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Toshiba Satellite C870

Author(s)

Introduction

I am using Opensuse 12.2 (64bit) on this machine and it is working very well. I installed from a DVD and there was a straightforward installation procedure following the 'wizard'. The only changes I remember making during the course of the installation was specifying the timezone, the language to use - English (UK) - and for the /home partition to be encrypted.

Specifications

NameToshiba Satellite C870-156
ProcessorIntel Pentium processor B960 clock speed: 2.20 GHz Front Side Bus: 1,333 MHz 3rd level cache: 2 MB
Screen43.9cm (17.3) type : Toshiba TruBrite HD+ TFT High Brightness display with 16 : 9 aspect ratio and LED backlighting internal resolution : 1,600 x 900
RAM
HDD300 GB
Optical DriveTSSTcorp CDDVDW SN-208AB Optical Drive
Graphics
NetworkRealtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet Controller, Integrated Realtek WLAN controller

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DrivePartialWrite capability not tested
Graphics ChipYes
VGA OutNot Tested
DVI PortNo
HDMI PortNot Tested
DisplayPortNo
Touch ScreenNo
SoundYesWorked out of the box on an Audio CD but I haven't used it much
Built-in MicrophoneNot Tested
Headphone JackNot Tested
Microphone JackNot Tested
EthernetYes
WirelessPartialSee notes below
BluetoothNot Tested
WWANYes, with kernel version 3.2
ModemNo
USBYes
ESATANo
FirewireNo
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNo
WebcamNot Tested
Smart Card ReaderNot Tested
Docking StationNo
Touch PadYes
Track PointNo
Suspend/ResumeYes

Notes

KDE doesn't shutdown properly under AC power.

As a work-around I just make sure I've disconnected the AC power and am running of the battery before I shutdown. There was a suggestion somewhere on the internet about trying “i8042.nomux=1 i8042.reset” as kernel parameters on boot but I haven't got around to trying this so I can't recommend this option.

Wireless LAN doesn't work out of the box, and not with latest Linux kernel.

I got the internal wireless card to work on Toshiba Satellite C870-18N using Realtek rtl8723e driver. It's not listed directly on Realtek website but is the same as rtl8192ce for instance.
After compiling it and installing it (make && make install), you can “modprobe rtl8723e”. At next boot it will be enabled by default.

I noticed that when trying to enable it with “ifconfig wlan0 up” I got a message saying RF-kill prevented it. If you type “rfkill list”, you'll see “Hard blocked: Yes”. To solve this, simply press the “Fn + Wireless” key on keyboard. After a few seconds, it'll say “Hard blocked: No”. (Only do the “Fn + wireless key” sequence ONCE.
I had to do this trick only the first time. It worked correctly on next reboots without requiring to do it again.

It is important to not install compat-wireless by yourself but use the one “supplied” by Realtek.

*IMPORTANT NOTE*
The current driver only supports Linux kernel 2.6 - 3.2 (included).

(Comments from original author:)
There are problems with getting this working.

The internal wlan card isn't supported. The driver it uses, rtl8192ce, fails. It did work twice, fleetingly, for at most a minute when accessing the internet but thereafter it didn't. Some work is being done on the driver but it hasn't been accepted yet into the standard repositoriies.

From my spares box I used a 54Mbps Wireless USB adapter from Pluscom. Model WU-ZD1211B ver.: 1.0. This works, using the driver zd1211rw, which was in the standard repositories. It took some time to get the usb adapter working. The symptom of the problem was that usually it could ping the the internal network but not internet addresses. Very occasionally it could access a web site but not the internal network. What was NOT causing the problem: router settings or firewall; internal network devices' firewalls or other settings; this laptop's firewall or WPA-supplicant. What was causing the problem – NetworkManager wasn't properly creating the dynamically created 'route' information. Solution: Delete the Wireless connection in NetworkManager Settings→ Wireless and create it anew as follows: Connect Automatically: No; System Connection: No; Restrict to interface: wlan1 ( my wireless usb adaptor ); IPv4 Address Basic Settings: Method: Automatic (DHCP); IPv4 is required for this connection: Yes; IPv6 Address Basic Settings: Method: Disabled

The successfully generated route information is below, before changing NetworkManager the default entry was missing:-

># route
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
default 192.168.1.1 0.0.0.0 UG 0 0 0 wlan1
192.168.1.0 * 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 wlan1
#

Summary

The actual physical keyboard takes a bit of getting used to, I still find the keys a bit awkward. All in all the installation was very straightforward, I let the installer partition the disk to allow dual booting with Windows 7 Home Premium and, once I found the place to specify it, told it to encrypt the home partition while it was doing it. Suspend-to-Disk, when running off the battery, after a period of inactivity works as does closing the lid when running off AC Power. I consider this to be a very successful installation. I'm happy to trade a silently running fan for the two unresolved issues above since I can work around them quite easily.


Discussion

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toshiba_satellite_c870.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/25 21:15 by fribanana
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