I do own a Toshiba Satellite R630 and I want to run Linux on it, because in common I do use Linux only since years and all the programs I use are Linux/Unix programs. I already tried to run the laptop with OpenSUSE 11.3 (64 bit) [see:Linux openSUSE on Toshiba Satellite R630/ Portege R705] but without success. The support was so bad that I decided to stay with the pre-installed Windows 7 and try to get as much application working as I could. One of the main reasons why I stopped my investigations was that a kernel update would have been necessary and I do not like to mess up a good basic Linux distribution. Therefore I decided to try to run Arch Linux on it, because it is updating the software packaging in a rolling way instead of fixed release cycles which results in a more up-to-date distribution. My research of running Arch Linux on my notebook should be valid in common for the Toshiba Portege R700, Portege R705 as well as the Dynabook R730 because the devices are very similar.
One of my preparation to do a test installation of Linux on my Satellite R630 was to resize the Windows drive D: where Toshiba stored the recovery information. My objective was to test Linux without deleting the pre-installed Windows 7. You can read more about it in my earlier report: Linux openSUSE on Toshiba Satellite R630/ Portege R705
First of all I downloaded the 64 bit net-installation CD from the Arch Linux website. (You can get it from here: http://www.archlinux.org/download/) and created a boot CD by using the ISO file.
Then I booted my Toshiba from the CD by keep pressing F12 when the Toshiba Logo is displayed after powering on the notebook. (A menu shall appear where you can decide from which device the notebook shall boot). After the boot was complete I simply followed the “Official Arch Linux Install Guide“.
I did the very simple installation but before starting the setup program I switched my keyboard to German layout and set the console font to default by running the command ‘km’. To be on the safe side to be able to do a installation by using the net-install-CD I connected my notebook by wire to the network.
- /dev/sda4 Extended partition
- /dev/sda5 Swap space
- /dev/sda6 mounted to /
- /dev/sda7 mounted to /home
As file system I used EXT4.
Within the step of system configuration I changed the rc.conf because the installer forgot that I want a German environment on the notebook 😉 So I changed the LOCALE to “de_DE.UTF-8”. Additional this is the place to set the system name etc. For more information have a look into the Wiki of Arch Linux: https://wiki.archlinux.org/
Last but not least it time to install the bootloader. Here Arch Linux/ Grub detected my Windows installation but this section was added as comment and I had to uncomment it. After saving that change I installed it strait into the MBR of /dev/sda, exited the installer and rebooted the system. Believe it or not, but the system was still able to boot – Arch Linux and Windows 7 😉 [See screenshots].
As before I followed and how to from the Arch Linux Wiki, this time the first the one for Xorg [https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xorg] and than the one for KDE [https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/KDE].
For Xorg you can just follow the tutorial from the Wiki. I did just the basic stuff to get the things running. Fine tuning can be done later. Basic means: Get the touchpad working, setup the correct Keyboard layout and add necessary DAEMONS. Everything else it up to auto detection or to be done later (maybe). Not directly described is which package you need to add to get the intel graphic chip working. After installing the package synaptics you should add ‘xf86-video-intel’ too. Close to the end of this Wiki entry you will find a section about “Running Xorg” make sure to got through this with success! After firing X up the first time I ran the command ‘setxkbmap de’ to get the Germany keyboard layout.
Next is installing KDE4.5.x. I did this running Xorg with twm. Regarding configuring the system to get KDE running you should follow the already shown Wiki entry, but for installing the right packages I recommend to it following the Wiki entry about KDE Packages [https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/KDE_Packages]. Arch Linux offers a good meta package concept which makes life much easier. I want the full KDE SC on my notebook, therfore I ran the following command to install it:
pacman -Syu pacman -S phonon-xine kde-meta pacman -S kde-l10n-<ISO CODE OF YOUR LANGUAGE> pacman -S networkmanager kdeplasma-applets-networkmanagement
After installation is complete you have to decide if you want to boot your notebook strait into runleve 5 (GUI) and which display manager. In my case I decided to boot up to runlevel 5 and use KDM. So I added ‘kdm’ to the DEMONS line at /etc/rc.conf and modified the /etc/inittab by comment out and uncomment, like described at the Arch Linux Wiki.
#id:3:initdefault: [...] #x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon
id:5:initdefault: [...] x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon
After rebooting your system I should boot up into KDM. And that’s it to get Arch Linux running with a GUI. But pay attention root can not log in using KDM. Therefore create a normal user for you in advance! For example by executing as root the following commands:
A basic system should run by now on your computer. What I discovered is that I want to have some additional daemons running like HAL etc. Therefore I added them to the DAEMONS entry at the /etc/rc.config. I can recommend to read the following Wiki page: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/DAEMONS. In case you are using HAL you can remove DBUS because HAL starts DBUS automatically. My daemons line looks like this now:
DAEMONS=(hal syslog-ng network netfs crond kdm)
In addition to add everything manual to this line you can use the GUI tool “ArchLinux Deamon Manager“.
If you want to use Networkmanager instead of the traditional IFUP method please read this Wiki page: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Networkmanager
In addition to the installation so far to get more hardware working it is necessary to rely on the Arch Linux User Repository (AUR). For example the GUI to configure the Synaptics touchpad. I used the following the tool “yaourt” to install packages fro AUR. You can find the tutorial here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Yaourt
So what is working and what not? Here are my first quick findings what works:
- Graphics Card
- Touchpad (needs additional configuration see https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Synaptics)
- Internal NIC
- FN Keys for Brightness
- FN Keys for switching between LCD and VGA or both
Into what do I have still to invest some time for research?:
- Desktop effects of KDE SC 4.5, the Xorg freezed
- ACPI – the fan was running the whole time (but not with full power)
- Wireless – I was not able to find a prepared package for the broadcom chipset
Yet I can not confirm that something does not work. I really have to investigate and spend more time with my research. Therefore I will publish an update as soon as I discovered something new. Regarding priorities I will have a look on the wireless first and than to the ACPI/ Power saving topic.
If you should discover something, please feel free to post an comment or send me an email.