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Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 - i3/i5 Model

Introduction

This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 laptop with the Intel Core i3 and i5 processor. For whatever reason Toshiba has released this model with the same name as the previous models, despite the fact that internally these are totally different. See this guide for coverage of the Intel Core 2 models.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 - i3/i5 Model. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 - i3/i5 Model page on LapWik.

Author

Bill Giannikos

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 - i3/i5 Model specifications page.

NameToshiba Satellite Pro U500 - i3/i5 Model
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i5 processor 430M (2.26GHz/2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 3MB L2 Cache)
Intel® Core™ i3 processor 330M (2.13GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 3MB L2 Cache)
Screen13.3“ (1366×768) Widescreen
RAMUp to 8GB
HDDup to 500GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel HM55 (Arandalle)
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11(b/g/n)

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorks
ScreenWorks
HDDWorks
Optical DriveWorks
GraphicsPartialSee notes
SoundWorks
EthernetWorks
WirelessPartialSee notes
BluetoothNot Tested
ModemNot Tested
USBWorks
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested
WebcamWorks

Notes

This laptop was tested with Ubuntu 9.10.

Graphics

Current Linux distributions don't support the graphics processor in the U500 as standard, all you get is a blank screen. However you can install an experimental set of Xorg to get support for the Arrandale chipset. See this guide for details for doing this with Ubuntu 9.10. I'm also planning to write guides for other distributions as well so keep an eye on Linwik.

In Ubuntu 10 you can use the proprietary nvidia drivers. To do this click on
System → Administration → Hardware Drivers
From this menu you will be able to install the driver.

Check /etc/X11/xorg.conf to see if the driver is now being used.
Section “Device”
Identifier “Default Device”
Driver “nvidia”
Option “NoLogo” “True”
EndSection

I am currently working on enabling the inbuilt graphics card while on battery and the nvidia GPU when on power.

Wireless

This laptop (at least the model tested here) uses the Realtek 8172 wireless controller. No Linux distribution that I know of supports this as standard so you will need to compile and install it yourself. You can download the drivers from the Realtek 8192se driver page. Even though it states the drivers are for the 8192se they also work with the 8172. See this guide for details on installing this driver with Ubuntu 9.10. I'm also planning to write guides for other distributions as well so keep an eye on Linwik.

Some people have observed some flakiness of this driver, if you are having this issue you may like to periodically check the Realtek download page for updated drivers.

Summary

At this stage the i3/i5 model of the Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 is not a good candidate to use with Linux. Its issues require you to install experimental drivers which may impact the stability of your system. While the issues with the Arrandale will be fixed soon it's not so clear about the wireless controller.


Discussion

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toshiba_satellite_pro_u500_-_i3_i5_model.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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