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Installing Fedora Linux on Toshiba Satellite 1115-S103 (v1.1)
Last modified: Friday November 9, 2012

This document builds on the work in the Red Hat 9 Version of this document.

The Toshiba Satellite 1115-S103 is a low priced but fairly high performance laptop. It has a 1.50 GHz Celeron procesor and comes with 256MB of RAM and a 20G hard drive. It also includes a DVD-ROM drive, 14.1" TFT XGA (1024x768) display, 10/100 ethernet, modem, three USB ports, parallel port, TV and VGA outputs. What it doesn't contain is a floppy drive, serial port or PS/2 keyboard/mouse port. Full detailed specs directly from Toshiba can be found HERE.

Hardware Summary

Fedora Core 1 Compatibility

Preparing for the install

The Toshiba 1115-S103 comes pre-installed with Windows XP which I shank using Partition Magic 7.0 to a much smaller size. I then used PM to create a 75M /boot partition, 1G swap partition and the remaining space for /.

Install Fedora Linux

You should be able to install Fedora normally on this laptop. Just make sure you choose the GCC compiler and development environment as well as kernel sources installed. You won't be able to build the special kernel module below without it. When prompted for monitor type choose "Generic Laptop Display Panel 1024x768". Otherwise install it as you like.

Configuring Fedora Linux to enable ACPI

Fortunately this Linux comes with the 2.4.22 kernel which has very good ACPI support. Unfotunately, the release installs the kernel with ACPI disabled by default due to serious problems on some older hardware. This means that power management, and more importantly, the PCMCIA slots won't work. Fortunately it's VERY easy to re-enable. After install boot it up normally then edit the file /etc/grub.conf and add acpi=on to the kernel boot line. The following is an example. Don't change anything else except adding that statement:
title Fedora Core (2.4.22-1.2115.nptl)
        root (hd0,1)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.22-1.2115.nptl ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb acpi=on
        initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.22-1.2115.nptl.img

Power Management

Power management for the most part works fine. You can configure various events using ACPI and the acpid program. I'll document some examples later.

However the only thing that still needs an ugly hack is screen blanking. I still ended up needing to use the latest Omnibook module.

Grab the latest Omnibook module, at the time of this writing located at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/omke/omnibook-2003-04-03.tar.gz?download. Untar the file in /usr/src 

Go to the /usr/src/omnibook-2003-04-03  directory and do the following:

# make
# make install
Congrats, you now have a module built. To load it automatically at boot time you need to add the following line to /etc/rc.local :
insmod omnibook user=1
You should now have some new files:
# ls /proc/omnibook
# cat /proc/omnibook/dmi
# cat /proc/omnibook/battery
# cat /proc/apm
After that if you want the screen to blank correctly you need to do something REALLY ugly.

Set up your screensaver by going to the Red Hat and select Preferences -> Screensaver. Set the mode to Blank Screen Only with your preferred blanking time. There is no point in setting a pretty screen saver since you will only see it for about 1 second. Then you can install the following Perl script named lightwatch complements of Rick:

use strict;

#  This handy script watches when the screensaver activates and
#  toggles the lcd backlight.  You won't see more than a 
#  second of the screensaver, so you might as well chose one
#  which consumes few mips.

$ENV{'PATH'} = '/bin:/usr/bin';
delete @ENV{'IFS', 'CDPATH', 'ENV', 'BASH_ENV'};

# $<=0;  # become root not just effective root

open(XS,"/usr/X11R6/bin/xscreensaver-command -watch|") or die;
while(<XS>) {
   if(/^BLANK/i) {
      system("echo off > /proc/omnibook/lcd");
   } elsif(/^UNBLANK/i) {
      system("echo on > /proc/omnibook/lcd");
After you install that script in your home directory and make it executable go to the Red Hat and select Preferences -> More Preferenaces -> Sessions then select Startup Programs then click Add and add the full path to the script to the list of commands started when you log in.

Basically, what this Perl script does is monitor the Gnome screensaver program and when the Blank screensaver gets started it will tell the Omnibook driver you installed to shut off the LCD display. It will turn the LCD monitor back on as soon as the screensaver gets disabled. It works surprisingly well.

