14 December 2007

Ubuntu Linux 7.10 Gutsy on Toshiba Satellite A215-S4747

I have successfully installed Ubuntu Linux 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon for x86 and AMD64 on my Toshiba Satellite A215-S4747 with working graphics on its ATI Mobile x1200 graphics card.

Ubuntu Linux 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon on Toshiba Satellite A215-S4747

Sound and LAN work right out of the box.

The graphics setup was very simple. Just install the 'xorg-driver-fglrx' package and then enable the restricted graphics driver in "Restricted Drivers Manager." After a reboot you should be good to go.

In order for "Visual effects" through compiz-fusion to work you have to install the package 'xserver-xgl'. And manually enable Composite Extensions in the xorg.conf file.

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "1"

The wireless setup took a few more steps but was still fairly straight forward. The steps are outlined below.

Instructions for Atheros wireless card:

Download drivers:
XP 32-bit
XP 64-bit

Extract drivers and take note of where you extracted them.

sudo -i
echo "blacklist ath_pci" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
rmmod ath_pci

apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 ndiswrapper-common

ndiswrapper -i net5211.inf

ndiswrapper -l
look for something like this:
net5211 : driver installed
device (168C:001C) present (alternate driver: ath_pci)

modprobe ndiswrapper
echo "ndiswrapper" >> /etc/modules

After a reboot wireless should work. You should see available wireless networks in the network manager. Note: every few bootups, Ubuntu doesn't get the MAC Address for the wireless card correctly. So far it looks like the easiest way to correct this is to go into /etc/ndiswrapper/net5211 and look for the file with a symbolic link. Edit it and replace the line that says
and replace the X's with your MAC address.

Adjust LCD brightness:

echo XX > /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness

Where XX is a number 0-70
Increments of 10
0 darkest, 70 brightest

SD Card reader
Works right out of the box. Just put a card in and it works!

None of the following worked right out of the box as far as I can tell, nor have I taken the time to figure out how to get them to work. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to post comments.

Web Cam
56k modem


  1. You can change the MAC address used by the card by changing the setting ‘NetworkAddress’ in .conf files in /etc/ndiswrapper/driver. You can either edit all .conf files there or edit the file used by your card which is printed when the driver is loaded. If the .conf file(s) don’t already have ‘NetworkAddress’ setting, add one. For example, if you want MAC address to be, say, 00:16:E5:BA:FE:82, add/change the line NetworkAddress|0016E5BAFE82 and reload the module (NOTE: there are no ‘:’s in the setting). This will change the MAC address for every use. If you want to change the MAC address temporarily, run ‘ifconfig wlan0 hw ether 00:16:E5:BA:FE:82’.

  2. to be clear, if your wlan works sporadically or just isn't working, check /proc/net/ndiswrapper/wlan0/hw to see if the MAC address is being properly reported by the hardware. this was the issue i faced. by following the instructions in the previous post, the issue was overcome.

    this presumes, of course, that you are using ndiswrapper to drive the wlan hardware

  3. Hola yo tambien poseo un Toshiba, y he instalado todo , me funciona 100% con debian lenny.
    En mi pagina web describo como instalar la tarjeta inalambrica, sonido con alsa que tambien deja activado el microfono y por supuesto la webcam . :) MI pagina es http://www.insurgentes.cl revisala y ojala te sirva para dejar al 100% tu pc.