Impossible Laptop

Michael Torrie torriem at
Fri Nov 18 14:43:27 MST 2011

On 11/18/2011 12:45 PM, Stuart Jansen wrote:
> I'm willing to pay for quality, but it seems that most laptops today
> are either crappy toys, crippled by sucky screens, or Macs.

So an issue to be aware of with Linux on today's laptops is DSDT, part
of ACPI in the BIOS.  More and more laptops today are shipping with some
horrible ACPI bugs that Microsoft is both responsible for, and works
around in Windows because of corrupt DSDT tables.  This little table, if
compiled with Intel's tools, works quite nicely under Linux.  But most
vendors are now shunning the standard free tool from Intel and using
Microsoft's compiler which produces buggy tables that interfere with
Linux's ability to properly use ACPI.  Hence laptops have problems
sleeping or poor battery life.  Some laptops have bad tables that
actually report different hardware power capabilities if the OS reports
itself as "Linux."  It's a real mess, and a real black art to fix it.
People say, "decompile the table and fix the errors and recompile it"
without really telling you how to fix the errors.  I tried to recompile
the DSDT on my netbook and it had something like 6 major syntax errors.
 I managed to eliminate the compile errors them by googling for each and
every error.  Once I had my fixed DSDT table I found that Fedora doesn't
even support overriding the DSDT at boot like Ubuntu does.  Fedora
maintainers simply hold the old tired line, "it's the hardware's fault;
Linux is just following the spec so go away," which I've found is quite
common in the Linux world.  Google for "Linux DSDT" for more information
on this issue, which in mind mind should be getting more attention than
it is.  I first found out about it when I was trying to figure out why
my netbook won't actually get through the initial kernel boot without me
continually pressing a key.

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