TuxMobil: Linux with Laptops, PDAs, Mobile Phones and Portable Computers
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Note that this is a work in progress document...
so come back too check for news
First release: Tue Dec 4 21:00:22 AST 2001
Latest release: Mon Apr 20 07:31:10 AST 2001

NEWS: Many things are now working.


This machine is one of the first "legacy free" models which means there are no BIOS options to change. All settings and resources must be assigned by the OS.
For details, please check the "legacy free" FAQ on MS Knowledge base.
Then check this document(http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/NewPC/legacyIO.htm).

News (Mon 20 Apr 2002):
Almost everything is now working!!
ACPI replaces APM in this machine, and while ACPI is evolving everything starts to work.

Check list

  1. Ethernet module: works
  2. Sound: works (all inputs and outputs)
  3. Bluetooth: works (module available at Toshiba site)
  4. PCMCIA: works
  5. TV out: works
  6. Firewire: reported to work (i didnt have any hardware to try that out)
  7. DVD/CD-RW combo: works
  8. External video out: works
  9. Modem (softmodem): DOESNT work ....some hope...when? who knows...:-(
  10. Smart media card and other slot: DOESNT work
  11. Audio CD control in front panel: DOESNT work
  12. "fn" keys are working with Ben Lynn utility
  13. Poweroff button works fine
  14. Stand by and suspend are NOT working with kernel 2.4.17 and 20020308 Acpi patch


This is a survey about Linux related hardware features of the Toshiba Satellite 5005-S504.
I wiped out right away Windows XP, but it is possible to get both OS to work together.
My machine is single boot, actually a mixed between:

  1. DeMuDi (Debian Multimedia Distribution Alpha release)
  2. Debian (unstable with custom build 2.4.17 Kernel)
    Debian GNU/Linux(http://www.debian.org)

Other Distributions: I've heard that Mandrake 8.2 installs well with latest ACPI patch. Red Hat 7.2 is reported to also install well, but then you must recompile the kernel and apply the ACPI patch.

Other useful pages about Toshiba installation:
These two links can help you with the installation as well
  1. http://rooster.stanford.edu/~ben/toshiba/(http://rooster.stanford.edu/~ben/toshiba/) (Ben Lynn)
    Ben Lynn has also written an utility that allows you to use the "fn" keys.
  2. http://www.condorito.org/Toshiba/ [archived link] (Nicolas Beaulieu)
    kernel-2.4.18 and acpi-20020404-2.4.18.diff.gz patch - Red Hat based
  3. Linux Toshiba in Germany(http://newsletter.toshiba-tro.de/main/index.html) you can check hardware compatibility. select 5005-204 which is the European equivalent

Marco Trevisani <marco_at_demudi.org>


Briefly: I used Demudi disk to install the system (Kernel 2.4.5 with low latency patches, but then I had to take my own way because of some modules I need to compile) so I immediately activated the NIC card and started to download from Debian servers. This is my sources list for apt.
My installation is really a big mix. It should be fine to install Debian Woody or Debian Sid and then link it to DeMuDi if you are interested in Multimedia.

The installation went well, in general. After the first part of installation I connected the machine to the Internet and started to download from the Debian and Demudi server.

NIC Card

The NIC card works and you have to install the EEPRO100 module. It worked right away for me and I was able to complete the installation on the Internet. Some people reported performance problem with this kernel module. I never had any problem and i use it every day. In any case there is another module available by Intel (actually is part of the newest kernels, 2.5.x, and maybe it is back ported to newer >= 2.4.18).

My installation, once the core system has been installed worked fine via net, so if you are lucky and you have a fast connection i would follow this way.


This is the most important part in order to get all functionality from your laptop and due to the above mentioned problems requires a bit of work from you. I'll try to make it easy so even a new Linux user could do it.
I installed kernel 2.4.17 and ACPI(http://sf.net/projects/acpi) patch 20020308. For Debian users:

apt-get install kernel-source-2.4.17

(2.4.18 kernel and latest ACPI patch are reported to work but i didnt have time to test and i failed on my first very quick test).
(also with 2.5.6 but there i have two problems: nvidia drivers are not supported with the kernel and alsa compiles correctly but does not start properly).
So after you decompress the kernel-source package and link top /usr/src/linux

tar -jxvf kernel-source-2.4.17.tar.bz2
ln -s kernel-source-2.4.17 linux

then apply the acpi patch after having place it in /usr/src/linux/acpi-20020308-2.4.17.diff.gz

gunzip acpi-20020308-2.4.17.diff.gz
patch -p1 <  acpi-20020308-2.4.17.diff

This ACPI patch comes with a corrected typo in evevent.c an "i" instead of a "j" in a "for" loop. Unfortunately this _correction_ cause a problem in this machine.So...what i did was to apply the newest patch and recreate the bug.... (line 434 in /usr/src/linux/drivers/events/evevent.c put ....[j] instead of ...[i]). this will recreate the bug and kernel will skip this part and boot.
In this way everything works fine and it boots very quickly (at least normally) while with the old patch i had to wait 15 minutes before completing the boot...
Now recompile the kernel with your favorite options and modules. Here is my .config file.


