Last update: 2004/05/25


After having installed a Redhat Fedora Core 1 featuring a 2.4 kernel, I had some better experience with ACPI using a 2.6 kernel (essentially thanks to the support of this laptop by the toshiba_acpi module). That is why I've switched for a Mandrake 10.0, essentially because it's shipped with the 2.6.3 kernel so I would have a works-out-of-the-box system, with a very clean install and lots of wizards to propagande the Linux desktop to my neighborhood.

On a side note, I also wanted to track the progress of Mandrake and tell people not to praise too much for the mighty distro, namely Debian, I used over the last 6 years, simply because it's not as easy to setup for M. Joe Average and generally requires a fast Internet access since you usually don't find recent software in the stable release.



The following table summaries the hardware shipped in the Toshiba M30 series:

ClassName & Description
CPU1.40Ghz Intel Centrino mobile technology
LCD Screen15.4" WXGA active-matrix screen display at 1280x800 pixels
Graphics cardNVidia Geforce Go 5200
Hard drive40GB
WiFiIntegrated Intel 2100 Mini-pci 802.11b Wireless LAN module


Additional configuration


The Synaptics touchpad is really nicely supported under Linux, but the Mandrake 10.0, event if it correctly handles its job on the kernel side, doesn't do the XFree86 side. The fix is easy: you will need to install the synaptics-TODO package, using the Software Package Manager, available from the System> Configuration> Packaging> Install Software menu entry.

/?\Hint: Simply type synaptics in the find box and hit the enter key to avoid searching it forever ;)

You need to change/add these essential lines in the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file:

  • In the "Module" section, add:

    Load "synaptics"

  • In the "InputDevice" section, replace:

    Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "mouse" Option "Protocol" "PS/2" Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"


    Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "synaptics" Option "Protocol" "auto-dev" Option "Device" "/dev/input/event0" Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" Option "Emulate3Buttons" "yes" Option "LeftEdge" "1900" Option "RightEdge" "5400" Option "TopEdge" "1900" Option "BottomEdge" "4000" Option "FingerLow" "25" Option "FingerHigh" "30" Option "MaxTapTime" "180" Option "MaxTapMove" "200" Option "VertScrollDelta" "100" Option "MinSpeed" "0.02" Option "MaxSpeed" "0.18" Option "AccelFactor" "0.0010" Option "SHMConfig" "on"
  • You also need to load a special module which isn't installed by Mandrake, adding the following line in the to the /etc/modprobe.preload file:



    Before going messing the XFree86 configuration file, I want to explain why I disabled the Xkb support. The Toshiba keyboard controllers always have been buggy. It spuriously sends keyrelease-events multiple times. Usually, when you type a word quickly, the last letter of the word you're typing will be typped at least 30 times, which is very *very* annoying. This problem is well-known in the Toshiba world and has even been reported to happen since Windows 98.on older laptops.

    The good news is there's a bunch of solution, and the easier two are:

    For the first solution, you need to add the following line in the "InputDevice" section of the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file.

    Option "XkbDisable"

    And overwrite the /etc/X11/Xmodmap modmap file using a custom one. For convenience, I provide you a French and German ones. If you need to create your own, type in a console:

    xmodmap -pke >> $HOME/Xmodmap

    This will create a modmap (keymap for your language) based on your current XFree86 keyboard configuation, which should be fine because you should have entered the correct information during the Mandrake installation. You can then adapt it if your language contains additional characters. An excellent article to create customized keymaps: Accented Letters On ASCII Keyboards Under X11.


    Choosing your driver

    You can either use the NVidia proprietary "nvidia" driver or stick with the Open Source "nv" driver shipped with the Mandrake 10.0 community edition (because of licensing issues). Of course, if you want real performance for your desktop and 3D applications, I recommend using the NVidia driver like I do. If you want to do so, extra work will be required, but we'll do this after having properly configured the display.

    Configuring the display

    /?\Hint: You can grab my XF86Config-4 configuration file if you want don't want to spend time finding how to make it works correctly. Copy it to the /etc/X11 directory. Pay attention to the driver name ("nv" or "nvidia").

    Otherwise, the essential lines to change/add in the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file are: