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Linux on ... Toshiba 1410-801

This document describes some Linux workarounds with a toshiba laptop. Almost everything worked pretty well.. after a bunch of months i can finally say i'm 90% satisfied. (blame the size of the machine for the missing 10%.. but after all they say it was a desktop replacement.. )

PS: This is a translation of the italian document and I've made it a bit shorter :-)
Full report is available in the Italian version [newer]

News section
Kernel 2.6 section


Index


Hardware

Installation

      Partitioning
      Distros
      Running Kernel

Recognized Hardware

       Nvidia GeForce420 Go, Yamaha AC97 sound card, Ethernet Intel e100, Combo Drive, PCMCIA, Acpi Periferals

Special workaround

       Internal Modem, Keyboard, Mouse, APM & standby,

Not working yet

       Empty, indeed :)

Not tested

       IrDa, TV-OUT,

Links

News




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Hardware

Read lspci output on this computer


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Installation

Partitions
Partitioning was easy and painless, since that so-called (preinstalled) operating system was not yet in NTFS format, as i feared, but simply FAT32.
I made all the nice work with 'drake tools, leaving a very small partition for win :)
Distros
At the present time both Mandrake 9.1 and Slackware 9 are alive and kicking on this lap.
Graphical server is XFree86 4.3.x
Running Kernel
Kernel is 2.4.21.
Since this minor number all vanilla kernels prevent you from dealing with a boring bug wich afflicts toshiba keyboard.
Problem and solution are described beyond, in the keyboard section.


[Dic 2003] Updates: Mandrake 9.2 & kernel 2.4.22
[Dic 2003] Updates: Mandrake 9.2 & kernel 2.6.0
[Feb 2004] Updates: Slackware9.1 & kernel 2.6.3

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Kernel 2.6 section

Changes:

  • Sound: If you are using ALSA Sound System, instead of OSS, you will load module snd_intel8x0 (real improvement!!). I added this to /etc/modules.conf:
    alias sound-slot-0 snd-intel8x0
    above snd-intel8x0 snd-pcm-oss
    

  • Modem: Newest drivers are needed. At present time [Dic 2003], Smartlink lets out slmodem-2.9.4.tar.gz
    After compiling and modules loading, this new version needs to launc the application slmodemd with country options:
    modprobe slamr
    slmodemd --country=59 &
    

    The device we use with the dialer is still /dev/ttySL0

  • Wireless card: I am using a Hamlet wirless card, with an unexpected ADMtek chipset (it used to be "orinoco" in earlier cards: they changed it without a change of name-model). Admtek drivers are not developed since june 2003 and are stuck on version 1.05.
    Kernel 2.6 support is given by an unofficial version at http://www.mines.edu/students/w/wsimmons/linux/ADM8211_src_105_2.6.tar.gz.
    Moreover, you can find patches and hints to use these drivers in monitor mode at www.latinsud.com.



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    Recognized components

    Video card

    Video card is fully supported both by generic open drivers and Nvidia binaries for linux.
    Nvidia driver let you access all features, like 3D acceleration. Last version available for download is now NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-4496 .Installation is just a matter of typing sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-***.run , then modify a few configuration options (all explained in README)
    See my XF86Config video section

    Sound card (on board)

    Works with OSS and i810_audio module. Alsa module (expecially for 2.6 kernels) is snd_intel8x0

    Lan

    Works with e100 module.

    Combo drive

    All features work fine.
    I use SCSI emulation for cd burning (not really necessary with newest versions of cdrecord).

    PCMCIA

    [added 30/11/03]
    At least i tested pcmcia with a wireless card.
    Actually it was a quite brief test, because the card was borrowed, but it only needed to start pcmcia service to have it work it fine.
    A list of supported wireless cards is available at linux-on-laptop.

