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Installing Red Hat 9 on Toshiba Satellite 1115-S103 (v1.5)
Last modified: Friday November 9, 2012

This document builds on the work in the Red Hat 8.0 Version of this document.
There is also a Fedora Core 1 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

Red Hat 9 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 Red Hat 9

You should be able to install Red Hat 9 normally on this laptop. Just make sure you choose the GCC compiler and development environment installed. You won't be able to build your own Linux kernel without it. When prompted for monitor type choose "Generic Laptop Display Panel 1024x768". Otherwise install it as you like.

Building new ACPI compatible kernel

This laptop is of a type known as "legacy free" meaning it doesn't have a BIOS like other PCs. Instead of a BIOS it uses the newer, but poorly supported, ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) to control access to many peripherals and PCMCIA is one feature that simply won't work without ACPI support.

Fortunately the built-in Ethernet port works fine so at this point I recommend you register with Red Hat Network and fully update your system before continuing. It doesn't matter if you upgrade the kernel as you won't be needing the Red Hat kernels unless you really screw up the rest of the instructions.

First you're going to need to download the 2.4.22 Linux Kernel. The 2.4.22 kernel now includes the latest ACPI code so you no longer need to apply the patches. Un-tar the kernel in /usr/src  and build it as follows:

# cd /usr/src
# gtar xjvf linux-2.4.22.tar.bz2
# cd linux-2.4.22
Now you will want to build the kernel. I highly recommend you use this config file and copy it to /usr/src/linux-2.4.22/.config . At this point you can fine tune the kernel with make menuconfig  or just build it as is:
# make oldconfig
# make dep
# make bzImage
# make modules (This takes a while, about 30 minutes)
# make modules_install
# make install
This will cause a new kernel called kernel 2.4.22 to be built, installed and added to the GRUB menu. One strange step is to remove the old directory full of way out of date symlinks. Not removing them will prevent the proper drivers from loading properly. After you delete them just reboot:
# rm -rf /lib/modules/2.4.22/pcmcia   <-- Don't forget this step
# shutdown -r now
Make sure you select the new "2.4.22" kernel you just built above. If everything works you should make sure you're always booting the custom kernel. Edit /etc/grub.conf  and make sure default=0  which makes the most recent kernel the default.

Power Management

The most correct way to get power management working is with ACPI. However I was never able to make it work completely. I would get frequent lockups so it wasn't worth the trouble yet. See below if you are brave enough to try.

If you're not using the 2.4.22 kernel, I encourage you to switch now. The battery meter FINALLY works correctly when used with the config file above.

If you want basic power power management to work, such as screen blanking and a working battery meter, use the latest Omnibook module to which Rick contributed code to make them work on the Toshiba 1115. The key is the Omnibook module includes APM emulation that at least allows the battery monitor to work.

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  in the start section:
insmod omnibook apmemu=1 user=1
You should now have some new files:
# ls /proc/omnibook
# cat /proc/omnibook/dmi
# cat /proc/omnibook/battery
# cat /proc/apm
If all those files are there then the Gnome battery meter should work accurately. 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 Extras -> Preferences -> 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 http://linmodems.technion.ac.il/packages/smartlink/, look for the latest version which at the time of this writing was slmdm-2.7.10.tar.gz Please note, I've heard reports of 2.7.14 causing problems so for now it's best to stick with version 2.7.10.

The README is pretty self explanitory. Since you're now running a non-standard kernel you'll need to adjust the include path in the Makefile 

# Path to your kernel's includes
 KERNEL_INCLUDES:= /usr/src/linux-2.4.22/include
Then just compile and install it:
# make
# make install-amr
Then you can just test it with minicom:
# minicom -s
Go go Serial Port Setup
Set Serial Device to /dev/modem
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.
Rick's Installing Redhat 8.0 on Toshiba Satellite 1115-S103 - Rick did most of the work in figuring out how to make Linux load on this laptop. He goes into a lot more technical detail about ACPI and other issues he's run into.

