Installing FC4 on the Toshiba Tecra M3

I will be installing Fedora Core 5 on the M3 soon. Watch for details here.

My brand-new Tecra M5 just arrived, and I began installing FC5 on it. Details on the M5 installation are posted here.

I moved from Fedora Core 3 (FC3) to Fedora Core 4 on my Tecra M3-S331 laptop. (See my FC3 page for original Linux installation details and XP dual boot information.) This FC4 installation is a work in progress, so consider this information as one person's case study—not as authority.

Comments, suggestions, and corrections are welcomed. Send them to

M3 Hardware Specifications

Hardware Components
Status under Linux (FC4)
Pentium M 740 Sonoma processor, 1.73GHz Works  
14.1 XGA TFT Display Works select generic 1024x768 LCD display in installer
nVIDIA 64MB GoForce Go 6200 TE Video Works major GLX problem in initial install (see below)
unable to use NVIDIA driver later than 7676
512MB, 533MHz SDRAM, 2.5V SODIMM Works  
60GB Toshiba MK6025GA ATA-6 Hard Drive Works  
Floppy Drive Not tested optional hardware with the M3
Analog Devices AD1981B Sound Card Works "Headphone Jack Sense" must be turned off and "External Amplifier" must be turned on (see below)
Integrated Marvell PC Express EtherNetwork Card Works requires compiling driver (see below)
24X Max Variable CD-RW/DVD Drive Works  
Internal PRO/Wireless 2200GB Wireless Networking (Wi-FI) Works requires Intel firmware download (not included with FC4)
i.LINK IEEE-1394 Port Not tested  
TV-Out (S-video) Works  
Integrated V.92 Modem Not tested  
ExpressCard Not tested  
SD Card Not tested  
4700mAh Lithium-Ion Battery Works charge reporting appears reasonable

The initial FC4 kernel version is 2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.
My current FC4 kernel version is 2.6.15-1.1831_FC4.

Basic Installation

I opted for a fresh install of FC4, rather than an upgrade. I retained many of the same partitions used in the FC3 installation:
/winc          (shrunken original XP NTFS partition)
/wind 2GB      shared FAT partition
/boot 100MB    (reformatted)
swap  1GB
an LVM physical volume using the rest of the disk space
  /home      20GB logical volume 
  /          10GB logical volume  (reformatted)
  /usr/local 3G logical volume
Graphical installation of FC4 from CDs failed, with the display turning all white during X11 initialization. So, I opted for text install and pressed on. I used Disk Druid to maintain the partition structure (using a hardcopy of /etc/fstab as a reference). I requested reformatting of / and /boot (retaining /winc, /wind, /home, and /usr/local). Then I proceeded with a workstation install.

A Major Hassle

As with the graphical installation, the newly installed FC4 hung when initializing X11. I used the rescue CD to investigate, setting the runlevel to 3 in /etc/inittab. The problem is reported to be with the nv drivers GLX support. I used yum to install the latest FC4 updates and also downloaded and installed the latest nVIDIA accelerated Linux driver (version 1.0-7667) using the *.run file downloaded directly from nVIDIA ( I also heard that SELinux can interfere with the nVIDIA driver installation on FC4, so I temporarily disabled enforcement while building the driver. Here is the procedure (running in run level 3):
  • download nVIDIA *.run file
  • disable SELinux:
         # setenforce 0
  • run the *.run script:
         # sh
    • the nVIDIA kernel module wasn't present from the FC4 installation, nor was a compatable module found by the script on the nVIDIA FTP site
    • the script thoughtfully compiled the kernel module from sources and installed it
  • edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf:
    • Change Driver "nv" to Driver "nvidia"
    • Also comment out the Load "dri" line
  • The nVIDIA module should load without error:
         # modprobe nvidia
  • Startup X11:
         # startx
  • Check for direct rendering:
         # glxinfo | grep direct
         direct rendering: Yes
  • Run gears:
         # glxgears
         11665 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2333.000 FPS
         12081 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2416.200 FPS
         12479 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2495.800 FPS
         12461 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2492.200 FPS
         12439 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2487.800 FPS
           . . .
  • reboot the FC4 installation into run level 5
  • X11 should again initialize

Working Hardware without Effort


Reading and writing CDs and reading DVDs all worked without issue.


Tested with a Microsoft wireless laptop mouse, which worked fine including the scroll wheel. Also worked fine with a 256MB Lexar JumpDrive.

PCMCIA slots

I used a Netgear MA401 wireless card to download FC4 updates and the ipw2200 firmware (see below). Worked flawlessly.

Parallel Port

Worked fine for printing.

Working Hardware with Some Effort

Builtin PRO/Wireless 2200GB

I neglected to copy the Intel firmware to a retained directory before installing FC4. So, I had to use a spare Netgear MA411 PCMCIA wireless card to download the firmware from SourceForge. Then I moved the downloaded firmware to /lib/firmware and had wireless operating. Hopefully, I'll remember to retain the firmware when I move to FC5!

Bill Moss maintains a detailed IPW2000 driver installation page that gives step-by-step details for the latest kernel and drivers.

For WPA you need to install and use wpa_supplicant which, unfortunately, does not play well with NetworkManager. I use a script when connecting to WPA networks that stops NetworkManager and starts the wpa_supplicant daemon.

Integrated Ethernet

Download the SysKonnect Linux driver from (select Product SK-9E82). You will also need to have installed the kernel headers (kernel-devel) for your kernel. Unpack the driver archive and follow the instructions for compiling the driver (don't worry about kernel patching). If you are upgrading from an earlier driver, you must unload the old kernel module before compiling the new one.

nVIDIA Video

Working (as described above).


Use alsamixer to turn "Headphone Jack Sense" off and "External Amplifier" on and you should have sound.

Not yet working

Power Management

I haven't looked at ACPI suspend to RAM or disk under FC4.

Touchpad scrolling

I haven't looked into enabling scrolling actions on the touchpad.


Fast Infrared (4Mbps) port

TV-out (S-video)

i.LINK IEEE-1394


SD card

Integrated V.92 modem

Additional Installation Items

FnFX: Toshiba Fn-Keys/Hotkeys

An FC4-specific rpm for FnFx was not yet available, so I downloaded the FnFx V0.3 sources, compiled, and installed as described in the README file. I installed the /etc/rc.d fnfxd services scripts from FC3 to keep FnFx consistent with other FC4 services. As installed, FnFx lets me toggle the fan (Fn-3), decrease/increase LCD brightness (Fn-F6/Fn-F7), lower/raise/mute the volume (Fn-1/Fn-2/Fn-Escape), and toggle the video output (Fn-F5). I left the CPU, Suspend, and Hibernate hotkeys commented out in /etc/fnfx/fnfxd.conf, as those ACPI capabilities are not yet working. I prefer to keep a cooler laptop by having the fan on (using Fn-3) whenever I'm working from AC power.


Back to my home page.

Last updated: April 2, 2006