This document describes experiences with running Linux on a Toshiba Portege R500-10i Model PPR50E-01301TEN (hvg and nostromo)

This page was started the day the first machine arrived, and is developing.

When is is working sufficiently, it will be given to its user, so I'll no longer have access to the machine.

This report will be listed at TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, notebooks, PDAs and mobile phones under Toshiba at some point

I OKed getting it due to frederic99's page

Overall Description

Initial system Load

Pre-load - Vista fragile

hvg came with Vista's C: using nearly all disc, It booted PQMagic off the internal CD drive, but then could not see the disc.

It then failed to start Vista, so our Windows guru used the "Product Recvovery" disc to reinstall. This left the system with two a "free" partition which I sliced up. I loaded F7 and F8t3, and used ntfsresize to shrink the main Windows partition. Vista started, but got stuck (waited several hours, but nothing happened).

Tried a reload of Vista, but the "Product Recvovery" DVD failed in the same way as the shrunk Vista. Writing zeros to the start of the Vista Partition fixed the problem. A re-install takes 15 mins to write the new image to disc, and 25 mins to boot.

Trying to install PartitionMagic 8.0 failed as it appears not to be Vista compatible.

Moral: you may be stuck with the first two partitions (Toshiba one and Vista C:) ASIS, as changeing them is non trivial.

Using the M$ MBR to boot GrUB (using "setup (hd0,2)") by setting its partition as "active" does not work, as Vista appears to require its partition to be active.

Vista appears to trash Linux, boot giving "No setup signature found...".

Fix: boot via Vista:

Pre-load - WXP better

nostromo came with WXP's NTFS C:H07534ENP01 using all the disc. However, after being installed, Partition Magic 8.0 managed to shrink it to 15GB (used 9355.4MB). F8x said "Ready." then waited several minutes before continuing.

Fedora 8 DVD Load

I used both a F7 and a F8t3 DVD to setup RAID1 root partitions. F7 needed to be told to load the usb-storage driver to see the DVD

Device Tuning

Graphics - intel driver OK, external and Dual Head

The system selected the intel driver which just worked.

If X starts with a monitor connected to the VGA socket, using the intel driver, it will run the two displays in clone mode, at the size of the larger. With a virtual screen size the sum of the two sizes (e.g. with an external 1600x1200 display, "Virtual 2880 2000") set in xorg.conf, by default the window will be the size of the larger display, but xrandr can tune the settings for things like Dual Head use, e.g. "xrandr -output VGA -left-of LVDS" puts the external to the left of the internal.

synaptics - scrolling works

Scrolling using the right and bottom areas of the tablet area just works.

Network - Intel 82573L (e1000 UTP) OK

The e1000 works out of the box.  

Network - Intel PRO 4965 AG (iwl4965) OK without security

The iwl4965 works out of the box under F8 on an unsecured network, but F7 needed to have the "-1" ucode loaded (e.g. iwl4965-firmware-

Switch is on the RHS, between the DVD drive and the USB socket. Fn-F8 appears to have no effect under Linux.

Sometimes does not come up by default ("iwconfig" shows nothing). Switching off and on the mechanical switch when logged in with NetworkManager running ("cl-asuser service NetworkManager start") seems to fix it.

PCMCIA - yenta_socket not tried

IDE tuning - Not needed

BlueTooth - not tried

It appears to have no IRDA

Battery stats

The G71C00086210 battery has a design capacity of 62640mW, whereas the last full capacity is only 56840mW, so it's lost 10% before first use.
The backlight uses a fair percentage of the power. mW readings with WiFi on drop from 16789 to 12141 from brightest to dimest e.g. 38% more. It discharges linearly until nearly flat, when then is a few minutes at 3%, then 1% then it cuts out.
It charges linearly after 10 minutes at 0% before jumping to 4%.

Ongoing problems- no pointer so no X

Twice the machine has booted and has problems with the touchpad device. The result is that X has no pointer device, so exits. Rebooting has fixed it each time.

Remaining niggles - suspend

Hibernate and suspect both shut things down, but then start them back up. Presumably some driver won't go to sleep. Slaven Banovic (slayven on reports that hibernate to disc works just fine under kubuntu 7.10, but that suspend to RAM needed `MODULES="$MODULES ehci_hcd"' in /etc/acpi/suspend.d/ so as to remove the ehci_hcd module before suspending.

Piete Brooks 2008-02-19