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Panasonic Toughbook 52

Introduction

The Toughbook 52 (CF-52) runs with no issues on Linux. The noteboook was specifically tested on Ubuntu 8.10.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Panasonic Toughbook 52. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Panasonic Toughbook 52 page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Panasonic Toughbook 52 specifications page.

NamePanasonic Toughbook 52
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo
Screen15.4“ WUXGA Widescreen
RAM1GB to 4GB
HDD160GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
NetworkEthernet, Intel 5100 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYessee notes
SoundYessee notes
EthernetYes
WirelessYes
BluetoothYes
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested

Notes

Successfully tested the toughbook 52 (cf-52) with Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex). A few configuration kinks are noted below. No special boot options were used.

Hibernation and Sleep also are successful.

Graphics

The default resolution (1024×768) worked but changed the resolution settings to get a higher resolution (1280×800).

1. Goto System Menu→Preferences→Screen Resolution
2. Uncheck “Mirror Screens”
3. Select the Unknown (you may need to select drag to show both screens)
4. Turn “Off” the Resolution from the drop down list. (when you connect an external monitor, enable it again)
5. Select the Laptop screen and enable the max resolution.

To speed up the graphics edit the xorg.conf add have it use the intel driver:
1. sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
2. add Driver “intel”

For example:
Section “Device”
Identifier “Configured Video Device”
Driver “intel”
EndSection

glxgears shows fps over 1000 with this change. Keep in mind that processor stepping affects this number as well.

Sound

Sound worked but if you are not getting any double-check the hardware button, fn-F4.

Summary

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex installed flawlessly on the laptop with no special settings required. Live CD also booted with no issues.


Discussion

John, 2014/06/19 06:14

Thanks for nice share! Panasonic's CF-52 is a prime example of that crossover. While it has the bulky militarized look of a truly rugged laptop, it is, in fact, what one would call a semirugged system–offering somewhat increased protection at a more reasonable price and weight.
For Minneapolis web design service, please check out: http://www.proweb365.com

kt, 2011/03/24 22:01

any update? :-/

H Forrest Alexander, 2010/10/27 23:01

I can confirm Brad Landis's comment.

In fact, there seems to be some incompatibility with recent versions of the kernel. I have tested numerous Linux distributions on my CF-52 and noted the following:

ACPI support is poor. Battery readings are almost always inaccurate with any given distribution or software. Backlight control is completely non-functional (have to change during BIOS portion of boot). Speaking of BIOS, the BIOS corrupts low memory and also induces a frustrating (10+ second) delay before startup (the hardware is otherwise good so this is actually the limiting factor on fast startup with a custom kernel and sensible boot scripts). On top of this, probably due to the BIOS, hibernation doesn't really work at all and suspend works sporadically - sometimes it's perfect, sometimes it won't resume and I have to hard reboot. I hate inadvertently suspending and having to fsck.

I have noted, however, that circa Ubuntu 8.x-9.x the support was better. Haven't looked into it much since I do use other more recent kernel features. The current release (not “Statler Alpha”) CrunchBang distribution is one of the few that has good inbuilt support thanks whatever factors make pre-10.x Ubuntu userspace/kernel so much friendlier to the Toughbook CF-52. Note that I have run into the exact same problems with Gentoo/Funtoo, Arch, and non-Ubuntu Debian distributions.

On a completely unrelated note, while the laptop is otherwise robust, the coverslips for I/O ports tend to tear or break off and the headphone/microphone jacks are absolute crap. Broke for me and another owner of the same model such that the speakers disable but the headphones also don't work - probably something is just jammed in the mechanical switch.

The computer runs fine if you don't use any power management whatsoever, and the handle is nice. Still, if you really want a Toughbook I'd recommend a fully rugged to actually take advantage of its portability and toughness (and risk still having potentially poor hardware support), or else buy a different brand of laptop that actually has proper Linux support. This thing has been a major pain.

H Forrest Alexander, 2010/10/27 23:03

And just to clarify, I have the same hardware listed; 2gb RAM.

maisoon Alkhateeb, 2010/05/17 09:24

I am workinh in the national guard health affairs (Riyadh) we are exporing about your toughbooks products could you please answer the following questions please
Size
Height
Width
Weight
Battery & Battery Life when on internal power
Recharging time
Stand availability
Distributor in the Middle East or KSA
And if there is a Service Agent in the ME or KSA
If possible a price per unit.

Brad Landis, 2009/04/24 16:01

This is not true for all CF-52's. I have a CF-52C…, and it will not work without putting acpi=off in the kernel boot line. The battery does not show as a result of this, and the PC does not power off without manually hitting the power button.

kees, 2012/01/27 12:59

Hi

I´ve a CF-52 it works with the latest mint linux. The only thing, on boot it hangs about a minute. Every thing works. When adding ACPI=OFF in the boot. The laptop boots quick and doesn´t stop a minute. But then the battery symbol in the screen is not there

Kees

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panasonic_toughbook_52.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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