Toshiba T1900S & linux

processori486SX, 25 MHz
memory4096 kB
harddisk124 MB, miniIDE
displayb&w LCD, VGA 640x480
others3.5'' floppy disk, serial & parallel port, PCMCIA I,
PCMCIA III, VGA port, PS/2 ports

Originally was notebook running M$-DOS and M$ Windows 3.1. The very first I've begun with was backup of some data which the computer stored on harddisk (that were almost applications for M$ Win); I made back-up of part of harddisk and using floppies (it wasn't so terrible, I stopped within eight floppies) transferred onto server.

I was long long time guessing about some distribution of linux - finally I desided for GNU Debian - good packaging manager, possibility to install only small (base) core of OS, and also fact that I had CD-ROM with GNU Debian distribution (Most of work I did at home where I have no connection to the internet) seemed as good reasons to me.

Because of T1900S' floppy-booting problems I had to try installation from harddisk - this wasn't big problem in fact. When most of unnecessarities deleted, remained about 13MB of programs I guessed they could be someday useful; then I used program PQMagic, in fact it's textual version pqmagict - it is commercial software -, to resize the DOS partition into cca 26MB; having not this software I would have to delete the whole harddisk, then create partitions again, install once more M$-DOS into DOS partition and continue from this point ahead - it would probable a half an hour of work in addition. After repartitioning I transferred (again using floppies) from CD-ROM (helping with home computer with linux) files needed for installation of base-system a started loadlin. Because of small amount of memory of the notebook I had to use special image and in free space beyond DOS partition create linux, linux swap and a little MINIX type partition into which the root system transferred and almost normal installation started. It passed O.K. - I installed the very base system only, of course. After this installation came "the moment of truth" and when "smoke" test was also O.K., I ran fdisk and deleted MINIX partition and enlarge linux swap. Then I configured system (mounting, swapping, keymaps, fonts etc.).

Not very large disk, small amount of RAM, blackandwhite display -> I really didn't think of X Window System; while using computers I need almost the TeX, the C compiler and good editor there was no problem to install these things even if into small space. With the TeX I had a little trouble - all of base installation packages of TeX are too big for my purposes; so I helped using my home computer (linux RH6.0 nowadays) with RPM installation of teTeX 0.99cs - simply I listed installation RPM files, checked out what should be installed, needed files compressed and using floppies transferred onto the notebook. The C compiler (gcc) is in the base installation package of the Debian as well as the Vi IMproved; in addition I installed libraries and header files for gcc and also make. Also I added some usual programs such as the Midnight Commander, lynx, less, bzip2, ghostscript and some utilities for .dvi and .ps files.

After some time I found out how to set up the parallel port for sending and receiving data, so I used to comunicate with my home comp (and other linux server at school too) through PLIP (the parallel cable). After then I gain some network PCMCIA card, and I got appropriate PCMCIA and network packages to work. Now I'm using the comp as terminal if needed at school, and sometime, when my girl-friend needs to work at console, at home too.

Summary: linux has 85 Mb root directory, 10 Mb swap, approximately 25 Mb has the DOS partition - I leave this partition unchanged for backups of some important data and also if there would be some problems with the LILO I can boot DOS, then use loadlin and some problems fix. Linux is on this machine much more then DOS was, it's of course paid for having OS. After having installed almost all needed software is there about 19 Mb free space in the linux partition which is enough for some data. The whole time of installation of the linux itself and some software in addition was about three hours; but if I realize also reading mans, browsing for informations on laptop-linuxes, listings of software packages and some other things I can tell the whole thing since the very first idea to install linux took about two nights - during this time I was also doing some (more important) things :-).

Possible improvements:

If having feeling you liked something about this page (or having feeling you disliked something), if having similar notebook and it is running linux, or having similar notebook not running linux but you would like it to run or having need to tell me something don't wait (and waste) and send me mail; my address is

Related Links

[ The Linux Laptop Home Page | Linux Online - Linux on a Laptop | Toshiba Notebooks ]

Last update: 7.12.2000 1:50 CET dond