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SuSE 9.2 + XP on Toshiba TECRA M2

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Introduction

Installing Linux and making most - if not all - the features of a notebook work is not anymore the esoteric task it used to be. SuSE identified correctly all the hardware and almost everything worked immediately. I only had to find and install a patch for the modem driver. It wasn't hard, thanks to the excellent linmodems.org site and their online discussion list - I immediately got help. In the following I briefly report the essentials of the installation and the few currently unsolved shortcomings. Nothing one can't live with, anyway.

Introduction

What Works and What doesn't

Loading Linux

Modem

Suspending

Touchpad

USB Flash Disk

If-plugged

Volume


What Works and What Doesn't

Detailed infos on this laptop can be found here, and here is the result of lspci:

0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82855PM Processor to I/O Controller (rev 21)
0000:00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82855PM Processor to AGP Controller (rev 21)
0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB 2.0 EHCI Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801 PCI Bridge (rev 83)
0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801DBM LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801DBM (ICH4) Ultra ATA Storage Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio 
  Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
0000:01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV34M [GeForce FX Go 5200] (rev a1)
0000:02:05.0 Network controller: Intel Corp. PRO/Wireless 2200BG (rev 05)
0000:02:07.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
0000:02:09.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corp. 82540EP Gigabit Ethernet Controller (LOM) (rev 03)
0000:02:0b.0 CardBus bridge: Toshiba America Info Systems ToPIC95 PCI to Cardbus Bridge with
  ZV Support (rev 32)
0000:02:0b.1 CardBus bridge: Toshiba America Info Systems ToPIC95 PCI to Cardbus Bridge with
  ZV Support (rev 32)
0000:02:0d.0 System peripheral: Toshiba America Info Systems SD TypA Controller (rev 03)
              

The kernel is 2.6.8-24.10-default.

Much easier to list what doesn't quite work. Everything is OK, including F5-F7 keys (monitor switching and luminosity) with the following exceptions:

  • Suspend to RAM/Disk: problems at wake-up time

  • Touchpad tapping and scrolling are disabled

  • USB Flash Disk: transient failures

  • If-plugged interface option: not working?

  • Modem audio always off

  • Volume initialized at 0

  • 3D acceleration (needs commercial driver)

Moreover, I have not yet tested the wireless connection (apparently the card is correctly recognized and configured).


Loading Linux

I chose network installation. The only manual selection needed was the network card (not automatically recognized by the preliminary stage of the installer; later on the card is automatically detected - no manual selection needed if you don't install from the network).

The YaST configuration tool worked very well, including the partitioner. I shrinked Windows, created an exchange partition (FAT32), plus all the linux partitions - everything worked out smoothly.

Modem

The soft modem's subsystem has been identified with the scanModem tool from linmodems.org. It is an Agere Codec SIL27, that requires patch slmodem-2.9.9a. I installed it following the instructions - no problem at all. Currently the modem does everything it should with one exception: I can't hear modem audio.

Suspending

Suspend to RAM fails to wake up - at some point it gives up and shuts down. Suspend to Disk apparently works, but after wake up several bugs appear (USB Flash Disk freezes, can't suspend again, screensaver doesn't start,...). Eventually I disabled all "suspends". I guess one should disable ACPI to suspend properly, but I don't want to miss all the ACPI features.

Touchpad

Alas, no tapping and no scrolling. I read somewhere that some driver can handle them, but I have not yet tried to fetch it.

USB Flash Disk

Sometimes flash disks are not correctly mounted. The process freezes while trying to mount the disk's partition. Here is what dmesg typically shows:

usb 4-1: new high speed USB device using address 2
usb 4-1: Product: Flash Disk
usb 4-1: Manufacturer: USB
Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
scsi0 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
  Vendor: USB       Model: Flash Disk        Rev: 2.00
  Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
sda: Unit Not Ready, sense:
Current : sense key Unit Attention
Additional sense: Not ready to ready change, medium may have changed
sda : READ CAPACITY failed.
sda : status=1, message=00, host=0, driver=08
Current sd: sense key Unit Attention
Additional sense: Not ready to ready change, medium may have changed
sda: Write Protect is off
sda: Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
sda: assuming drive cache: write through
 sda:        

Here it freezes. So far, re-plugging the pen drive has solved the problem.

If-plugged modality

YaST allows to specify for each network interface if/when it should be activated. The if-plugged modality would be very useful, but the net effect is that each interface reacts as if it were always plugged.

PCB Volume

PCB level is set to 0 at login time. I have not yet figured out the right way to initialize it.

Piero A. Bonatti

Last update: Feb 7, 2005




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