Debian Linux on a Gateway 2000

We had an old Gateway 2000 kicking around the office and I wanted to try to build a cheap PKI (a story for another day) so I decided to install the Debian version of the Linux operating system.

I was unable to find a web page at Gateway describing the exact model, but the BIOS shows 4L3TT0X0.15A.0010.P13 as a BIOS version, and I eventually found references to the motherboard at

The machine is a 233 MHz Pentium 586 with 192MB of main memory and has a 4GB Caviar hard drive. It has a Gateway EV700 monitor. The machine came to me with Windows NT installed, but I wanted to test some Windows 98 software. Since there is no upgrade path from NT back to 98, I was forced to reformat the hard disk, and installed Windows 98 and Debian. Even though there are 8912 cylinders on the hard drive, the "cylinder 1023" problem never appeared, perhaps because LBA addressing is enabled on the drive.

Initial Linux installation

Initial Linux installation was uneventful, except it blew up while trying to setup X windows. I bailed out and completed the installation manually.

Boot selection with LILO

No problem, see lilo.conf


The machine has an installed ATI Rage II+DVD with 4MB of video memory. Perhaps the previous owner didn't want to use the motherboard video because of interference with CPU memory reference?

The Gateway EV700 horizontal sync range is 30-69 Hz and vertical sync range is 50-120 so this modeline
"1280x1024" 110 1280 1328 1512 1712 1024 1025 1028 1054
works fine for 8 bit depth using the Mach64 server.

Somebody gave me a Microsoft scrolling mouse but I have had some problems getting it setup and I am thinking of junking it and using a 3-button Today's Mouse which also works fine with the Fujitsu. Here is the XF86Config file. (document changes from default setup).


During the initial installation I missed setting up the module. The machine came with a 3com 3C905-tx card, so a quick reference to the ethernet howto yielded the correct driver name 3c59x so I stuck that into /etc/modules then in /etc/network/interfaces added an iface for eth0 and of course put the right stuff into /etc/resolv.conf file.

ZIP drive

My stepfather had an old SCSI/Parallel ZIP drive in his garage, so I got him to give it to me. According to the zip howto, the correct driver is imm, so I just added /lib/modules/scsi/imm.o to drive it (the magic is looking in the scsi directory not the parallel directory!)

Here are my raw notes on the installation. Watch this space for progress...

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