d linux on Toshiba Tecra A8


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Gnu/Linux Installation on a Toshiba Tecra A8-143 Notebook

This notebook was very cheap for some strange reason, has a wide screen and a weird soundcard which under windows can generate 3D sound effects. First I tried several CD live, results below. Now I'm running a dual boot with Kubuntu Hardy and Suse 10.1Feisty. The harddisk protection of this Toshiba notebook creates problems after crashes and with Suse in general: At boot harddisk is active only a few seconds, then you'll get a black screen. The only way is switch it off again and give it some kicks to move the hard disk reader...

Suse 10.1 remastered works, no suspend, no sound on speakers: Open up yast, hardware,sound. You see the soundcard there, click edit. Then, above at the top, you'll see: "Use the given boardmodel". Click edit and enter "basic" (without the "" quotes). Next next etc etc and you're ready.Here are the details
Suse 10.02 hangs often on boot, disinstalled. Suspend not works, rest well.
Suse 10.0 acpi works, videocard only Vesa 600x800;no sound at all, suspend works very well. SOUND: Open up yast, hardware,sound. You see the soundcard there, click edit. Then, above at the top, you'll see: "Use the given boardmodel". Click edit and enter "basic" (without the "" quotes). Next next etc etc and you're ready.
Kororaa live CD works well with Aiglx, video ok, same soundproblem
Mandriva live CD no way booting Got an email, you have to disable the second core in BIOS: The default Mandriva 2007 kernel of 2.6.17-5mdv works only when the second core has been disabled. You have to set up easyurpmi sources, and use a kernel-linus-smp-2.6.18.x or higher to get the Core Duo support. Only once this kernel is installed, you can re-enable the second core. However, I'm currently using a manually compiled in Mandriva 2007.
Knoppix live CD works, no sound
Gentooworks, no usb, no sound
Kubuntu 6.06 Dapper works, sound only on headphone jack see below
Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy works well sound still only on headphone jack, but now working some more special buttons like volume control and mute). Fixing sound problem: kdesu kate > /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base - adding a line at the bottom:
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=basic
Kubuntu 7.06 Feisty Fawn works even better. Same sound problem easy to resolve. But the slmodem does not work anymore, every dial attempt generates an "error: period size 48 is not supported by playback (64) ". Fixed by using this new pre-compiled slmodemd (sent me for testing). For details see modem section.
Fixing sound problem: kdesu kate > /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base - adding a line at the bottom:
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=basic
Kubuntu 7.10 Gutsy works worse. Same sound problem easy to resolve. Alsa 1.0.15 to compile for slmodemd. No video preview anymore, sound button does not work anymore, and other stuff. Fixing sound problem: kdesu kate > /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base - adding a line at the bottom:
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=basic
Kubuntu 8.04 Hardy works BEST. Same sound problem easy to resolve.But no hibernating anymore, instead works suspend to Ram, card reader and it boots very fast.

Perfect install from DVD live with Kubuntu Dapper, Edgy, Feisty, Gutsy and Hardy. Resized the Windows partition (now there's Edgy on sda3 instead - two linux sistems and no windows anymore...): On a second install it recognised also the Suse (or Dapper) installation and added it to the Grub menu); I partitioned the disk with 4 partitions for windows, /swap, /home and / and finally installed the GRUB bootmanager, it tokes not even half an hour. If the installer says "no root filesystem" when you try to assign various existing partitions for / and /home etc: Go back, format the partition for root first and then retry, that helped me. For easy partitioning: First resize windows, then ->create new partition at the end of the free space, repeat thist three times.