    ACPI

    [updated Apr2004]

    Good news for ACPI: since 2.6 series there is great support for toshiba power-saving tools: battery life is improved and software suspend is working. Access to some bios settings is possible via kde 3.2 "klaptop"

    Other supported peripherals:


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    Special workaround

    Internal modem

    Modem works!!! It's true :)
    If your lspci shows something like Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Modem (rev 02), then all you need to do is to get the right version of Smartlink drivers and follow instructions.
    [They should fit on all mobo with YMF753 sound chipset, but i can't be sure.]
    Don't download last version of the drivers unless you want to test.
    AFAIK there are now two version that works properly: they are slmdm-2.7.10(the one I'm using) and slmdm-2.7.8 as reported by Thorsten in this page (grazie!)

    [News 24-12-2003]
    Last working package with up-to-date drivers (works with 2.6 kernel) is slmodem-2.9.4.tar.gz

    Keyboard

    There is a known bug in Toshiba keyboard that makes writing very hard, expecially if you are a "fast typer": pressed keys get echoed more than one time (eg. if you intend to digit a simple "ls" you will often get "llls"). Newest kernels (original, not distro-patched kernels) since 2.4.21 definitely solve this problem. Again, you can take a look to this page for further hints.

    Mouse

    You can easily use both external mouse and mousepad adding some line to XF86Config. This is my configuration

    APM

    APM is working but not always. It's ok for battery level but fails when you try to use features like standby.

    Seems that nvidia drivers are to blame for this, so if you want to get apm standby working you will have to unload them.
    I simply keep nvidia drivers installed and put 2 video device sections in my XF86Config, using "nvidia" when i need nice 3d acceleration and "nv" most of the time.

    Section "Device"
        Identifier "nvidia1"
        VendorName "nVidia Corporation"
        BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce4 (generic)"
        Driver "nv"
        Option "DPMS"
    EndSection
    #
    Section "Device"
        Identifier "nvidia2"
        VendorName "nVidia Corporation"
        BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce4"
        Driver "nvidia"
        Option "UseFBdev" "true"
        Option "NoLogo" "true"    #nvidia drivers
        Option "IgnoreEDID" "true" #nvidia drivers
        Option "DPMS"
    EndSection
    
    You should remember to comment/uncomment modules section too, since nvidia drivers don't want Load "dri" options and need "glx"
    Section "Module"
        Load "dbe" # Double-Buffering Extension
        Load "v4l" # Video for Linux
        Load "extmod"
        Load "type1"
        Load "freetype"
        Load "glx" # 3D layer
        #Load "dri" #remove w/"nvidia"
    EndSection
    

    So, to use apm properly,
    change XF86Config device, #modprobe -r nvidia, refresh X, then try apm -s to see if it's all ok

    <--- See more

    Multimedia Keys and special laptop functions

    Compile Toshiba options in kernel [ACPI section] and try out FnFX utility by Timo Hoenig http://fnfx.sf.net
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    Not working yet

    [todo] Nothing more here.. better look at "Special Workarounds" :))

    Not tested

    IrDa

    Didn't test IrDa yet. I tried to configure it for the future ^_^


    ## install "irdautils"
    #### add these to /etc/modules.conf
    alias tty-ldisc-11 irtty
    alias char-major-161 ircomm-tty
    alias irda0 toshoboe
    #device driver per i laptop toshiba
    ##### load modules
    modprobe irda
    modprobe irtty
    modprobe ircomm

    ##### check /etc/irda or /etc/sysconfig/irda file
    ###### activate irda service
    irattach /dev/ttyS2 -s
    ##if you use kppp with irda: ln -s /dev/ircomm0 /dev/modem


    <--- See more

    TV-OUT

    [todo]
    links a tutorial
    ... ...


    News

    This is still a work in progress
    If you notice some mistake, or some bad or missing links, please tell me.
    All of your comments are really useful and welcome.

    Take a look to my home page for Italian version and updates

    Finally, thanks to everyone that spent his/her time making all the other tutorials that helped me and inspired me :* You can find some of them in the links section.
    Happy Linux!


    Last updated: 22/04/2004
    This report is listed at TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, PDAs, mobile phones.


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    Written with Quanta Plus and Vim

    Please, send me your comments


    (c) 2003 2004 by Eleonora
    Released under a Creative Commons license