Configuring Ubuntu 7.04 on a Toshiba A135-S2356

See this post for an update on sound.

I recently got a new Toshiba Satellite A135-S2356, on which I installed Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. Below I will discuss several issues involved in configuring Ubuntu on the laptop. Unfortunately, I was not able to configure everything to my complete satisfaction. In those cases, I will detail as much as I know about the issue and will update this post as I learn more.


Synaptics Touchpad

To configure the touchpad you need install an application such as gsynaptics. (On KDE you may want to use a different application, such as ksynaptics.) gsynatpics can be installed using the Synaptic Package Manager. After installing gsynaptics, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and look for an entry that starts:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"

Make sure that the following option is listed under that entry:

Option          "SHMConfig"     "on"

If you do modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf, you’ll need to restart the X-server for the changes to take effect. You can do this by rebooting or pressing ctrl-alt-backspace.


Sound

Sound is the most frustrating part of configuring this laptop. The Toshiba Satellite A135-S2356 uses the ATI SB450 HDA sound card. Apparently the SB450 has worked off and on at various stages of Ubuntu’s life cycle over the past few years. Its pretty frustrating that it reportedly worked in Ubuntu 6.10 but is broken again in Ubuntu 7.04. Its not clear to me if the problem lies in the kernel or with ALSA. At any rate, I have figured out how to get the sound card working, but with one giant quirk. When headphones are plugged in, the sound continues to emit from the laptop’s internal speakers, essentially defeating the point of headphones. To get to this point, you need to edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base, and add the following line to the end of it:

options snd-hda-intel probe_mask=8 model=3stack

After doing so, the easiest next step is to reboot, that way the change will take effect. I have tried recompiling the alsa drivers, but that did not fix the speaker-headphone problem. In addition, it does not appear that this problem is a very high priority issue. Hopefully that will change, as I and many others require music while working and often work in environments where externally audible sound is unacceptable. I will continue to monitor the situation and will update this blog if I figure out how to make the speakers mute when headphones are plugged in. If anyone reading this blog knows how to fix the speaker-headphone situation, please post a comment.

I have posted a solution to get the headphones to mute, here.


Graphics Card

Restricted drivers exist for the ATI graphics card in the laptop; however, I’ve found that when enabled, the screen goes black when ever you log out of Ubuntu. Consequently you have to reboot. So, if you’re the only person that uses the laptop, then those drivers are probably OK to use. On the other hand, if you’re not doing anything graphically intensive, you probably don’t need to worry about using them. I have not extensively looked into recompiling the kernel to fix the black screen problem.


Hibernate/Sleep

The laptop does not seem to properly wake from hibernate and sleep, using the default power management scheme. I was able to fix the problem by changing the default power management scheme with the steps below. (Note, I am still testing this new scheme.)

  1. Install uswsusp using the Synaptic Package Manager.
  2. Test uswsusp. To test hibernate, execute sudo s2disk. To test sleep, execute sudo s2ram -f. You must use the -f option because the A135-S2356 is not in the whitelist of supported laptops for s2ram. However, it seemed to work fine for me. For more information about s2ram, go to http://en.opensuse.org/S2ram.
  3. The default power management scripts have a certain order in which they look for commands that put your computer into hibernation or to sleep. The first thing they look for is pmi. Unfortunately, you can not remove pmi from you system because of the way certain package dependencies are organized. However, you can rename pmi so that the power management scripts can’t find it. If you renamed pmi using a move command, it would simply reappear the next time it was updated on the system. What you can do instead is to rename in a way that lets the packagemanagment system know it was renamed. That can be done with the following command:
    sudo dpkg-divert --rename --divert /usr/sbin/pmi-disabled /usr/sbin/pmi

    Now, power management will find s2disk and s2ram instead of pmi. Note, if you have installed other power management tools, you may have to remove them or similarly rename them.

