Voglia di LINUX

2007-01-21 -Update: Consider all below old stuff out of date. Installed Kubuntu Edgy Eft (6.10) with none of those problems anymore (only suspend to disk doesn't work, sospend to Ram does well). The HFS modem driver from Conexant is available in .deb format, you have only to check the right kernel version (#uname -r) and to buy a license key.
This Toshiba Satellite L 20-101 notebook is 99,5% Linux compatible, very silent and has a long battery autonomy.

I'm a complete newbie with Linux and nevertheless I managed somehow to install Suse versione 10.0, on a new notebook (specifications), which has now XP (nearly no more used) and Linux in dual-boot. The main problem was the winmodem and the battery status/ACPI. Here I'll try to describe the migration process.

Udate: This description is getting older every day. Today I found this description (Suse 10.0 and Suse 10.1) of what to do to complete the system (DVD,mp3, driver Invidia,wma files etc.)

On windows I used mainly the following programs, and I was hoping to find similar ones also on Linux. Well, they are mostly all just built-in in KDE, and they are even better.


Not any of the CD Live I've tested (Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Suse) worked, they hung up while decompressing the kernel. After some time and experience I discovered that you'll need activate special boot options to make them work: (Help: F1 > F3 boot_live ACPI=off)
But the Installation DVD of Novell Suse 10.0 worked fine from the beginning and terminated the process without any problem. It did the disk partition (Windows XP in 22 GB and LINUX in 38 GB) and finally the installing of GRUB, the boot manager. Note that Windows was new and well packed on the hard disk space.

First I selected the GNOME desktop environment, but after some trials I decided for KDE, reinstalling another time the whole operating system. KDE seems to me just better and more powerful and configurable.

Things working immediatly

  • Internal Hardware
    • Hard disk
    • Speedstep of the Centrino processor
    • Screen, 3D
    • Touchpad and keyboard*
    • Sound card
    • USB ports*
    • CD/DVD*
    • Mic plug
    • Headphone plug

    *)Not possible to remove USB pendrive devices in safe mode: (Solution)
    Writing speed is very slow: soluzion DVD lacks codecs. Some Toshiba keys are not working: Volume, screen off. The others all do what they're supposed to.

    Wlan/ethernet/networking I don't use, therefor it's not tested. He says that is missing just a Intel firmware and wireless works.
  • External Hardware at USB port
    • Scanner (Epson photo 2400 , included scanning negatives and dias
    • Camera HP 735
    • CD player/writer

    The printer is broken at the moment, so I' can't tell.

Not working at all:

  • winmodem (solution)
  • Battery status (solution)
  • Skype has no audio. The chat works.
  • Sospend to disk (solution: I don't use it. I selected under action "Close the notebook" -> shut system down)
  • DVD: missing codecs: Also for mpg, avi and others. solution
  • Playing CD's with right click -> reproduce. Use Amarok or kaffeine

Here you'll find a very good description of the SUSE 10.0/KDE thing written in a better english than mine is.

Additional Programs installed

  • findutils: Locate, a real quick search working on the shell. Typing "locate firefox" appears immediatly a long list of all it's directories "locate moon.jpg will show al your pics of the moon like ****moon.jpg. "locate -b [search term]" escludes directories. (screenshot)
  • Xsane, better scan program then the built in Kooka.
  • kdedevweb, html-editor I'm writing with now.
  • Lynx, text browser o the console
  • grip:audio ripper, with Lame present ripps .mp3 out of .wav files
  • Thunderbird, not so well integrated as kmail, but I'm used to it.
  • Skype for Linux, but without sound.
  • Celestia,Star Navigation.
  • Stellarium, very good sky simulation.
  • Per Kstars, another sky chart program is on the wishlist. It's missing still a special rpm-package for Suse 10.0

Little hacks of the system

  • Tun off splash screen and show kernel messages at start-up: YaST/System/Configuration/ Bootloader/modify (?)/options: splash=native



It took a while finding the working driver on Linuxant. It's hsfmodem-, generic version. Thanks to the people on linmodem.org I've got all the help I needed. Get scanmodem, unzip and launch it. It generates a folder "modem" in the home folder and I'f you're lucky you will find in the file yourmodem.txt generated the driver for you. I wasn't that lucky, scanmodem aborted for some reason before finishing completely. Sending the output to the mailing list I was helped step by step. Here's what the output was:

DO use the following line as the email Subject Line, to alert cogent experts: scanModem, Welcome to SUSE LINUX 10.0 (i586) - Kernel kernel 2.6.13-15-default Occassionally reponses are blocked by an Internet Provider mail filters. So do in a day also check the Archived responses at DISCUSS[at]linmodems.org Code updated on: 2006_Jan_11 ------------ -------------- System information ------------------------ Welcome to SUSE LINUX 10.0 (i586) - Kernel on System with processor: i686 currently under kernel: 2.6.13-15-default USB modem not detected. The kernel was assembled with compiler: 4.0.2 with current System compiler GCC=4.0.2
Modem candidates are at PCI_buses: 00:1e.3
Providing detail for device at 00:1e.3 with vendor-ID:device-ID
----:---- Class 0703: 8086:266d Modem: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 04) (prog-if 00 [Generic])
SubSystem 1179:ff31 Toshiba America Info Systems: Unknown device ff31
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
Checking for IRQ 10 sharing with modem.
XT-PIC i915@pci:0000:00:02.0
-----PCI_IDs------- --CompilerVer-
Feature List: Primary Subsystem Distr KernelVer kernel default CPU
./scanModem test 8086:266d 1179:ff31 SuSE 2.6.13-15-default 4.0.2 4.0.2 i686
ALSA modem drivers of kernel-version 2.6.8 and earlier lack support for the 8086:266d soft modem controller for this pair, -----PCI_IDs-------, a modem codec is not in the records.

