This is a survey about Linux related hardware features of
the Panasonic Toughbook CF-M34 (Model T42ACG = Mk1). It should be applicable to the CF-17, too.
I will only give you the model-specific informations necessary to get Linux running on your Toughbook, nothing more, nothing less.
H.P. Stroebel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have installed Debian GNU/Linux (3.0 woody) with a standard kernel 2.4.19 by now, and the Debian installation kernel 2.4.18 as a backup kernel.
Installing Linux (yet, any OS) can be quite interesting, if you don`t have the CF-M34 FDD drive and the port replicator to boot at least an OS with PCMCIA or USB drivers to access a network or external drive. The BIOS cannot boot from USB. The latest BIOS from Panasonic is IIRC from March 2001, I did not test it yet because I don`t have any M$ OS installed.
My Toughbook came with a preinstalled M$ Windows NT 4.0, and crashed immediately after finishing the installation procedure. A good start to make the computer "legacy free", wiping all Windoze off the disk.
I decided to attach the HDD drive to my CF-71 notebook for installation, to install directly from CD-ROM. Use a high quality
screwdriver in order to avoid damage to the screws when opening the case. Unfortunately, the connectors of the
HDD case are not pin compatible to other Panasonic models, so you have to open the HDD protection case, too.
Be very careful not to damage the IDE flat wire.
A BIOS that can boot from USB (CD-ROM, memory stick) would be quite useful for this computer.
Intel Celeron (Mendocino), 300 MHz, 128 kB Cache
It performs better than I expected. All operations will not take too much patience, even if it does take some time to start KDE 2.1.2. If it is up and running, one can work quite well (I don`t edit any images). I use Oroborus, fspanel, DeskMenu, Opera and some console applications. DON`T consider trying to use OpenOffice with a Celeron 300!
It will come with 32 or 64 MB RAM installed, and one memory slot free. Even if the manual claims a maximum of 96/128 MB, I installed a 128 MB module and have now 192 MB without any problems.
When you go to the hardware store to buy RAM, you might consider to buy a 3,5" IDE adapter for 2,5" HDDs, too. It allows you to attach a 2,5" HDD drive for installation to nearly any desktop computer, if necessary in case of crash, recovery, replacement etc. It is much cheaper than the Panasonic FDD, and will easily fit in your computer bag (if -even for a Toughbook- you use one).
I run it under X with 800x600@16M, at the console with the vesa-fb framebuffer driver at 800x600@64K (video mode 0x314).
The touchpad is attached to /dev/psaux and uses the PS/2 protocol. Enable 3-Button-Emulation. You won`t use it that much, as it is the worst touchpad I have ever seen, maybe caused by it`s shock and water protection.
After some investigation i found out that it was necessary to pass the
force_load=1parameter to the module (The 2.4.19 module maybe will produce an error output telling you a wrong parameter..) Add it to /etc/modules.conf, or pass it with modconf, which will add it to /etc/modules.conf for you.
Caution: This may be the reason for frequent crashes, so it might be a good idea to use extfs3.
I hope at least that the NeoMagic folks aren`t too proud of this crap.
I suppose the reason to be a conflict with the shared IRQ 10 (used by USB, modem, PCMCIA, the NeoMagic chipset and maybe even by your neighbours microwave oven and vacuum cleaner). Loading the nm256_audio driver before all others does not much improve this behavior, I still have 80% crashes when loading the driver. Debian`s installation kernel seems to work well instead, but without modem support. I do not have ANY clue what could be the reason.
Maybe I`ll give the ALSA driver a try sooner or later. The commercial OSS driver works, but it`s quite bad sound quality, very sloppy performance. With the the kernel`s nm256_audio driver instead, sound quality is okay, but don`t expect HiFi quality from a 1-inch speaker.
The modem is a Xircom MSPCI model, which uses a Lucent (Agere) Winmodem chipset. I took the
lt_modem driver from here, and passed the
vendor_id=0x11cc and the
device_id=0x0420 (taken from /proc/pci) as module parameters, as the driver
did not initialize the modem by default. After correct installation you should have a working /dev/ttyLT0
device. See the drivers documentation for details.
uart 16550A port 0x02e8 irq 7 baud_base 115200 divisor 12
setserial, and you should have it up and running. (9600 baud, 8N1).
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82440MX I/O Controller (rev 01) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Neomagic Corporation [MagicMedia 256AV] (rev 20) 00:02.1 Multimedia audio controller: Neomagic Corporation [MagicMedia 256AV Audio] (rev 20) 00:03.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1450 (rev 03) 00:03.1 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1450 (rev 03) 00:04.0 Communication controller: Lucent Microelectronics: Unknown device 0420 (rev 01) 00:07.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82440MX PCI to ISA Bridge (rev 01) 00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82440MX EIDE Controller 00:07.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82440MX USB Universal Host Controller 00:07.3 Bridge: Intel Corp. 82440MX Power Management Controller
This document has nothing to do with Panasonic, they don't even know it exists. There is no guarantee that the information on this page is accurate, please don't hold me responsible if your experience is different from the information here.
Feel free to mail me if you have questions, tips or additions. I will not answer general installation issues, however (RTFM).
This report was first generated by
lanoche v0.6 Thu Feb 27 04:25:54 CET 2003.