Sunday, March 18, 2012

Toshiba Satellite L775D-S7340 and Linux

The Toshiba Satellite L775D-S7340 is a very good cheap laptop. Toshiba has discontinued making 17" AMD laptops (antitrust? Intel?) so it's best to grab one before they disappear. They retail for about $600 now. Anyway, I recently purchased one and I put Linux on it just like my old one. Unfortunately, the only major distribution that will work on it except for the wireless card is Ubuntu 10. Yesterday, a friend with the exact same laptop texted me and told me he was having trouble. So, I took both laptops along with CD and DVD blanks as well as multiple distros and we discovered that either the wireless card or the Radeon graphics chipset would not be recognized by most major Linux distributions. After a little digging, I discovered in a forum that Zorin OS 5 64-bit would work on this laptop and its wireless card except for the keyboard. With a little bit more digging, I found that if one appends locale=en_EN i8042.reset to the kernel line in GRUB ( just hit the e key during the grub menu to edit the kernel line, then hit F10 ), the keyboard and mouse will be recognized as well as the wireless card. Once you install the Zorin OS 5 x86_64 on the system, you'll need to edit /etc/default/grub and change

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
to
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash locale=en_EN i8042.reset"

then run update-grub to update GRUB's configuration. You'll have to edit GRUB directly and apply the fix the first time after installation. I'm sorry, but I can't remember the exact forums where I found the information that allowed me to solve both issues. I try to give attribution where I can. This should help anyone run a Linux Ubuntu derivative on this specific laptop. Kudos to the Zorin OS development team. Be sure to apt-get install mono-runtime, mono-addins, and mono-utils if you want Banshee to work. One of those packages is necessary for that application to work.

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Comments:
That particular model doesn't appear to be available in Australia but mail order from the US may be an option http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&rlz=1G1ACAW_ENAU372&q=toshiba+satellite+l775d-s7340+laptop&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3909676428150462437&sa=X&ei=SYZmT4G8DqTFmQWgiOGdCA&ved=0CGgQ8wIwAQ# .

At $535 US or Aust dollars (maybe $65 postage) it looks like a good deal - especially the 6 GHz of RAM.

Pete
 
You can upgrade the RAM to 8GB for $45 US from crucial.com, but you won't need that much RAM unless you are running a lot of applications or virtual machines.

It comes with Windows 7 Home edition I think. I pulled the original drive in case I need Windows for a training class. If not, then I'll flatten the drive and install Linux on the original hard drive.

This is a very good laptop with an AMD Quad Core and it's thinner and lighter than my old laptop. I like my old Toshiba Satellite, especially the keyboard, but I couldn't pass this up.

Check out the Australian equivalent of Staples, staples.com.au . They seem to be getting rid of them here in the US.
 
I see by the date and time you just posted this. I've been working on the same problem all weekend and just found your post this afternoon (Monday). Thank the Lord for your work. I did find that it is i8042.reset=1 is the correct line and, I had to add i8042.nomux=1 as well.
 
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