Configuring the modem

Thanks to Troy for letting me know about the release of slmdm which added support for the winmodem chipset present in this laptop. The process is pretty painless. Start by grabbing a copy of the code from ftp://ftp.smlink.com/linux/unsupported/, look for the latest version which at the time of this writing was slmodem-2.9.5.tar.gz 

The README is pretty self explanitory. Then just compile and install it:

# make
# make install
# cp scripts/slmodemd /etc/rc.d/init.d/
# service slmodemd start
# chkconfig slmodemd on
Then you can just test it with minicom:
# minicom -s
Go go Serial Port Setup
Set Serial Device to /dev/ttySL0
Set Bps/Par/Bits to 115200 8N1
Return to main menu and Save setup as dfl
Hit Esc to exit out of setup and you should be able to dial out now.
After confirming it works you can set up your PPP dialup like you would normally.


There are a few things that don't work (yet):
DVD: Playing DVDs isn't hard. I'll document the procedure shortly.

Suspend/Resume: We can all dream, can't we? Well, it may not work through hardware but I've had some success with the Software Suspend patches. Once I get it working reliably I'll write it up.

If you have any leads on getting any more features working please drop me a line.

Other Useful Resources

I realize most of these are about Red Hat 8.0 but in reality besides the kernel not that much has changed between 8.0 and 9.
Fedora Project - Official home of the Fedora Project, a new community supported Linux distribution which takes off where Red Hat Linux 9 left off.

Red Hat 8.0 Tips Tricks - This site puts in one place the most common tips for getting RH 8.0 to work the way it's supposed to. Tips including installing a DVD player, getting MP3 support back and MUCH more! A must read for new RH 8.0 and 9 users. Most work for Fedora as well.

Unofficial Toshiba 1115-S103 Info - Another website with tons of Toshiba 1115-S103 info, most of it is hardware XP related but still very useful.

RPM LIvna.org - Various contributed RPMs for Fedora Linux. Lots of must haves such as MP3 plugin, ogle DVD player, etc...

Fedora Core 1 RPMs - Tons of pre-compiled packages built for Fedora Core 1 (aka Yarrow).

Unofficial #fedora FAQ - A really handy place to get a bunch of typical Fedora questions answered.

Replacing/Upgrading Hard Drive in Toshiba 1115-S103 - I always wondered how to take this laptop apart to replace a failed or put in a bigger hard drive. This site has very detailed instructions on how to do it.

Comments From People Like You!
Fedora Linux on Toshiba Satellite 1115-S103
Add a Comment add a comment
Michael Vang
20-May-2004 19:51
Fedora Core 2 fixes the screen blanker... :)

I didn't even have to force ACPI on...

Erik Weibust
22-Apr-2004 11:06
I followed your instructions for setting up the modem.  Everything installed fine.  It wasn't clear to me what I do after the install to get to the point of connecting to an isp and having internet access.  What exactly was the point of the minicom steps?

Erik Weibust
17-Dec-2003 21:48
I have a question about adding the line to /etc/rc.local.  You said to add the line to the start section.  Well, I have no start section.  I'm attaching what was in my /etc/rc.local


# This script will be executed *after* all the other init scripts.
# You can put your own initialization stuff in here if you don't
# want to do the full Sys V style init stuff.
touch /var/lock/subsys/local
Walter Bentancur
13-Dec-2003 04:18
I have read and installed well Fedora on mi Toshiba, the document is a great help. Not errors but son enhanced to the doc:
1 - Mi Toshiba is the model 1110-s103 that is the same model that 1115-s103 but for South America. It has floppy drive and celeron is 1.8GHz, all the rest is the same
2 - I used the last omnibook (2003-12-08) and it worked fine
3 - The script to shut off the screen, well... I'm a newby so i had to try to get the script running. To activate it you have to write 'perl /home/lightwatch.pl' I did not know that so I omit write the word 'perl' to invike the script and of course it did not work.
4 - Modem not installed yet and perhaps i will not install it.

This document was a great help, thanks for it
29-Nov-2003 18:32
Owners of this laptop might be interested in MEPIS linux, a 2-CD distribution that provides the first CD in a \"live CD\" format [this means that you can stick disk 1 of the distribution into the drive and boot a fully-working linux desktop].  Once booted, you can install the distribution to your hard drive.

Like most other visitors to this page, I am mostly interested in running Fedora on my 1115-s103.  However, the MEPIS distribution could be useful as a rescue CD for our machines - it boots an ACPI-enabled 2.4.22 kernel, and even found and enabled my modem (using the SmartModem drivers mentioned on this page) automatically!

It is KDE-centric (I\'m a Gnome guy, myself), but it seems to be pretty well thought-out.  Something to burn and stick in your laptop bag \'just in case\'.


Please E-mail Me with any questions, comments or corrections.