Linux on a Toshiba Satellite M35X-S149

James Lindenschmidt
JWL -at- Freakwitch -dot- net

Page created December, 2004, last updated September, 2005

Preliminary info

I purchased this machine in December 2004, and could not find any documentation for installing Linux on this particular model, though there are many similar machines out there running Linux. But as it turns out this machine accepts an Ubuntu Linux install almost flawlessly. So I want to document my endeavors here for posterity in the hopes that it will help others.

The short version of this page would be something like "install Ubuntu on this laptop." It works very well; I'm very happy with how this hardware/software combination performs. I've been installing Linux as an end-user-not-a-programmer type for several years (SuSE 6.0 was my first distro), this machine and distro combination has been the smoothest installation by far of any Linux install I've ever done.

I paid $949 for this computer, and there were 2 separate $150 rebates, for a total net price of $649. This seems like a fantastic deal. My one gripe is that you must upgrade the RAM. It comes with 256MB, but it keeps about 32MB for the graphics system. It takes standard PC2700 memory, and has 2 slots; it can take up to 2GB of ram. I plan to upgrade the RAM and buy a wireless router when the rebates come in. That should make this machine fully functional in my reality.

Hardware specs

Model: Toshiba Satellite M35X-S149
Processor: Intel Celeron M 1500MHz
Memory: 256MB PC2700 RAM, upgradeable to 2GB (this machine shares RAM with the video card)
Hard Drive: 60GB
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM/CDRW multi-function drive
Screen: 15.4" WXGA active-matrix screen display at 1280x800 pixels
Networking: Realtek RTL-8139
Wireless: Atheros AR5212 802.11b/g internal
Video: Intel 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics
Sound: Intel 82801DB (ICH4) AC'97 Audio
USB: 3 USB 2.0 ports
Firewire: 1 IEEE1394 port

Installation Prep

You will need to do the following before you try to install any flavor of Linux. Once this is done, go down to see specifics for the distributions I've  attempted there.

Set BIOS to boot from CD-ROM

The first thing to do is to go into the BIOS and set the laptop to boot from CD. To access the BIOS, hit F2 during the boot cycle; you have to do it fast as this machine boots quickly. Once in the BIOS, go to the boot cycle screen and move the CDROM up to the top so it boots from CD first.

Partitioning the drive

To partition the drive, I wanted to use qtparted; the easiest way I know is to use Knoppix which has qtparted installed on the LiveCD. I booted Knoppix V3.6, which started without any immediately noticeable issues. The display resolution looked a bit off, but that's because the machine has an odd 1280x800 resolution, which is not one of the default configurations for Knoppix. Everything is visible, just looks a bit stout and pudgy.

From there, I started qtparted v0.4.4, and saw that all the WindowsXP cruft on /dev/hda1 was taking up 7GB of space. This is the total size I had in mind for the Windows partition, so the first thing I wanted to do was get rid of lots of the crap that came with the laptop.

I removed the crap I don't need, which is most of the stuff that came with it. I will use the Windows partition for one purpose only; to run Sonar. Everything else is in my way. The biggest offender is Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, which I don't need. I removed MS Office, MS Works, Napster, Quicken, and all the other crap I won't need.

Once installed, I defragmented the hard drive using the built-in Windows defragger. I was then ready to partition.

I booted back into Knoppix, using the knoppix26 boot command so it would run with the 2.6.7 kernel. I started qtparted, and made the following configuration:

Partition
Type
Size
Start
End
/dev/hda1
ntfs
9.77GB
0.03MB
9.77GB
/dev/hda2
extended
15.00GB
9.77GB
24.77GB
/dev/hda5
ext3
7.00GB
9.77GB
16.77GB
/dev/hda6
ext3
7.00GB
16.77GB
23.77GB
/dev/hda7
linux-swap
1023.72MB
23.77GB
24.77GB
/dev/hda3
fat32
31.12GB
24.77GB
55.89GB

Once the partitions are done, we are ready to begin the installation.

Ubuntu Linux (Hoary Hedgehog)

September, 2005

I had to send my laptop in for repair. I just got it back, and want a new distro. I still haven't upgraded to Ubuntu Hoary, and I really miss KDE. So, I'm going to install Ubuntu hoary, and then add KDE (making it equivalent to Kubuntu).

