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This is a hardware reference/Gentoo Linux installation guide for the Toshiba Satellite P100 notebook series.

The Satellite P100 series is Toshiba's desktop replacement notebook series as of Q2-Q4 2006. It is based on the Intel Centrino (codename Napa) platform which consists of either a Core (codename Yonah) or Core 2 (codename Merom) CPU, a Intel mobile 945 express series chipset (82945 northbridge and ICH7 southbridge) and a Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG Wi-Fi adapter. Depending on the model the notebook features either an integrated Intel graphics adapter or an nVidia Geforce Go 7xxx series graphics adapter.

Externally the laptop features a reasonably sleek casing (some models featuring coloured lids, different countries appear to have different coloured lids for otherwise identical models), 17" widescreen display (with glossy coating), and harman/kardon speakers. Models equipped with nVidia graphics also feature blue LEDs under the speakers. External connectivity includes 4x USB, 1x 4-pin firewire, 1x LAN, 1x modem, 1x DVI, 1x VGA, 1x TV-out, 1x PC Card, 1x ExpressCard, 1x multi-format media card slot, 1x line-in jack, 1x microphone jack and 1x headphone (with combined S/PDIF on certain models) jack.

As can be expected from a high performance desktop replacement notebook battery life is not extensive. In practise one can expect approximately 2 hours of light usage (under both Linux and Windows XP) from a fully charged 6000mAh battery. These notebooks are also reasonably heavy (3.3+ kg) and large (394 x 275 x 34.9mm/41.9mm).

Official Linux support from Toshiba is non-existant in at least Australia, however the components of the notebook are generally well supported by the software included in modern Linux distributions. The Express Media Player software provided with the laptop utilises a 2.4 series Linux kernel and numerous other GPL software packages, though the extent of customisation of this software is not yet known. Worldwide unofficial support is provided via the Toshiba Digital Media Engineering "Linux Information for TOSHIBA PC" website [1].

To Do

Outstanding Issues

This section lists all outstanding issues with the laptop that do not yet have a solution. If you have a fix for any of these, please remove it from this list, and add the solution to an appropriate section below.


Series Specs

Processor Intel Celeron M Processor 410 or higher

Intel Core Solo Processor T1300 or higher Intel Core Duo Processor T2300 or higher Intel Core 2 Solo Processor Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

Chipset Mobile Intel 945PM Express Chipset for external graphics controller

Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset for integrated graphics controller

Graphics Controller nVidia GeForce Go 7xxx
Disk Controller Intel ICH7
HDD 40-160GB 2.5" Serial ATA HDD
Optical Drive
LAN Intel PRO/1000
WLAN Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG
Audio Intel HDA via Conexant codec

Specific Models Tested

Satellite P100 PSPA6A-01J017 Satellite P100 PSPA3A-0R2078FR Satellite P100 PSPA3E-02G013G3

Linux Support

ProcessorWorkingThe correct optimisation flags to use with GCC are "-march prescott" for Core Solo/Duo and "-march nocona" for Core 2 Solo/Duo. Please see the relevant note in the installation subheading.
GraphicsWorkingIntel integrated graphics not tested, it should be a safe assumption that they work. nVidia graphics controllers work fine with and provide full 3D acceleration under the official nVidia binary drivers.
Disk ControllerWorkingNone
Optical DriveWorkingAdd combined_mode=libata to kernel parameters in order to setup dma transfers for optical drive. Otherwise, playing or recording DVDs doesn't work correctly.
AudioWorkingRequires kernel >=2.6.22, alsa-driver >=1.0.14 and a version 3.80 or later BIOS. See the Audio subsection below.
ModemWorkingUsing (non-free) Linuxant HSF driver. It also replaces alsa driver with an altered alsa driver. Sound still works.
MMC ReaderWorkingNone
Fingerprint ReaderWorkingUse thinkFinger project
PCMCIAWorkingNo problems getting pcmcia Sound Blaster Audigy 2zs to work on a 2.6.18 kernel
ExpressCardShould work???



If using a pre-v2.4 BIOS download and update to the latest BIOS available from your regional Toshiba support site. It is available in both a DOS bootdisk and a Windows application from the Australian support site [2], though if you wish to use the DOS bootdisk you will need to use an external USB floppy drive or create a bootable CD.

From the factory the laptop was set up with a single large NTFS partition (containing the default Windows XP install) as the first partition on the primary disk and a smaller Linux partition (containing the Express Media Player software) as the fourth partition.

Tip: If you do not wish to use Windows XP and still want to preserve the Express Media Player functionality than it is easiest to use fdisk to remove the preinstalled NTFS partition, not alter the preinstalled Linux partition and create a new set of Linux partitions as desired.
Warning: Make sure you back up the Express Media Player partition before using the Toshiba recovery DVD. The standard recovery DVD included with Toshiba laptops is unable to recover the Express Media Player partition and may wipe the partition out.

