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Configuration of FreeBSD on the LinuxCertified LC2210D Laptop

The intention of this document is to provide information required to run FreeBSD 5.4 or greater on the LC2210D laptop.

While popular in server environments due to its exceptional stability and performance, FreeBSD also performs very well on the desktop and laptop. A wide variety of desktop environments, window managers, and productivity oriented software are available to the FreeBSD user through the ports system, and recent versions of FreeBSD boast excellent support for the many different pieces of hardware found on modern laptops. Because of the combination of superior performance, stability, software choices, and hardware support, FreeBSD is a natural choice for many laptop users.

Hardware Specifications of the LC2210D:

CPU: Intel Celeron to Pentium M.
RAM: Minimum 512M of ram, max 1G of ram.
Optical Drive: CD-RW/DVD Combo.
Magnetic Drive: 40G 5400RPM IDE drive, upgradeable to 80G.
Display: 14” XGA TFT LCD.
Video: Intel i855 Graphics, 64M of ram.
Sound: Intel ICH4 audio chip.
Ethernet: RealTek 8139, 10/100.
Wireless (if equipped): Atheros chipset via mini-pci supporting 802.11A, B, and G.
Modem: Internal “software modem”, 56k.

FreeBSD Hardware Support on the LC2210D:

Optical Drive: Standard IDE CD/DVD drive, no modules required.
Magnetic Drive: Standard IDE HDD, no modules required.
Display: The 14” LCD is supported in both console mode and by XFree86.
Video: i855 graphics are supported in most versions of XFree86.
Sound: Intel ICH4 audio chipset, kernel module required. This requires the “snd_ich” kernel module, which is available to the GENERIC kernel.
Ethernet: RealTek 8139, no modules required.
Wireless: Atheros Chipset, kernel module required. This requires the “ath” kernel module, which is available to the GENERIC kernel. All 802.11 modes, including Master and Ad-Hoc were tested and work properly.
Modem: Internal 56k “software modem”. Not supported by FreeBSD at this time. It is supported under Linux via the “slmodem” package, available from the SMLink website  – Under Linux, both Alsa and Slamr modes work properly.

Installation methods available on the LC2210D:

CD-Rom: Functional, normal installation method works.
Pxeboot: Functional, see handbook for instructions.
Floppy, Serial, PPP: The LC2210D is, like many newer laptops, not equipped with a serial port or (built in) floppy drive. PPP installation does not work due to the “software modem”.

Configuration Files Required for the LC2210D:

  • /boot/loader.conf:

In order to utilize the sound card found on the laptop, the snd_ich module needs to be loaded. In order for resume to work properly, the vesa module requires patching and must be loaded prior to resuming normal operation from a suspended state. The “acpi” kernel module is also needed, but is automatically loaded in a default installation. If your system is not properly loading the ACPI module, append “acpi_load=”YES”” to the loader.conf example file below. After modifying loader.conf, please reboot your system to make sure that all modules load properly and you have not made any typographical errors. If you wish to skip the reboot, 'kldload snd_ich' and 'kldload vesa' will install the modules for you.




  • /etc/rc.conf:

No special entries are required in /etc/rc.conf. If you wish to have your ethernet device(s) automatically configured by DHCP, place this line in /etc/rc.conf:


  • /etc/sysctl.conf:

At least two entries are required in /etc/sysctl.conf. If you wish debugging output from ACPI, add the hw.acpi.verbose=1 sysctl.


Other Modifications to FreeBSD Required for LC2210D Support.

There is one final modification required to FreeBSD in order for it to have fully functional suspend to ram support: A small patch to the VESA driver in order to re enable the LCD backlight after a resume. Upon resume, the system will come up normally, however the screen will remain black. While the screen may not be viewable, the keyboard is indeed functional and you may safely shut down your laptop if necessary. In order to get around the backlight problem, we must load the modified “vesa” module in loader.conf (or by hand using kldload).

vesa.diff  (Please note this file is here for reference only. You may retrieve the proper file in the proper format and version from FreeBSD CVS)

Further reading on FreeBSD:

For more information on FreeBSD in general, and laptop support for FreeBSD, please visit these official sites:

FreeBSD main website:

FreeBSD Laptop page:

FreeBSD Mobile mailing list:

FreeBSD Handbook:


This document is © Distribution of this document in an unmodified form is permissible.

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