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Linux on a Toshiba Tecra 9100 Laptop

I got my TECRA 9100 from Toshiba Europe as a contribution to the AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio distribution - ) European project. I use it for development and testing purposes. The upcoming DeMuDi distribution (Debian based), which is part of the AGNULA project, will fully support this machine.

This machine is NOT a totally "legacy free" laptop: it has a very tiny BIOS that is enough smart to assign the right IRQs to all devices. So you are not forced to apply the ACPI patch to the kernel to get all PCI devices working. Nevertheless the Tecra 9100 uses the ACPI technology for power management, so if you want to be able to check the battery level, monitor the CPU temperature and switch on the fan only when needed, etc. you have to use the patch as well (see below).

Free Ekanayaka <free_at_centrotemporeale.it>


On my TECRA 9100 I have a custom installation, based on the Debian 3.0 Woody Linux distribution plus a collection of non standard packages from the DeMuDi project.

This is a step by step installation process I suggest you:

  • Take a recent Debian CD and do a basic installation
  • Make the network card work (see below)
  • Download a DeMuDi kernel image
  • Set up video and sound

NIC Card

To make the network adapter work you have to install the eepro100 kernel module with the command:

~# modprobe eepro100

After that configure the network editing the file /etc/network/interfaces and restart the service:

~# /etc/init.d/networking restart

Kernel and ACPI Patch

The patch is necessary only in order to get power management functionality from your laptop. If you use Debian, the DeMuDi project has packaged a kernel that works with the Tecra 9100 and has already the ACPI patch applied. To download and install it add the following line in your APT sources list (etc/apt/sources.list):

deb http://ftp.agnula.info/debian woody demudi

and run:

~# apt-get update
~# apt-get install kernel-package-2.4.18-demudi

Now change your lilo configuration (if needed) and reboot.

Otherwise if you use a different distribution or if you need a custom kernel, download the kernel source tree you prefer and apply the appropriate ACPI patch among those you find at http://sf.net/projects/acpi.

Again, if you use Debian:

~# apt-get install kernel-source-2.4.18
~# cd /usr/src
/usr/src# tar -jxvf kernel-source-2.4.18.tar.bz2
/usr/src# ln -s kernel-source-2.4.18 linux

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

/usr/src/linux# gunzip acpi-20020308-2.4.17.diff.gz
/usr/src/linux# patch -p1 <  acpi-20020308-2.4.17.diff

Graphics X and Mouse

The video chipset is the SuperSavage/IXC SDR from S3 Inc. The XFree86 (release 4) server provides a driver for the this card called savage.

The builtin mouse is a common PS/2 device accessible via /dev/psaux (if you have a custom kernel make sure you have compiled it with PS/2 mouse support CONFIG_PSMOUSE=y).

Simply coping my XF86Config-4 into XFree86 configuration directory (/etc/X11 in Debian) and running startx should work.


The soundcard is a Intel Corp. AC'97 Audio Controller, for which both OSS kernel module (i810_audio) and ALSA driver (snd-intel8x0) are available. I personally use the latest ALSA drivers packaged by the DeMuDi project.

To install them via APT edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file (see above) and run:

~# apt-get install alsa-modules-2.4.18-586-acpi-demudi
~# apt-get install alsa-base

To configure the ALSA subsystem don't use alsaconf! Just copy my /etc/modutils/alsa in your local machine an run update-modules. Then you can start and stop the ALSA driver typing:

~# /etc/init.d/alsa start
~# /etc/init.d/alsa stop


The Tecra 9100 has two Cardbus slots for PCMCIA cards, plus one internal adapter for the built-in Intersil PRIMS2 11 Mbps Wireless Adapter, which provides an additional network interface (eth1).

Due to some errors in the kernel PCMCIA to PCI bridge management, which still need to be solved (this thread), you may have problems allocating resources for your PCMCIA cards. In my case I wasn't able to get my Hammerfall HDSP card properly configured, both using the native kernel PCMCIA modules and the ones from the PCMCIA-CS Project.

Infrared Port - IrDA(TM)

Not used yet.


For some strange reason beyond my comprehension the sound driver (both ALSA and OSS) and the network ones almost always hang together under heavy load (e.g. during a voice over network session with speak freely). More over they hang independently at times (especially the sound module suffers of buffer underruns and overflows which very badly affect the playback).

General Hardware Data

General system information:

Linux sonic 2.4.18 &num;1 SMP Thu Jun 13 10:48:08 GMT 2002 i686 unknown
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 15
model           : 2
model name      : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Mobile CPU 1.70GHz
stepping        : 4
cpu MHz         : 1694.543
cache size      : 512 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 2
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm
bogomips        : 3381.65

Filesystem           1k-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda2             10080520   6196728   3371724  65% /
Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 4864 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1             1        92    738958+  82  Linux swap
/dev/hda2   *        93      1367  10241437+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3          1368      2004   5116702+  83  Linux

Hard Disk

 Model=TOSHIBA MK4019GAX, FwRev=FA002A, SerialNo=22P62403A
 Config={ Fixed }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=46
 BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=0kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
 CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=78140160
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4 
 DMA modes: sdma0 sdma1 sdma2 mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5 
 AdvancedPM=yes: unknown setting WriteCache=enabled
 Drive Supports : Reserved : ATA-1 ATA-2 ATA-3 ATA-4 ATA-5

Survey PCI Devices

Output from lspci:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge (rev 04)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2482 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2484 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2487 (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82820 820 (Camino 2) Chipset PCI (-M) (rev 42)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 248c (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 248a (rev 02)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2486 (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: S3 Inc.: Unknown device 8c2e (rev 05)
02:07.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments: Unknown device 8023
02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corp. 82801CAM (ICH3) Chipset Ethernet Controller (rev 42)
02:0a.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1410 PC card Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
02:0b.0 CardBus bridge: Toshiba America Info Systems ToPIC95 PCI to Cardbus Bridge with ZV Support (rev 32)
02:0b.1 CardBus bridge: Toshiba America Info Systems ToPIC95 PCI to Cardbus Bridge with ZV Support (rev 32)
02:0d.0 System peripheral: Toshiba America Info Systems: Unknown device 0805 (rev 03)

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© Werner Heuser 1997-2015 · http://tuxmobil.org/toshiba_tecra9100.html · last change Mon Nov 12 2007