Updates: 2000/12/06: X server now working fine on the T7220CTe !

2000/04/15: SuSE 6.4 from Chris Farey <> added
2000/06/17: Slackware 7.0 from Erik Ginorio <> added
2000/06/30: T7200CT with Dock II
2000/09/25: T7220CTe
2000/10/13: Debian 2.2 `Potato' from Andrei Popov <> added


This document describes experiences with running Linux on a Toshiba Portege T7140CT Model PP714E-31902N, and later with a T7200CT Model PP720E-6390W-EN with a DVD Network Dock II (PA3007E-1DST) and a T7220CTe. The differences between the base machines is the `SpeedStep Technology 600Mhz' CPU, the 11GB disk, and the graphics card on the T7220.

This page was started a few hours after I got the first machine, and developed as I learnt more. As soon as it was working sufficiently, it was taken back by its user, so I no longer have access to the machine (unless it happens to be on the internet, which is rare). Another user got the second machine, so I've had another chance to poke. Then one got the T7220CTe, and it all went pear shaped (til timr came to the rescue!). Finally someone wanted something that worked, so got another 7140.
However, other readers have sent in their experience such as SuSE 6.4, Slackware 7.0 and Debian 2.2 `Potato' and asked questions, some of which I could answer from memory or log files kept on our servers. Please feel free to send any comments etc to me.

The variously `official' Toshiba Linux pages (de and jp) have no Linux info yet :-(

Overall Description

The 7140CT has a 500MHz Mobile PIII with 32K of L1 and 256KB of L2 cache. It comes with base memory of 64M, and can upgraded to 192MB (according to the manual) or 320MB (according to the Web Page). Its 6GBi (5.6GB) IBM-DARA-206000 disk (Travelstar 12GN with 2 heads: 4200RPM, 12mS seek, 418KB buffer, 85-161Mb/s, UDMA2 66.6MB/s, 9.5mmx70mmx102mm) manages 4MB/s with UDMA off, but `hdparm -d1 /dev/hda' boosts that to 13 MB/s.
It has a 13.3" TFT LCD display, managing 1024x768. It has a Trident CyberBlade 64 Bit AGP, with 4MB VRAM (XF86_SVGA (R3) only sees 2MB, but XF86 R4 sees 4MB), and BitBLT graphics processor. It has the usual Toshiba AccuPoint II, but as well as the normal 2 buttons, it also has two small `scroll' buttons. There is an SVGA monitor port at the back, next to the battery.
It has two typeII Cardbus slots, which can take a single typeIII PCMCIA card. Its built in Lucent Microelectronics 56k Winmodem which manages 48000/31200bd, V.90, V.42bisLAPM. The I/O adaptor has a single PS/2 socket, a serial port, a parallel port, and a blanked off monitor port. It has a standard Toshiba external Floppy Drive. The EES Technology ES1978 Maestro 2E (rev 10) is meant to be Sound Blaster compatible. It has a single USB, which can be used in `USB Legacy Emulation' to connect a USB mouse `as if' it were a normal mouse - no need for kernel USB support. However, it does not support a wheel mouse. It has IrDA v1.1.
It measures 97x241x25 mm, and weighs in at 2 kg.
The CD/DVD is an optional extra, which I don't have. fubob@MIT.EDU reports that he needed to use a RH6.2beta pcmcia.img as RH6.1 failed to drive the PCMCIA CD or CardBus ethernet card (without tweaking the BIOS). He also fetched the latest pcmcia sources from and built them.

They claim up to 3 hours for the standard battery and up to 5 hours for the High Capacity battery. The standard battery (see gif graphs: 184x151@1k, 363x277@3k or 596x404@5k) seems to last around 2:40 under Linux, and takes 4 hours to recharge if in use. When charging, it stays at 0 for 20 mins, then jumps to 10%, before rising steadily until it flattens off between 80% and 90% then jumps to 100%.
It starts beeping when there are just 8 mins (2%) battery life left. At 3 mins (1%) it suspends itself to RAM - reconnecting power and pressing the power button brings it back on.

T7200CT differences (faster CPU, bigger disk)

The T7200CT is similar to the T1740 except that it has a `SpeedStep Technology 600Mhz' CPU, and a 11GB IBM-DARA-212000 disk (Travelstar 12GN with 4 heads).

T7220CTe differences (faster CPU, different disk and graphics)

The T7220CTe was similar to the T7200CT except that it has a 650 MHz CPU, a TOSHIBA MK1214GAP (HDD2149) 11.2 GB disk, and an S3 Savage IX 64 Bit AGP, 8MB SGRAM, BitBLT graphics processor, (DeviceID 0x8C12, so Savage/IX-MV) which needs XFree86 4.0.2 or later, or better still, the latest server from timr at

The `power' button suspends it to memory, using about 1% of the standard battery capacity per hour.