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.

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.

Red Hat 9 RPMs - Tons of pre-compiled packages built for Red Hat 9 (aka Shrike).

RedHat 9.0 (shrike) on a Toshiba Satellite 1135 - S155 - Yet another description on how to install RH9 on a very simillar laptop. This one goes into detail about some additional options such as Emacs, True Type Fonts and other annoyances. It also describes how to go back to the Sawfish window manager should you prefer that one.

Redhat 9 linux on toshiba satellite S1905-S303 - A description of installing RH9 on another Toshiba laptop model. Looks like that one was a LOT smoother.

Comments From People Like You!
Red Hat 9 on Toshiba Satellite 1115-S103
Add a Comment add a comment
08-Mar-2005 16:11
Ok. Im running Fedora Core 3 and for the life of me I can't get the modem to work.  And hints?
Bernie Joe
11-Feb-2004 12:45
Thanks a lot for your effort on writing this HOWTO. I\'m looking forward to your HOWTO on migration to kernel 2.6.
21-Jan-2004 13:13
Hi Greg.

Your howto is very helpful and I have been able to use install RH9 with no glitches.  However I found that using toshutils2.0.1-5 worked as well as the omnibook driver.

When I decided to migrate to slackware9.1 your guide was still very helpful.  

Thanks and have a nice day.

banji Lawal
Walter Bentancur
04-Dec-2003 07:25
Thanks for your HowTo, I'm been using it from RH8.

I recompile with frame buffer for the ATI Radeon and it works!!!

Do you plan to migrate to Fedora? Any tests already?

Alex H.
14-Nov-2003 13:05
Many thanks for creating this howto, finally something for redhat 9.  My toshiba is a 1905-s303, but the newest kernel, and your .profile worked great, and now I can see my battery level! (have not tried the screen blanking yet).  

I wrote a howto for my particular toshiba model (many thanks to your site), at
some updates to the procedures above
02-Nov-2003 05:31

  thanks a lot for the help. Excellent job with the tips on getting it to
work. I am glad that the modem is finally working. I never had to use it but
just in case, it is useful to have it working.

Here are some things on the page
(http://home.gagme.com/greg/linux/toshiba1115-rh9.php) that I thought needed
a little update:

In the tutorial:
># Path to your kernel\'s includes
># Path to your kernel\'s includes
> KERNEL_INCLUDES:= /usr/src/linux-2.4.22/include
> endif

now is :

> Then just compile and install it:
># make
># make install-amr

now is:
make install       .
>rm -f /dev/ttySL0
>mknod -m 666  /dev/ttySL0 c 212 0
>ln -sf ./ttySL0  /dev/modem
> KERNEL_INCLUDES:= /usr/src/linux-2.4.22/include
it doesn\'t seem this is necessary anymore, the install creates the ttySL0
device. Also, every time it start slmodemd, it fixes up /dev/ttySL0
Also, it seems that the line :
>ln -sf ./ttySL0  /dev/modem
would be clearer if it were:
>ln -sf /dev/ttySL0  /dev/modem

Then just compile and install it:
# make
# make install-amr
rm -f /dev/ttySL0
mknod -m 666  /dev/ttySL0 c 212 0
ln -sf ./ttySL0  /dev/modem

Again, thanks a lot for the excellent walkthrough.

25-Sep-2003 19:29
great job of explaining about software suspend !
18-Sep-2003 13:04
any update and/or success regarding usb?  i am running rh8 at the moment, and usb it NOT working.  i used the nousb boot option during install as recommended here:


and have been unable to get it working after installation.  at this point, it would probably be easier for me to just reinstall with rh9 if usb works easily there, so i am wondering how it does work there.  thanks!
Greg G.
08-Aug-2003 14:08
I have been able to get Software Suspend to work
properly with this laptop.  I'm working on a page to
describe how to make it work.

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