Alex Roman's notes on doing this... For Debian 3.1 (Sarge)

Installation Notes

  • Make SURE you have the LATEST BIOS update installed! Or else you might end up with the mouse and digitizer conflicting.
  • Connect Lawrence's USB CD-RW Drive and insert Sarge CD1 (or netinst image) - it's an IOMEGA External USB CD/RW Drive
    • (Linux didn't recognize the Backpack DVD/CDRW)
  • Create floppy images for sarge (for debian-installer) from MAKE SURE that you have the LATEST floppies (or else, you won't be able to install properly) - This actually depends on your installation CD. The versions of the floppies and the netinst or Sarge CD1 CD MUST match!
  • Booted boot.img floppy
  • Inserted root.img floppy
  • Loaded drivers from cd-drivers.img floppy, the floppy device is the last one in the list...
  • The Debian-Installer was loaded automatically from the Sarge CD1 (or netinst CD) I had previously inserted
  • Follow Lawrence's instructions below...


  • The Debian Installer found both the wired and the wireless network cards! I used the wired one though for faster speeds.
  • The 'backpack CD-RW/DVD-ROM' is flawed... Linux just won't recognize it. Don't bother... :/
  • Install kernel 2.6 using apt
  • Configure Digitizer
    • get wacom_drv.o from
    • get XF86Config from the same site
    • ln -s /dev/psaux /dev/mouse --- for some reason /dev/mouse does not exist :/
    • setserial /dev/ttyS0 port 0x338 irq 4 autoconfig
    • upon restarting the X Server the pen works! big grin
  • NOTE: It is currently impossible to get rotation of the screen on the fly. Our solution was 2 X Servers. One for the tablet, and one for the regular laptop screen. They should be running different window managers (eg. gnome on laptop and kde on tablet). To do so, one should edit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf and create a new server type (with a different server LAYOUT) and start it on a second terminal. You also need to create a second server layout in the XF86Config-4 file. This new layout should use a different Device, which is just a copy of the original device, but with the Option "Rotate" "CW". Note that you must also copy the input devices, add the same rotate option to them and make the new layout use THEM instead.

Additional Applications


Put all this into /etc/network/interfaces:

auto eth1
iface eth1 inet dhcp
   name   Wireless LAN Card
   wireless_essid      uw-wireless
   wireless_keymode   open
Then do ifup eth1. It should work. Note: change the wireless_essid to match your gateway!

Installing Debian on a Toshiba Portege 3500 Tablet PC


  • Toshiba Portege 3500
  • External USB floppy drive (LaCie)
  • External DVD/CDRW (Plextor PlexCombo) PX-208T

Device info (according to Windows):

  • Network adapter: Intel(R) PRO/100 M Mobile (IO 0xeec0-EEFF, irq 11)
  • Wireless adapter: Toshiba Wireless LAN Mini PCI Card (IO 0xff40-ff7f, irq 11)
  • Video: Trident Video Accelerator CyberBlade XP Ai1 v6.4229.22ICD_Rotation_SE_DXVA_TABLET
  • Monitor: Toshiba Internal 1024x768 Panel (60 Hz)
  • Mouse: touch: Alps pointing device (PS/2)
  • Pen: HID-compliant mouse on Wacom Serial Pen Tablet
  • InfraRed: ALi Fast Infrared Controller on ALi
  • Audio: ALi Audio Accelerator WDM Driver
  • PCMCIA: Texas Instruments PCI-1410 CardBus Controller, Toshiba ToPIC100 CardBus Controller
  • SD: Toshiba SD Card Controller Type A
  • USB: NEC PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller


The Toshiba Portege cannot boot from USB CDROM, therefore we cannot use the standard Debian CD to install, therefore we need to get a set of boot floppies designed for USB floppy drives from:

We want to keep the existing Windows XP Tablet Edition on the hard drive.


  1. Install Partition Magic and change the Windows XP partition to allow room to install Debian (in our case we reduced it from 40GB to 18GB)
  2. Download the diskette images from: and then copy each to their own floppy disk using the following command (under linux): dd if=file of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024 conv=sync ; sync
  3. Go into the Toshiba BIOS (press Esc while booting the Toshiba, then press F1) and change the boot order so that floppy drive is before the hard drive (FDD HDD -> CD-ROM -> LAN)
  4. Reboot with the Rescue disk in the floppy drive.