The Toshiba recovery disk utilises Windows PE and what is likely a rebadged imaging application to either recover the default installation or erase the installed hard drive. The recovery options provided are:

Warning: The only option that preserves the Express Media Player partition is "Recover without changing the hard drive partitions". Make sure that you have backed up or do not wish to use/reinstall the Express Media Player software if you wish to use either of the other options.
Tip: If you wish to dual-boot Linux and Windows and do not wish to preserve the Express Media Player software then choose "Recover to a custom size partition" to create a fresh Windows XP install of a specified size. You are then free to set up your Linux OS however you like.

Base system installation

Basically follow the Gentoo handbook and you will be right.

Note: While there have been inconclusive results posted in the Gentoo forums showing that other cflags may offer small performance differences (link required), the correct optimisation flags for the Core and Core 2 architectures under GCC 4.1 are "-march prescott" and "-march nocona" respectively and under GCC 4.2 are "-march prescott -mtune generic" and "-march nocona -mtune generic" respectively [3]
File: /etc/make.conf
# Core Solo/Duo GCC 4.1
#CFLAGS="-O2 -march=prescott -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe"
# Core Solo/Duo GCC 4.2
#CFLAGS="-O2 -march=prescott -mtune generic -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe"
# Core 2 Solo/Duo GCC 4.1
#CFLAGS="-O2 -march=nocona -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe"
# Core 2 Solo/Duo GCC 4.2
#CFLAGS="-O2 -march=nocona -mtune generic -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe"

INPUT_DEVICES="evdev keyboard mouse synaptics"
VIDEO_CARDS="nv nvidia vesa"
Linux Kernel Configuration: Name of Config
Code maturity level options  --->
General setup  --->
Loadable module support  --->
Processor type and features  --->
Power management options (ACPI, APM)  --->

Further Configuration


See this HowTo.

Power Management

ACPI appears to work with a 2.6.18-gentoo-r3 kernel.


It seems that TOSHIBA uses a modified (or erroneous) ACPI implementation in its BIOS and thus automatic temperature-referenced cooling of CPU and VGA are possible under Windows only. Under Linux, the fans do not turn on at all! (as of 12-24-2006).

Update: Under BIOS version 3.30 (published on 01-18-2007) the fans seem to work correctly.

Update 2: I am not so sure about that - under bios 3.30, my gpu fan never turned on, but under bios 2.40, it does

Graphics Card

LCD Resolution

Various models are rated at either 1440x900 and 1680x1050 native resolution in official documents. In Australia it appears that for the two models of P100 being manufactured at any given time the lower spec model features the 1440x900 resolution, while the higher spec model features the 1680x1050 resolution. The Q3-2006 models appear to have featured the reverse, that is the lower spec model featured the 1680x1050 resolution and the higher spec mdoel featured the 1440x900 resolution (this is printed in retailer and official literature, it doesn't seem right to me, can anyone confirm this with the actual hardware?).


Intel GMA

See this HowTo.


VIDEO_CARDS="nv nvidia vesa"

Standard install with binary driver appears to work fine. 3D acceleration under 7.1 with no compositing (eye candy) effects or compositing related driver options turned on results in ~12,600 fps in glxgears. Seems to be working then.

ISSUE: Model with Geforce go 7600 gets 2500 fps in glxgears under beryl, and 4900 under metacity. Is this normal?

TODO: Compositing

ISSUE?: Dropping performance? Results of ~2,500 fps in glxgears. Related to hardware protection due to overheating?

ISSUE?: Issues with fan control? One or two people have complained about this with Suse 10.1. Suse 10.1 appears to have numerous people reporting other issues I have not experienced. Needs testing.


In order to get audio working on an early model P100 with an older distribution one requires the following modifications:

As of September 2007 the necessary components to provide out of the box sound support are in place. You will require the following software:

Build the kernel with modular sound support, but no OSS or ALSA support. Emerge the alsa-driver and alsa-utils packages (remember to place ALSA_CARDS="hda-intel" in your /etc/make.conf before doing so), use alsaconf to set up the sound card and then start the ALSA service. You should now have working sound.

Note: Updating the BIOS is not necessary. I'm running on a 2.40 BIOS with sound working for kernel 2.6.22 any revision.

Upgrading to kernel 2.6.23, I've had problems as I got no sound although the ALSA driver installed correctly.

Currently running kernel 2.6.24 with in kernel ALSA modules and sound works like a charm.


