View Full Version : Toshiba NB205 Works 99% out-of-box on Fedora 11
8th July 2009, 11:23 PM
I've been struggling to get a functional install of Ubuntu on my new NB205 for over a week. I had no end of frustration with the wireless, trackpad, ports, and hibernation. Eventually I discovered that my wireless issues would be resolved with a newer kernel (Ubuntu 9.04 uses 18.104.22.168, the ath9k driver only supports the AR982x chips on 2.6.29 and above), and tried to compile it a few times, with no success.
So, I downloaded and installed Fedora, and it basically works out of the box. Webcam, wifi, edge scrolling, card reader, FN keys all work. Wifi is dodgy after a suspend, but that's not too much of a problem, as long as it's actually working.
Will be troubleshooting sound and bluetooth tonight, and posting guides shortly thereafter.
10th July 2009, 03:43 AM
I'm a liar! After the days use, the system descended into unusability. WiFi, on boot, would randomly disconnect then reconnect, and eventually wouldn't connect to any networks at all. I'm in the process of looking into these issues, and may start a thread in the support forum.
10th July 2009, 05:18 AM
Don't be so hard on yourself. This is why I don't make announcements until everything is done. Just know that in the future to not make commitments or promises ahead of time because sometimes it doesn't always work out. Also, sometimes some promises can not be kept. So just relax and enjoy life because we all make mistakes.
15th July 2009, 06:04 PM
I got the NB205-N311 (white) and put Fedora on it and even updated it. Upon boot, however, XP blue screens. Is this a simple "boot with SuperGrub and reinstall MBR" type of fix to get XP back?
Turns out it's not. Installing Fedora completely trashes the beginning of the XP partition. LUCKILY, and I can't stress this part enough, I had done a full backup of the partition with Acronis TrueImage Home 2009 (booted to CD in external drive) to a USB drive. I just booted back into Acronis with the USB drive connected and did a restore from the .tib file. Rebooted and everything's fine again.
Cannot stress this enough: FULL SYSTEM BACKUP!!!
27th July 2009, 08:24 AM
I'm looking at buying this model netbook and really want to put Fedora 11 on it. Any update on fixes for the wireless for this unit?
27th July 2009, 08:34 AM
I gave up on Fedora and Mint (although a second person is claiming to have gotten wireless working with Mint so I'll await confirmation of steps before I try that again). I gave up on Fedora. Wireless was there, but there didn't appear to be any way to enable it again. Very strange and frustrating. So I went with Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Wireless and sound (headphone jack only) work so I'm happy for now. Definitely a different interface but it's workable. I still think the Toshiba is the best built netbook in this size. I'd really prefer an 11.6" screen, though, for those extra pixels vertically. But for it's size, the Toshiba feels sturdy and isn't a fingerprint covered shiny atrocity.
So go ahead and get it if you're really in the market for this size. Just beware of the partition thrashing AND the fact that you have to boot into Windows first to enable wireless. Even if you plan on wiping the drive-boot into Windows first and make sure wireless is on. Other than that, maybe you'll be lucky and wireless will stay on.
27th July 2009, 10:42 AM
Moved to Laptop.
27th July 2009, 10:50 AM
Unlikely, I'm not known for my good luck.
So the enabling/disabling of the wireless can only be performed if booting into Windows? I'm assuming you're referring to the "Fn+F8" hot key.
Also, am I to understand that the Ubuntu Netbook Remix actually works with the wireless? Do you still need to activate it with Windows?
I'd probably go with Ubuntu over no Linux at all. I'm kind of a Windows hater. But dual-booting is not a very attractive option to me. Hoping to get rid of Windows all together.
27th July 2009, 03:42 PM
With my 205, I set up Windows first because my fiance will eventually take it over and she wants Windows on it. That ensured that wireless was enabled and working. From everything I've read in forums, you can't at first boot simply forget about Windows and try to install Linux and hope to get wireless working. It's my understanding that so long as you boot into Windows first and see the wireless light come on, you're good from then on if you install Linux and boot into that, even always. So yes, UNR works great. Follow the instructions here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=7660765#post7660765. I did the "Wifi", "Sound Easy and Partial Method", and "Video Playback Performance" sections. I didn't bother with the "Hibernat" or "Touchpad" sections because Suspend works and I didn't find the Touchpad to have any real performance issues. For the x-swat PPA to tackle the video performance (I didn't test it, I just assumed there was an issue and so went ahead and followed that section; your mileage may vary and you can wait to do it), there isn't a key there on the PPA page. But if you use the same command from the Sound section and use the key that *is* listed on the video PPA page, you'll get ride of the "can't authenticate/verify" messages when you apt-get update.
So if you do what I did, you should be in business with UNR.
1. Open the box.
2. Power up the machine.
3. Minimally set up Windows to establish wireless.
4. Get UNR on an SD card. Just follow the instructions where you find UNR to make the SD card bootable. Reaching back into memory here, the EXE that is mentioned is indeed in a ZIP file down the path the instructions provide.
