Setup of Toshiba 6100 Pro for GNU/Linux

Filed under: Linux — vincent @ 00:00

Cipher Brain has bought a Toshiba 6100 Pro to load it primarily with GNU/Linux. Please find here a few tips about setting it up.

Update: after having had a horrible experience with Toshiba Support, spread on more than two monthes, numerous phone calls, faxes and letter (concerning another notebook), and a lot of hardware problems with this notebook (including two power supply faillures in one month, broken display, defective hard-disk and keyboards problem), I’ve given up with Toshiba. I’ll let this information here, in the hope that it will be of any use to somebody.

Personally, I can’t recommend anymore usage of Toshiba notebook computers.

System specification

Item Specification HardDrake report
Processor Pentium Pro IV, 1.7GHz Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Mobile CPU 1.70GHz, Frequency: 1694, FPU, MMX, MogoMIPS:3381.65
Memory 256Mb 255Mb
CDROM/DVD Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-R2102 Device: /dev/hda, Bus type: ATAPI/IDE
Device: /dev/scd0, Bus type: SCSI
Hard Disk Toshiba MK4019GAX, 39069Mb Reported by HardDrake as 255 heads, 63 sectors, 4864 cylinders
Video Card nVidia Unknown

The full XML report from HardDrake is linked here.

Toshiba pages

Toshiba has some interresting pages for setup

Distribution choice

I went with Mandrake 8.2, because I had experience of it, from when I used it with my previous employer. Nothing here is very distribution specific, so you should be able to use those instructions with most distributions. BSD people might also use those about XFree. More help for BSD people should be located here

The machine was initially setup as a dual boot, with a definite choice to be made between Windows 2000 and Windows XP. After choosing XP, and making the few steps to install it, I was left with one partition of 20Gb with XP (formatted in VFAT), and another one, empty, of 20Gb, also VFAT.

One partition being a bit bigger than the other one, I carefully noted which one I wanted to keep (with Windows XP), and which one I wanted to reformat for Linux.

Here is the output of fdisk after setting up the system:

Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 4864 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1          2434      4864  19527007+   5  Extended
/dev/hda2   *         2      2433  19535040    c  Win95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda5          2434      3070   5116671    b  Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda6          3071      4217   9213214+  83  Linux
/dev/hda7          4218      4267    401593+  82  Linux swap
/dev/hda8          4268      4864   4795371   83  Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Mandrake installation

No problem here, except that the nVidia card was not detected. I specified that I wanted to use XFree 4, and asked to boot in text mode.

After having the basic system run in text mode, I downloaded the nVidia drivers from their site, installed them as they say.

I had to add this line to my /etc/modules.conf:

options NVdriver NVreg_SoftEDIDs=0

Not doing that gives a black band on the right of the screen. Chris Griffis reported to me that he had to put the next line in /etc/modules.conf

options NVdriver "NVreg_SoftEDIDs=0" "NVreg_Mobile=2"

You can find my XF86Config-4 file here. Note that I manually switch between having a dual head (one with the TFT of the laptop, the left screen, and a cheap monitor (the right screen); and one with only the internal screen).

Stephen Jordan, who uses Debian Woody, recommend adding the following line in /etc/modutils/aliases:

#NVdriver portion
alias char-major-195 NVdriver

That’s all the configuration that I made… Here follows a report about what works, what doesn’t, and what I don’t use (yet):

Part Status Remark
Sound OK See below
PS/2 port OK for keyboard and mouse I use currently external PS/2 keyboard and PS/2 scroll mouse with a Y connector with no problem at all
Parallel port OK See below
Integrated LAN OK e100 module
PCMCIA Seems OK Detected my PCMCIA cards right, but I couldn’t use my SCSI PCMCIA card to test, since my SCSI drive is broken…
CDROM OK Seen as /dev/cdroms/cdrom0
CD-R OK See below
DVD OK See below
Bluetooth Seems OK Currently testing, see Linux Bluetooth (supported devices) and below
Wifi ? Not tested, recognized at boot time. Paul Terweduwe reported to me that it was working fine for him.
Acceleratd card OK but not in dual screen mode!
Keyboard OK See below
Serial port OK No problem

The small details


It was auto-probed, but here is the lines which Mandrake inserted for me in my /etc/modules.conf:

alias sound-slot-0 i810_audio

Stephen Jordan, who uses Debian Woody, recommended me the next settings:

  • In /etc/init.d/, to override the sound-driver’s default behaviour of muting all channels at boot:
    amixer set Master 74% unmute
    amixer set PCM 55% unmute
    amixer set CD 81% unmute
  • In /etc/modutils/aliases:
    # ALSA portion
    alias char-major-116 snd
    alias snd-card-0 snd-intel8x0
    # module options should go here
    # OSS/Free portion
    alias char-major-14 soundcore
    alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0
    # card #1
    alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
    alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
    alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
    alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
    alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss

    and then use the update-modules utility to cause the automated systems to insert these lines in /etc/modules.conf.

Parallel port

I had to enable it in the bios, and make it use IO port 0×378 and interrupt 7, then add this line to /etc/modules.conf:

options parport_pc io=0x378 irq=7

In the BIOS (accessible by pressing the Delete key at startup time, the F1 when proposed to by a short message), I have the following settings:

Parallel Port Mode = Std. Bi-Direct.
Device Config. = All Devices
Serial = COM1 (3F8H/IRQ4)
Parallel = LPT1 (378H/IRQ7)


I can rip my CDs very fast with CD-paranoia, with all checks on, at about 4x the normal speed. It seems that data can be recovered quite easily from the CDs…


I burn CD-Rs with the next command, with no problem since now (and I made a diff -r on every one of the first 5 CDs I made):

cdrecord -V speed=8 dev=0,0,0 /tmp/CD.iso


I could see unencrypted DVDs using Xine with no problem. Still can’t see encrypted one, but that not a problem with the drive ;)


It seems that I have the same problem as lots of people have with Toshiba notebooks. The keyboard is not working properly under X11: sometimes when I push a key, two or three characters appear on the screen. It happens all the time, and is not user-friendly at all.

Some people report this as being a problem with Toshiba that doesn’t send the proper key events in the proper order, which explains that the keyboard works with Windows. Some other say me that the problem is a X11 problem which can be cured with the accessX program (Thanks to Chatchawan Wongsiriprasert for the link).

A work-around for me was to disable ‘xkb’ extensions on X11, but you are then supposed to loose your ‘Alt Gr+xxx’ keys, which are absolutely needed on a Belgian keyboard as mine (it includes the pipe ‘|’, the backslash, closing angle bracket,…)

Disabling Xkb can be done by adding in the InputDevice section of /etc/XFConfig86-4 the following line:

Option "XkbDisable" "yes"

If you do this, the keyboard works fine, but the ‘Alt’ keys don’t work anymore. However, I found that on my PC solving that was as easy as to type the next line to reload the X keyboad mappings.

xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/


I’ve bought a Nokia 6310i GSM, with bluetooth, and wanted to connect it to my SP6100 (with bluetooth). I haven’t tested every points of it yet, but I’m progressing. For now, the PC can contact the phone, and get some information about it, so I suppose that I’ll progress fast from here. I detail here what I did. I was inspired by the page Also, I’m not sure if all the steps done were requiered…

  • In /etc/modules.conf: add
    alias char-major-10-181  toshiba
  • Execute
    mknod -m 666 /dev/toshiba c 10 181
  • Get dmabt, compile and execute it (this has to be executed every time you want to use bluetooth)
  • Add to /etc/modules.conf:
    alias net-pf-31 bluez
    alias bt-proto-0 12cap
    alias bt-proto-2 sco
  • Download ‘bluez-libs’ (from bluez web site), compile and install. This creates the files:
    • /usr/include/bluetooth/*
    • /usr/lib/libbluetooth*
  • Download ‘bluez-utils’ (from bluez web site), compile and install. This creates the files:
    • /etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf
    • /etc/bluetooth/pin
    • /bin/hcitool
    • /bin/l2ping
    • /bin/bluepin
    • /sbin/hciattach
    • /sbin/hciconfig
    • /usr/share/man/man8/hciattach.8
    • /usr/share/man/man8/l2ping.8
    • /etc/rc.d/init.d/bluetooth
    • /etc/pcmcia/bluetooth
    • /etc/pcmcia/bluetooth.conf
  • Execute hciconfig hci0 up
  • Now, you can use ‘hcitool dev’, ‘hcitool scan’,… !

Other links

Please find here some other links which might be usefull.

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