7134 [card=12,insmod option]
[ 1057.578936] saa7133[0]: board init: gpio is 0
[ 1057.708482] tuner 0-004b: chip found @ 0x96 (saa7133[0])
[ 1057.716472] tuner 0-004b: microtune: companycode=8000 part=22 rev=06
[ 1057.716688] tuner 0-004b: microtune unknown found, not (yet?) supported, sorry :-/
[ 1057.742443] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 00: be 16 07 00 54 20 1c 00 43 43 a9 1c 55 d2 b2 92
[ 1057.742843] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 10: 00 ff 86 0f ff 20 ff 00 01 50 32 79 01 3c ca 50
[ 1057.743230] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 20: 01 40 01 02 02 03 01 00 06 ff 00 23 02 51 96 2b
[ 1057.743619] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 30: a7 58 7a 1f 03 8e 84 5e da 7a 04 b3 05 87 b2 3c
[ 1057.744013] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 40: ff 28 00 c0 96 10 03 00 c0 1c fd 79 44 9f c2 8f
[ 1057.744431] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 50: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1057.744849] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 60: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1057.745237] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 70: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1057.749435] saa7133[0]: i2c scan: found device @ 0x10 [???]
[ 1057.752432] saa7133[0]: i2c scan: found device @ 0x1c [???]
[ 1057.765418] saa7133[0]: i2c scan: found device @ 0x96 [???]
[ 1057.768415] saa7133[0]: i2c scan: found device @ 0xa0 [eeprom]
[ 1057.771412] saa7133[0]: i2c scan: found device @ 0xa2 [???]
[ 1057.788396] saa7133[0] Cant determine tuner type 28 from EEPROM
[ 1057.788574] saa7133[0] Tuner type is 33
[ 1057.788705] tuner 0-004b: Tuner has no way to set tv freq
[ 1057.788849] tuner 0-004b: Tuner has no way to set tv freq
[ 1057.788987] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789103] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789220] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789336] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789529] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789660] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789777] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.789894] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.790010] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.790126] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.803521] saa7133[0]: registered device video0 [v4l2]
[ 1057.803653] saa7133[0]: registered device vbi0
[ 1057.803744] saa7133[0]: registered device radio0
[ 1057.803818] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.803880] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1057.803961] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:04.0[A] -> GSI 20 (level, low) -> IRQ 225
[ 1057.804094] saa7133[1]: found at 0000:02:04.0, rev: 209, irq: 225, latency: 32, mmio: 0xfdefc000
[ 1057.804220] saa7133[1]: subsystem: 16be:0008, board: UNKNOWN/GENERIC [card=0,autodetected]
[ 1057.804362] saa7133[1]: board init: gpio is 0
[ 1057.933321] tuner 1-004b: chip found @ 0x96 (saa7133[1])
[ 1057.959309] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 00: be 16 08 00 54 20 1c 00 43 43 a9 1c 55 d2 b2 92
[ 1057.959755] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 10: 00 ff 86 0f ff 20 ff 00 01 50 32 79 01 3c ca 50
[ 1057.960116] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 20: 01 40 01 02 02 03 01 0f 0f ff 00 3c 02 51 96 2b
[ 1057.960482] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 30: a7 58 7a 1f 03 8e 84 5e da 7a 04 b3 05 87 b2 3c
[ 1057.960840] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 40: ff 28 00 c0 96 10 03 01 c0 1c fd 79 44 9f c2 8f
[ 1057.961198] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 50: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1057.961558] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 60: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1057.961916] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 70: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1057.966336] saa7133[1]: i2c scan: found device @ 0x10 [???]
[ 1057.970311] saa7133[1]: i2c scan: found device @ 0x1c [???]
[ 1057.983306] saa7133[1]: i2c scan: found device @ 0x96 [???]
[ 1057.986310] saa7133[1]: i2c scan: found device @ 0xa0 [eeprom]
[ 1057.989315] saa7133[1]: i2c scan: found device @ 0xa2 [???]
[ 1057.997018] tuner 1-004b: tuner type not set
[ 1057.997136] tuner 1-004b: tuner type not set
[ 1057.997757] saa7133[1]: registered device video1 [v4l2]
[ 1057.998252] saa7133[1]: registered device vbi1