Fast booting, system with several programs opened is ready after ca. 90 seconds. Every 30 times is does force a file check on /home which takes longer. Below I will list only things that gives problems. Usb ports, harddisk, cd/dvd drive, video,serial port, wireless and ethernet (work both out of the box), touchpad + buttons, keybord, acpi - battery control (3 hours of autonomy) and processor speed (Intel dual core, but only one core with Dapper) work all well.

video works, 3D acceleration too
processor Intel dual core Dapper: To activate both cores you need the smp686 kernel:
- Your running kernel: #uname -r
#sudo apt-get install linux-686-smp
- verify that also installs the restricted modules:
# sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules uname -r
- restart and see if both cores are working:
# top
then press 1

Edgy: out of the box
internal softmodem (Agere) not found, resolved with scanmodem. Before I was using an external modem on the serial port. Kppp doesn't work well with it because it lacks the "stupid mode" option; the modem port is one number less than with windows (COM1 = ttyS0, COM2 = ttyS1 etc). Installed wvdial. From comand line type
# wvdialconf
edit /etc/wvdial.conf to your needs (here's mine)
# wvdial
will connect.
sound: 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller sound only on headjacks -Fixing: kdesu kate > /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base - adding a line at the bottom:
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=basic
PCMIA not tested
Firewire not tested
Bluetooth install toshset toshutils; then do: $sudo toshset -bluetooth on (thanks goes here)
Card reader works with Hardy LTS
suspend to disk works, restarts grub, some weird screen and then wakes up well in 30 seconds, but not always. Better with Edgy, almost working perfect. One processor after resume is always on 1830 Mhz (performance), here's how to fix it.
suspend to RAM works with Hardy
special keysScreen brightness, num lock, lock screen,cursor control and win key are working. With Edgy/Feisty also working: volume control, mute; lock screen. Sometimes brightness does not work anymoer after hibernation because it sees laptop lid closed ($cat /proc/acpi/button/lid/LID/* ). Just close ane reopen it (without any action configured).
scanner usb (epson 2400 Dapper: first not detected, works only with root permission...do "kdesu kooka" or "kdesu Xsane"
Edgy/Feisty: ok
cameradetected but does not access. Konqueror with camera:/ works. Install digikam, then everything works fine.
PrinterMake sure that you click the "admin button" on -> Hardware - >Printer, down on the bottom of the panel BEFORE you start the wizard. Otherwise you will get an error message that says that the driver doesn't exist or you have not the rights to install it.

The installation DVD didn't activate the repositories by itself because it couldn't connect and neither added (with Dapper; Edgy: ok) the cd-rom drive. Getting the software for *.mp3, *.AVI and DVD reading went like that:

# apt-cdrom add

Adding multiverse, universe ecc repositories with adept / manage repositories (or synaptic for Ubuntu, or from comand-line), then installing the following packages typing "sudo apt get install":

  • build-essential
  • libdvdread3
  • libxine-extracodecs
  • libakode2-mpeg
  • libarts1-xine
  • libarts1-mpeglib
  • w32codecs

In alternative the windows codecs can be downloaded typing:

# wget -c http://www.debian-multimedia.org/pool/main/w/w32codecs/w32codecs_20061022-0.0_i386.deb

Download the lame encoder (lame-3.97.tar.gz) , decompress, move in the folder lame-3* and do

sudo make install
make clean

set a symbolic link

$ sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gcc-4.0 /usr/bin/gcc

After check with:

$ ls -l /usr/bin/gcc*

which should display:
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 2006-07-09 21:53 /usr/bin/gcc -> /usr/bin/gcc-4.
0 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 93584 2006-04-20 18:22 /usr/bin/gcc-4.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 16245 2006-04-20 18:13 /usr/bin/gccbug-4.0

Outpout from the lspci comand

0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
0000:00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1b.0 0403: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
0000:00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controllers cc=IDE (rev 02)
0000:01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82573L Gigabit Ethernet Controller
0000:02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation: Unknown device 4222 (rev 02)
0000:03:0b.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments: Unknown device 8039
0000:03:0b.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments: Unknown device 803a
0000:03:0b.3 0805: Texas Instruments: Unknown device 803c

After resume make both processors work "ondemand" by adding this script saved as "75-dual-core-cpu-freq.sh" in /etc/acpi/resume.d/


# POLICY can be any of:
# userspace powersave ondemand conservative performance

for CPU in `ls $SYS_DIR`
echo -n "$POLICY" > $SYS_DIR/$CPU/cpufreq/scaling_governor
# sudo chmod 755 /etc/acpi/resume.d/75-dualc-core-cpu-freq.sh

Better is even a restart of the power daemon, because battery status is broken too. Save this script as 74-restart-powernowd.sh and copy it in /etc/acpi/resume.d/ and make it executable.


