Updates: 2003/10/17: RH 9 work


This document describes experiences with running Linux on a Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 Model PS610E-JLTU0-EN

This page was started the day before the machine was due to arrive, and is developing.

As soon as they are working sufficiently, they will be given to their users, so I will no longer have access to the machines (unless they happen to be on the internet, which is rare). In particular, one has to go to Australia in 3 days time ...

The nearest existing match in Linux on laptops I found was a 6000 but I also found gasperino and rwh. lead me to Mandrake 8.0 XF86Config, Cipher Brain (early version) and jeremythompson's RH 7.3 8.0 and 9

This report is listed at TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, notebooks, PDAs and mobile phones under Toshiba

Overall Description

The 6100 has a range of models from a 1GHz Celeron to a 2GHz Mobile P4, 1024x768 to 1600x1200.

Initial system Load


On both machines, the cover flap for the VGA/parallel/phone/UTP/serial sockets was detactched, hising at the back of the shrink wrap plastic.

First switch on

It complained:
**** Bad RTC battery ****
**** Bad check sum (CMOS) ****
Check system. Then press [F1] key.
Pressed F1, then END, then Y, and it was happy.


Connected USB floppy and insert PM 8.0 disk one. Powered on, pressed U when the red Toshiba welcome appeared (or hold down F12 and 3* RIGHT) to select USB floppy boot. Changed to disk 2 as requested.
PowerQuest Partition Magic has detected error 116 on the partition starting at sector 58621185 on disk 1.

The starting LBA value is 58621185 and the CHS value is 16434494.
The LBA and CHS values must be equal.
PowerQuest PartitionMagic has verified that teh LBA value is correct and can fix the CHS value.

Would you like PowerQuest PartiyionMagic to fix this error?
Either Yes or No is OK - about to delete it anyway.

Delete logical partition and extended partition. Left first C: FAT partition at 7.8MB (this becomes free space when firs booted). Reduced the second FAT32 partition to "4000" MB (4096575 blocks, 510 cyl).

RedHat 7.2 floppy + network Load

Inserted 7.2 boot floppy, and booted. Selected "2 Button Mouse (PS/2)". Saw the floppy as sda - ignore it.

Set up hda3 as 894-1024 (1GB), hda4 as extended partition, and hda5 as 1GB swap.

Graphics needed manual configuration. `lspci' knows about few devices.

RedHat 8.0 floppy + network Load

Inserted 8.0 boot floppy, and booted. Selected "2 Button Mouse (PS/2)". Saw the floppy as sda - ignore it. `basic' custom package install took 5m10s.

It auto-selected `NVIDIA GeForce 4(generic)' (manually selected 1600x1200), but uses the vesa driver.

It didn't ask where to put the GrUB block - seems to ZAP the MBR.

`lspci' knows about all the devices.

RedHat 9: Live CD + pre built image

Botted a Live CD, NFS mounted a server, and untar'ed a pre built std RH 9 image.

RedHat generic

It even managed to write a boot floppy.

It irratically wedges when starting up the USB. Pressing the power button (even in resume mode) causes it to reboot sucessfully.

Pre RH 9 WiFi only works with the wvlan_cs driver (old kernels), but NOT with the orinoco.

M$ initial boot

On the initial M$ boot, the user has to select whether to run WXP or W2K (cursor keys, TAB and mouse don't work - the suer has to type 1 or 2). This boots off hda1, but delete hda1, makes hda2 the boot partition, and requires a couple of boots. This means that after the first boot, GrUB should set the M$ / DOS root partition to (hd0,1) rather than (hd0,0).

Device Tuning

RH9: Graphics - 1600x1200 works with nvidia's driver - disable auto detect

Loaded and ran the Linux nvidia `.run' file, set `Option "IgnoreEDID" "true"' as otherwise the EDID seems to think the max width is max 1588. With EDID disabled, it is important to set the frequencies correctly, i.e. `HorizSync 29-76' and `VertRefresh 0-60'. Others say that `options NVdriver NVreg_SoftEDIDs=0' or `options NVdriver "NVreg_SoftEDIDs=0" "NVreg_Mobile=2"' is needed.
Use `xmodmap -e "pointer 1 5 3 4 2"' to make the small right top button behave as the middle button.

cipherbrain XF86Config-4

Pre RH9: Graphics - 1600x1200 works in vesa - needs XkbDisable" or `xset bo 1'

Using the vesa driver at full resolution `just works'.

The recent trend for toshibas to have `bouncy keys' continues, so use xkbset to debounce them, or the AccessX package. Alternatively, disable the xkb extension in XF86Config, with `Option "XkbDisable" "yes"' in the InputDevice section, which may disrupt the use of the Alt keys. Reloading the keyboard mapping may help, using xmodmap.

Loading the nvidia driver is non trivial - see other URLs. It claims to NEED a kernel module, and it is tied to the EXACT KERBEL BUILD you are using. It renames libglx.a, libglcore.a and (in my case) as xxx.*.

Network - eepro100 UTP and ORiNOCO WiFi OK

The eepr100 is an old NIC - just works.

The WiFi card `just worked' under the RH kernel which uses wvlan_cs, but our local kernel needed tweaks to the PCMCIA config files to use orinoco_cs.

audio - works with ALSA but not std RH 9

Out of the box RH 9 managed to load the driver, but `echo x > /dev/dsp' hangs, and realplay says says that the device is busy. Works if ALSA is installed.

APM - just works

`apm -s' puts it to sleep, and power button wakes it up.

Setting boot mode to resume makes the power button make it sleep and wake up.

CD writer

Having included `hdc=ide-scsi' on the kernel command line, `cdrecord -v dev=0,0,0 /file/name' works.

IrDA - not tried, but

See wouter and spierrel

BlueTooth - not tried

WinModem - sldm driver not yet working

scanModem recognises Vendor 163c as being SmartLink. Unlike the R100 and Satellite 1410 it doesn't `just work'. Needs more investigation.

See jeremythompson

Remaining niggles

Wedges on starting USB

Piete Brooks 2005-05-02