These instructions are for installing Ubuntu 7.10 on the ML3109. Installing Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) is much easier and requires a special tweak for the wireless only. Sound works out of the box and you can use the hardware drivers dialog box to enable accelerated video for Compiz.
This page contains notes on
installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) on a Gateway ML3109 computer, a
machine I bought at Best Buy for $350. I usually spend upwards of
$2000 on my workstations and, in my 25+ years of computing, I've never
come close to such a good deal as this laptop. My Commodore 64 cost me
$400 and I thought that was a pretty good deal. The Amiga computer,
which was way ahead of every other computer of the day, cost me only
$1600, and I thought that was an excellent deal. But nothing beats
However, getting sound, wireless, and a 3D desktop environment
working was not trivial and took me a few hours. My reward for that
work was a truly impressive, responsive, light-weight computer that I
can take anywhere and that I currently use as my main workstation. I
wanted to give back to the world by helping others to configure the
laptop like I did.
It doesn't look like much until I open it and start
working. Then, the windowing environment flat-out outshines anything
any of my coworkers or friends are using. The raw performance of the
laptop is about half as good as the most expensive laptops out there
and that has been sufficient to keep me from noticing any performance
issues whatsoever so far.
When I go somewhere, I use the computer as a laptop. When I'm parked
in my office I connect several devices to the computer, including a
20.1" screen, a back-lit Deck keyboard, a back-lit mouse, and
speakers. Then, I turn off the lights, and I revel in a programming
environment that is hard to beat.
I am astonished that a company can engineer such a fabulous piece of
hardware and then configure it as to make it almost unusable. Am also
impressed with how Ubuntu runs on the machine. I've not had any
performance problems with the 3D interface, with video, music,
compiling software, running virtual machines, or anything else, which
is impressive given that I do so many of those things
concurrently. Among the virtual machines I run (mostly Linux servers)
I run a virtual machine with Windows that, for example, doesn't have
any trouble with video playback.
I did replace the 512MB RAM with 2 1GB sticks. That set me back
another $100 approximately. However, I needed the extra RAM only for
the virtual machines. Users that don't plan on using VMs will get
along fine with 512MB RAM.
After you install Ubuntu, the first thing you do should be
sudo apt-get install build-essential
You'll need that package to get everything working on this laptop.
First, ensure that these lines exist (and are not commented out) in your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file:
Then, follow the directions for getting the wireless to work in this post
. You can ignore the directions for getting the sound to work. In the next section, I provide a script that should make it much easier for you to get your sound working.
The biggest tip on how to fix sound I found here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=3392881
Using the information from that source and from others, I crafted a script that got sound working on my notebook computer. To get sound working, you can follow these simple steps:
- Add this to the bottom of your /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base file:
options snd-hda-intel model=STAC9200
- Create a directory somewhere, put this file in that directory and run the file like this:
After that, reboot and your sound should be working fine. If the sound stops working (for example, because of a kernel upgrade), just run the script again.
Compiz-Fusion works if you follow these steps:
But you'll need to run the last
sudo apt-get install
command twice in a row.