Software Suspend 2, a success story

Owning a laptop, you try to get the best out of it. you want it to be the strongest it can, you want it to be fast, reliable, useful, and cunning. My Fujitsu is cunning, I can say. Not a day passes without me hearing someone saying "Wow, it is so small". I didn’t get it for the audiance, though, I got it because traveling to end users and customer sites could be frustrating when you have no connectivity, and you cannot relay on the customers environment. I once, few years ago, had the paradox I call "The Ez paradox", where I got to a customer who just arranged a brand new ADSL line, had a network card with me, but I forgot the drivers. There was no way I could connect using her computer, nor did I have my laptop then. It consumed few extra hours just finding someone around who could allow me to use his computer to download the NIC drivers. Never again, I swore then, and I was proven to be right. There was one time with another customer, where I proved the screen to be the problem, and not the computer’s VGA card, using my laptop, and another where I could remove the blame from a poor and unjustly accused computer, because I could not connect to the internet using the same ADSL line from my own laptop, etc. It’s a usefull machine, and it saves my time.

One of the things one expects is to open his laptop’s cover, and "Whoosh!", get an up-and-running system right then. As we all know computers, this is not the case. Running Linux on the laptop, it was even worse. Up till a year ago, Software Suspend solution for a pooched ACPI enabled laptops, with no hardware suspend built-in, were, how to say, poor at best. I remember being able to suspend using some SWSUSP beta version, and it was able to suspend and resume about 2/3 of the times I tried to, took five minutes, and not always when it didn’t manage to suspend I was attentative enough to notice it. The poor laptop got to remain up and running (and when swsusp got hang, it consumed 100% CPU) inside my bag few times, until I discovered it half an hour or so later. Not good. Not only this, but this beta version worked sometimes, while its following release (or RC) version failed to suspend or resume or both completely. It was far from being perfect. However, I am full of respect to the people who made it, fighting uncommon hardware setups, which you can find only in laptops, and made a mature and working

Mature, becuase it works, not becuase it’s the most trivial thing to make it work.

I can clearly say that SWSUSP2, in version 2.1.9, for kernel is remarkebly fast, clear, and well working. Using the new UserUI (Nice splash screen with animation, showing during the suspend/resume operation), i can be the envy of my peers, if only they cared.

For anyone on the net asking about it, i can describe shortly how and what I did to make it work.

First, follow the instructions in Software Suspend web site. They know what they are saying, although their site is not always organized (it’s getting better, with the Wiki! Keep the good work!).

To Explain in short words what I have done:

  1. Get and untar/bzip2 kernel version (linux-
  2. Get software-suspend-2.1.9-for-2.6.11
  3. Patch the new kernel by using the new method swsusp2 supply (RTFM)
  4. Patch the new kernel with your newly downloaded fbsplash-0.9.2-2.6.11 patch
  5. Get, unzip and compile userui package (note – You will need to edit fbanim/userui_fbanim_core.c and change #include <linux/fb.h> into #include "linux/fb.h" else it won’t compile
  6. You would want to make your own kernel now. It’s going to take a while. You can borrow from my own config (config- file.
  7. Anything further can be found easilly in Software Suspend Wiki
  8. Make sure your initrd (if you use it) is set up correctly

It should work correctly at this point. You would like to pick a nice graphics, and I hope, with the help of my wife, to arrange myself some uniqe and eye catching image. Why? Because. It doesn’t cost my anything further, and it will sure attract attention to the system.

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  1. My tiny laptop has worked rather well so far, but I’ve decided, due to some unexplained problems, to upgrade it to a newer version of kernel, aka on my own blog’s entry (what good are blogs if not to hold some long forgotten knowledge?), wh

  2. Alongside a newer kernel, I’m enjoying a newer Software Suspend2 package. I am not crazy about betas, or RCs, so now I’m on the 2.2 stable. I have hibernated only once since I’ve upgraded kernel, but it went just fine on the first try, so I’m rather ok wi

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