Linux on the Toshiba Satellite 2805-S302
I at first wanted to order my laptop from Toshiba preloaded with
Linux, but they don't offer Linux.
So I went ahead and ordered it with Windows, and put Linux on it myself.
Here's what I started with:
Here's the procedure I followed:
- Toshiba Satellite 2805-S302 with built in mini-pci ethernet / modem combo
- Red Hat Linux 7.1
- Partition Magic 4.0 (yes, I know it's old)
Note the lack of pain. It all worked just about the first try, except for
not being able to do the Red Hat install by booting from CD-ROM.
Red Hat 7.1 chose the eepro100 driver for the built-in 100baseT Ethernet
adaptor, and it works fine. Dual boot with Windows works nicely.
- Boot laptop in Windows.
- Create Partition Magic boot floppy using rawrite, since Windows ME doesn't want to run Partition Magic 4.0.
- Boot partition magic from floppy. Resize Windows partition down to 4 GB. (Leave 256 MB suspend area
at start of disk alone!)
- Boot Windows. Create Red Hat 7.1 boot floppy using rawrite, since it failed to boot
from cd-rom, reason unknown.
- Boot from Red Hat 7.1 install floppy. Do usual Linux install, being careful not to
overwrite Windows partition at beginning of disk. I skipped the X probe, but it probably works.
- Boot into Linux. Do normal Linux laptop tweaks (e.g. adjust /etc/inittab to make it halt instead of reboot on CTL-ALT-DEL).
- The speaker makes a constant awful buzz in Gnome, so change the volume with aumix.
You can toggle between high and low power mode by pressing
the FN and F2 keys (F2 is marked with a spigot; guess Toshiba
thinks in terms of waterpower :-) Tap FN-F2 until the screen
brightens for high power mode; tap until it dims for low power mode.
(Update: there appear to be three brightness/power levels, but the
brightness difference between two of them is slight enough that I thought two
were the same when I wrote this page.)
Performance in low-power mode is approximately ONE FOURTH that in
high power mode. That's one serious clock slowdown.
This laptop has enough power to be a good desktop replacement.
See laptopbench/ for benchmark results comparing
this laptop to a Dell Inspiron 8000, a Toshiba Satellite 220CDS, a 450 MHz
Pentium III white box, and a dual 650 MHz Pentium III system.
If you're used to an older Satellite, you'll be happy with this unit;
the only change since the Satellite 220 is they've shortened the
the spacebar on the right end, and stuck an extra ALT key there.
The keyboard is composed completely of full-sized keys
(except for the function keys F1-F12). This is a Good Thing
for those who use the Home, End, PageUp, and PageDn keys a lot.
The pencil-eraser-style mouse takes some getting used to, but
the buttons are nicely placed and easy to use.
- Haven't tried the modem or 3d games yet.
- Awful buzzing noise from speakers.
Last Update: 5 July 2001