Base Installation

From the installation manual, go through the following steps:
  1. select language: English
  2. select country: USA
  3. select keymap: American English
  4. select primary network interface: ath0 (note: this didn't work for me, but go ahead and do it anyway, I'll show you how to fix it later).
  5. enter ESSID (whatever you've named your wireless network)
  6. Enter WEP Key (XXXX-XXXX-XX)
  7. wireless network fails. That's OK. Keep going, we'll fix it later.
  8. erase and create partition. In my case, I installed Hoary to hda6 on above table.
  9. when it asks whether you are in GMT, answer it. I am not GMT.
  10. Select time zone: Eastern
  11. enter full name
  12. create a username
  13. type your password (don't forget your username and password! write them down!)
  14. reboot the computer
  15. look at all the packages installing! This takes a while, but when you're done, you have a more or less functional Ubuntu install.

Wifi doesn't work automagically anymore

The above gets all the base packages installed, but wireless networking does not work. This is a disappointment, since in Warty everything Just Worked automagically. But ah well. We don't give up so easily. Here's what to do to get the wifi card to work:
  1. modprobe -l ath tells me that the madwifi drivers aren't installed (wtf?). lspci, however, tells me that the wifi card is there and functional, it's just that the machine doesn't see it.
  2. there is a package that needs to be installed: apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-386
  3. modprobe ath_pci activates the module
  4. iwconfig lists ath0! w00t!
  5. From the GNOME menu, System > Administration > Networking brings up network settings. choose wireless connection, enter your SSID, WEP key, activate it. It works!

Security updates

Next step. Upgrade the distro. To do this, we need to point apt to the network sources. Do so via synaptic. Select "show hidden repositories," then deactivate the CD and activate all the other ones. then, apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade. Sit back. Relax.

Added functionality (read: all the good stuff)

Once distro is upgraded, add needed desktop functionality (most of this comes from the excellent Unofficial Ubuntu Starter Guide):
  1. update repositories by following the instructions on this page: http://www.ubuntuguide.org/#extrarepositories
  2. Once updated, point your system to the new repositories: apt-get update
  3. upgrade the system from the new repositories: apt-get dist-upgrade
  4. Java: apt-get install sun-j2re1.5
  5. Flash: apt-get install flashplayer-mozilla
  6. Acrobat Reader: apt-get install acroread mozilla-acroread acroread-plugins
  7. Azureus (BitTorrent Client): apt-get install azureus
  8. eMule (p2p) client: apt-get install amule
  9. Multimedia codecs/capability: apt-get install gstreamer0.8-plugins gstreamer0.8-lame gstreamer0.8-ffmpeg w32codecs libdivx4linux lame sox ffmpeg mjpegtools vorbis-tools ; then run the command gst-register-0.8 to make sure gstreamer sees all the shiny new plugins.
  10. DVD playback: apt-get install libdvdcss2
  11. Xine (video player): apt-get install xine-ui
  12. XMMS (audio player): apt-get install xmms
  13. Realplayer: apt-get install realplayer
  14. Audacity (audio editor): apt-get install audacity
  15. Mozilla Thunderbird: apt-get install mozilla-thunderbird
  16. nVu (web authoring): apt-get install nvu, fix /usr/share/applications/nvu.desktop per instructions on starter guide
  17. Quanta (more web development): apt-get install kdewebdev
  18. Scribus (desktop publishing): apt-get install scribus
  19. Kstars (web planetarium): apt-get install kdeedu
  20. Core fonts: apt-get install msttcorefonts
  21. Frozen Bubble: apt-get install frozen-bubble
  22. MP3 capability: apt-get install akode-mpeg This is necessary to get MP3 files to work.

KDE (Kubuntu)

Next stage is to install KDE, you can do so simply by typing apt-get install kubuntu-desktop. And personally, I highly recommend having KDE installed. I'll go on record to say that I prefer it to GNOME. Once you get this far, you're on your own. Lots of stuff to play with, you have wireless and sound. Good eye candy. Good multimedia capability. Definitely check out amaroK. This app is new to me and it's quite nice.

Ubuntu Linux (Warty Warthog)

December, 2004

Installation

I used the Warty Warthog release, which installs a nice GNOME desktop and the 2.6.8.1 kernel.

Boot the Install CD. I selected English, United States, American English. With partitioning, the install program didn't like not formatting its own partition, so I let it format hda5 and it was fine. I also set it up to use hda7 as the swap partition. The installation is pretty automatic, when you reboot it will do security updates, for me there were quite a few. I was pleased with how fast the Ubuntu servers are; I was averaging close to 300kB/s on my cable modem.

During the updates, the x-config system asks which resolution to use; I selected 1280x800 in the hopes that it would Just Work.