I tried only card=12 (tuner autodetect => tuner=63)

dmesg dump

[ 1126.361540] saa7130/34: v4l2 driver version 0.2.14 loaded
[ 1126.362175] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:01.0[A] -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 217
[ 1126.362408] saa7133[0]: found at 0000:02:01.0, rev: 209, irq: 217, latency: 32, mmio: 0xfdeff000
[ 1126.362601] saa7133[0]: subsystem: 16be:0007, board: Medion 7134 [card=12,insmod option]
[ 1126.362791] saa7133[0]: board init: gpio is 0
[ 1126.482744] tuner 0-004b: chip found @ 0x96 (saa7133[0])
[ 1126.489740] tuner 0-004b: type set to 63 (Philips FMD1216ME MK3 Hybrid Tuner)
[ 1126.514709] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 00: be 16 07 00 54 20 1c 00 43 43 a9 1c 55 d2 b2 92
[ 1126.515102] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 10: 00 ff 86 0f ff 20 ff 00 01 50 32 79 01 3c ca 50
[ 1126.515500] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 20: 01 40 01 02 02 03 01 00 06 ff 00 23 02 51 96 2b
[ 1126.515891] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 30: a7 58 7a 1f 03 8e 84 5e da 7a 04 b3 05 87 b2 3c
[ 1126.516287] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 40: ff 28 00 c0 96 10 03 00 c0 1c fd 79 44 9f c2 8f
[ 1126.516676] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 50: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1126.517114] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 60: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1126.517510] saa7133[0]: i2c eeprom 70: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1126.526696] saa7133[0] Cant determine tuner type 28 from EEPROM
[ 1126.526838] saa7133[0] Tuner type is 63
[ 1126.532691] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.532808] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.532925] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533040] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533232] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533354] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533472] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533588] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533709] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.533826] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.547566] saa7133[0]: registered device video0 [v4l2]
[ 1126.547691] saa7133[0]: registered device vbi0
[ 1126.547782] saa7133[0]: registered device radio0
[ 1126.547860] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.547926] saa7133[0]: dsp access error
[ 1126.548015] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:04.0[A] -> GSI 20 (level, low) -> IRQ 225
[ 1126.548164] saa7133[1]: found at 0000:02:04.0, rev: 209, irq: 225, latency: 32, mmio: 0xfdefc000
[ 1126.548299] saa7133[1]: subsystem: 16be:0008, board: UNKNOWN/GENERIC [card=0,autodetected]
[ 1126.548454] saa7133[1]: board init: gpio is 0
[ 1126.677900] tuner 1-004b: chip found @ 0x96 (saa7133[1])
[ 1126.703872] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 00: be 16 08 00 54 20 1c 00 43 43 a9 1c 55 d2 b2 92
[ 1126.704381] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 10: 00 ff 86 0f ff 20 ff 00 01 50 32 79 01 3c ca 50
[ 1126.704772] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 20: 01 40 01 02 02 03 01 0f 0f ff 00 3c 02 51 96 2b
[ 1126.705162] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 30: a7 58 7a 1f 03 8e 84 5e da 7a 04 b3 05 87 b2 3c
[ 1126.705548] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 40: ff 28 00 c0 96 10 03 01 c0 1c fd 79 44 9f c2 8f
[ 1126.705941] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 50: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1126.706327] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 60: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1126.706713] saa7133[1]: i2c eeprom 70: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
[ 1126.707113] tuner 1-004b: tuner type not set
[ 1126.707240] tuner 1-004b: tuner type not set
[ 1126.707878] saa7133[1]: registered device video1 [v4l2]
[ 1126.708408] saa7133[1]: registered device vbi1

What make you think about card=12 (medion 7134) ?

Thank you for your help.

Yep, it seems I'm wrong. Following this link, one should use the following parameters :

saa7134 card=12 tuner=5 gbuffers=4

Then I get in dmesg :

...
Feb 22 17:07:09 gundabad kernel: saa7133[0]: found at 0000:02:01.0, rev: 209, irq: 20, latency: 32, mmio: 0xfdeff000
Feb 22 17:07:09 gundabad kernel: saa7133[0]: subsystem: 16be:0007, board: Medion 7134 [card=12,insmod option]
...
Feb 22 17:07:09 gundabad kernel: saa7133[0]: i2c scan: found device @ 0xa2 [???]
Feb 22 17:07:09 gundabad kernel: saa7133[0] Tuner type is 5
Feb 22 17:07:09 gundabad kernel: tuner 1-004b: chip found @ 0x96 (saa7133[0])
Feb 22 17:07:09 gundabad kernel: tuner 1-004b: type set to 5 (Philips PAL_BG (FI1216 and compatibles))

Which looks Ok to me. Still no luck using a regular antenna, though I'm thinking about getting me a DVBT antenna (which have internal amplifiers).

