How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
38% (8)
Good
 
38% (8)
Fair
 
14% (3)
Poor
 
5% (1)
Unusable
 
5% (1)

Toshiba Satellite A100

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Toshiba Satellite A100 laptop. The A100 is a low to middle end model laptop with some fairly standard features making Linux support good.

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.

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Specifications

NameToshiba Satellite A100
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2250 1.73GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA
RAM1GB
HDD120GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Network10/100 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYes
WirelessYesUse the ipw3945 module or the iwlwifi driver found in kernels 2.6.24 and up
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYes
PCMCIANot Tested

Notes

As default the native screen resolution of the Satellite A100 is 1280×800 but due to how the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 works this resolution would not be usable right away. View our Configuring the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 & 950 guide for instructions on how to deal with this.

Summary

Only some quite minor configuration work was required to get the Toshiba Satellite A100 working properly with Linux.


Discussion

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I have a very similiar experience to “Fourcultures”'s.

- microphone
- batterylife

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Fourcultures, 2009/06/13 13:01

Very successful install
I've installed Ubuntu 9.04 on my Satellilte A100 and am very pleased with it. In almost every respect it's a major improvement on the Windows XP that was originally installed and far, far better than the Vista I sometimes have to put up with on other machines. I agree with the previous comment. I wouldn't have thought the Intel card would cope very well with the advanced graphics of Compiz Fusion, but it actually works nicely.
The only two issues I have are as follows:
1) battery life. When I started out I was only getting 1 hour out of the battery that previously lasted at least 1.5 hrs using XP. A solution: turn off the wifi using the manual hardware switch on the right of the case. This ups my battery life to its original, or possibly a bit beyond. But this isn't really satisfactory. If I was using wifi on the battery I'd be fed up. I understand there have been power management issues with Ubuntu and maybe this is what I'm experiencing.
2) Audio-in. Sound works really well except that I can't get my microphone to work. I've read that there may be problems using Logitech microphones, but I heven't worked out how to fix this yet.
Overall I can put up with these two issues in order to have an operating system that in every other way is fantastic. I made the A100 a dual boot (Ubuntu 9.04/Windows XP) which means I can go back to XP whenever I want. I haven't done so once, and am now considering removing Windows completely.

Fourcultures at Ubuntu Forums
http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=842556

Fourcultures, 2009/06/13 13:07

I forgot to mention that the note above on needing to configure the screen resolution manually isn't accurate in my experience. Ubuntu 9.04 did this all without me noticing anything. The screen resolution has always been exactly right and was usable right away.

Grug, 2008/11/12 20:04

Successful install

I have been running Debian Lenny on this laptop for almost 1 year now. Everything is working happily, but as above, I also haven't tested the modem, firewire or PCMCIA.

I'm running Xfce4 with Compiz Fusion, which is working surprisingly well on the Intel card, although some plugins are disabled. I assume this is an OpenGL support issue although I haven't investigated yet.

When browsing or coding, I get 2.5-3 hours of battery life without any tweaking, naturally less under more intense conditions.

All-in-all, very, very happy with the compatibility and ease of use.

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toshiba_satellite_a100.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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