# Restart powernowd so cpu does not stay locked at maximum speed
invoke-rc.d powernowd restart

Suse 10.1 installation

(in progress)

Internal modem works now with slmodemd, kinternet,kppp (little bug in Feisty: first save some random modem, then it will work) or wvdial and alsa version 1.0.13. For Kubuntu Dapper/Edgy there is a package called sl-modem-daemon which DOES NOT ANYMORE WORK running Feisty. For this notebook works well this slmodemd; just save it to /usr/sbin and be sure it's executable. To dial use
slmodemd -c YOURCOUTRY --alsa hw:0,6
This comand line (maybe you'll save this comand in a script in ~/bin or create an alias) starts the modem, creating the device /dev/ttySL0 --> /dev/pts/Number. If you use kppp be sure that the second init string is like below. Using wvdial this should work (important is adding +MS=90 at the init2 string.

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttySL0
ISDN = 0
Modem Type = Analog Modem
Baud = 56000
Init = ATZ
Init2 = AT Q0 V1 E1 S0=0 X3 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 +MS=90
Init3 =
Phone = xxxxxxxxxx
Dial Prefix =
Dial Attempts = 2
Dial Command = ATM1L3DT
Ask Password = off
Password = telecom
Username = telecom
Auto Reconnect = off
Abort on Busy = off
Carrier Check = off
Check Def Route = on
Abort on No Dialtone = off
Stupid Mode = on
Idle Seconds = 0
Auto DNS = on
;Minimize = off
;Dock = off
Init1 = ATZ

Starting slmodemd at boot: Yast -> sistem -> Editor runlevel -> activating slmodemd at boot(or system settings on Ubuntu) and edit /etc/slmodemd with comand line options, like that:

Hibernating makes slmodemd worry and you have to restart it every time. Copy this to /etc/acpi/resume.d/92.restart_slmomemd.sh and make it executable:

killall slmodemd && sleep 1 && slmodemd -c ITALY --alsa hw:0,6 &

Technical description (from the Toshiba site)