  4. Another issue is that we need the power management execute s2ram -f, not just s2ram. In order to do that, we mv s2ram similarly to how we moved pmi.
    sudo dpkg-divert --rename --divert /sbin/s2ram-install /sbin/s2ram

    After moving s2ram, we create a new s2ram that calls the renamed s2ram with the appropriate flags. That can be accomplished with the following two commands:

    sudo echo "/sbin/s2ram-install -f" > /sbin/s2ram
    sudo chmod 755 /sbin/s2ram
  5. Note, because we used dpkg-divert to rename s2ram, it will still get updated properly.

Toshiba Function Keys

The Toshiba function keys can be used to adjust brightness, mute/unmute the audio, etc. I have not yet figured this one out. However, I believe the solution is use fnfx, which can be installed using the Synaptic Package Manager. Unfortunately, in order for fnfx to work, the kernel must be compiled with Toshiba support. In particular, it requires that CONFIG_ACPI and CONFIG_ACPI_TOSHIBA are defined in the kernel configuration. Toshiba support seems to be missing in the kernel that Ubuntu supplies. Thus, I believe it is necessary to recompile the kernel. If you’re reading this and you know where to download current versions of the kernel compiled with Toshiba support, please post a comment.


DNS

Although I’ve been disappointed with Ubuntu’s sound support, I have been impressed with its wireless support. The wireless just worked! One addition I like to make to the wireless is to make OpenDNS the default DNS provider. I do this because some ISPs have not yet figured out how to setup fast and reliable DNS. In order to make OpenDNS your default DNS server for your wireless, add the following line to /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf, and then reboot:

prepend domain-name-servers 208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220;

ipod

Because the headphones do not work properly, I am forced to use an external music player. Currently I am using an ipod. Instructions can be found at http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9266, for using your ipod with Ubuntu. Personally, I have chosen to use gtkpod to manage my ipod. In addition, if you’re sick of Rhythmbox starting whenever you attach your ipod to your laptop, you can fix that by launching gconf-editor and modifying the settings under desktop -> gnome -> volume_manager. If found that particular piece of advice here.

Advertisements

~ by Ryan Lefever on June 12, 2007.

17 Responses to “Configuring Ubuntu 7.04 on a Toshiba A135-S2356”

  1. Wile googling about Linux’s ubuntu i cane across ur blog and i must say that it was very informative..am one of those people who wants to cross over to the world of unix but am really scared of dual booting my current vista machine with ubuntu v7.04.i have read a lot of procedures that seem simple enough but there have been a lot of people who have complained about having issues with hibernation,graphic card compatibility and some other terrible things after dual booting.what is ur take on this and would you who recommend me to dual boot? is it safe,? if yes then what can i do to avoid these issues and ensure a safe dual boot.please am a complete newbie to linux and would really appreciate if u can explain things to me i details.thanks in advance .NB my system configuration are Gateway MT6821,160gb sata,2gb ddr ram,core2duo 1.6,intel graphic accelerator,vista home premium.

  2. Thanks for the info. I was able to finally hear sound on my Toshiba laptop( same as yours) using your edit suggestions. Sorry I can’t help you with your headphone problem. This site is areal find for me.