5. When booting, hit F12 to select the SD card to boot into UNR.
6. Install UNR.
7. Fix wireless and sound and, if you want, video according to the instructions at the URL I provided.
8. Update UNR.
One note I should mention, Filezilla (FTP program) was listed in Add/Remove programs for UNR, but it refuses to install, complaining about not the proper architecture or something. I just downloaded it directly and put the extracted directory into /usr/bin and created a link to it on the menu. It launches fine and seems to work. Everything else I wanted installed fine. Truecrypt and Dropbox were also direct downloads and installs, but they are for all distros I think.
27th July 2009, 10:38 PM
From everything I've read in forums, you can't at first boot simply forget about Windows and try to install Linux and hope to get wireless working. It's my understanding that so long as you boot into Windows first and see the wireless light come on, you're good from then on if you install Linux and boot into that, even always..
I have no idea where you heard it, but it's wrong, or at least, was wrong in my experience. I bought a brand new Toshiba Satellite notebook, recently. The first thing I did was blow away Windows iCandy and install Fedora 11. The only problem I had with the built-in WiFi was caused by my not knowing (and the documentation [Yes, I did RTFM] didn't mention that there's a separate switch for the WiFi. Once I flipped the switch, it came right up, found a local hot spot and connected. It Just Worked.
27th July 2009, 10:48 PM
The where would be Ubuntu forums and Toshiba forums, but that doesn't matter. Good to hear it's easy to turn on. Now, pay attention to it for the next few days. For me, and others, wireless just suddenly ups and goes away. I guess I should say connectivity, because the wireless is definitely on and it appears in the network manager but it won't connect to anything or even see any wireless networks. It just appears disabled with no way to enable it.
So the Just Working part is great and shared by many. It's the STILL part that's apparently elusive. But who knows, maybe an update by now has solved that and you don't see that either.
28th July 2009, 01:49 AM
I don't mean to "hijack" someone else's thread (sorry squalor), but this raises some interesting questions for me. I'd really like input from anyone who has any experience with these netbooks.
One interesting thing is that calibre97 seems to imply that the Ubuntu Netbook Remix has better compatibility with the netbook hardware. I've usually stayed away from Ubuntu and favored Fedora because it's supposed to be the cutting edge stuff, the trade off being stability in some cases. But in this case it seems that Ubuntu is ahead of the curve. Is this the case?
I've seen some varying reports about the compatibility of F11 with the NB205 netbook, but calibre97 seems to be the one who posts most often about his/her experiences (thanks for the information, BTW). I'd like to encourage anyone else to post about their experience with this device and Linux, distribution aside. Thanks in advance.
As for me, I think I'll probably be buying this unit as soon as I can scrape together some cash. Hopefully, I'll have some useful information to post when I do.
28th July 2009, 03:16 AM
As I mentioned to sidebrnz, Fedora worked from the live CD (sound and wireless) and after install...for a time. Then magically wireless was inaccessible or just non-enable-able, if you will. Others have reported this phenomenon (again, Ubuntu forums). Your mileage may vary. And, subsequent updates may have alleviated the problem (with Fedora anyway). So by all means, have at one with Fedora and hopefully things will stay enabled longer than they did for me. Who knows, I may go ahead and create another partition and give Fedora another shot if only to try to chronicle what causes the disappearance. For now, I'm OK with Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I'd prefer Mint's interface over Ubuntu, but I really, really prefer functionality and once you're in an app, it takes up the whole screen so desktop's are a moot issue.
I'm not exactly expert - never did compile AND boot a custom kernel or any application, but I like experimenting with distros.
28th July 2009, 05:25 AM
I've been running Fedora on my Asus 1000HE netbook (with the AR928x) without problem. I've also had no problem with a few other distributions on it--in general, Fedora worked better than Ubuntu and Ubuntu variants, save for a Crunchbang netbook remix.
Arch also works well on it. I don't have Mint.
12th August 2009, 12:04 PM
Well I finally got my NB205 and sure enough, Ubuntu Netbook Remix works just as calibre97 said. Wireless seems to work fine after installing the Jaunty Backports package. The speakers don't work but the sound can be enabled through the headphones (with a config file change). All this is documented on the Ubuntu Netbook Remix page regarding compatible netbooks.
I'm mildly satisfied that I can get some Linux distribution on this netbook instead of running Windows, but I have to say that I'm growing to dislike Ubuntu very quickly. I won't go into why on this forum. I will beg the Fedora development team to PLEASE get F11 working on this netbook's hardware ASAP and get me out of Ubuntu hell. In my opinion, Ubuntu appears to be better than running windows but not by much.
One last note, this Toshiba Netbook is not to be confused with the Toshiba Notebooks. Toshiba's "Satellite" line is it's notebook line and they do have a physical switch to turn the wireless on and off. The netbook line does NOT have a physical switch and, just as calibre97 said, you need to enable it with the hotkeys in windows BEFORE you install the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, or you won't be able to use the wireless. I also recommend that BEFORE you wipe windows, you create the system backup DVDs from the Toshiba application on the windows desktop. If you don't do that, I don't know if there is a way to restore the windows OS to the netbook if you change your mind.
Anyway, good luck to all and I hope this helps.
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