Initial system Load

RedHat 6.1/6.2/7.1 network Load

The initial RedHat 6.1 (T7140, PCMCIA), 6.2 (T7140, T7200 with Dock II and T7220) and 7.1 (T7220) were reasonably straightforward.

For a machine without the docking station, using RH6.1, use the PCMCIA boot disk, and to the LILO: prompt, type `text' as it cannot drive the screen under X.
If the docking station is available, and using RH6.2, the standard netboot disk can be used, and it `falls back' to text mode when X fails.

If doing a RH 6.1 PCMCIA install, if the `PC Card' setting in the BIOS is `Auto-Selected'(the default), the PCMCIA adaptor appears to think that 3Com EtherLink III 3c589 C and D cards and 3Com Megahertz cards such as 3CCFE574BT are memory rather than network cards (use Alt-Ctrl-F4 to select VC4 to see the PCMCIA messages), so set it to `PCIC Compatible' if you have problems with a `PC card' card, or to CardBus if you have a CardBus card. As I couldn't find a way to enter the BIOS (hold down ESC during startup), and as the user wanted Dual Boot anyway, I booted into W98, shutdown to DOS mode, and used TSETUP - the alternative is to use the supplied Toshiba `Companion Diskette / Supports Windows 98 / Disk 1 of 1 / Version W98C07ENB2 / Date: 19-11-1999' which is worth saving on line somewhere so that a new one can be created if the original is lost.
Works fine under 6.1 with `Auto-Selected' for a D-Link DE-650, and for a 3CXFE575BT under 6.2.

7.1 `just worked' with a 3Com ...

SuSE 6.4 (Chris Farey <>)

On 15th May 2000, Chris Farey <> sent me the following ...
This note describes what was required to set up SuSE 6.4 Linux on a Toshiba 7200CT Portege laptop. The system was set up to dual boot Windows 2000 and Linux. It came pre-installed with NT 4.0, and was purchased with a Netgear FA410TXC 10/100 PCMCIA network card, and a Freecom Traveller DVDROM drive with PCMCIA interface. An Adaptec 1460 SlimSCSI PCMCIA card was also available.

Initially Redhat 6.2 was installed. This installed correctly, but it was only possible to boot using a boot floppy, and the PCMCIA did not appear to work correctly. It was also not possible to configure the display. Information at indicated that XFree86 release 4 should work with the display, and since this was included (albeit as an additional, unsupported package) on the SuSE 6.4 distribution, it was decided to use SuSE instead.

SuSE Linux was installed on a disk partitioned as follows:
P1 Primary Partition containing NTFS (5Gb)
P2 Primary Partition containing Linux swap (128 Mb)
P3 Primary Partition containing Linux Ext2
To install it was necessary to load PCMCIA support, to give access to either the network card or a SCSI card. Unfortunately the PCMCIA core i82365 module failed to load correctly. The SuSE web site contained am RPM file containing a patch, but this patch could only be used after installing Linux. To get round this, we downloaded the RPM, and used rpm2cpio to convert it to a CPIO archive, from which it was possible to extract the files. SuSE installation provides 2 floppies, one of which is a Modules floppy. This contains a FAT file system with 3 gzipped files, each containing a Minix file system. The `Other Modules' file was copied off floppy, gunzipped, and then the file mounted on a Linux system as a file system using the loopback driver. The updated modules from the patch were then copied in, the file system unmounted, and the files gzipped again and copied back to floppy.

The new modules disk overcame the previous PCMCIA problem, but there were then interrupt conflicts. These were solved by passing the parameter ``irq_list=7,9,10,12,14,15'' to the i82365 module. The system then successfully found the network card and the Adaptec 1460, giving access to a CDROM drive.

The first install was done using graphical YaST, but on reboot this failed to handle the display, and the machine locked up.

A second attempt was made using test-based YaST, and this installed correctly, but the installed partition failed to boot either from floppy or from a boot loader. LiLo, NT and ninu loaders were all tried, but all failed. The problem was believed to be caused by the Linux partition going beyond Cylinder 1024 of the disk, so the disk was repartitioned with 4 partitions, with the third ending at cylinder 1023. This cured the boot problem, and it was possible to install Linux and boot it.

The next problem was that the installed system did not contain the PCMCIA patches. These were installed from floppy, but the recommended command:
rpm -Uhv -force pcmcia_m.rpm

Failed because of missing dependencies. However adding the -nodeps switch appear to work, and it was then possible to access PCMCIA devices. Unfortunately the failure at first boot meant that networking was not properly set up, and it was necessary to do this manually and then editing /etc/rc.config to set the entry:
so that the first network card was started.