  3. Bobby,

    Thanks for the comment! I apologize for not resonding earlier, but I’ve been quite busy lately.
    > Wile googling about Linux’s ubuntu i cane across ur blog and i
    > must say that it was very informative..am one of those people
    > who wants to cross over to the world of unix but am really
    > scared of dual booting my current vista machine with ubuntu
    > v7.04.i have read a lot of procedures that seem simple enough
    > but there have been a lot of people who have complained about
    > having issues with hibernation,graphic card compatibility and
    > some other terrible things after dual booting.what is ur take
    > on this and would you who recommend me to dual boot?
    As far as I know dual booting, in and of its self, should not effect your Windows setup. While you may have problems with graphics cards, hibernation, etc. on the Linux side, you should be able to boot into Windows and everything should remain the same as it was before you dual booted. The two caveats to that statement follow. 1) If you were to update firmware from within Linux, for some device on your computer, that would of course effect both the Windows and Linux setups. 2) If for some reason the boot loader (the process that controls which OS into which you boot) got messed up, then you could potentially not be able to boot into anything. Now, I don’t want to scare you off with that last statement because there is no reason that the boot loader should get messed up, unless you modify it by hand and don’t know what you’re doing. Ubuntu’s new migration assistant seems to have a very good handle on dual booting Ubuntu and Windows Vista. I personally chose to use Ubuntu this time around because Ubuntu’s installer makes dual booting with Vista very easy. I’ve heard that there is a lot more work involved in dual booting Vista with other flavors of Linux.
    > is it
    > safe,? if yes then what can i do to avoid these issues and
    > ensure a safe dual boot.please am a complete newbie to linux
    > and would really appreciate if u can explain things to me i
    > details.thanks in advance .NB my system configuration are
    > Gateway MT6821,160gb sata,2gb ddr ram,core2duo 1.6,intel
    In combination with what I said above, there is no reason that dual booting should be unsafe, as far as I know, unless for some reason the Ubuntu installer fails. I can’t really comment on the odds of it failing, but I am personally confident in it. So, if you’re interested in trying Linux, I highly recommend trying it. Dual booting is a good way to go because you still have your Windows distribution, with which you’re comfortable. My personal opinion on the state of Linux is that it is pretty well developed for desktops but still needs some work for laptops. What I mean by that is that on desktop machines you seem to run into much fewer problems with graphics cards, sounds cards, etc. That being said, the Toshiba I posted about is a laptop, and I have Ubuntu sufficiently working on it.
    For help on dual booting Ubuntu with Vista already installed, take a look at http://apcmag.com/5046/how_to_dual_boot_vista_with_linux_vista_installed_first.
    Also, if you have the actual Windows installation disks, then you could always reinstall Windows if something terrible happened.

  4. Hey, great blog…lots of useful stuff. I have a similar laptop (A135-S2276) with the same problems. I found a workaround for the headphone problem that worked on mine. First you need to download the latest ALSA drivers (the sources) from the website. Next find the realtek6 patch (It’s somewhere in the ALSA bug-tracking section). And put the c file in the appropriate location in the sources and then compile the alsa drivers. The last thing is to change where you put “3stack” to “lenovo” and then things should be working…hope this helps!

  5. Thanks a lot Chris. The help is greatly appreciated!

  6. thank you thank you so much , me too bought 7 days ago bought toshiba a135-s2356 . me too have sound problem . i want fix this , i find everyday google ,but i cant found . but today i can found your advice . i can now listening ubuntu’s start song and some music .

  7. i have a Toshiba Satellite A135 S4527. I have or have had a lot of the same problems that I have seen discussed here. I am dual booting feisty fawn and Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit. I can say to the people that are nervous about dual booting don’t worry about it!! Most things work for me with feisty fawn and vista. I have no problems with vista. Try downloading vista boot pro. It is a FREE download that is easy to use. You can resize your windows partition with it. Don’t format the new unused space and DO NOT DELETE THE PROGRAM!! Just download the program while on windows!! if anyone knows of a precompiled kernel please let me know!!

  8. I have a Toshiba Satellite A135-S4666. I used this guide here to fix my headphone problem (includes link to patch):
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=501422

    I also completely wiped off Vista and installed XP .. zomg .. it’s like 5 times faster, no kidding. If you have a 4666 or 4527 there are some XP driver links here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?p=2174464

    Otherwise I would STRONGLY suggest you try “driver genius” (the demo).

  9. Hey…
    I own a 105 Serie…
    this ¨options snd-hda-intel probe_mask=8 model=3stack” tip that I’ve seen on other pages never worked for me… however if I type ¨options snd-hda-intel model=auto¨ the sound works fine (and damn loud) and there is absolutely no speakers/headphone problem.

    post if it worked for you.. I’d like to know how it works on a 135

  10. it’s not work on me , only work on me 3stack .

  11. Does the power management fix (i.e. using uswsp instead of the default for suspend to disk/ram), fix the problem where after suspend to ram the screen does not come back to life? This is something I can not seem to fix yet and will be a breaking point for continuing to use Ubuntu 7.04. This is on a A135-S2276 using the latest ATI drivers from their website.

  12. […] Headphones for Ubuntu 7.04 on a Toshiba A135-S2356 A user named Chris submitted a comment on my “Configuring Ubuntu 7.04 on a Toshiba A135-S2356″ post that helped me fixed a […]

  13. Mike,

    > Does the power management fix (i.e. using uswsp instead of the
    > default for suspend to disk/ram), fix the problem where after
    > suspend to ram the screen does not come back to life?

    I believe uswsp does fix that problem. Its not perfect though. In my experience, uswsp occasionally will not properly sleep, and occasionally it will not properly wakeup.

  14. Hi,

    I tried what you wrote, but there is no s2ram command available after installation of uswsusp package. And now I would like to undo what has been done by the command:

    sudo dpkg-divert –rename –divert /usr/sbin/pmi-disabled /usr/sbin/pmi

    how do I do that?

    Moz

  15. > sudo dpkg-divert –rename –divert /usr/sbin/pmi-disabled
    > /usr/sbin/pmi

    Moz,

    You can run:

    sudo rm /usr/sbin/pmi
    sudo dpkg-divert –rename –remove /usr/sbin/pmi

    Note that is dash dash rename and dash dash remove. For some reason they don’t show up correctly in comments.

    I obtained this information from http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/118.

    I apologize for the latent reply.

  16. Hello everybody, first at all i wanna congratulate you, it’s a very useful blog. Now the reason because I found this site: I have the same problem with the function keys so I can’t put down the screen brightness and my eyes are suffering because of it, I have been searching for a precompilate kernel but I wasn’t able to find it. If somebody finds one I would be very happy to know about it, my mail is bumbi.kitty@gmail.com, it would be very nice if somebody could tell me something about it. I’m sorry for the bad english, have been too much time without using it.. ^_^’

    Thanks and have a nice day! 😉

  17. Hey, just a quick note…I am finding that ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) runs on my Toshiba laptop better than Hardy did.

    First of all, the video card driver that comes with it works great! What a change!! Very easy to enable desktop effects, Compiz, etc.

    Also, I installed the fnfxd, and my brightness buttons work great. I didn’t try them before installing though, so they may have been working before. Nonetheless, no tweaking needed there for me!

    I haven’t had problems with sound, although, once in a while, the sound will hang – move to a dead crawl, which is very annoying because you hear almost exactly the same sound over and over…if anyone knows a fix for this, I’d love to hear it! Of course, it doesn’t happen often, so I’m not too worried, but it’s no fun having to reboot just for that.

    One thing though…Since putting Ubuntu on my laptop, (first Hardy and now Intrepid) I have not been able to get it to wake up from suspend (it seems to wake up, but the screen stays off), and hibernate will NOT work, no matter what I try. It says it can’t create the image because there isn’t enough space! :-O When I type in ‘sudo s2disk’, I get this error:

    s2disk: Could not stat the resume device file. Reason: No such file or directory

    This is no fun at all, because I am always turning my computer off completely instead of hibernating or suspend, and when my battery is low I can’t have it set to do anything, because it won’t work anyway, so it just sits on until it dies. I could cry! Aaarrgh! Any other suggestions? I’ll try just about anything!

    Just one final note. I was trying to uninstall a bunch of stuff to see if that would help – you know, in case something I’d installed to make it work was actually preventing this recent fix from working – and I removed hibernate and pm-utils

    DO NOT REMOVE PM-UTILS!!!

    Stupid, stupid me! I was hoping to just uninstall and then reinstall, since that has fixed a few things for me before…The problem was, it uninstalled a bunch of other stuff with it, including Network Manager – not good at all! I’ve uninstalled Network Manager before, and was able to reinstall it again right away without the internet…but not this time! And it also made my CD-Rom drive almost useless…so when I downloaded a copy of the .deb for Network Manager on another computer and burned it to a CD, I couldn’t read the disk! I couldn’t get on the internet for ANYTHING, not wired or wireless, I couldn’t even connect to another computer directly…I finally had to go out and buy a USB drive and copy the installer that way…Then I was able to fix it!

    Well, don’t be like me, and if you want to laugh at all that, go right ahead!!! I know I am (now that it’s fixed). And after all that, I still can’t get hibernate or suspend working!!! My goodness!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: