Installing LINUX in a Mitac MiNote 7020 Notebook

First Impressions

I have to admit that there is not enough information about this notebook in the web. Even Mitac doesn't provide with detailed technical information. But, fortunately, if you look at the drivers section of their web-site you can find the names of the hardware parts. This notebook looks nice and, in short, is 100% compatible with Linux. And it's cheap too! So, if you think of buying a cheap and compatible notebook, this is a good deal.


Everything I described here comes from my personal experience. This is not an official Mitac site. The information presented here is for your information only. I should not be responsible if anything in this site is not correct or if you were not able to install Linux on this system. Having said that, I must say that I did my best to be as accurate as possible while writing this information.


Hardware Manufacturer Works?
Graphics Card ATI 3D Rage LT Pro AGP 2x YES
Sound Card Crystal CS4280 YES
PCMCIA Texas Instruments PCI-1225 Cardbus YES
Modem Lucent L56xMF (rev 1) YES
Mouse Synaptics Touchpad YES
Hard Drive Fujitsu MHK2060AT YES
DVD Pioneer DVD-ROM DVD-K11T 010 YES
Floppy YES
IrDA NSC PC 87338 11.2 YES
Power Management Intel 82371EB YES

Additional notes

I didn't have any problems installing SuSE 7.1 at all. Everything worked just fine and as smooth as possible. USB works at last!

YAST2 automatically configured my sound card too. The mouse is a common PS/2, you shouldn't have any problems with this.

I didn't have any problems installing SuSE 7.1 at all. Everything worked just fine and as smooth as possible. USB works at last!

UPDATE in 14-02-2002

After some time of (fair) usage, the monitor plastic broke and I had to replace it. This was the case for a friend of mine too, who also bought this computer. The plastic broke again, but not so badly as mine...

APM Issues

Kernel 2.4 issues

If you want to use the old apm features, the computer works fine, as long as you enable the " Allow interrupts during APM BIOS calls " feature. Of course if you don't want to use the feature " Make CPU Idle calls when idle ", you don't need to do anything, but this feature is a MUST for power saving issues. If you don't, then as long as the computer gets idle (and believe me... it gets too soon - even in the boot process!) it just freezes! I tried to use the newer ACPI features, but the computer doesn't get recognised so... just leave it for now (kernel 2.4.17)

Kernel 2.2 issues

The only problem I had was with SuSE's prebuilded APM-enabled kernel. I had to use the standard kernel instead. The problem seemed to be the "Make CPU Idle calls when idle", because when I deselected it everything worked OK.

Another thing to point out is that it is not possible to suspend this machine while being in X. The solution is to use apmd and configure it to change to console mode everytime you try to suspend. When you do this you can safely suspend at any time. (EDIT: not an issue anymore with X 4.0.2)


(sorry, I don't have time to check IrDA for 2.4.X kernel...)

IrDA is a little bit tricky to make it work. I tried to find patches for 2.2.14 kernel and at the same time the IrDA site was down. At the end I managed to download the kernel patch, the IrDA utilities and the OBEX protocol to communicate with my Siemens S25 mobile phone. Remember to "rmmod serial" before inserting anything else - IrDA somehow doesn't like serial port. I think loading IrDA module before serial may overcome this problem. In addition here is my irda start/stop script.


At first, you have to go to Linmodems website to download the binary/partially source driver for Lucent modems: this driver is 100% usable and you can use it even for 2.4.X kernel! If you have a SuSE precompiled kernel (at least for the older SuSE distributions, there is only one catch: there is a know problem with version mangling (oh SuSE!) with precompiled kernels. The fastest way is to go to /usr/src/linux/include/linux/version.h and change the line from UTS_RELEASE "2.4.0" to "2.4.0-4GB". After that everything will compile perfectly!

All files can be downloaded from here: