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Getting ready for Ubuntu

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On an old Toshiba Satellite 4030 cdt (it's Dapper Drake. After my experience with Edgy, I'm not risking anything newer. Maybe when Feisty Fawn comes along...)

540air says:

I've got a very similar old laptop kicking around that is fairly dead, due to tea being spilt all over it.
Would I be able to do something similar with it (have a copy of Ubuntu at home), or is it past that point by a long way? :)

3rd Nov 2006, 11:25

Euphro says:

Things have been going very slowly. Having done a double-check, my old laptop is not up to running version 6.06 (it needs 256 MB of RAM), so I'm going back a version to Breezy Badger (version 5.10) which will run in 128 MB :)

3rd Nov 2006, 11:43

Euphro says:

It looks like Xubuntu might be the way forward, as it is much lighter on system requirements and designed with older systems in mind :) Ubuntu seems to do an effortless job on WLAN configuration. (5.10 is up and running, by the way; just letting it install the updates right now)

3rd Nov 2006, 13:54

shaaaaark says:

Is that a PS/2 mouse?



3rd Nov 2006, 15:24

Euphro says:

It is a PS/2 mouse :D

3rd Nov 2006, 22:17

540air nli says:

E - How dead was the laptop before? Do you think I can get my old one working again?

3rd Nov 2006, 22:22

Euphro says:

Does your laptop power up?

3rd Nov 2006, 22:27

540air says:

After a fashion, yes. From memory it powers up but never actually reaches windows, has some sort of bios message I think.

4th Nov 2006, 22:24

Euphro says:

You could try downloading the Ubuntu or Xubuntu Live CD and see if it will run (you'll need to change your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, but that would be it). A Google search will find them easily.

4th Nov 2006, 23:24

540air says:

Cool. I have a copy of Kubuntu that came with a magazine I bought. I just hadn't even considered my old laptop a possibilty until I saw this post.

I'll dig it out of our display room on Monday as it's currently sitting in a laptop cabinet as an example.

Thanks E :)

4th Nov 2006, 23:29

Hollywood65(pmonroy-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

I have been trying to figure out how to install Ubuntu on a TPad 240X. I have 2 (one has bad screen) and a TPad 600 (bad MoBoard) but haven't had success yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm new to Linux, but am technology savvy (not a programmer, but can work thru some commands). Thx.

20th Apr 2007, 02:55

mat says:

Hollywood - I'd suggest you try, there's usually lots of help there, with a wide range of hardware and plenty of knowledgeable people around to ask.

20th Apr 2007, 03:18

Euphro (NLI) says:

mat, there isn't much there on the Thinkpad 240x, apart from what I've added.

To install Ubuntu on a Thinkpad 240x you will need to put your TP hard disk into another laptop because there is no way of booting a Thinkpad 240x from CD-ROM. Use the Alternate install CD-ROM and carry out installation up to the point where the system asks you to reboot. Then transfer the hard disk back into your Thinkpad 240x and continue from there. That should work fine :)

20th Apr 2007, 16:34

mat says:

Ah. I recall having problems like that with Debian some time ago. Because my laptop is old, it has a floppy drive, which I managed to boot from, using a piece of software that let me choose the boot device. I don't recall what it was called, but option one on this page seem to be the same method. Shouldn't make any difference that the instructions are for Suse.

20th Apr 2007, 19:37

Euphro says:

Unfortunately, that won't work because the TP 240x does not have an internal CD-ROM drive and no amount of tweaking, patching or boot-manager'ing will induce it to boot from a USB device (CD-ROM or memory stick).

One thing that I forgot to add is that once you boot the hard-disk with the partial installation in your Thinkpad it will fail to load the display manager. Once it stops, you need to hit control-alt-F1 and then log-in with the user name and password you created at installation and then run "sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg".

You can accept the defaults for everything apart from the video set-up. Select 800x600 as your chosen resolution (that should be chosen automatically). For Horizontal Sync you need to enter 31.5-37.9; for Vertical Refresh you need 58-72, and for bit depth you should choose 16.

Save these and then either reboot or type "startx" and you will have Xubuntu running with XFCE as the display manager :)

23rd Apr 2007, 10:54

Andrew says:


Just got a second hand (or maybe third, fourth ...) Toshiba Satelite 4030CDT for GBP50. Thinking of installing Ubuntu 6.06 using the "alternative CD" for systems with low memory (no graphical install).

First though I'm pushing the boat out with 7.04 alternative cd!

Just a suggestion, if you edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and change the default depth to 16 you get a full screen desktop, rather than the small square in the centre. I learnt that from Zenwalk 4 linux which installed and ran flawlessly on the old Toshiba.


24th Apr 2007, 11:11

Euphro (NLI) says:

I've got 7.04 running on my 4030 CDT and it's great. It's much quicker than 6.06. The alternate install CD-ROM works fine. The 16-bit default depth is an important thing to know for most older laptops (the pic above was taken during initial install). If you need H sync and V refresh numbers for the display I can post them :)

24th Apr 2007, 17:35

Andrew says:

Yeah if you could post the H+V refresh rates that would e good.

I got 6.06 Xubuntu running good and trying 7.04 original today.

27th Apr 2007, 08:15

Euphro says:

For the Satellite 4030 CDT Horizontal sync is 31.5-48.5 Hz
Vertical refresh is 50-70 Hz

28th Apr 2007, 14:49

jc1000000 says:

sorry for the n00b question, but what exactly is Ubuntu and what's so cool about it?

28th Apr 2007, 15:47

mat says:

ubuntu linux

it's amazing you've been around here for so long without hearing someone go on about how ace ubuntu is. It's the linux that's easy for people who don't know linux. Oh, and it out eye-candy's any system on the market...

28th Apr 2007, 15:52

jc1000000 says:

Don't get me wrong, that's why i was interested - there seems to be loads of fans on moblog - i just didn;t get why everyone was such a fan. Cheers for the explanation tho. I understand the eye candy bit :-)

28th Apr 2007, 16:15

Andrew says:

Thanks for the H=V rates.

By the way Mat, though I love Ubuntu the eye-candy war has been won by elive running E17 for an out-of-the box experience.

Just installed it flawlessly on the Toshiba 4030CDT and it even recognises the 16 bit colour depth and 1024x768 resolution. And its pretty fast. WOW

Think I'll stick with elive on the Tosh. laptop and Ubuntu on the desktop PC.

29th Apr 2007, 15:13

Euphro says:

Enlightenment looks spectacular. Have you installed it to your HD or will you continue to run it from the live CD?

30th Apr 2007, 09:42

mat says:

Enlightenment has always looked great. But unless they've made a lot of changes since I last used it, it lost a lot to Gnome on usability and accessibility. The disclaimer here being that I haven't used E for years, so I wouldn't like to say whether it still sucks or not.

From the screens, it looks like E is still a polished-up XFCE with a compiz/beryl powered compositing window manager. Does look good, but then so does any OS using a GL desktop. Yay for all Linuces, that's what I say. :)

30th Apr 2007, 13:44

Euphro says:

Amen to that :D

30th Apr 2007, 13:46

Andrew says:

Yeah I've installed it onto the hard drive and it runs great. You can select the vga resolution (pressing F4) and select the necessary colour depth from the boot menu.

I agree with Mat that the usabability is a long way from newbie level. Just getting an icon on the lauch dock means editing some files in ol' text mode. I had to do a lot of googling just to get the icons I wanted. However now its to my liking it looks good and is pretty nippy on this old spec machine.

2nd May 2007, 20:16

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