No much choice. APM or ACPI are very important in Laptops,, since they are in charge or power management: battery,standby, CPU control, sleep, poweroff, fan etc.
This was the first impact with the "legacy free"...!@$%^#.... There is no support, I figured after 4 kernel compilation, for APM.
Unfortunately ACPI, which is very promising it is still at an early stage so it neither complete nor fully functional
Latest patches after 20020308, are doing quite well in term of IRQ table asignatation and poweroff. Still Toshiba seems to have a problem with sleep and standby.
So after apply the ACPI patch to the kernel, when you configure the kernel chose all acpi modules.

General Hardware Data

If you want to read some technical information results of the lanoche test here is the file.
Less specific:

  1. 1.1Ghz Pentium III
  2. 512MB ram
  3. Graphics Card:Nvidia GeForce 2 Go
  4. External Graphics card: Intel 810 chip
  5. Yamaha 753 /Intel chip
  6. Modem Intel Chip

online specs from Toshiba(http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/content/brochures/satellite_5005_brochure102901.pdf) [PDF] [PDF] or a similar one here

Graphics X11

Fine. You have even a..choice. XFree86 provides a driver for the Nvidia card called "nv". Nvidia as well provide a driver which is supposed to be good and maybe better. I used both without noticing as many differences, but I must admit I didn't have time to test on heavy work. The main differences are in the details, for now. The Nvidia driver gives you a cursor (Mouse...) with shadow...and the fade command when starting the xscrensaver works with nvidia driver not with the XFree86 driver...

I use the drivers provided by NVIDIA. These are available in Debian:

   apt-get install nvidia-kernel-src nvidia-glx

then go to /usr/src. You will find there the package, uncompress them and follow the instruction....:-)
BUG or simply problem
The Nvidia driver sometime (not always) at the end of boot time, instead of starting X turn the monitor to white (another reported as similar behavior but black), and you have to reboot...(with patience, it does not reboot right away....keep ctrl-alt-del pressed for a while....or, use poweroff button.
The XFree86 driver never gave me problems. Activate framebuffer and I put in lilo.conf vga=791.
Here is my XF86Config-4 ( I use XFree86 4.1.0-9, where 9 is a Debian revision.
The XF86Config, provides also information for the external video (monitor) connection. It uses an Intel chip. It works fines, I tested on my desktop monitor.


Another piece of information available in the XF86Config is the keyboard configuration. Nothing really complicated. If you select the right keyboard you will be able to use the menu key. I think all keys are usable, even if I didn't test that yet.
Well actually there is a little problem with the keyboard under X. Sometime characters are repeated twice even if you type once and quickly (if you get many password incorrect when try to login in X this is the reason...). there is a way around and easy. Just install this little piece of software:accessx. It works fine with me now. you will find documentation(http://www.csun.edu/cod/conf/2001/proceedings/0102gunderson.htm) and a link to the download site. The original site says the software is obsolete because now XFree86 support these features. I wasnt able to find them, so I installed and now it works fine.

Mouse and TouchPad

Touchpad gave an headache, until I decided that it would not have worked, I went to buy an external USB mouse, then exactly after coming back from the shop I realized...that I didn't try to consider the Touchpad as a USB mouse...It worked that way. and the external mouse too, A genius, optical with wheel. Even the wheel works... It is really important that you compile the kernel with USB and HID support, then follow the instruction you find at Linux Mobile guide at TuxMobil almost at the end of the page where it says HID Mouse Configuration. Do no forget to create the /dev/input/mice, don't worry you'll find very detailed instructions.


It works, all inputs and all outputs, you need to have the ACPI patch installed.
I use alsa, and it works fine. With Debian:

apt-get install alsa-source

then again follow the instructions...
It also works with the intel 810 modules available in the kernel.
In my case i had a better performance with alsa.


It works with a binary available at Toshiba


It is reported to work. I couldn't test it because i dont have any hardware with firewire.


It works. I tested with a modem and worked.

What does NOT work for sure (right now)

Modem..mhmm once Toshiba found a modem that had a driver for Linux they decided to change it....(hopefully this is not the reason...:-) ), but it is the fact, the new modem chip is a Lucent Scorpio a SFOTMODEM , again not clear the chipset -wil be available soon at toshiba linux page- . A softmodem driver for linux recently appeared, but it still doe NOT support this chipset.

Smart Media & SD_Card They also do not work.

Specific Mailing List

I temporarily set up a mailing list just to help each other in solving these problems and getting info from other user. This is the best and fast way to get this problems solved. This list does not replace, and does not want to replace all other existing mailing list about laptop Toshiba etc...but in the last days I ended up subscribing man lists in order to figure out to solve problem, and of course I can't follow all of them. So if all Satellite 5005-S504 owner would contribute and meet there I thing we could work out these problems quickly....
So to subscribe by mail simply send a empty message to:
Or if you want do it on line you can go here:
(topica hosts mailing list for free. I used their service in the last two years, also for organizing conference and I didn't notice any bad behavior from the, as for spamming or increase of spamming).

Other Resources

This page is a courtesy of Marco Trevisani(http://trevisani.mine.nu)

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