Linux on the Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204

I purchased a Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 on Dec 21, 2001. While shopping the local Circuit City (buying a Christmas gift), I saw a sign next to the Toshiba laptops touting $899 for a laptop. The deal worked like this: $1099 for the laptop, minus $50 rebate through Toshiba, and $150 through Circuit City.

I came back a few days later, after deciding to buy a laptop, and learned that they didn't have any in stock. I decided that I didn't particularly care for the salesdroid, I walked a couple doors down to Best Buy, who had a similar deal, with the rebates, but also none in stock. Best Buy's web site, however, said that they could ship in 3-4 days, so I decided to just order it from the web site. I could still get the rebates, plus another from Toshiba for three free DVDs. All in all, a pretty good deal, IMHO.

The hardware

The Satellite 1805-S204 is a pretty feature-filled laptop for the price.
The particulars:

The setup

I'm a Debian user so I promptly whipped out my boot floppies and proceeded to install Debian. I installed the 2.2 'potato' system, and upgraded to the unstable distribution. Following is the list of relevant things and how well they work. For the kernel, I enabled Toshiba Laptop Support (CONFIG_TOSHIBA, it's under Processor Type and Features.). This lets you use the Toshiba Linux Utilities, download from

Lspci output

00:00.0 Host bridge: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi]: Unknown device 1644 (rev 01)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi] M5247
00:02.0 USB Controller: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi] M5237 USB (rev 03)
00:04.0 IDE interface: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi] M5229 IDE (rev c3)
00:06.0 Multimedia audio controller: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi] M5451 PCI South Bridge Audio (rev 01)
00:07.0 ISA bridge: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi] M1533 PCI to ISA Bridge [Aladdin IV]
00:08.0 Bridge: Acer Laboratories Inc. [ALi] M7101 PMU
00:0a.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corp. 82557 [Ethernet Pro 100] (rev 0d)
00:11.0 CardBus bridge: Toshiba America Info Systems ToPIC95 PCI to Cardbus Bridge with ZV Support (rev 32)
00:11.1 CardBus bridge: Toshiba America Info Systems ToPIC95 PCI to Cardbus Bridge with ZV Support (rev 32)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Trident Microsystems: Unknown device 8820 (rev 82)


I've got support for CardBus and i82365 PCMCIA compiled in, but have no PCMCIA hardware to use on it, so I can't attest as to it working well or not. I hope to get an 802.11b wireless card, so once I get that running, I'll report back.


It's an ALi M5451. (Select the 'Trident 4DWave DX/NX, SiS 7018, or ALi 5451 option when configuring the kernel. It's CONFIG_SOUND_TRIDENT)


Use the eepro100 driver for the built-in ethernet.

XFree86, video, etc

The laptop sports a Trident CyberbladeXP video chip, which isn't supported in XFree 4.1. Apparently it's supposed to be in 4.2, but I've not taken the time to download and compile it myself. I've used the fbdev for the X server, and it works perfectly fine. Had to set the line
in /etc/lilo.conf to get it to use the whole LCD, though. I built the agpgart module with ALi support (CONFIG_AGP_ALI). The driver doesn't recognize the chipset, but will load with by adding agp_try_unsupported=1 to the modprobe command. In Debian, this can be done by adding agpgart agp_try_unsupported=1 to /etc/modules. Haven't done much of anything to see if it works, though.

Power management

Many sites discussing Linux on the 180(0|5) S2xx series lament not being able to use power mangement. Somehow, I've gotten this working: I can use both apm -s to suspend, and close the lid and have it suspend by itself. To get the lid-suspend thing working, I had to make a bios change: I used Toshset ( I think it's the -ppower option.. I didn't make a note when I did it and have since forgotten.

I'll eagerly await improved Linux ACPI support, though.

If it helps, here is the output of my kernel config APM section, and the output from toshset -q.


  x x         <M>   Advanced Power Management BIOS support                x x   
  x x         [ ]     Ignore USER SUSPEND                                 x x   
  x x         [*]     Enable PM at boot time                              x x   
  x x         [*]     Make CPU Idle calls when idle                       x x   
  x x         [ ]     Enable console blanking using APM                   x x   
  x x         [ ]     RTC stores time in GMT                              x x   
  x x         [*]     Allow interrupts during APM BIOS calls              x x   
  x x         [ ]     Use real mode APM BIOS call to power off


toshset: unrecognized machine identification:
machine id : 0xfc72    BIOS version : 1.40    SCI version: 2.81

please email this information to and include the model
and model number, eg. Libretto 50CT  model number PA1249E
 battery save mode: user settings       power source: battery                 
 LCD backlight: on                      fan: low                              
 select bay: CDROM                      Video out: internal                   
 Hibernation LBA: 0x0 (0)
              flat panel: 1024x768, 18 bit TFT      
 system beep: on                        lcd brightness: super-bright          
 CPU speed: fast                        CPU sleep mode: on                    
 Display stretch: on                    CPU cache: on                         
 cache policy: write back               speaker volume: medium                
 battery alarm: on                      panel alarm: on                       
 panel power: on                        hard disk auto-off time: 30 minutes   
 display auto-off time: 30 minutes      power-up mode: resume                 
 battery percent: 87%                   cooling method: quiet                 
 power-up alarm: disabled               auto-off time: disabled               
 parallel port mode: ecp                Hibernation: not configured           
 boot method: hard disk->floppy->CDROM  user password: not registered         
 supervisor password: not registered    owner string: [ max length: 513]

Preston Smith Fri Feb 22 08:57:37 EST 2002