Acessing archival information on all codecs used by SubVendor 1179 , for all Modem controllers SIL27 SIL27 SIL27 SIL27 SIL27 SIL27 SIL27 SIL27 The controller: 8086:266d 82801EB ICH6 is capable of supporting soft modem chips from AT LEAST manufacturers:
The Subsystem PCI id does not itself identify the modem Codec.
Checking for autoloaded ALSA modem drivers Driver snd-intel8x0m may enable codec acquisition

I had to install from the DVD make, gcc and kernel-source and after resolving some newcomer problems the driver was found. You can download from Linuxant a free version, limitated at 14 kbs, and if it works you ave to buy a license key to unblock the driver.
But that was only the first part of the problem. Kinternet (wvdial) did hang up by itself after some minutes, and when I disconnected I wasn't able to reconnect, I had to restart the system. The Linuxant support helped sending me some different init-strings to try with, and with the second-one it works real fine now.

YaST: Hardware/modem:

link: dev/modem
Dailing mode: sonora (not impulse)
Speakers: do not work with the modem, so it doesn't matter
Waiting for free line
init1: ATZ init2: AT &F W1 +ER=1; +DR=1; +MS=V90,1

dial on demand: no / change DNS yes - Auto select DNS yes
Stupid mode: yes (I've a provider with no password)

Battery status

The problem is a broken DSDT table i the Bios, thanks a lot to the microsoft compiler. Geeks get the Compiler intel and go to repair it (but with Suse 10.0 iasl is already built in the kernel), decompiling and recompiling it. I was not trying this, and I got the fixed table from this person which has the same Toshiba model.

I saved it in /boot (with konqueror in superuser mode), and then easyway editing with YaST:
Editor of system configuration ->sytem - > Kernel -> ACPI_DSDT : indicating the directory where the custom table is saved (here /boot/DSDT.aml).
Then shell with root permission:
linux:/ # mkinitrd
restart the notebook and... it signs also the CPU speed: 800 Mhz or 1733 Mhz with a lot of processes working (the speed-step of the Centrino Processor. But decompiling with iasl this table I got still 2 errors, here is how I fixed them.

battery status

Help is here:
Tables for many notebooks at acpi.sourceforge.net/
Description how to fix tables with iasl


Copied from Google cache of that page di SuseItalia.org the following list of codecs packages for the different players:

  • DVD
    • libdvdnav
    • libdvdnav-devel
    • libdvdplay
    • libdvdplaydevel
    • libdvdread
    • libdvdread-devel

  • Player -Mplayer
    • mplayer-plug-in
    • mplayer-plug-in per mozilla e nescape
    • win32-codec
    • Lame
    • Libpostproc
    • Live

  • Player- Kaffeine
    • libxine1
    • win32 -codec
    • libdvdcss
    • kaffeine plug-in per mozilla e nescape
    • Lame

  • Player-amaroK
    • amarok
    • amaroK-xine
    • amaroK-libvisual
    • amarok-xmms
    • amarok-Arts
    • amarok-helix
    • Lame

This are the packages .rpm installated with YaST, but libdvdcss I've installed with the shell (./configure - make - make install - make clean), from the list of the players I only use Kaffeine and Amarok just present in KDE. Reproduce both mp3 and kaffeine opens DVD and AVI or .mpg files but in some strange way: At the begining it still says "no codec" but by selecting "open folder" on the Start menu it plays them well. Sometimes on the second launch it creates awful colors and you need to restart the computer. Selected "Xine" as engine for Amarok, helix doesn't work here. The links are always changing, look by yourself.

@ email




Italian Version

Tecnical Data
lspci output
Iasl (Intel compiler for DSTD Table)
Codec per DVD ecc.
Usb workarounds



Screen on start-up


Prevision of files


locate, the fast search


SUSE Download

Linux On Laptops
Additional YaST Package Repositories: (

Suse 10.0 ,excellent description

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones


Dati tecnici

Ricompiling dsdt.dsl iasl writes an output DSDT.aml:

# iasl -tc DSDT.dsl

Intel ACPI Component Architecture
ASL Optimizing Compiler version 20050902 [Sep 9 2005]
Copyright (C) 2000 - 2005 Intel Corporation
Supports ACPI Specification Revision 3.0
No back ptr to Op: type 8
No back ptr to Op: type 8
No back ptr to Op: type 8
ASL Input: DSDT.dsl - 4191 lines, 137287 bytes, 1702 keywords
AML Output: DSDT.aml - 16615 bytes 525 named objects 1177 executable opcodes

Compilation complete. 0 Errors, 0 Warnings, 0 Remarks, 3 Optimizations

Here's how to tell Linux to use the custom table. Warning: Trying a custom table for another Satellite L-20 (not -101) iasl found no errors, but the notebook didn't boot anymore. I was lucky to have the good table still saved in /boot. Booting in failsafe mode I could change the filenames:

# su
# password
#cd /boot # rename DSDT.aml DSDTbad.aml DSTD.aml
# rename DSDTworking.aml DSTD.aml DSTDworking.aml

Reboot and everything turned alright.