  1. at the boot: prompt, start the installation with the following command: linux vga=791 (without the vga=791, we discovered that the screen display was small and cutoff the bottom 4 to 5 lines)
  2. When the boot process pauses, you will need to insert the Root disk and press Enter to continue (it will prompt that a little earlier on the screen)
  3. You will then start the installation process. You should follow the directions as per our internal Debian installation documentation: except as noted below:
    1. When partitioning, we choose the following:
         Name   Flags   Part Type   FS Type   Size(MB)      Notes
         hda1   Boot   Primary      NTFS      19033.30  (18GB)   Windows XP
         hda2      Primary      Linux swap   1019.94   (1GB)
         hda3      Primary      Linux ext3   17947.57 (16GB)   the root partition
         hda4      Primary      Win95 FAT32   1006.97  (2GB)   to be shared Win/Linux
    2. "Found a Debian CD-ROM": If you do have the Debian CD in the CD-ROM drive during the installation process it will see it and ask you if you want to use it as the primary installation medium for device -> SAY NO (otherwise, it will not recognize the USB floppy and CD-ROM drives after you reboot, because they're not on the standard installation CD)
    3. Select Installation Medium -> choose /dev/fd0

    • Network card: "intel pro/100 m"

    1. You will be prompted to insert the Rescue disk, which it will copy

    1. You will be prompted to insert Driver Disk 1, this will be the disk that was made from the downloaded file: drv14bf2.4-1.bin. It will start reading the disk and say "This is Disk 1 of 4 in the drv14bf2.4 series 0f 13 Sep 2002" Note: when it started reading the disk, it displayed the following "Error: ioctl fdflush failed (not fatal): Invalid argument" and prompted to continue. I did and it continued without problem."intel pro/100 m

    1. When it came to the list of device drivers, I skipped that for now ...
    2. When it asks about running Lilo, choose to write to the MBR, and then add all listed (there will be an extra one for Windows, but that can be cleaned up later)
    3. I was unable to create a boot floppy while using the USB drive (???), so I skipped that and went on to Reboot the System
    4. If the USB CDROM is connected and is in the boot priority before the hard drive, then the system will not boot. You may need to unplug the cdrom until lilo comes up - then plug it in so that Linux will see it. Better still - set the boot order as specified in step (3), above.
  1. When you reboot the system, and you restart linux, you will need to give the following boot line to have the screen display correctly:
    • linux vga=791
  2. Continue with the post-reboot steps as per:
  3. I created a user account
  4. I did not remove the PCMCIA package
  5. I loaded the packages off CDROM
  6. In tasksel, I also chose the following: lapop system, plus all the development and Lex/LaTex env.
  7. I selected to run dselect
  8. There are a few other features to configure if you select the items in (d):
          IrDa - I chose <Yes>, then <Serial>, /dev/ttyS1, dongle: none
          Irda-common: discovery-> yes
  9. for video I chose "trident", I later said max was "1024x768@60Hz" (using Medium configuration option), then added "1024x768" to the list of options in screen resolution. Color depth: 24
  10. After that, there is a fairly long process of installing all the necessary files ...
  11. ispell - I chose [2] for british spelling


We had difficulty recognizing the Intel Pro 100 card. In order to recognize it ,we needed to:

  1. Install kernel sources: (not necessary)
    • apt-get install kernel-package
  2. downloaded the intel driver from:
  3. unzip the file: e100-2.3.18.tar.gz
  4. cd /usr/local/src/3100-2.3.18/src
    • read the README and follow instructions:
    • make install

After the network connection was working:

  1. vi /etc/apt/sources.list
    • added: standard entries from Debian30
    • scp debian30:/etc/apt/sources.list
  2. run: apt-get update to update the internal database about which packages are available
  3. run the command: apt-get upgrade to get all the latest updates

To install xhier:

  1. apt-get install rsh-client rsh-server
    • optional: remove pidentd, portmap
      • apt-get --purge remove pidentd
      • apt-get --purge remove portmap
  2. vi /root/.shosts
  1. ln -s .shosts .rhosts
  2. mkdir /fsys1
  3. cd /fsys1
  4. mkdir .software
  5. cd software
  6. mkdir arch local regional sgare admin spool
  7. cd /
  8. mkdir .software
  9. cd .software
  10. ln -s /fsys1/.software/* .
  11. cd /
  12. ln -s .software/share software
  13. mkdir vendor
  14. mkdir xhbin
Make sure csh is correct (should not resolve to tcsh):
  which csh
  ls -l /bin/csh
  apt-get install csh

Make sure time is correct:
  apt-get install rdate
  rdate -s ntp1

  cd /software/admin/xhier/data
  vi access-rights    (under RCS 

add host and server from which it will get its files

Distribute this access file to meister server:
  xh-distribute -h cscf.cs xhier
  rsh cscf.cs `which xh-distribute` -h debian30.math xhier
  rsh debian30.math `which xh-distribute` -h mudge.math xhier

From mudge:

  Test rsh access:
    rsh <hostname> ls -al

  xh-first-time -v bowen.cs
  xh-transfer-requests bowen.cs

Discovering hardware:
  apt-get install discover
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Topic revision: r11 - 2013-02-15 - DrewPilcher
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