This page describes my experience of installing Linux onto my Toshiba Satellite 1800-712. This is not so much a procedure that you can follow step by step to install your laptop (especially not for first time users) but rather highlights some parts that I found more tricky to figure out or that I feel are not yet covered in other pages of this sort.
Woody was in its test phase when I installed my laptop and hence there were no CD-Roms available yet. I therefore installed Debian potato (base), configured my network interface, pointed the apt source to an ftp server with woody and made a distribution upgrade. The whole process run off very smoothly without any packages being broken.
|Processor||Intel Celeron 1.1GHz|
|Other discs||DVD/CD-RW and 1.44MByte Floppy drive|
|Video||Trident Cyberblate XPAi1 16MByte|
|LCD Screen||14" XGA TFT 1024x768 pixels|
|Network Interface||Intel 8255x PCI Ethernet|
|PCMCIA||ToPic 100 CardBus Controller|
|Other ports||USB (ALI PCI to USB OHCI), TV output, Parallel, Serial, Screen|
|Build in Modem||Lucent Win Modem|
The kernel I used was version 2.4.18. My complete settings can be found here In the coming paragraphs I will only highlight settings relevant to the laptop and why I selected or deselected them.
These are not the only options I selected for the kernel configuration they are only those that are particularly relevant for the Satellite 1800-712. In addition to this a few options need to be passed to the kernel at startup. This can be done through lilo (i.e. lilo.conf). I have added the following parameters to my lilo.conf:
In a first attempt I had X working through kernel framebuffer support. This was due to the fact that support for the Cyberblade XPAi is only available in Xfree since version 4.2.0 but woody comes with version 4.1.0. I therefore downloaded a binary version of Xfree from one of their web servers and installed that instead. The XF86Config-4 file I used comes from Toshiba (follow OS Machine Compatibility and choose Satellite 1800-514 as model).
Burning CD's with this drive is no problem. I used scsi over ide simulation together with cdrecord to burn CDs with 8x speeds (for more information check out the CD-Writing HOWTO). I haven't tried playing any DVDs yet.
Loading the eepro100 module is enough to get the interface working.
After a lot of trouble I have eventually managed to get a ppp connection to my ISP with my PCMIA modem. In order to get it to work with wvdial I had to enable 'Stupid Mode' so that wvdial would start pppd as soon as it established a connection. Without 'Stubid Mode' wvdial doesn't find a carrier or ppp negotiation and goes completely mad. pppd will use PAP user authentication and hence I needed the relevant entries in the PAP secrets file.
This may be a completely normal way to proceed, except that I assume it reduces wvdial to a chat like program. On the other hand I had wvdial and pppd working together smoothly before without using PAP. But than it could just be my ISP who changed his configuration.
Loading the trident module is enough to get the sound working.
The SMC IrCC chip is supported by the kernel but will not work on its own. Daniele Peri has written a tool to enable and configure the chip before it can be used. Checkout his page for more information on how to do that.
The infrared port seems to work once the module is loaded. Unfortunately I haven't been able to fully test it. The only device I was able to check with was my PDA. While the PDA was recognised by the computer, the PDA was not able to talk to the computer. I suspect that it is a miss-configuration (or misunderstanding) on my side though.
USB modules work fine for me when synchronising my PDA with pilot-link-0.10.99 (test version).
PCMCIA seems to work as well. I only run into some trouble with a PCMCIA modem in conjunction with the IRDA serial drivers but I also expect interrupt sharing to play a role in messing up the modem.
I heard some say that it doesn't work.
Despite the fact that it seems to work I am not able to synchronise my PDA over it (even though I am able to do that over IRDA on another computer). I am not quite sure what the problem is but suspect communication protocols to play a role. The PDA always comes up with a message that the port is in use by another application while the computer (through the use of irdadump) can at least identify the PDA.