I tried following your advice but no picture in spite of the same dmesg (no error).
I think I have to use a SECAM compatible tuner, but tuner=5 seems to be an only PAL compatible tuner.
Thank you for your tryings, but it's true it would be nice with an antenna, because there is a difference between the dmesg and the reality.
If someone other read this and tried successfully...

has anyone tried the cardreader? it should be a standard usb thing. prome all luns to get all drives...
nothing is happening on my medion. front usb works with an usb stick, front sound with headset too, but no led when i put in a CF card.

I configured the card as follows to watch television om my MD8808

modprobe tuner secam=sl
modprobe saa7134 card=81 oss=1
modprobe saa7134-oss

tvtime --mixer=/dev/mixer:vol&
sox -c 2 -s -w -r 32000 -t ossdsp /dev/dsp1 -t ossdsp -w -r 32000 /dev/dsp &

My first post is awaiting moderator approval as apparently it resembled spam. I will try to avoid that this time around.

If you want to know how to get the Dual TV tuners running great and using the LCD panel and more besides, you can find check out my mini-series here:

Guide: http://www.martinm-76.dk/forum/index.php?topic=10.0
Q&A : http://www.martinm-76.dk/forum/index.php?topic=11.0

Hope this is useful to you.

Feel free to ask questions pertaining to the MD8800 on the second link. I'll see what I can do about them.

/Martin.

This is great material. Can't wait to try all out. Thanks for your post !

I would also like to run unix on my medion 8800
but I'm having acpi problems. The cpu temperature
is -47°C. I've tried Linux (knoppix, suse) and
freeBSD. They all report the same. Did you pass
acpi=off as kernel param ? Or can I ignore it ?
I've read that the DSDT provided by the bios is
only Microsoft compliant due to the fact that a
lot of computer vendors only use the microsoft
compiler to validate their dsdt.

I have installed Ubuntu, and it's included in their stock kernels; Gnome's sensor applet reports my CPU's temperature as 65 °C. Here's the kernel config :

[kristof@gundabad] /boot $ grep -i acpi config-2.6.15-26-686
# Power management options (ACPI, APM)
# ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) Support
CONFIG_ACPI=y
CONFIG_ACPI_SLEEP=y
CONFIG_ACPI_SLEEP_PROC_FS=y
CONFIG_ACPI_SLEEP_PROC_SLEEP=y
CONFIG_ACPI_AC=m
CONFIG_ACPI_BATTERY=m
CONFIG_ACPI_SBS=m
CONFIG_ACPI_BUTTON=m
CONFIG_ACPI_VIDEO=m
CONFIG_ACPI_HOTKEY=m
CONFIG_ACPI_FAN=m
CONFIG_ACPI_PROCESSOR=m
CONFIG_ACPI_HOTPLUG_CPU=y
CONFIG_ACPI_THERMAL=m
CONFIG_ACPI_ASUS=m
CONFIG_ACPI_IBM=m
CONFIG_ACPI_TOSHIBA=m
CONFIG_ACPI_PCC=m
CONFIG_ACPI_SONY=m
CONFIG_ACPI_BLACKLIST_YEAR=2000
# CONFIG_ACPI_DEBUG is not set
CONFIG_ACPI_EC=y
CONFIG_ACPI_POWER=y
CONFIG_ACPI_SYSTEM=y
CONFIG_ACPI_CONTAINER=m
CONFIG_ACPI_TC1100=m
CONFIG_ACPI_INITRD=y
CONFIG_ACPI_DEV=m
CONFIG_X86_ACPI_CPUFREQ=m
CONFIG_X86_POWERNOW_K7_ACPI=y
CONFIG_X86_POWERNOW_K8_ACPI=y
CONFIG_X86_SPEEDSTEP_CENTRINO_ACPI=y
# CONFIG_X86_ACPI_CPUFREQ_PROC_INTF is not set
CONFIG_HOTPLUG_PCI_ACPI=m
CONFIG_HOTPLUG_PCI_ACPI_IBM=m
CONFIG_PNPACPI=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEACPI=y
CONFIG_SCSI_SATA_ACPI=y
# CONFIG_SERIAL_8250_ACPI is not set