Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft on a Toshiba Laptop Satellite A100 TA6

Finally, after buying and returning two HP laptops, including the HP DV6120, I settled on one that works with Linux. It is the Toshiba Satellite A100 TA6. The product ID is PSAA8C-TA602C.

The hardware configuration is as follows:

  • Intel Centrino Duo T2250 Processor 1.73GHz Processor Speed
  • 15.4" Wide XGA TFT with Trubrite Display
  • 120GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
  • 1GB DDR2 memory
  • Intel 950 GMA graphics adapter (128 MB shared memory)
  • Intel 3945ABG wireless LAN adapter
  • Realtek 861 audio on Intel High Definition Audio (HDA)
  • DVD Super-Multi Drive +/- Double Layer
  • 10/100 Integrated Ethernet LAN on the back, left side
  • 4 USB ports (two on the right side, and two on the back right)
  • Modem RJ11 port (right hand side)
  • External Microphone Port, Headphone Port
  • S-Video Out (left side)
  • Monitor connection (left side)
  • Firewire (left side)
  • 2 PCMCIA slots (one Cardbus Type II, and one Expresscard)
  • xD/SD/MM/Memory stick card reader (does not work in Linux)
  • 2.8 kg

The laptop cost $1100 at Staples, with $170 for 3 year extended warranty. They matched the price from Best Buy 10 days after I bought it, and that made it $1040.

Installing Kubuntu Linxu Edgy Eft 6.10

I successfully resized the Windows partition (and have not even booted it two weeks).

The installation went smoothly, with nothing unusual in it.

Hardware devices

The lspci command shows the following numeric devices

# lspci -n
00:00.0 0600: 8086:27a0 (rev 03)
00:02.0 0300: 8086:27a2 (rev 03)
00:02.1 0380: 8086:27a6 (rev 03)
00:1b.0 0403: 8086:27d8 (rev 02)
00:1c.0 0604: 8086:27d0 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 0604: 8086:27d2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 0604: 8086:27d4 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 0c03: 8086:27c8 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 0c03: 8086:27c9 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 0c03: 8086:27ca (rev 02)
00:1d.3 0c03: 8086:27cb (rev 02)
00:1d.7 0c03: 8086:27cc (rev 02)
00:1e.0 0604: 8086:2448 (rev e2)
00:1f.0 0601: 8086:27b9 (rev 02)
00:1f.2 0101: 8086:27c4 (rev 02)
00:1f.3 0c05: 8086:27da (rev 02)
05:00.0 0280: 8086:4222 (rev 02)
07:06.0 0607: 104c:8039
07:06.1 0c00: 104c:803a
07:06.2 0180: 104c:803b
07:06.3 0805: 104c:803c
07:08.0 0200: 8086:1092 (rev 02)

The standard output for the same command is:

# lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
05:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
07:06.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments Unknown device 8039
07:06.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments Unknown device 803a
07:06.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803b
07:06.3 Class 0805: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803c
07:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection (rev 02)

The more verbose output is as follows:

# lspci -v
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
Memory at dc100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
I/O ports at 1800 [size=8]
Memory at c0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Memory at dc200000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256K]
Capabilities: [90] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 2

00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Memory at dc180000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 2

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 58
Memory at dc240000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
Capabilities: [70] Express Unknown type IRQ 0
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [130] Unknown (5)

00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=02, sec-latency=0
Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+) IRQ 0
Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
Capabilities: [90] #0d [0000]
Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [180] Unknown (5)

00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=03, subordinate=04, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff
Memory behind bridge: d8000000-d9ffffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000d2000000-00000000d3f00000
Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+) IRQ 0
Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
Capabilities: [90] #0d [0000]
Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [180] Unknown (5)

00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=05, subordinate=06, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00003fff
Memory behind bridge: da000000-dbffffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000d4000000-00000000d5f00000
Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+) IRQ 0
Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
Capabilities: [90] #0d [0000]
Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [180] Unknown (5)

00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 233
I/O ports at 1820 [size=32]

00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 225
I/O ports at 1840 [size=32]

00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 185
I/O ports at 1860 [size=32]

00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 177
I/O ports at 1880 [size=32]

00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 233
Memory at dc444000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [58] Debug port

00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2) (prog-if 01 [Subtractive decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=07, subordinate=0b, sec-latency=64
I/O behind bridge: 00004000-00004fff
Memory behind bridge: dc000000-dc0fffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000050000000-0000000051f00000
Capabilities: [50] #0d [0000]

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information

00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 02) (prog-if 80 [Master])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 225
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at 18b0 [size=16]
Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 2

00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
I/O ports at 18c0 [size=32]

05:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
Subsystem: Intel Corporation Unknown device 1040
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 185
Memory at da000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Capabilities: [c8] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [d0] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
Capabilities: [e0] Express Legacy Endpoint IRQ 0
Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
Capabilities: [140] Device Serial Number c5-2e-06-ff-ff-de-18-00

07:06.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments Unknown device 8039
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 168, IRQ 185
Memory at dc007000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Bus: primary=07, secondary=08, subordinate=0b, sec-latency=176
Memory window 0: 50000000-51fff000 (prefetchable)
Memory window 1: 52000000-53fff000
I/O window 0: 00004400-000044ff
I/O window 1: 00004800-000048ff
16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001

07:06.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments Unknown device 803a (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 128, IRQ 169
Memory at dc006000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
Memory at dc000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [44] Power Management version 2

07:06.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803b
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 128, IRQ 185
Memory at dc004000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Capabilities: [44] Power Management version 2

07:06.3 Class 0805: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803c (prog-if 01)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 128, IRQ 185
Memory at dc006800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

07:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection (rev 02)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff10
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 66, IRQ 50
Memory at dc005000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
I/O ports at 4000 [size=64]
Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 2

Sound card

The output from ALSA's arecord and aplay is:

# arecord -l
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC861 Analog [ALC861 Analog]
Subdevices: 1/2
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 6: Si3054 Modem [Si3054 Modem]
Subdevices: 0/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

# aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC861 Analog [ALC861 Analog]
Subdevices: 0/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 6: Si3054 Modem [Si3054 Modem]
Subdevices: 0/1

To make the microphone work, you have to use the alsamixer command from a terminal window. Make sure that the input source is Mic, and the volume is in the red.

The microphone works with Skype for Linux perfectly.

Modem

One aspect of laptops is that most of them are Winmodems, which are notorious for not being supported in Linux. This laptop however comes with a modem that is part of the sound card, as you can see in the aplay output above.

To get it working, you have to install the sl-modem-daemon package from multiverse.

# aptitude install sl-modem-daemon

Then, edit the file /etc/default/sl-modem-daemon and make sure you have:

SLMODEMD_DEVICE=hw:0,6
SLMODEMD_COUNTRY=CANADA

The key here is that the numbers after the hw: part are the card and device numbers from the aplay
output above.

I don't use dialup, but configured this in case I need to travel in a place without high speed or wireless.

Wireless LAN

The card was recognized correctly, but because I use a secured access point, and prefer a static address, I modified the /etc/network/interfaces file to add that info.

# Wireless
auto eth1
iface eth1 inet static
address 192.168.x.x
gateway 192.168.0.y
netmask 255.255.255.0
wireless-essid zzzzz
wireless-key s:xxxxxxx

This setup works fine for my home LAN.

Ethernet

The ethernet card is at eth0, and it does work. Since I am on wireless and do not want to use the wired LAN, I commented that section in /etc/network/interfaces.

Synaptics Touchpad

The laptop has a Synaptics Touchpad. It is best if you install the ksynaptics package and adjust the properties to your liking. You will need to add a section in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver "synaptics"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "True"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"
Option "SHMConfig" "on"
EndSection

The SHMConfig line is needed for the ksynaptics program to be able to configure the touchpad.

Also, you need to add a line for it in the SeverLayout section.

Section "ServerLayout"
...

InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad"
...

EndSection

Right Alt key

The default setup for Edgy makes the right Alt key unusable, and gets mapped as ISO_Level3_Shift. 

To solve this, comment the following line in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

#Option         "XkbOptions"    "lv3:ralt_switch" 

Card Reader 

The card reader reads several formats, including SD, xD, Memory stick and MM. However, Linux does not support all these.

The readers do detect when a card is inserted or removed, but nothing is mounted. I tested both an xD card and an SD card.

In dmesg, you will see:

[17185986.920000] tifm_7xx1: xd card detected in socket 0
[17185998.400000] tifm_7xx1: demand removing card from socket 0
...
[17185862.772000] tifm_7xx1: sd card detected in socket 1
[17185863.500000] tifm_7xx1: demand removing card from socket 1

You can get the SD card to work just like any other removable storage device by loading the tifm_sd module.

You can do that by running the command:

# modprobe tifm_sd

Or by adding this module to a file in the /etc/modprobe.d directory. It will then be mounted as /media/mmcdisk and a window will open in KDE.

The xD card has no driver that I am aware of. If you know there is one, let me know by adding a comment below.

Firewire IEEE 1394

Not tested. I have no devices that use that.

