Toshiba Satellite L300
This document applies in particular to Arch Linux on a Toshiba Satellite L300-OG1. It also applies to the entire L300 series on any modern Linux distribution (which uses at least kernel 2.6.36), and dependent upon what BIOS your system has.
If your laptop has a BIOS version older than v2.20 you probably will have fan control problems and the "Fn" key and PC speaker probably will not work. See below for a method to upgrade your BIOS.
Contact the author of this wiki with any problems or suggestions (lagagnon at gmail.com) (English or Spanish).
This laptop has a dual core Pentium T3400 CPU, 2GB RAM, 15.4" WXGA glossy LCD screen 1280x800, 250GB hard drive, DVD+ RW optical drive, PCMCIA, wireless, ethernet, modem, SD card slot, 3 USB ports, VGA out port, webcam, trackpad. Chip details from "lspci" are:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS, 943/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03) 00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS, 943/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03) 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02) 00:1c.00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 07) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07) 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07) 00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03) 00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03) 00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03) 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03) 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03) 00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03) 00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 5 (rev 03) 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03) 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03) 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03) 00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03) 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03) 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M LPC Interface Controller (rev 03) 00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03) 02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller (rev 02) 03:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
What works without any configuration?
Ethernet, Wireless, Microphone, Synaptic TouchPad, WebCam, USB ports, Card Reader, DVD optical drive, external video port (if booted with video device attached), CPU frequency scaling.
What works with minimal configuration?
Suspend, Hibernate, Fan speed, Video tweaks, Audio, Function Keys (see below for configuring these)
What does not work?
The Fn key and fan control after suspend/hibernate if your BIOS version is less than version 2.20. If you update your BIOS you will not have these problems.
Video: Follow the Intel wiki entry for Intel video. Edit your /boot/grub/menu.lst kernel boot line. See below. If these suggested changes to /boot/grub/menu.lst and /etc/X11/xorg.conf are not made you may not be able to resume from suspend, will get flickering video on shutdown and other minor video faults, but your screen will generally work OK. Here is a suggested /etc/X11/xorg.conf file for reference:
Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "X.org Configured" Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0 InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer" InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" EndSection Section "Files" ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/misc" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi:unscaled" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi:unscaled" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/TTF" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/Type1" EndSection Section "Module" Load "glx" Load "dri2" Load "dri" Load "extmod" Load "dbe" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Keyboard0" Driver "kbd" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "mouse" Option "Protocol" "auto" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice" Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" VendorName "Monitor Vendor" ModelName "Monitor Model" EndSection Section "Device" Option "DRI" "True" Option "NoDDC" "True" #Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "True" Option "EnablePageFlip" "True" Option "RenderAccel" "True" Option "AccelMethod" "UXA" Option "Tiling" "False" Identifier "Card0" Driver "intel" VendorName "Intel Corporation" BoardName "Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller" BusID "PCI:0:2:0" EndSection Section "Extensions" Option "Composite" "Enable" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Device "Card0" Monitor "Monitor0" SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 1 EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 4 EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 8 EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 15 EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 16 EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 24 EndSubSection EndSection
kernel boot parameters (/boot/grub/menu.lst): Heed the Intel video changes and boot manager kernel parameters should include:
kernel /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/your_UUID_here acpi_osi="Linux" ro i915.modeset=1 resume=/dev/sda3
The important kernel parameters above are: acpi_osi="Linux" (fan will not function correctly without), resume=/dev/sda3 (this is the swap partition, without which hibernate will not work) and i915.modeset=1, necessary for KMS video on the Intel graphics chip.
Suspend/Hibernate: The "pm-suspend" and "pm-hibernate" scripts from the pm-utils package work but ACPI fan control after any suspend or hibernate will only function properly with BIOS version 2.20 or higher.
Function Keys: To get the "Fn" key to work one may need to upgrade your BIOS (see below). With a working Fn key the Num Lock key will function. However, you will still have to bind the hardware function key combinations to specific Linux facilities depending on what desktop environment you use. For instance "Fn+F4" is the "hibernate" facility. You have to bind the hibernate script that you specifically use to that key combo. The same goes for screen brightness, suspend, etc. This is not done automatically in Linux. The old "toshiba_acpi" and "fnfx" modules do not work with the InsydeH2O BIOS, they only work with Toshiba-written BIOSes.
For information on how to bind keycodes (e.g. Fn+F4) read Extra keyboard keys. E.G.: bind these following key combinations to their keycodes and then to the following scripts:
- Fn+F1 - xscreensaver-command -lock
- Fn+F2 - sleep 1 && xset dpms force off
- Fn+F3 - sudo pm-suspend
- Fn+F4 - sudo pm-hibernate
- Fn+F6 - xbacklight -dec 80
- Fn+F7 - xbacklight -inc 80
- Fn+F9 - (see the "Software Toggle" here): Touchpad Synaptics
Audio: Should just work, but ensure by using "alsamixer", that the "Front" mixer is set to max, or near max. By default it may be set at zero. Read restoring alsa settings[broken link: invalid section] to find out how to store alsamixer settings between reboots.
Bluetooth: This laptop does not have in-built Bluetooth, but works just great with any bluetooth dongle via USB if you follow these Bluetooth instructions.
Upgrading your BIOS
It seems that most of the L300 and L305 series laptops come with the InsydeH2O BIOS version 1.50. This BIOS is faulty with Linux and results in a dead Fn key and an improperly controlled fan. It is vital to get the fan working properly especially if you wish to use suspend and/or hibernate. The dead Fn key problem however is not a show stopper. The upgraded BIOS will also mean the PC speaker will start working! Toshiba Canada has the latest BIOS version (v2.2 at January 2011) here: http://support.toshiba.ca/support/Download/ln_byModel.asp [dead link 2020-04-03 ⓘ]. Ensure you get the correct file for your specific model. This file is a Windows-only executable - it does not contain anything usable under DOS. Nor can this BIOS be flashed using the Linux "flashrom" application. There are only two ways to flash the ROM with that file:
- Run the file as an executable under a Microsoft Windows environment that you are dual booting with Linux, or,
- Use the undocumented "brick" repair method (below) proposed by Toshiba
As the first method is straightforward it will not be discussed here. Below is the alternate method outlined for Linux users (Note: you do this at your own risk - if done improperly you may permanently "brick" your laptop):
- the .exe file is a 7z compressed file. Use the command "7z e filename.exe" to extract. You may have to install a 7z package first.
- the only important file in the extract is the .fd file. Rename that file to "BIOS.fd"
- copy the BIOS.fd file onto the root directory of a USB flash drive
- remove any inserted CD, the power cord, the battery, and the hard drive from your laptop
- insert the USB flash drive into a USB port on your laptop
- simultaneously hold down the "Fn" and "F" keys
- plug in the power cord to the laptop while still holding Fn+F
- press Power On button of laptop while still holding Fn+F
- USB flash drive light should start to flash. You may now release the Fn+F keys after a few seconds
- leave laptop for about 1 minute. The ROM is being flashed. Your laptop will eventually turn itself off and it may reboot.
- you may turn off laptop now if it has rebooted successfully. If it just turned itself off then continue...
- unplug power cord, remove USB flash drive, replace laptop hard drive and laptop battery. Replug power cord.
- reboot laptop and enter the BIOS setup using "F2". You should see that it has successfully upgraded your BIOS.