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Please explain this: (suspend/resume w/ RH 9 on Dell Latitude C840) - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

I am running Red Hat 9 on a Dell Latitude C840 laptop with a 1400x1050 display, NVidia GeForce 4 (generic) built-in card and 32 MB video memory. Everything including X, Gnome, etc, works very well, but there are a couple of things I just don't understand having to do with various ways of suspending and resuming. (I have NOT installed proprietary Nvidia drivers because I felt no need to since the included drivers work fine. Everything is right out of the Red Hat box with kernel 2.4.20-8. Here is what I observe: Scenario 1. Using Fn + Esc(suspend) the machine ...

  1. #1

    Default Please explain this: (suspend/resume w/ RH 9 on Dell Latitude C840)

    I am running Red Hat 9 on a Dell Latitude C840 laptop with a 1400x1050
    display, NVidia GeForce 4 (generic) built-in card and 32 MB video
    memory. Everything including X, Gnome, etc, works very well, but there
    are a couple of things I just don't understand having to do with various
    ways of suspending and resuming. (I have NOT installed proprietary
    Nvidia drivers because I felt no need to since the included drivers work
    fine. Everything is right out of the Red Hat box with kernel 2.4.20-8.

    Here is what I observe:

    Scenario 1.
    Using Fn + Esc(suspend) the machine shuts off nicely. THEN I close the
    lid and there is brief CPU and disk activity as indicated by the LEDs.
    When I next open the lid, the fans run at full tilt and the CPU is in
    slow mode, but everything on the screen is just as it was when I
    suspended. Pressing Fn + Z restores the fans and CPU to normal.
    Everything is then normal and I can continue working.

    Scenario 2. Same as 1, except I close the lid WHILE the suspend is
    happening, i.e. before the final shutdown. In this case, when I next
    open the lid, the fans and CPU are NORMAL. No need to hit Fn + Z. The
    screen is just as it was when I suspended.

    Scenario 3.
    I close the lid without using the suspend sequence (Fn + ESC). In this
    case, when I reopen the lid, the screen is scrambled: the top and bottom
    halves are interchanged, and the horizontal width is 2 times normal. If
    I switch to another VT (CTRL + ALT + F6) I get a normal VT. And if I
    switch back to the original VT, the screen has corrected itself and
    everything is normal again.

    I am curious as to what the explanation is for these behaviors.
    How much of what happens is done by the BIOS, and how much by the
    kernel? Can someone explain just what is happening in each case?
    What control, if any, do users have over this?

    Thanks.

    -Al Schapira

    Al Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Please explain this: (suspend/resume w/ RH 9 on Dell Latitude C840)

    On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 15:55:53 GMT, Al Schapira wrote: 
    Hi, Al. I've a Dell Latitude C600 laptop (bo't it on eBay, and
    upgraded to 512meg RAM, CD R/W - DVD drive, etc) that runs RH8. When first I
    put RH8 on it, I wondered what this 'suspend' stuff was alla bout. I never
    tried using fn+esc to suspend it (maybe I should've), I just closed the lid,
    which, according to what (little) I understood, did the suspend thing, and
    s'posedly would restore everything when the lid was opened again. Well, it
    didn't exactly work out that way. (Yes, I did select the laptop install when
    initially installing the system). As I recall (I only did this about twice,
    and this was quite a few months ago), everything would be messed up, and
    would require a cold boot to get things working again.

    What I did was to go into the BIOS setup, and change the 'suspend'
    option such that it was off. Now when I close the lid, nothing changes, the
    unit just keeps on doing what it was while the lid was open. In order to
    shutdown the system, I must positively select 'shutdown' from the wm popup
    (or issue a halt (or reboot) cmd from a terminal).

    Of course, I don't use the laptop at all often, and since I don't
    work (retired) it's not required for much of anything. I bought it and did
    the upgrades (WiFi and 56k modem PMCIA cards, mem upgrade, CD R/W - DVD
    drive, and like that) mostly because I could afford it.
     

    Well, in my case, the laptop was originally intended for use with a
    (ugh) Windoze op sys (as opposed to, say, Linux), so I suspect this is done
    mostly by the BIOS -- but the Windoze op sys is obviously able to deal with
    it. This question is sorta chickn & egg..
     

    Again, my knowledge about this is mostly guesswork, but from what I
    understand, when you push fn+esc (or close the lid), this triggers a signal
    from the BIOS that tells the o/s to write its current state in a special
    area on the hd and (temporarily) turn itself off. On my system, when the lid
    is next opened, this will 'wake up' the BIOS, which in turn will tell the
    o/s to read that special area on the hd, from which it will get what it
    needs to 'rebuild' things such that anything running prior to this will be
    running again. Again though, I suspect the o/s must be optimized for this
    kind of thing -- it should 'know' about those signals from the BIOS, and
    what to do when it gets them, it should know where that spl area is on the
    hd, and to look there to get the proper config, etc.
     

