[conspire] George's Toshiba Libretto

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Fri Dec 22 08:39:21 PST 2006

The last couple of times I saw George Pope, we tried unsuccessfully to
kickstart DamnSmallLinux 3.1 on his Libretto 100CT by stuffing a USB2 card
in one slot and the PCMCIA floppy drive in the other, putting the 3.1 CD
in a drive connected to the USB2 card, and the "bootfloppy-usb.img" floppy
in the floppy drive. It turns out that the 800x480 screen was being set to
an 800x600 mode, with the bottom part cut off. Consequently, we were not
seeing the true error messages that said why this wasn't working. The
"bootfloppy-usb.img" image hard-codes the device on which to look for the
KNOPPIX file to sda1, for booting off a USB flash stick when the BIOS has
no such option. That's not much use when it's somewhere else, such as on a
USB CD-ROM. In contrast, the "bootfloppy.img" has a "fromusb" boot option
for exactly that purpose. It also has a "frompcmcia" option for when the
necessary device is connected through a slot card. So both options were
necessary, but the "frompcmcia" option prompts for the insertion of the
"pcmciafloppy.img" disk, which it could not see due to the chicken-and-egg
problem of the floppy drive also being connected over PCMCIA. So I copied
its contents to the Windows partition and added code to the linuxrc file
to check there in addition to a floppy drive, and it was able to boot! The
correct boot options line is:
dsl dma xsetup vga=808 frompcmcia fromusb tz=US/Pacific

The machine is maxed out at 64MB RAM, which is sufficient for a frugal
install, and the partitioning/BIOS/Windows situation made it far more
suitable than a "debian-style" install, which isn't really supported
anyway. The Windows partition took up 1009 cylinders, so more than enough
were left over for the DSL partition before the 1024-cylinder limit, and I
gave it 7 cylinders. Then I gave it 1GB swap, and the rest went to actual
storage for DSL, including the home directory, the /opt tree, installed
packages, and saved settings. The /opt/bootlocal.sh file now has a bunch
of modprobe lines relating to video, sound, infrared, the optional
BackPack CD-ROM, and some Toshiba-specific stuff. What I did not set up
was a partition for the BIOS-assisted suspend-to-disk, because Windows was
in the way. That feature is off by default in the BIOS anyway.
Incidentally, there is a built-in BIOS setup program after all, accessible
by hitting Esc a bunch of times during the red TOSHIBA screen on a cold
boot until it prompts you to hit F1. Unfortunately, DSL chose not to
include the floppy_cs driver for the PCMCIA floppy drive, but packaging
that for DSL would not be too hard to do, just really tricky if you've
never done it before. I have not yet tried connecting the machine to the
'net, but I don't foresee any issues. When I do that, I will be installing
gtk2, gnu-utils, wine, and perhaps a few other things.

George: The "PCI Communication Device" that Windows complains about is the
infrared. If you install the Toshiba infrared driver for Win95, that will
be taken care of. Bring both the Iomega and the BackPack CD-ROM drives
tomorrow, so that the use of both under DSL may be demonstrated. That is

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