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Linux on CLEVO 8750 To my home page.

Linux on CLEVO 8750

CLEVO 8750 running X Window

Disclaimer (not that I like disclaimers :)

You may use the information provided herein solely at your own risk. I do not take the responsibility for any damage, losses etc. resulted from its use.



CPU: P200 MMX (2.9v) (optional - P133-200)
L2 Cache: 256 Kb Pipeline Burst SRAM (not upgradable)
RAM: 16Mb EDO on-board upgradable to a maximum of 144Mb
Core Logic Chipset: OPTi Viper N+
BIOS: Phoenix (256Kb Flash ROM, PnP 1.0a, APM 1.2, LBA)
LCD: TFT 13.3" 1024x768
Video: Trident 9385 (with ZV support), 2Mb EDO RAM
Audio:ESS1878 PnP, 16 bit stereo, full-duplex 16-bit ADC, 3 DACs, 20 voice FM music (ESFM); Wavetable: ESS690; Compatibility: SB 3.01, 16-bit FM, MU401(UART mode); Built in: 2 speakers 0.5 watt stereo, microphone
PCMCIA: GL9382; 2x Type II or 1x Type III PC Card slots (with ZV support)
HDD: 2.1Gb IDE
FDD: 3.5" 1.44Mb
CD-ROM: 10x (Toshiba) IDE
Pointer device: Touch pad
Ports other than PCMCIA: 1x IrDA, 1x Serial, 1x Midi/game, 1x Parallel, 1x PS/2, 1x CRT, 1x TV-out, 1x Mic-in, 1x USB, 1x 176-pin connector for a docking station, 1x Kensington Lock
Battery: Ni-Mh or Li-Ion
Weight: Approx.3.8 kg (with the battery)
Size: 31.0x24.0x5.8 cm

The laptop has modular design:
Power bay: a battery is swappable with an AC Adapter
Drive bay: CD-ROM is swappable with MO or 2nd HDD.
FDD: swappable with an additional battery
HDD: removable, you can buy extra HDDs if you like.

Basic Linux

At the time when I was going to buy a notebook I had a CD with Slackware 3.1 so I first tried to install Linux from this CD. However, during the installation I encountered severe problems with XFree86 (3.1.2) and PCMCIA (2.9.2). Nor X Window neither PCMCIA worked. The reason was that both video and PCMCIA chips in this computer were sharp new and not supported by the software. Then I installed Slackware 3.3 via NFS using an Ethernet pcmcia card. The installation went through very smoothly. This will probably be true with other flavors of Linux.

X Window

XFree86 3.3 supports the Cyber 9385 chipset - acceleration, 16bpp, 1024x768 are all supported as well as other chipset features. You will need the SVGA server. Pre-3.3 versions of XFree86 did not work for me. If you don't have XFree86 3.3 (or later) already installed get the latest version from the main XFree86 ftp site. The only problem I encountered configuring XFree86 3.3 was that neither of standard VESA modelines worked for me. As it turned out this was a rounding problem. Say, VESA 1024x768@70Hz Non-Interlaced modeline reads

"1024x768"    75     1024 1048 1184 1328    768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync

while if you multiply 1328 by 806 by 70 (refresh rate) you'll get 74.92576MHz. The above modeline did not work until I replaced the value of DotClock=75 by 74.92. I am not going to explain the meaning of all the above numbers referring an interested reader to the excellent review of Eric S. Raymond (VideoModes.doc; you should have this file somewhere around, look in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc or at this www location). So, if a standard VESA line does not work for you, try to calculate the DotClock for your Refresh Rate more precisely. If a number rounded to the second digit after the period does not work try to increase/decrease it by 0.01 or 0.02. The recipe should work for 800x600 LCDs as well.

A side note: it is not easy to obtain the information about refresh rates for a given computer. I discovered that even technicians at service centers in most cases have no idea on the numbers. The Windows 95 video driver does not help since it does not list possible RRs. Instead, it just suggests you to take "the optimal" or "the highest" value or smth like this. For CLEVO 8750, I found at least two RRs at which X Window works: 62Hz and 70Hz.

Here is a part of my XF86Config concerning video modes:

Section "Monitor"

    Identifier  "tft"
    VendorName  "clevo"
    ModelName   "xga"

    HorizSync   30 - 64
    VertRefresh 50 - 70

# 1024x768 @ 62 Hz
#Modeline "1024x768"    67.16    1024 1032 1176 1344  768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync

# VESA 1024x768 @ 70 Hz
#Modeline  "1024x768"   74.92    1024 1048 1184 1328  768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync

# 1024x768 @ 70 Hz (non-standard dot-clock)
# This mode turned out to be better for my notebook. The previous 70Hz mode
# resulted in vertical glimming marks occationally spread over the screen.
Modeline  "1024x768"    72.23    1024 1056 1192 1280  768  770  776 806 -hsync -vsync


Section "Device"
    Identifier  "cyber9385"
    VendorName  "clevo"
    BoardName   "cyber"
    Chipset	"cyber938x"
    Clockchip	"tgui"
    Option	"lcd_center"
    VideoRam    2048

Section "Screen"
    Driver      "svga"
    Device      "cyber9385"
    Monitor     "tft"
    DefaultColorDepth	16
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       8
        Modes       "1024x768"
        ViewPort    0 0
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       16
        Modes       "1024x768"
        ViewPort    0 0

Other X servers:
XInside corporation sells popular X servers. Until recently, they did not support cyber chipsets. Times change, though, so if you want a commercial X server for Cyber 9385, check this link.
S.u.S.E. GmbH is a company which releases small series of their own X servers based on XFree86 code which offer improved functionality. The servers are free. For Trident chipsets, the extra features are (the following is a citation from SuSE README file):

I am currently running SuSE server with the above XF86Config file.


The Touch Pad works as a PS/2 mouse. Choose this type during system installation. To enable the mouse when working on console use GPM with "-dev/psaux -t ps2" options. If you want to use both Touch Pad and an external mouse (connected to a serial port) simultaneously add the following lines to your rc.local:

echo "Running gpm in two mice support mode;"
echo "See XF86Config for mouse support under X."
gpm -R -t ps2 -m /dev/psaux -M -m /dev/ttyS0 -t ms

You might want to make the symbolic links "dev/mouse" to "/dev/psaux" and "/dev/mouse2" to "/dev/ttyS0".

To make both mice work in X Window change the contents of the "Pointer device" section of XF86Config so that it would read:

Section "Pointer"
    Protocol    "MouseSystems"
    Device      "/dev/gpmdata"

If you have a 3-button external mouse, all 3 buttons will work ok. For more details, see the 3-Button-Mouse mini-howto (should be in /usr/doc/faq/howto/mini/3-Button-Mouse.gz) and manual pages on GPM.

It looks like XFree86 3.3 and later have a possibility to use a second mouse via "Xinput" feature. However, my quick try was unsuccessful. Since I already had the working mice I did not spend further time to investigate the problem. If you know how to use "Xinput" please let me know.


The PCMCIA package of David Hinds version 2.9.6 (and later) works fine. I am currently using an Ethernet and a modem card without any problems. Version 2.9.2 included in Slackware 3.1 could not identify the controller. For further information on this excellent package and on how to download the latest version see the Linux PCMCIA Information Page.


OSS/lite sound drivers included in the kernel do not support ESS-1878 (at least not in 2.0.36 and earlier versions). However, when configured as SB16 compatible, the driver identifies the chip as ESS-1688 and works (almost) without problems. When compiling the kernel choose the following options when doing make config:

Sound Blaster (SB, SBPro, SB16, clones) support
Generic OPL2/OPL3 FM synthesizer support
/dev/dsp and /dev/audio support
MIDI interface support
FM synthesizer (YM3812/OPL-3) support
(220) I/O base for SB
(5) Sound Blaster IRQ
(1) Sound Blaster DMA
(3) Sound Blaster 16 bit DMA
(330) MPU401 I/O base
(5) SB MPU401 IRQ
(65536) Audio DMA buffer size
Also, to make sound work I had to turn off the option "Plug and Play OS" in the computer's BIOS Setup. Otherwise, sound does not work. The problem with the above setup is that when playing mp3 sound files at high sampling rates, the sound gets scrumbled even when the processor load is moderate.

4Front technologies sells a commercial driver for ESS-1878 (for as little as US$20) which does the job very well. When playing mp3 files, the processor load is usually less than 10% even at high bitrates. I am currently using this driver.

Another possibility is to use a driver from the ALSA project. The version 0.3.0-pre4 which I tried had some problems with ESS-1878. More recent versions might be ok. The problem with these drivers is that they are not OSS-compatible so you won't be able to run your OSS applications. Currently, few ALSA-compatible applications exist. In fact, the driver is able to emulate the OSS mode but it will not load the emulation module on demand. There are also some other inconveniences. I should also note that my questions sent to the maintainer of the project remained unanswered - quite disappointing and unusual in Linux world!


The machine is designed to be used with a smart battery. The recommended choice is Duracell DR36 NiMh smart battery. The expected life time is "over one hour". Note that at the time of the writing there is no any approved Li-Ion smart battery (even despite your manual may state that DR202 smart Li-Ion by Duracell is approved; I was informed by technicians at CLEVO that this information had been included in the manual by mistake). Unfortunately, Duracell has exited rechargeable computer battery business so if you are unable to find a DR36 on stock you'll have to ask techs at CLEVO for an approved battery type.

The computer cannot get the status of a non-smart battery! This does not depend on an operating system you are using. So, if you want programs like apmd working make sure you have a smart battery. My machine was sold with a non-smart one (SL36), so apmd did not work. The life time in X Window was about 1h15min. Then, a red LED turned on and I had about 5min to shutdown the system or plug it to a wall socket.

About a year ago I bought a DR36. The impression is rather contradictory... The good thing is that I can now see the status of the battery (the remaining charge, estimated life time, etc.). apmd2.4 works fine. However, after about 1/2 year of use, things went worse... The battery said that it was 50% weared althought I recharged it for about 30 times only. Someone said me that its state could be reset connecting "+" and "-" for about a second. This indeed helped but not for long. After a few charge cycles, the battery went "weared" again, charging stopped at about half of its potential full charging capacity. I now understand why Duracell exited the notebook battery market...

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Last updated: March 23, 1999