Linux on the JVC 741

Linux user # 351582

(This page last updated: 18 February 2008)

There are several people who've tried Linux on their JVC 7310 (predecessor of the 741) or 7210. A couple of links can be found tru the links below.
I have experience with installation of the following distros:

Ubuntu, Kubuntu 5.1

These distros work like a charm. Installation hicks a bit, but starting the installation using:
     linux noapic nolapic
works OK at least in Ubuntu.
Using Kubuntu this wasn't needed.

(K)ubuntu can use all hardware on the JVC, even sound. Except the modem...

Kubunto 6.1 (Edgy Eft)

I tried this one because I read on the web that this distro supported really ALL JVC HW out of the box.
I tried the Alternate CD iso, as that allows to put the boot loader in the Linux partition rather than in the MBR.
Installation was a breeze, be it that the partitioning steps hicked a bit. No wonder if you got 2 OS/2 partitions, several FAT32 and an NTFS WinXP partition. It only worked OK when I left the NTFS partition unmounted. Luckily, GRUB refused to install - I like Lilo better, and that installed quite OK.
Indeed, almost all HW was recognized, even the 1024x600 screen had the right resolution. Now to get Xinerama working....
The only thing that doesn't work is the Agere modem (an Intel ICH4-82801DB/ blah blah AC'97 rev 03 softmodem).
Hibernation, Suspend and other stuff works Good. Remaining battery was indicated OK but no trace of the individual batteries....

Kubunto 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)

This is the first distro that manages to clearly and "accurately" (if conformance to what Windows says about the power states is "accurate") echo the individual battery statuses. Again I've used the Alternate CD to avoid having GRUB fubarring the MBR.
Package management became better after having downloaded & installed Debain Package Management from the (irritatingly slow) Adept package manager.
Only thing left now is to check the modem.....

Mandriva Official 2006

I installed this through the Internet. All I had to do was download a little .iso file found in the \install directory on CD-ROM #1 (I grabbed it here), burn it on CD-ROM, boot from this CD-ROM and off it went....

Mandriva Official 2006 can't access all HW. Sound is a no-no yet - surprising as Ubuntu (w. the same kernel) can use it.
In the links below info can be found on how to set the screen in native 1024x600 mode.

Much to my grief, Mandrake 9.2 was the last distro that could run my HP970CXi deskjet printer attached to a HP JetDirect 170 printer server. All CUPS versions since that distro make the print heads move but print nothing on paper :-((
Suspend-to-disk works somewhat; I have to test it some more.

Mandriva Official 2007

This distro was my favorite for some time. But it has problems.
First of all, installation using ftp or http using the .iso method outlined above won't work properly. Apparantly Mandriva mixed up their files stuff, during installation of the packages it consistently complained about several packages (notably openssh). AFAICS because of these problems, installation of X fails and actually the entire installation is DOA.
So, I had to install using the full CD #1 (worked OK), and add all missing packages later on using "Configuring your computer".
NTFS r/w access can be gained using the Mandriva captive-install-acquire packages (don't forget to add the fuse stuff to your system). The wireless tools (ipw2200 stuff) had to be downloaded seperately, afterwards the Intel 2200BG wifi worked fairly much OK.

I've tried to get the modem to work using the Smartlink and Martian drivers, to no avail. Indeed, even sound was mixed up and could not be reanimated......

Later, using Mandriva 2007.1 (Spring) I found out I could use the free (as in "free beer") ALSA driver for the modem. However, while the modem seems to have been recognized and initialized, I couldn't convince kppp to dial up w/o getting the modem stuck (a reboot or maybe on/off cycle was needed to reset it (another thing I've read on the web somewhere...)

I fiddled a bit with hibernation and suspend, but found that after a hibernation cycle the JVC would hibernate on its own initiative after a few minutes. I got so fed up with this that I tried Kubuntu again.

Mandriva 2008

This is currently installed (as of end 2007). While most HW now works flawlessly (including suspend/resume, but much slower than Windows) I found that the xrandr-applet doen't want to offer to virtual 1024x768 mode on the internal display (in 2007.1 Spring it did). Perhaps some more experimenting with xorg.conf is needed, who knows. I've put up mine here.

The modem doesn't work either (yet). It won't get stuck like it did in Mandriva 2007.1, but it doesn't seem to notice a dial tone. When plugging in the phone cord while listening on the phone next to it, I noticed that the dial tone was significantly muted. I'll have another go on it using Windows XP to see if the HW still works. If not, I still have a Xircom PCMCIA combo card (with a fairly bulky external modem connector....)


Linux-on-laptops JVC    (General link to several JVC pages)
Linux on JVC MP-XP731    (IMO the most complete one)
Rowi's Linux-on-JVC page (Gentoo)   (in German)    (JVC section)
Linux on JVC 841    (Contains valuable technical info on how to get Linux installed and ACPI working OK)