Problems and annoyances

As expected, no laptop is trouble free with Linux 100%. This laptop has a few ones, some with workarounds.

Problem: Dual core processor after resuming from suspend / hibernate.

After suspend/resume, one CPU will stay on high speed, regardless. So, the first one would go to 800 MHz, but the second one will be going full speed at 1733 MHz.

To solve this, create a script in /etc/acpi/resume.d/75-dual-core-cpu-freq.sh and put this in it.

#!/bin/sh

SYS_DIR=/sys/devices/system/cpu
#POLICY=performance
###
# POLICY can be any of:
# userspace powersave ondemand conservative performance
#
POLICY=ondemand

for CPU in `ls $SYS_DIR`
do
echo -n "$POLICY" > $SYS_DIR/$CPU/cpufreq/scaling_governor
done

This is reported on Launchpad #64070 with the workaround.

Problem: X11 respawns after resuming from suspend or hibernate

After coming back from suspend/hibernate, X11 just keeps dying and respawning. Linux itself is alive, and you can ssh into your laptop from another machine.

This is a bug in the i810 driver, I tried the latest one (late November), but it did not work.

Workaround: Change the xorg config to use "vesa" instead of "i810".

Before

Section "Device"
Identifier "Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller"
Driver "i810"
BusID "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

After

Section "Device"
Identifier "Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller"
Driver "vesa"
BusID "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

Of course, this means there will be no hardware accelaration, but if you do not watch videos, DVDs or do heavy graphics, then that is acceptable.

Reported on Launchpad #28326

Problem: Fan speed is high after resume from suspend

After coming back from suspend, the fan works on the highest speed, and this causes considerable noise, and also drains the battery too quickly.

Manipulating the /proc/acpi/themal_zone/TZ00 and TZ01 trip_points file did not make any difference.

This seems to be a general kernel issue, reported in the kernel bugzilla issue #7122, and #5534., and some patches for kernel 2.6.18 available for it. If you have other solutions, please post a comment below.

Initially I thought that this also happens after resuming from a hibernate, however, I do not notice this happening anymore. Either it was never a problem (i.e. suspend was the only case), or a recent update from Ubuntu solved it. 

Conclusion

All in all, this laptop is functioning well under Linux. It has all the multiprocessor features that I need. The graphics parts would be nice, but does not bother me much at present. One can only hope to find a solution to the fan high speed after resume.

Contents: 

Comments

HP and linux

Well, HP laptops are a big pain in the ass when it comes to linux. Fedora core 5 weren't even starting up on an HP laptop of a friend, and ubuntu had some hardware problems too!!!

Function keys

Great info! Have you been able to get the function keys (Fn+F6 to dim the screen, for example) to work?

No

Actually, I did not try until I saw your message, and they don't work.

What happens when I press Fn+F6 is that the URL in the browser bar gets selected/highlighted.

Nothing happens when I press Fn-F5 either (toggle external monitor).

I saw this post about Toshiba hotkeys, but those are for a different BIOS that is made by Toshiba, not Phoenix like ours.

The same goes for the fnfx package, which does not work on the Phoenix BIOS laptops.
--
Khalid Baheyeldin

omnibook module

The omnibook module might help; I haven't managed to get my A100-TA4 to do much with it yet, but I haven't spent much time on it.

This thread also has some discussion.

Tried it

I tried that about a week ago, but it did not do anything useful. Tried various models, but none of them worked.
--
Khalid Baheyeldin

USB Drivers

Did you find that the USB Drivers did not work properly?
When I boot my laptop up with my USB mouse plugged in already, it will work for about... 2 minutes?
I unplug it, plug it in... It doesn't even read that it is there.

If I didn't unplug it then plug it back in... When I put in lsusb in a Terminal... It notices it is plugged in but not after unplugging and plugging it in.

Works fine

No. They work fine for me.

I regularly use a USB mouse (Logitech optical) with no problems at all.

I also use an external disk enclosure for backup, and it works just fine.

Here is what lsusb says:

# lsusb
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 046d:c03d Logitech, Inc.
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

--
Khalid Baheyeldin

INFO

Hello, man, great information. i have a laptop quite similar to yours. i did not know how to use my SD card reader and now it works fine.. but i have a question: how do i add that module to the directory?? when i add it it will it be automatically??? i only try running the command int the shell and it works fine!

" You can do that by running the command:

# modprobe tifm_sd

Or by adding this module to a file in the /etc/modprobe.d directory "

Thanks//

Thanks a bunch for that

Thanks a bunch for that detailed report. I stumbled upon it while looking for Fn-key functionality, but learned instead how to get that card reader up and running!

Cheers,
Richard

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