From: Bruce Moffatt firstname.lastname@example.org
I have just loaded Linux
onto a Toshiba laptop.
I spent about an hour slavishly checking the specs of everything under windows prior to attempting to load Linux. I put aside 1.5 GB space on a new partition at the end of the windows partition. I used windows scandisk and defrag, then fips.exe to create the new partition. No data loss was incurred on the windows side in doing this.
A boot floppy was made
using the windows rawwritewin.exe program supplied on the
mandrake 7 CD, in the dos utils area. It only seemed to
work on a newly formatted floppy. Booted from the floppy
and followed the install prompts. Made a 128MB swap
partition, the rest of the 1.5 GB for a single root
partition for Linux. This is to be a
I chose a custom install,
selected about 900 MB of stuff, let it go and followed
the prompts. It took about 35 mins to load everything in,
then stitch it together. Out of the box all hardware was
detected and configured except the LT modem.
Automagically sound was set up, the network card was
detected (I haven't tested that yet, I don't have
The lucent technologies LT modem driver version 568 was downloaded from a link from the Linux laptop page, as a zip file, and unzipped and installed using the provided install script. A search for Linux and Laptop on any engine will get you to a nest of inter-linked Linux laptop resources. Read them. A test reboot at this stage showed a problem that stopped the boot at the PCMCIA services line. Since I don't have anything useable on the only PCMCIA card plugged in, I disabled PCMCIA services using the mandrake config tool, re-booted, and I have everything up and running.
Next I spent about an hour removing a whole swag of packages that seemed to come along for the ride. Lots of stuff went west, leaving a total install size of about 500 MB, with a system based around KDE, which I quite like.
The only gripe I have is
that X is a bit less than commercial quality in this
configuration. Moving or re-sizing a window results in a
kind of splattering of ghost images and echoes of hidden
icons happening around that window. When the windows are
stationary, the reolution is great, crisp, sharp and very
nice. I got an XF86config file sent to me by a helpful
guy in Finland, but using it did not make any noticable
difference. I consider this to be relatively trivial
though, it has no
in the Device section of
/etc/X11/XF86Config. The display is much cleaner, but a
little less smooth when you move a window
The next thing is to get a good office suite loaded. I will be putting the 4.4.2 trial version of applixware on next week, and will probably be buying version 5.0 when it is released. I have used version 4.3.7 for a couple of years now on my desktop machine, and I could probably not get by without it.
Future plans are to resolve the PCMCIA conflict, and buy another similar laptop - this one belongs to my daughter and she has taken it back. She loves Linux by the way.
I hope this is of some help if only to confirm that all this stuff worked out so easily. Love to hear any comments.
The PCMCIA problem was found to be a system hang due to interrupt scanning when the i82365.o module was loading. This is a known problem with PCMCIA and is well documented in the PCMCIA-HOWTO.
The fix was simple. In the /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia file add this line:
Reload the PCMCIA modules (or reboot if you don't know how) and that fixes the interrupt scan hang problem.
The ethernet card now works. With help from a mate at work I connected the laptop to a network, set up an IP address (use netcfg) and away it went, just like a bought one.
This now completes the
whole exercise. I am happy to take questions on my email