After installation, I discovered that sound works, and it uses the 1280x800 screen by default. This is great. I did have to tweak the font antialiasing to get it to look the way I wanted; this screen is very sharp. I'm moving from an old 400MHz desktop with a CRT monitor to a laptop; I've never worked with LCD panels before. Very cool.

Nearly everything in Ubuntu just seems to work. I had to install libdvdcss in order to play DVDs, instructions here

My biggest hassle was migrating my Mozilla Thunderbird mail from my desktop machine to the laptop, which is ridiculously counterintuitive. I was baffled until I realized that you copy the data folder, and then adjust a couple of lines in the prefs.js file. Full instructions are here.

I also had to get used to Ubuntu's settings with apt-get. They have different repositories enabled by default; the main Ubuntu repository is what Ubuntu supports and gets to work. But you also have access to the "universe" and "multiverse" repositories, which are essentially the standard Debian repositories.

I'm very impressed with Ubuntu, and plan to keep it for now. I've been a KDE user for a long time, but GNOME seems nice once I get used to it. GNOME always lagged on my old machine, but this laptop is fast enough to run it.

The firewire, and USB ports show up in the device manager, though I have not yet had an opportunity to test it. Same with the built-in modem; I don't have a dialup account, and am not much interested in one, so I doubt if I'll use it at all on this machine.

Wireless/WiFi

WiFi Just Works™. The Atheros wifi card is identified and configured right from the get go. A week or so after I got the laptop, I purchased a Linksys WRT54G wireless router. Using a web browser from one of my local machines, I configured the router to act as a DHCP server. Then, from the GNOME menu, I went to the following app:
Computer --> System Configuration --> Networking
I then set up a new network, of type wireless, using ath0, with DHCP config. Lo and behold, it works. No kernel compiles necessary. Linux has come a long, long way. I set up the ath0 wireless network to activate itself by default, and the eth0 network to not activate itself upon boot, since when there is no ethernet cable attached, the machines hangs for a minute or two upon boot. No point in going through that every time.

One quirk: if you want to enable WEP encryption for your network, you will need to generate an encryption key. In my setup, the key is a 10-digit key, XXXXXXXXXX, since I'm using 64-bit encryption (as opposed to 128-bit encryption, which would generate a 26-digit key). In the Networking setup, it asks you for your key, but if you just put in the 10-digit key (via copy/paste) it doesn't work. you have to include dashes after every 4 digits, ie, XXXX-XXXX-XX. When you put the dashes in, WEP encryption works.

This router also seems to work OK with the included MAC filter, which allows only specific machines I have listed in the router to connect to my network. I may decide to open this, as I don't in general mind sharing. But I'm at least glad the encryption is working.

Kismet works, which allows me to sniff out and mess with wireless network signals in my area. I haven't actually taken this laptop out wardriving (yet?), but I do want to experiment with this. To get kismet to work, you have to modify /etc/kismet/kismet.conf by adding the following line:
source=madwifi_b,ath0,ATHEROS
Comment out the current source line, add the above line, and kismet will run if you sudo it.

ACPI/Suspend/etc

I have not yet gotten this to work. The screen brightness keys (Fn+F6 and Fn+F7) work, because they are hardware controllers. Adding the fnfx package should make them work, though according to the instructions I will have to recompile my kernel with toshiba hardware support, specifically with CONFIG_ACPI and CONFIG_ACPI_TOSHIBA activated. Also, Toshset is available in the universe repository, but it is set up to work with apm and not acpi.

Work for another day. For help, though, this page describes how to recompile kernels easily in the Ubuntu reality. I'll experiment more with this soon, and of course I'll report back when I have something to say.

Glitches and Tweaks

Reference config files

For reference, I've decided to put up a few config files and screen outputs from my Ubuntu install on this laptop.

lspci output:

0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82852/855GM Host Bridge (rev 02)
0000:00:00.1 System peripheral: Intel Corp. 855GM/GME GMCH Memory I/O Control Registers (rev 02)
0000:00:00.3 System peripheral: Intel Corp. 855GM/GME GMCH Configuration Process Registers (rev 02)
0000:00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corp. 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
0000:00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corp. 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB UHCI #1 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB UHCI #2 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB UHCI #3 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BAM/CAM 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.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBM (ICH4) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
0000:02:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): VIA Technologies, Inc. IEEE 1394 Host Controller (rev 80)
0000:02:01.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
0000:02:02.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)
0000:02:04.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB1410 Cardbus Controller (rev 01)

lsmod output:

Module Size Used by
proc_intf 3968 0
freq_table 4356 0
cpufreq_userspace 5336 0
cpufreq_powersave 2048 0
ipv6 230020 10
ds 17796 2
button 6936 0
ac 5132 0
battery 9740 0
af_packet 20872 4
yenta_socket 19328 0
pcmcia_core 63156 2 ds,yenta_socket
eth1394 20104 0
ath_pci 50724 0
wlan 105564 2 ath_pci
ath_hal 129232 2 ath_pci
8139too 23936 0
8139cp 19072 0
mii 4864 2 8139too,8139cp
crc32 4608 2 8139too,8139cp
ohci1394 32004 0
snd_intel8x0m 18632 2
snd_intel8x0 33068 3
snd_ac97_codec 59268 2 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm_oss 48168 0
snd_mixer_oss 16640 4 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 85540 3 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 23172 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 11144 3 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
gameport 4736 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_mpu401_uart 7296 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_rawmidi 23232 1 snd_mpu401_uart
snd_seq_device 7944 1 snd_rawmidi
snd 50660 14 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_mpu401_uart,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device
soundcore 9824 4 snd
shpchp 87276 0
pciehp 83948 0
pci_hotplug 30640 2 shpchp,pciehp
hw_random 5652 0
ehci_hcd 27780 0
uhci_hcd 29328 0
usbcore 104292 4 ehci_hcd,uhci_hcd
intel_agp 20512 1
agpgart 31784 1 intel_agp
pcspkr 3816 0
rtc 12216 0
nls_iso8859_1 4352 1
nls_cp437 6016 1
vfat 13312 1
fat 41792 1 vfat
md 44744 0
dm_mod 51068 1
capability 4872 0
commoncap 7168 1 capability
parport_pc 32064 0
lp 10436 0
parport 37320 2 parport_pc,lp
sbp2 22408 0
ieee1394 100536 3 eth1394,ohci1394,sbp2
tsdev 7168 0
evdev 9088 0
ide_cd 38276 0
mousedev 10124 1
psmouse 17800 0
sr_mod 15780 0
scsi_mod 115148 2 sbp2,sr_mod
cdrom 35872 2 ide_cd,sr_mod
ext3 109544 1
jbd 54552 1 ext3
ide_generic 1664 0
piix 12576 1
ide_disk 16768 4
ide_core 125272 4 ide_cd,ide_generic,piix,ide_disk
unix 25904 914
fan 4236 0
thermal 13200 0
processor 17712 1 thermal
font 8576 0
vesafb 6688 0
cfbcopyarea 3968 1 vesafb
cfbimgblt 3200 1 vesafb
cfbfillrect 3712 1 vesafb

/etc/X11/XF86Config-4

First a note. The stock ubuntu file worked great, but I stupidly deleted it by accident (without making a backup. Yeah, I know. Dumb). I managed to rebuild it and below is the result, though it is a bit too bloated I think, and I get some strange flickering when starting or halting X. If anyone else installs Ubuntu on this Toshiba laptop, I'd love to get a copy of the stock XF86Config-4 file.

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "XFree86 Configured"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
# PS/2 Mouse using /dev/input/mice in Kernel 2.6
# Serial Mouse not detected
InputDevice "USB Mouse" "CorePointer"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "AllowMouseOpenFail" "true"

EndSection

Section "Files"
RgbPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"
ModulePath "/usr/X11R6/lib/modules"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/PEX"
# Additional fonts: Locale, Gimp, TTF...
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"
# FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/latin2/75dpi"
# FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/latin2/100dpi"
# True type and type1 fonts are also handled via xftlib, see /etc/X11/XftConfig!
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/ttf/western"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/ttf/decoratives"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/truetype"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/truetype/openoffice"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-bitstream-vera"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/latex-ttf-fonts"
# These should no longer be used
# FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/defoma/CID"
# FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/defoma/TrueType"

# Used when x-ttcidfont-conf is installed
FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/CID"

EndSection

Section "Module"
Load "ddc" # ddc probing of monitor
Load "GLcore"
Load "dbe"
Load "dri"
Load "extmod"
Load "glx"
Load "bitmap" # bitmap-fonts
Load "speedo"
Load "type1"
Load "freetype"
Load "record"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard0"
Driver "keyboard"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xfree86"
Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"

EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Serial Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "Microsoft"
Option "Device" "/dev/ttyS0"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "Emulate3Timeout" "70"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "PS/2 Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "auto"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "Emulate3Timeout" "70"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "USB Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option "Buttons" "5"
EndSection