Tecnologia Tipo : Tecnologia Mobile Intel Centrino Duo con processore Intel Core? Duo T2400, Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network connection e Intel 945GM Express chipset
Velocit�del clock : 1.83 GHz
Front side bus : 667 MHz
Cache di 2' livello : 2 MB
Sistema operativo Windows XP Professional
Memoria di sistema Standard : 512 MB
Espandibile fino a : 4,096 MB
Tecnologia : DDR2 RAM (533 MHz)
Hard disk Capacit�: 80 GB
Certificazione : S.M.A.R.T.
DVD Super Multi drive (Double Layer) compatibilit�: CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-R(DL), DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+R(DL), DVD+RW, DVD-RAM
velocit�massima : Lettura: 24x CD-ROM, 8x DVD-ROM/ Write: 24x CD-R, 4x CD-RW, 10x HS CD-RW, 10x US CD-RW, 8x DVD-R, 2x DVD-R (Double Layer), 4x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R, 2.4x DVD+R (Double Layer), 4x DVD+RW, 8x DVD-RAM
tipo : Drive DVD Super Multi (Double Layer)
Display Ampiezza schermo : 15.4 "
Tipo : Schermo WXGA TFT
Risoluzione : 1,280 x 800
Adattatore grafico Produttore : Intel
Tipo : 945GM Express chipset
Memoria totale : fino a 128 MB
Tipo di memoria : DDR2 RAM (UMA)
Risoluzione video interna Risoluzione : 1,024 x 768
Massimo numero di colori : 16.7 milioni
Massima risoluzione video esterna Risoluzione massima : 2,048 x 1,536
Numero di colori massimo : 16.7 milioni
Refresh rate massimo : 100 Hz
Risoluzione non interlacciata con il massimo refresh rate : 1,600 x 1,200
Interfacce 1 x DC-in
1 x Monitor esterno
1 x Connettore Expansion bus
1 x RJ-11
1 x Porta seriale
1 x RJ-45
1 x TV-out (s-video)
1 x Microfono esterno
1 x cuffie (stereo)
3 x USB 2.0
1 x slot SD?card (supporta SD? memory card, SD? IO card)
Espansioni 2 x slot di memoria (1 da configurare)
1 Slot x PC Card Tipo II, Tipo : connessione a Advanced Port Replicator III plus (opzionale)
Numero dei tipi di espansione : 1
Comunicazione Wireless Tecnologia Wireless : Bluetooth?
Certificato : Wi-Fi?
Supporto Network : 802.11a/b/g
Tecnologia Wireless : Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g)
Comunicazione Tipologia : Modem internazionale V.92
Velocit�: 56 Kbps data (V.92) e 14.4 Kbps fax (V.17)
Tipologia : Ethernet LAN
Velocit�: 1000 BASE-T
Sistema audio Formato audio supportato : 24-bit stereo
Standard sonori supportati : Supporto MIDI
Altoparlanti : Altoparlanti stereo integrati
Tastiera Tasti : 87
Tasti Windows : 2
Hot Keys : 1
Caratteristiche speciali : Spill-Resistant Keyboard
Sistema di puntamento Tipo : Touch Pad
Interfaccia : PS/2
Batteria Tecnologia : ioni di litio
Autonomia massima : fino a 4:00 (Mobile Mark?) ore
Alimentatore Tensione in entrata : Adattatore AC autosensing (100/240 V) per uso universale
Dimensioni lxpxh : 368 x 268 x 29.8/36.9 mm
Peso : 3.00 kg
Garanzia 1 anno di garanzia internazionale. Possibilit�di estensione della garanzia standard con Toshiba SelectServ WarrantyPack e servizio di assicurazione con Toshiba Computer Cover
Hardware incorporato Alimentatore
Software incorporati Toshiba Management Console
Connectivity Doctor
Sonic? Record Now!
InterVideo WinDVD?
Toshiba Summit
Norton Internet Security? 2006 (versione di prova gratuita con aggiornamenti per 90 giorni)
Toshiba Bluetooth? Stack
Toshiba Bluetooth? Monitor
Manuale utente e manuale modem on line
Utilities e drive Toshiba
Microsoft Office OneNote ? 2003
Toshiba EasyGuard Anti-Furto Toshiba Protection Timer
Toshiba Wireless Key Log-on
LAN Switch Wireless
Software Antivirus
Toshiba Summit
Diversity Antenna
Toshiba ConfigFree?
Kensington Lock
PC Diagnostics
Tastiera resistente agli spruzzi
Protezione HDD (a 3 assi)
Shock Protection Design
Durable Design
Data Backup
Easy Fix Components
Password Utility
Device Lock
Caratteristiche di sicurezza Memoria principale (con vite)
Password di BIOS
Password per HDD su richiesta
password di supervisor
Blocco tastiera
Password di sistema
alloggiamento batteria principale con sicura scorrevole
Hard disk principale (con vite)
Password di utenza
Caratteristiche speciali SM BIOS compliant
docking e opzioni in comune con altri notebook Toshiba
Toshiba Enhanced SpeedStep
Tasto Toshiba Presentation
Toshiba Zooming utility
Tasto Toshiba Assist
Toshiba Power Saver utility
HD Audio supporting
Certificazione Il produttore dichiara che questo prodotto �conforme alle seguenti diretive e disposizioni per il marchio CE. Responsabile per il marchio CE �Toshiba Europe GmbH, Hammfelddam 8, 41460 Neuss, Germany.
Nb. Microsoft e Windows sono marchi registrati o marchi di Microsoft Corporation negli Stati Uniti e/o in altri paesi.Tutti i marchi sono riconosciuti.
Specifiche prodotto, configurazioni, prezzi, disponibilit�del sistema/componenti/opzioni possono essere soggetti a variazioni senza preavviso.
Caratteristiche tecniche ed estetiche del prodotto possono subire modifiche senza preavviso e potrebbero essere diverse da quelle fotografate. Salvo errori e omissioni.


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last update: mercoled� 24 gennaio 2007


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