By then most things were working; all that was left was to get a Windows display. This required XFree86 Release 4, which was contained in the /unsorted directory of CD 2 of the SuSE distribution, as an RPM file. The file was installed using RPM, and the following was then necessary to get X working:

The boot loaded LiLo was configured with vga=791, set in /etc/lilo.conf. This give a larger text display. The XF86Config was downloaded from the above web site, and copied into /etc and /etc/X11. The display could then be started using the startx command. Any other attempt to configure X with standard configuration programs failed.

The Freecom DVDROM drive is recognised, but reports lost interrupts and cannot be accessed (yet).

Slackware 7.0 (Erik Ginorio <>)

On 16 Jun 2000, Erik Ginorio <> sent me the following ...
Here are the specs for the 7200 as I got it:

It came with a PIII 600Mhz processor, 192 Megs of RAM, and a 12gig Hard Drive. The sound card is the Maestro ESS and comes with it the internal 56k modem, and the PCMCIA network card is a Xircom Cardbus 10/100 NIC. I also got the docking station that comes with it, with the 3com NIC built in, and floppy drive and the DVD/CD-ROM built in.

The Install
I made this a dual boot system with Windows 2000. I set up three partitions:
/dev/hda1 / (ext2) about 3 gigs
/dev/hda2 /home (ext2) about 4 gigs
/dev/hda3 /windows2000 (fat 32) the rest of the drive
To get LILO to work with Win2k is just like dual booting with Win 9X, so that was no big deal. When I first booted to Linux it hung and it appeared it was the PCMCIA support that was causing it. After rebooting in single user mode and commenting out the call to rc.pcmcia in /etc/rc.d/rc.S it booted no problem. I downloaded the newest PCMCIA support and modules from SourceForge.Net, configured it (tulip for my Xircom NIC) and rebooted. I had to go into BIOS (as described in the BIOS HACK - Esc then F1) and had to change the PC Card Controller Mode from Automatic to 'Cardbus/16-bit'. I then had to edit /etc/pcmcia/config.opts to change the irq exclude list (as supplied by someone from toshiba):
exclude irq 4
exclude irq 9
exclude irq 10
exclude irq 11
exclude irq 12
#exclude irq 3
#exclude irq 7
After this I rebooted again and ran `./rc.pcmcia start' and pcmcia worked. As far as I know this is a big problem for most Toshibas (protege 7200, 7020ct, 7000, etc) mixed with Xircom Cardbus pcmcia cards. To finish it off I uncommented the lines in /etc/rc.d/rc.S that start rc.pcmcia

X Windows
I set in /etc/lilo.conf `vga=791' as suggested to get 1024x768@64k and downloaded and installed the newest XFree86 server (v4 beta), and glib 1.2.7 (along with the newest gtk and other fancy stuff to get the most out of X). Using the config file from this site, and changing the keyboard to `us' from `gb', and running `startx', X started right up no problem.

To get sound working I upgraded kernels (Slackware 7 comes with 2.2.13) to 2.2.15, which has support for the Maestro sound card. It comes as module support, so you have to go into /etc/modules.conf and add the alias line `alias sound maestro', and I also added in the /etc/conf.modules `path[sound]=/lib/modules/2.2.15' for good measure. After that I ran modprobe and it worked.

3COM network card on Docking Station
While I was recompiling the 2.2.15 kernel I also added the support for the 3com card in the docking station to the kernel (not as a module), as that was the only way to make it work. The 3com card I selected and got to work with no problem was `3c590/3c900 series (592/595/597) "Vortex/Boomerang" support'. I also kept the pcmcia support in there as well so the pcmcia modules would still work.

Internal 56k Modem
The internal modem I haven't gotten working yet under Linux, but I've not had time to really try yet. I imagine I'll be on the road someday and I'll have to mess with it.

Nothing else I have tried to get working yet (the IR Port, or USB)

Debian 2.2 `Potato' (Andrei Popov <>)

On 13 Oct 2000, Andrei Popov <> sent me a link to his experiences with Debian 2.2 `Potato'. In brief, it all seems to work.

DVD Network Dock II

The T7200CT came with a Dock II, which has an onboard 3Com 3c905C-TX rev 6c 10/100 Fast EtherLink interface. This seems somewhat temperamental (e.g. needs to be plugged into the mains).


Not everything is working yet, but it's getting there.

BIOS settings - ESC-F1 not F2

The initial screen says to press F2 to enter the BIOS, but this does not appear to work. Instead, use the std HACK of holding down ESC at POST time, which will cause it to beep and request that F1 be pressed to enter the BIOS

Audio: Maestro (RH6.1 only)

Under Redhat 6.2 it works ASIS, out of the box. Tweaks are needed only for RedHat 6.1.
I first came across the Maestro on our DELL Inspiron 7000s, so I'd already downloaded `Linux ESS Maestro Audio Drivers [Linux / Version 1.2.i386]' i75alna1.rpm from the Linux page of the Dell Inspiron 7500 page I copied maestro.o into /lib/modules/2.2.12-20/misc/, added `alias sound maestro' to /etc/modules.conf, ran `depmod -a' and it just worked.

Winmodem: ltmodem (OK up to Linux 2.2.14)

I first came across ltmodem on our Sony Vaio PCG-N505X's so I had already downloaded linux568 from I copied ltmodem.o into /lib/modules/2.2.12-20/misc/, created /dev/ttyS14 using `mknod /dev/ttyS14 c 62 78' (you may care to chown/chmod it), made it the default modem using `ln -sf ttyS14 /dev/modem', added `alias char-major-62 ltmodem' to /etc/modules.conf, ran `depmod -a' and minicom just worked. It reports `CONNECT 48000 V42bis', but `ATI11' reported V.90 at 48000/31200

It appears to work OK under Linux 2.2.12 to 2.2.14, but 2.2.16 causes an oops in the kernel when PPP is run.

Using all the screen in text (and X) mode

Sharon Durant pointed me at the vital info I needed, from Info about Dells that LILO needs to include `vga=791' (for 16 bpp, vga=792 for 24bpp - see /usr/src/linux/Documentation/fb/vesafb.txt) in the global section, which causes it to use the whole screen (128x48).

X: XFree86 R4 works

Using XFree86 Release 4.0.1 1with the Driver fbdev, T7140CT and T7200CT work at 1024x768 using this XF86Config file (see a sample log file) which is set for `vga=791' and a UK keyboard, so check the fine tuning.

For the T7220CTe, use the 4.0.2 S3 Savage driver, or better, the latest from timr at with a suitable XF86Config file (see a sample log file). If you know how to tweak a config file, a suitable method is to generate a basic file (`XFree86 -configure :1'), and edit it to include `DefaultDepth 16' in the ``Screen'' section, and `HorizSync 27-50' in the ``Monitor'' section.

On the T7140CT and T7200CT, SuperProbe reports a Trident with signature 95401023, suggesting a `9540'. Unfortunately the Release 3.* XFree86 Video Card and X server list does not mention this and XFree86 3.* DOES NOT WORK. Andrei Popov <> says that it does work if you you compile fbdev into kernel (both 2.2.x and 2.4.0-preX).
The trident driver detects things correctly, but even with `Options "NoDDC"', `Options "NoDDC1"' and `Options "NoDDC2"' it appears to try to access the DDC info, the X server wedges, and the screen blanks, and remains such even after a reboot - only a hardware reset restores the display.

PCMCIA configuration

/etc/pcmcia/config.opts should be set to exclude all the IRQs used by the built-in devices. e.g.
# First built-in serial port
exclude irq 4
# Second built-in serial port
exclude irq 3
# First built-in parallel port
exclude irq 7
# Built-in sound card
exclude irq 11
# PS/2 Mouse controller port
exclude irq 12
This puts i82365 at IRQ 15, and network and modem cards use IRQ 5.

Remaining Niggles

First PCMCIA use fails if `Auto-Selected'

Under RH 6.1, the first use of the PCMCIA slot appears to fail if the BIOS `PC Card' setting is `Auto-Selected'. Removing the card and re-inserting seems to work, but this makes unattended boots a problem.

xdm causes the X server to crash

Under XF86 4.0, it loops, flashing the screen if xdm controls the screen. To avoid this, start X manually.

RH6.2 + Dock II requires pcmcia-cs 3.1.17

Without pcmcia-cs 3.1.17, Redhat 6.2 with a Dock II fails to start pcmcia-cs if anything (e.g. Maestro or 3c59x) is using IRQ11.

Dock II ethernet is only available if on mains when booting

It appears that the docking station has to be plugged into the mains when the system starts to be able to use the PCI ethernet interface.

Old Comment: It appears that a reboot does not always bring it back, but a halt and start does.

USB legacy mouse emulation is 2 button

It appears that the USB legacy mouse emulation is only a two button mouse. It does not generate the third button, and will not emulate a wheel mouse.


... 4.0.11
fubob@MIT.EDU had some problems with old commands using the new libraries, and had to set /etc/ to have
and then run ldconfig.

Piete Brooks 2001-09-14