Initial notes on FreeBSD on the Panasonic W-2

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I received my Panasonic W2 Toughbook today ($2049 from Amuras) and I've started the FreeBSD install:
  • If you want to dual boot, the first thing you need to do is reclaim some of the hard drive from Windows. Luckily the Windows XP restore disk lets you use part of the hard drive for the OS and reserve the rest for data. The "data" section ends up as an empty D: partition, which I used to install FreeBSD.
  • I put on FreeBSD 5.3. The initial FreeBSD install went smoothly and I can dual-boot FreeBSD and Windows (though Windows comes out as "???" in the FreeBSD boot selector. Have to work on that later).
  • X.org works out of the box. X.org -configure produces a working conf file. The big problem is that the mouse doesn't work by default. Changing the mouse device to /dev/psm0 and the mouse type to ps/2 fixes this. You may only need one of these. Also, if you want 24-bit color you should tweak the conf file to use 24 bit by default.
  • FreeBSD recognizes the Ethernet jack (rl0) by default but I haven't tried it yet. It doesn't recognize the Centrino-based wireless interface at all. I'm guessing that that's not going to work well. I've got a PCMCIA wireless card, so I don't really need the on-board wireless.
  • ACPI doesn't seem to work well. FreeBSD detects it, but the laptop never comes back from suspend. This isn't exactly a surprise. Next step here is to try APM support, which I've had better luck with in the past.

So far so good. Next step is to get the network and some kind of power management working—all I really need is suspend/resume— and then install the rest of my environment.

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