Toshiba A300-18A.


Did someone installed OpenSuSE on this laptop?

How did it go?


There does not appear to be much listed for the A300 under linux.

If you have an A300, you could obtain a live CD (mepis, or kanotix, or sidux, or knoppix) and boot it to the live CD. Then make note of all the individual hardware (graphics, sound, wireless, etc … ) and then armed with that, look for linux compatibility.

If the A300 is in the store (for sale), then make your self a detailed list of commands you want to send from the command line, … take a digital camera, go to the store and talk them into letting you boot the live CD. And then run the commands (taking pix with your digital camera of the screen output of the hardware config) such that you can come back to the web and research for compatibility.

Thats more or less what I have planned for my next laptop purchase (in Nov of this year).


Unfortunately I do not have a A300-18A :(, but I was planning to get one if the budget allows and of course, if I can install Linux (OpenSuSE) on it, otherwise it is not relevant.

Your idea is great, the laptop is all over the big stores (malls and “Best-Buy” like retailers of electronics/Tt gear) but I do not feel very “comfortable” to ask those guys to run Knoppix … maybe I can try that on a smaller, IT only store. I have to look at this possibility …

From the spec page:
Satellite A300-18A
two things show … it contains a very recent ATI graphic card, this could be a problem, although the ATI driver should support it.
And I do not know what is the sound card … never seen it before … Toshiba sound system ?! what is that?
Everything else show not be a problem.
But if anyone had a go with this particular laptop … please post.


Things I note are:
Wireless: Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG e chipset Intel® PM965 Express
If you look here: HCL/Network Adapters (Wireless - openSUSE you will see it can be made to work - but there may be some fiddling. General speaking Intel wireless tend to work reasonably well under Linux due to Intel’s enlightened support for Linux wireless.

Graphics - in the spec you linked to, I could not see reference to the ati graphics device. But take a look here: HCL/ATI Video Cards - openSUSE

If you are able to convince a store to let you boot a Linux Live CD, then do so, and open a terminal/xterm/konsole, and type these commands with root permissions:
… you can even get more detail with: lspci -v
They should give you a good list of your hardware.

… you may wish to check with an other PC first (with that live CD) that it supports “lscpi” and “lsusb”.

Sound is tricker, and if you can, you could copy the two diagnostic scripts from the openSUSE audio troubleshooting guide to a USB stick, and then boot to the live CD, plug in the USB stick, and then from the USB stick run the first of the two diagnostic scripts ( It will fail in accessing the internet, but it should give you the laptop’s hardware audio codec (which is what you need to research compatibility). Link to guide for running 1st diagnostic script

And take pix with your digital camera of the output.

Again, practice first on a home PC, before trying out on the store. The sales person, even IF understanding, will be impatient.


I know everything in the laptop works in Linux, my only doubt is the sound card, and of course the (eventual) necessary “fiddling” :).
I never even heard about that sound card before. Actually I am not even sure about what sound card they have …

The graphics card … you are right it is not mentioned, but I confirmed, it is a :

ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3470 com HyperMemory™


(I took the reference in the store for the ATI graphics.)

This graphic is supported by the Catalyst driver. (there may be some issues regarding hdmi output but that is ok, ATI will launch new and better drivers so no problem.)

On the Toshiba site the specs are not that detailed at all …

Toshiba Satellite A300 Laptop Computers

And … in case you want to dream a little :slight_smile:
Toshiba Qosmio Laptop Computers

(Outsdanding! ) Take a look at the G55 18.5’’ with a Cell processor inside! I wonder what the price will be for that beast laptop … and more important … what can we do with the internal Cell processor …
Cool huh! A PC and a PS3 CPU on the same hardware :)!

So about the A300 the only thing is the sound …

Again, practice first on a home PC, before trying out on the store. The sales person, even IF understanding, will be impatient.

Those salesman … tss tss tss tss …

11 years of practice are enough :slight_smile:
And I do have internet … I can connect a Huawei 220 3.5G modem …


If you are allowed to run the diagnostic scripts (for audio) from a USB connected to the laptop while it is booting from a live CD, that should give you what you need.

You could also try (while it is booting to the live CD):
cat /proc/asound/cards
but that does not always give the hardware audio codec, which is what we really need to check out compatibility.

Its also possible Vista will give you the hardware audio codec? (I have never tried Vista, so I don’t know).