Linux on the IBM PC110

PC110 sitting on a copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Having bought a PC110, IBM's tiny palm-top PC, I tried to find others interested in this wonderful machine, particularly with a view to installing and running Linux on it. Although there were some useful web pages about buying and using the PC110 in general, there wasn't much specifically about Linux. So I created these pages to hold the information I wish I'd had.

What is the PC110?

It is the smallest full-feature PC I have ever seen. Mine measures 157x113x33mm (6.2x4.4x1.3in) and weighs just 692g (24.4oz). That's about the size of a medium-sized paperback book, and the weight of that same book in hardback. In this tiny format it packs a 486SX-32 processor, 20Mb RAM, 340Mb hard disk, 4Mb internal flash disk and an external PicoFlash slot, 96x71mm 640x480 pixel 256-colour DSTN LCD screen, 90-key keyboard, pointing stick, touch-pad, voice/data/fax modem, soundblaster, two speakers and a microphone (which can be used as a conventional telephone) and IRDA port. It is all powered by a 69x37x20mm (2.7x1.5x0.8in), 88g (3.1oz) lithium-ion battery, which lasts for days in suspend mode, or several hours of normal use. It is easily capable of running Linux, which is the only operating system I use on mine.

Installing RedHat 4.1 Linux was simple using a parallel port Zip drive connected to the PC110's docking station.

The two internal disk devices worked perfectly without any special configuration. I did have to tell the BIOS to swap the drives over before I got LILO working.

I have got X working in 256-colour mode. With the appropriate driver, I can use the touchpad to control my mouse! Version 0.2 supports tap gestures so you can click and drag with one finger. Version 0.3 is less liable to get stuck in the mode where slight movement makes the cursor shoot off in random directions, although I've still seen it do this occasionally, particularly after a suspend/resume. Version 0.3.1 is identical to 0.3; the documentation just has a bit of a tidy up. You can get it by ftp or http.

For the latest news, please join the Linux on PC110 Mailing List which provides a forum for discussion about running Linux on the PC110. This list is archived. There is also an ftp directory (which is also accessible by http) for Linux-PC110 files.

Other Web Resources

PC110 FAQs


PC110 Suppliers

Copyright (C) 1997 Robin O'Leary.