    I never bothered to look into it, as it occured to me this was just
    another 'zample of Windoze foolishness, so as I say, I just turned it off.

    On page 6 of 7 in my BIOS setup thingy, there are several options
    dealing with suspend mode. I just set them all to 'disabled.' The really
    important one (for me) was "Display Close:" which I set to 'active.' The
    help file displayed w/that option reads: "Determines whether the system
    remains active or suspends when the lid is closed. Set to ACTIVE to keep the
    computer on *with the display off* when the lid is closed. Set to SUSPEND to
    have the system suspend when the lid is closed."

    There are several other options, such as 'ring-event resume,' 'alarm
    resume,' and 'wake-up on LAN' olive witch're self explanatory. I disabled
    all of them too.

    I got out my laptop to get the above BIOS info, and just for the
    hallibut, tried fn+esc. Yup. That still suspended the system. Closing and
    opening the lid restored it. Only sometimes the desktop still gets corrupted
    badly. I'll prob not make much use out of this 'feature,' even though it
    appears to function (most of the time) with linux.

    --
    net

    "There are only 10 kinds of people in the world;
    those who understand binary, and those who don't."

    Jim Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please explain this: (suspend/resume w/ RH 9 on Dell LatitudeC840)

    Jim,

    Thanks for relating your observations.

    -Al

    Jim Bianchi wrote: 
    >
    > Hi, Al. I've a Dell Latitude C600 laptop (bo't it on eBay, and
    > upgraded to 512meg RAM, CD R/W - DVD drive, etc) that runs RH8. When first I
    > put RH8 on it, I wondered what this 'suspend' stuff was alla bout. I never
    > tried using fn+esc to suspend it (maybe I should've), I just closed the lid,
    > which, according to what (little) I understood, did the suspend thing, and
    > s'posedly would restore everything when the lid was opened again. Well, it
    > didn't exactly work out that way. (Yes, I did select the laptop install when
    > initially installing the system). As I recall (I only did this about twice,
    > and this was quite a few months ago), everything would be messed up, and
    > would require a cold boot to get things working again.
    >
    > What I did was to go into the BIOS setup, and change the 'suspend'
    > option such that it was off. Now when I close the lid, nothing changes, the
    > unit just keeps on doing what it was while the lid was open. In order to
    > shutdown the system, I must positively select 'shutdown' from the wm popup
    > (or issue a halt (or reboot) cmd from a terminal).
    >
    > Of course, I don't use the laptop at all often, and since I don't
    > work (retired) it's not required for much of anything. I bought it and did
    > the upgrades (WiFi and 56k modem PMCIA cards, mem upgrade, CD R/W - DVD
    > drive, and like that) mostly because I could afford it.
    >

    >
    >
    > Well, in my case, the laptop was originally intended for use with a
    > (ugh) Windoze op sys (as opposed to, say, Linux), so I suspect this is done
    > mostly by the BIOS -- but the Windoze op sys is obviously able to deal with
    > it. This question is sorta chickn & egg..
    >

    >
    >
    > Again, my knowledge about this is mostly guesswork, but from what I
    > understand, when you push fn+esc (or close the lid), this triggers a signal
    > from the BIOS that tells the o/s to write its current state in a special
    > area on the hd and (temporarily) turn itself off. On my system, when the lid
    > is next opened, this will 'wake up' the BIOS, which in turn will tell the
    > o/s to read that special area on the hd, from which it will get what it
    > needs to 'rebuild' things such that anything running prior to this will be
    > running again. Again though, I suspect the o/s must be optimized for this
    > kind of thing -- it should 'know' about those signals from the BIOS, and
    > what to do when it gets them, it should know where that spl area is on the
    > hd, and to look there to get the proper config, etc.
    >

    >
    >
    > I never bothered to look into it, as it occured to me this was just
    > another 'zample of Windoze foolishness, so as I say, I just turned it off.
    >
    > On page 6 of 7 in my BIOS setup thingy, there are several options
    > dealing with suspend mode. I just set them all to 'disabled.' The really
    > important one (for me) was "Display Close:" which I set to 'active.' The
    > help file displayed w/that option reads: "Determines whether the system
    > remains active or suspends when the lid is closed. Set to ACTIVE to keep the
    > computer on *with the display off* when the lid is closed. Set to SUSPEND to
    > have the system suspend when the lid is closed."
    >
    > There are several other options, such as 'ring-event resume,' 'alarm
    > resume,' and 'wake-up on LAN' olive witch're self explanatory. I disabled
    > all of them too.
    >
    > I got out my laptop to get the above BIOS info, and just for the
    > hallibut, tried fn+esc. Yup. That still suspended the system. Closing and
    > opening the lid restored it. Only sometimes the desktop still gets corrupted
    > badly. I'll prob not make much use out of this 'feature,' even though it
    > appears to function (most of the time) with linux.
    >[/ref]

    Al Guest

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