Linux on the Toshiba Satellite Pro 400CS
Last modified on 1st August 1999


DISCLAMER: The information in this page comes with ABSOLUTLY no warranty, or guarantee as to is accuracy, either express or implied. I have no connection to Toshiba other than owning one of their laptops.

This document covers details about running Linux on a Toshiba Satellite Pro 400CS. Unlike other web pages I'am going to concentrate on thoses aspects of running Linux on the 400CS where at least some slight tweeking is required to get things working properly. So if you don't see it here it's probably safe to assume it works! You might also like to visit my Toshiba Linux Utilities page which covers the replacements of Toshiba provided utilites I have written in more detail.

I no longer own a Satellite Pro 400CS, though I will be keeping this web page as an aid to users.

AccuPoint & PS/2 mouse port

If the mouse is set to simultaneous in the BIOS configuration, then a couple of problems can occur...

This problem is separate and distinct from the occasional slow tracking of the mouse pointer caused by temperature changes in the AccuPoint (covered in the manual), or the persistant moving to one side caused by a loose keyboard connection. The problem does not occur under Microsoft Windows, and setting the mouse to Auto Detect causes the problem to go away. Therefore it seems safe to sumize that there is a problem with either the kernel driver or the XFree86 server. The only other point to note about the AccuPoint is the potential for conflicts with the PCMCIA card services.

Replacement rubber caps for the AccuPoint, can be difficult to get hold of, several Toshiba dealers simply said to me, "you got spairs with the machine didn't you?". What you want is to get them to order Toshiba part number P000203220 which includes five more caps and cost me £7+VAT here in the United Kingdom, I belive they cost $12 in the United States.


Support for Infra-red communications under Linux has improved quite significantly recently with the launch of the Linux/IR project. This provides Linux with a IrDA compliant protocol stack, in the form of a kernel module. Whilst I have been unable to test the support due to lack of access to any IrDA capable peripheral's.

It should also be remembered that the Linux/IR project is neither finished, stable or complete, and should be probably be considered beta grade software.


The 400CS in common with other similar Toshiba models uses the Chips & Technologies CT65546 chipset. With XFree86 3.2 support for this chipset has improved dramatically, and now includes hardware cursor, BlitBit, 16 & 24 bit colour modes, linear addressing and proper programming of the dot-clock. My XF86Config can be obtained from here.

Wierdness of the internal display panel!

According to appendix F of the user manual you should only be able to get 256 colours on the internal LCD display panel at resolutions of 640x480, 800x600 & 1024x768 (using hardware panning). Using an external monitor you should be able to get 32K,64K & 16M colours when operating at 640x480 and 32K & 64K colours when operating at 800x600. Oberservation showns this not to be the case!

I have noticed that under Windows 3.11 and Windows 95 you can select 640x480x64K mode, (800x600x64K is not possible as some of the video memory is used as a frame buffer). I can also get 640x480x32K under 3.11 but the Windows 95 drivers don't present this as an option.With an external monitor, you should be able to get 640x480x16M, however this fails under both Windows 3.11 and 95 causing junk to be displayed. It appears from observation that the actual specifications differ from the specified ones. If you know what the real specifications are please tell me.


The operation of the fan is automatic I hear you say! True, however I find that the machine runs a bit on the hot side. In particular my EtherLink III 3C589B gets rather to warm for my liking. There is a DOS program fan.exe to turn the fan on/off, however this is not much use, so I rolled up my sleeves and have written a version that works under Linux. More details and source can be found on my Toshiba Linux Utilities page.

Advanced Power Management

Support for Advanced Power Management (APM) has been in the kernel since 1.3.46, you will also need Rik Faith's apmd package if it is not included in distribution you are using. Once you have this installed and have complied a new kernel with APM support, you can happly suspend and resume Linux. The apmd package also includes some other nifty utilities like an X11 battery graph thingy. (Note: the old apm_bios-0.5 patches will work under Linux 1.2.13, but require some tweeking in order to do so, I will not detail them and strongly recomended that you upgrade to a 2.0 series kernel)


David Hinds PCMCIA card services work fine. The only thing to watch here is for possible conflicts with the PS/2 pointer device on irq12. To avoid this edit /etc/rc.d/rc.pcmcia or /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia, depending on your system setup so that the PCIC_OPTS= line reads:


I have a 3Com EtherLink III 3C589B which works fine, including automatic transceiver selection. I also have a Psion Dacom Gold Card (V34+fax) which also works fine.


The Toshiba Pentium laptops have two passwords, a user and a supervisor one. These are not stored in the CMOS RAM, rather they appear to be held in the 128Kb of EEPROM which holds the BIOS. Toshiba provide a small DOS program svpw.exe that allows you to set the supervisor password, and change whether you are able to run setup in user mode. I have written a small replacement utility for Linux, more details and source can be found on my Toshiba Linux Utilities page.

Zip Drive

My latest aquisition is an internal Zip drive from CNF. This operates in the SelectBay, instead of the CD-ROM drive or floppy. In order to use the drive you must recompile the kernel with ATAPI floppy support included. The internal drive is much faster than my old parallel port version, which was restricted to PS2 mode. My only criticism is that you get nothing to put the Zip drive in to protect it when it is not in the laptop. Even worse it is no good ordering a spare external floppy drive housing as the Zip drive does not fit it.

If you want to be able to change the Zip drive with the CD-ROM without rebooting Linux you will need a 2.2 kernel and the thotswap utility from the Toshiba Linux Utilities. You will need to suspend the laptop but it's much faster than a reboot.


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