I found an old Toshiba Tecra laptop at work that no one had used in years. The laptop was completely hosed by its 3 previous owners, and didn't run well. So I thought I would install Linux on it, just for hack value. (I don't expect I will ever use this laptop again.)

The laptop had this configuration:

Basic Install

At first, I thought I would install Red Hat 7.2 on this laptop, just because that is the most current. However, the hard disk is about 50MB too small to install a GNOME workstation. So I had to go back to a smaller Linux distribution. I had an old Red Hat Linux 6.2 installation CD-ROM, which I installed on the system. Some notes for the install:

I could not boot this laptop from the CD-ROM drive. Doesn't look like this is something you can change in the BIOS. I created a pcmcia.img boot floppy, connected the external floppy drive, and rebooted. The Red Hat installer identified everything else correctly.

The video card was correctly probed by the installer, but I could not configure X Windows until after the install. See below.

I don't have any PCMCIA cards in this laptop, although there are two slots. So I have no idea if PCMCIA is working here, but I don't really care anyway.

I haven't played with the IrDA support on this laptop.

APM seems to be a bit buggy on this laptop. I am able to do an apm --standby to put the laptop in "standby" mode (press any key to wake it up.) However, using apm --suspend to put the computer to sleep seems to shut down the machine, and I had to power cycle the laptop to get it to turn on. When I do an init 0 in Linux, it will turn off the machine, so that is working okay.


During the install, the disk was completely erased, and we went with a very simple "GNOME Workstation" partition scheme:


This laptop does have an integrated modem. I have no idea how fast the modem might be, although Michel Bouissou says: the integrated modem in the Tecra 720CDT (I personally have a 730CDT) is not a winmodem, but a true modem. It works perfectly in Linux, just use /dev/ttyS(something) Unfortunately, it's a 28.8, not upgradable.


To support sound, run sndconfig. The sound board that is in this laptop is: Crystal Semiconductor CS4232. Settings that may work: io=0x530 irq=5 dma=1 dma2=0 mpuio=0x330 mpuirq=5.

Note: I haven't played with sound much on this laptop. I actually couldn't get it to work with the above settings, but didn't try any other values.

X Windows

The Red Hat installer did not recognize the video card at install-time (but I find this typical of RH6x installers) so I had to configure X Windows after booting to initlevel 3. Xconfigurator did recognize the video card, but I had to set the display manually. I was able to run at 1024x768 just fine.

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