Linux on a Toshiba Satellite A10

HardwareStatusNotes
Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 - M CPU 2.20GHzWorks None
15 inch LCD Display (1024x768)WorksNone
Intel Integrated Video (82852/855GM) WorksX uses vesa driver, default
512MB RAMWorksNone
40GB IDE DriveWorksNone
Integrated Intel 82801DB PRO/100 VE Ethernet ControllerWorks Use module eepro100
ModemUKNOWNNot used, no phone line.
Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NICWorks Use this module
CD-RW DriveWorksNone
Intel 82801DB/DBL/DBM AC'97 AudioWorksDon't forget to unmute things in alsamixer

This laptop is running under the kernel version 2.4.33.3, provided with Slackware 11.0

Basic Installation of Slackware 11.0

Slackware is best for users who want simplicity and stability over bells and whistles. This is evidenced in the use of the 2.4 kernel line as the default choice, and the lack of Gnome as a desktop option.

Slackware can be obtained for free from the homepage. It is recommended to use bittorrent to obtain the ISOs, as this keeps the load on any one server to a minimum. The ISOs can sometimes be found on a mirror site.

Installing Slackware consists of booting from the first CD-ROM, hitting enter at the boot prompt, and logging in as root. Follow these simple steps:

Why don't I go into detail here? Because some people already have, and their results are in the Revised Slackware Book. A whole online book dedicated to this distribution will serve you better than anything I could write in one evening here. And because, if you use the defaults on a Toshiba Satellite A10, it will just work, dang it!

Pimp My Slackware

A fresh install of Slackware 11.0 gives you some wonderful features, but we still need to add more. The Atheros wireless card does not work immediately, since it uses the madwifi driver. You need to download the madwifi driver here, which in my case was madwifi-0.9.2.1_2.4.33.3-i486-1.tgz. This package is installable using the following command:

`installpkg madwifi-0.9.2.1_2.4.33.3-i486-1.tgz`

Another feature missing is sound, which should be working by default but muted. Configure that with the command:

`alsamixer`
then save your settings for the reboot:

`alsactl store`

Managing packages in Slackware could be as easy as you'd like it. There are two package managers I'm aware of, and I've only used one of them:

To use slackpkg, download and install its Slackware package using `instpkg`, uncomment a mirror in /etc/slackpkg/mirrors, then run `slackpkg update`.

slackpkg is useful for installing new packages without the use of discs, as well as keeping your system up to date with the latest release.

Linux On Laptops