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Toshiba Satellite L655D




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ProcessorAMD Phenom II Quad-Core P920 1.6 GHz
Screen15.6“, 1366×768
Optical DriveDVD Super Multi
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250
NetworkEthernet: Atheros. Wifi: Realtek

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorYesFollow's “laptop” article for CPU power-saving support. Every core can scale down to 800MHz on demand (in fact, it's there right now). Using laptop-mode-tools & cpufreq stuff.
ScreenYesDid not try VGA out, for your information. I have it disabled to conserve power anyways, since I will probably never use it.
Optical DriveYesComments
GraphicsYesUsing ATI Radeon open-source drivers. Compositing is still hairy (too slow for me, a few artifacts when tooltips show up sometimes).
SoundPartiallyOut of the box, just installed ALSA. Outputs through speakers only. Headphone jack doesn't do anything (unmuted all outputs, even). Please let me know if you found a way to fix this.
EthernetYesBeware of your kernel version. In my case, my ArchLinux install CD (non-net install) didn't have a new enough kernel. Installed 2.6.35 and it's out-of-the-box.
WirelessPartially, dependsInstall `rtl8192se` driver. Works perfectly with NetworkManager & KDE 4.5 network plasmoid. Depending on your distro you may have luck, or you may tear out your hair. In Fedora's case, it was the latter. In ArchLinux's case is was the former, except the driver kinda sucks. See my follow-up comment. I recommend just saying 'screw it' and buy that USB wifi adaptor
USBYesThere is an eSATA, but I cannot test it as I don't have anything to plug into it.
Card ReaderNot TestedComments
ExpressCard SlotNot TestedI don't know the difference between this and the card reader…either way, I didn't test it. Not sure if it has this and/or the above one…
CameraNot TestedDisabled it in my BIOS, no need to consumer more power for something I won't use.


Great laptop…

Update the BIOS right when you boot into Windows…version 1.50 from original has a lot of cool changes, from the quick glance I took. You'll have to be in Windows probably (that's the easiest).

I actually had the audio not work in both OSes until I would suspend and resume. Weird huh? Tech support was actually really good to me (although I didn't mention Linux. playing it safe ;)


Temperature sensors work and all sorts of things. Touchpad works fine, horz/vert scrolling with it works nicely too. Out of the box (although I installed the KDE touchpad kcm).

Also, I personally advise, if you happen to have a Windows 7 Premium x64 DVD lying wipe the whole hard drive when you install it. There are about 4 partitions and the MS-DOS partition table is limited to that very much, for primaries. If you don't have one, you could just download it (non-cracked one of course) from a torrent and burn it → it isn't like it would be illegal, since you actually *own* the key anyways.


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Anony (original poster of this wiki entry), 2011/05/03 15:16

I'd like to make an update. I no longer use Archlinux, and instead I enjoy Fedora 14 more. It seems to be a lot more my style. However, I gave up on getting wireless to work in this distro. It's a Realtek piece of crap honestly. It worked decently on Archlinux, but it would have some issues even.

I highly recommend just disabling internal wireless, and using an external USB Wireless device.

This applies to other people who have wifi that doesn't work on laptops, too!

The reason I say this, is because it's only 15$ USD and it uses an Atheros driver. The reason I say this is because the thing works out of the box at fast speeds too. No need to install any additional drivers because the ath9_k module Just Works.

The only con is that it's about the size of a regular USB Flash Drive, but that isn't a big deal, because all I care about is the fact that wifi works.

And yes, as Amos said, you'll probably have to reinstall Windows. Also remove the superfluous partitions, as most laptops these days use 4 partitions, with the MS-DOS partition table setup. In other words, you cannot make any additional (primary) partitions. They make stupid partitions anyways, like a recovery partition instead of a windows dvd. So now you have 15 GiB just wasted because they're too damn cheap. Every vendor does it now.

Oh, in the previous post, I also forgot to mention that I fixed the fact of the sound not working, by booting into Windows and reupdating the BIOS (you can do it n number of times, even though it's at the same version..luckily). It's simple, using their Windows utility. I've had to do this 2 or 3 times though. But oddly enough, I think the issue disappeared entirely.

Either way, I'm quite satisfied with my laptop.

Amos Batto, 2011/03/03 17:48

I just tried to install Debian 6.0.0 (Squeeze) on a Toshiba Satellite L655D. The laptop comes with 3 partitions. When I tried to use the Debian installer to shrink the 485GB partition with Windows 7 installed, an error occurred and I was unable to continue the installation. When I rebooted and entered Windows, I was asked if I wanted to do a system recovery. The Windows 7 partition was returned to its original size. I didn't look any of my personal documents, but I had to reinstall all the Windows programs which I had added.

It appears that Linux can only be installed on this laptop by first deleting the Windows partition, so you will need to have a normal installation CD for Windows (not the crappy system recovery disks from the Toshiba laptop) if you plan on installing a dual boot system with this laptop.

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toshiba_satellite_l655d.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/03 15:41 by
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