Keyboard Hotkeys

It is possible to bind the extra hotkeys at the top of the keyboard to do useful things. Merge x11-misc/hotkeys and create the following .def file in either $HOME/.hotkeys or /usr/share/hotkeys:

File: toshiba_satellite_p100.def
 <?xml version="1.0"?>

   <config model="Toshiba Satellite P100">
     <userdef keycode="237" command="amarok">Amarok</userdef>
     <Play keycode="162" />
     <Stop keycode="164" />
     <PrevTrack keycode="144" />
     <NextTrack keycode="153" />

Then you can set Kbd=toshiba_satellite_p100 in $HOME/.hotkeys/hotkeys.conf or /etc/hotkeys.conf. Configuring the actual hotkey bindings is done in hotkeys.conf

Note: The above .def file is incomplete. These are only the hotkeys I find useful. You can work out the keycodes for other hotkeys using xev.
Note: The hotkeys package didn't have an appropriate alias for the media player button, so I bound a user command to it. This will need changing if you don't use amarok.
Warning: X never seems to get a KeyRelease event from the web browser button, so it might not work. I don't use it.

(31/08/2007) I added the following for the "FN" Esc to Mute Music .....Just put it in above script
<userdef keycode="160" command="amixer sset PCM toggle">Sound ON/OFF</userdef>
Then added hotkeys for my user to Autostart in KDE ...

Synaptics Touchpad

INPUT_DEVICES="evdev keyboard mouse synaptics"

Works fine using synaptics driver.

Read Synaptics Touchpad for more info

Fingerprint reader

See this guide.

Sample Config

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Files"
    RgbPath     "/usr/share/X11/rgb"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/misc:unscaled"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/Type1"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/TTF"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/corefonts"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/freefonts"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/sharefonts"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/ttf-bitstream-vera"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"

Section "Module"
    Load        "dbe"
    SubSection  "extmod"
        Option  "omit xfree86-dga"
    Load        "glx"
    Load        "synaptics"
    Load        "type1"
    Load        "freetype"

Section "ServerFlags"
# Option "DontVTSwitch"
# Option "DontZap"
# Option "DontZoom"
    Option      "blank time"    "5"     # 10 minutes
    Option      "standby time"  "10"
    Option      "suspend time"  "15"
    Option      "off time"      "20"

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Keyboard1"
    Driver      "keyboard"
    Option      "AutoRepeat"    "500 5"
    Option      "XkbRules"      "xorg"
    Option      "XkbModel"      "pc104"
    Option      "XkbLayout"     "us"

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Touchpad"
    Driver "synaptics"
    Option "Protocol"           "Auto"
    Option "SendCoreEvents"
    Option "Device"             "/dev/input/event1"
    Option "ZAxisMapping"       "4 5 6 7"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "Inbuilt LCD"
    Option      "dpms"

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "nVidia GeForce"
    Driver      "nvidia"
    Option      "NoLogo"        "true"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier  "Screen 1"
    Device      "nVidia GeForce"
    Monitor     "Inbuilt LCD"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
        Depth           24
        Modes           "1680x1050"
    SubSection "Display"
        Depth           16
        Modes           "1680x1050"
    SubSection "Display"
        Depth           8
        Modes           "1680x1050"

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier  "Main Layout"
    Screen      "Screen 1"
    InputDevice "Touchpad" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"



The onboard ethernet adapter is an Intel PRO/1000, use the e1000 driver provided in the kernel.


See this guide.


The bluetooth adapter is connected to the USB bus, but is initially disconnected when powering on. You need to install the omnibook module (at least version 20070211 - available in portage) to enable the bluetooth adapter.

This should give you a new usb device when you run lsusb (from usbutils)

From here, follow the gentoo bluetooth guide [6]. The kernel driver you need for this hardware is HCI USB driver

Usage Notes

A reasonably full charge (5940mAh according to /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/info) on the 9-cell Li-Ion battery (6000 mAh design capacity) lasts about 2 hours when running a Gnome desktop, doing minimal processing and running with the "conservative" cpu governer.

The blue LEDs under the speakers are best described as bloody annoying (particularly in dark situations). They are unable to be switched off by any inbuilt means. They can only be turned off by disconnecting their cable. It is located under the keyboard on the right side of the keyboard cable, above the fingerprint reader connector. You will have to unscrew the keyboard to reach the connector, so this may void your warranty!

Keyboard is a little cramped due to the included numberpad, though placement of keys is reasonably standard.


Placeholder for the release of kernel 2.6.20. The Core Duo chips in these notebooks should in theory support Intel VT extensions.

Comments on note: The P100 series of Satellite notebooks do have VM extensions enabled by default.

Warning: although vmx is not disabled in the firmware, it is disabled by the bios! On a 3.60 Phoenix bios there is no way to enable it.

VT is still disabled in bios 4.20 without any way to enable it. After buggy bios problems for sound/GPU fan, thanks again to those bloody bastards from Toshiba: Next time my bucks will go to another manufacturer, probably Lenovo. This is the only brand that never caused me such headaches running linux on laptops.

Maybe some legal action could be possible: The specs do not tell VT is disabled, so it should defaults to intel T2300 and upper specs which include VT.



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Last modified: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 04:39:00 +0000 Hits: 20,451