# Auto-generated by KNOPPIX mkxf86config

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
Option "DPMS" "true"
VendorName "LPL"
ModelName "LPL0000"
# HorizSync 28.0 - 78.0 # Warning: This may fry very old Monitors
HorizSync 28.0 - 96.0 # Warning: This may fry old Monitors
VertRefresh 50.0 - 75.0 # Very conservative. May flicker.
# VertRefresh 50.0 - 62.0 # Extreme conservative. Will flicker. TFT default.
# Default modes distilled from
# "VESA and Industry Standards and Guide for Computer Display Monitor
# Timing", version 1.0, revision 0.8, adopted September 17, 1998.
# $XFree86: xc/programs/Xserver/hw/xfree86/etc/vesamodes,v 1.4 1999/11/18 16:52:17 tsi Exp $
# 640x350 @ 85Hz (VESA) hsync: 37.9kHz

# Extended modelines with GTF timings
# 640x480 @ 100.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 50.90 kHz; pclk: 43.16 MHz
# ModeLine "640x480" 43.16 640 680 744 848 480 481 484 509 -HSync +Vsync
# 768x576 @ 60.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 35.82 kHz; pclk: 34.96 MHz
ModeLine "768x576" 34.96 768 792 872 976 576 577 580 597 -HSync +Vsync
# 768x576 @ 72.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 43.27 kHz; pclk: 42.93 MHz
ModeLine "768x576" 42.93 768 800 880 992 576 577 580 601 -HSync +Vsync
# 768x576 @ 75.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 45.15 kHz; pclk: 45.51 MHz
ModeLine "768x576" 45.51 768 808 888 1008 576 577 580 602 -HSync +Vsync
# 768x576 @ 85.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 51.42 kHz; pclk: 51.84 MHz
ModeLine "768x576" 51.84 768 808 888 1008 576 577 580 605 -HSync +Vsync
# 768x576 @ 100.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 61.10 kHz; pclk: 62.57 MHz
ModeLine "768x576" 62.57 768 816 896 1024 576 577 580 611 -HSync +Vsync
# 800x600 @ 100.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 63.60 kHz; pclk: 68.18 MHz
# ModeLine "800x600" 68.18 800 848 936 1072 600 601 604 636 -HSync +Vsync
# 1024x768 @ 100.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 81.40 kHz; pclk: 113.31 MHz
ModeLine "1024x768" 113.31 1024 1096 1208 1392 768 769 772 814 -HSync +Vsync
ModeLine "1280x800" 83.46 1280 1344 1480 1680 800 801 804 828 -HSync +Vsync

EndSection

Section "Device"
### Available Driver options are:-
# sw_cursor is needed for some ati and radeon cards
#Option "sw_cursor"
#Option "hw_cursor"
#Option "NoAccel"
#Option "ShowCache"
#Option "ShadowFB"
#Option "UseFBDev"
#Option "Rotate"
Identifier "Card0"
# The following line is auto-generated by KNOPPIX mkxf86config
Driver "vesa"
VendorName "All"
BoardName "All"
# BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Card0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultColorDepth 16
SubSection "Display"
Depth 1
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 4
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 32
Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "DRI"
Mode 0666
EndSection

PCLinuxOS

December, 2004

PCLinuxOS is a LiveCD, and you install everything in the background once in the liveCD. It takes a while to boot, but you login with the username 'guest' and the password 'guest'. Once logged in, you want to select the installation command:
Kmenu-->Configuration-->Hardware-->LiveCD-Install
I had already taken care of disk partitioning, so I clicked next.I want to keep everything on the root device, on hda5, which it autoselected. It also autoselected the swap partition. Click next, approve the data, and click next again. It now begins copying data. After the data copies, install your bootloader, set the root password, add any users you want, and reboot.

The first thing to do is update the system:
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
Hopefully you have broadband, because PCLinuxOS is under heavy development and there are many updates to perform.

When the installation finished, the screen resolution was still off. 1024x768 was the only workable option. I didn't want to futz with it any more, and I was eager to try Ubuntu. Though since I originally wrote this, there is another page for Linux on this laptop that offers a solution to this problem. I'll get back to PCLinuxOS in due course; it's a very interesting Linux distro and I don't want to abandon it.

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I am far from a *nix guru, I'm more on the level of curious power-user since I started running Linux in 1999, but feel free to contact me if you have questions about this laptop. Or more to the point, tell me where I'm wrong on this page or if you have any additions or suggestions. Good luck....