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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 12-02-2007, 01:43 PM   #1
mikepj
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Will linux fry my new toshiba a210?


I recently purchased a new laptop and I was looking to dual boot with ubuntu/opensuse. However a friend of mine said there could be problems with linux keeping my system at the proper temperature. This has made me a bit reluctant to do anything. I was hoping some knowledgeable person could give me some advice

Here are the basic specs:

Key Features
- 15.4" Widescreen display for vivid images
- Powered by AMD Turion™ 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology
- Integrated Bluetooth™ on selected models
- Built-in 1.3 megapixel Webcam on selected models
- ATI graphics


thanks
 
Old 12-02-2007, 01:49 PM   #2
elliott678
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If you have CPU scaling working, it should be just fine. I have 2 laptops that are able to scale, both do it fine with Linux. I'd expect Ubuntu to be able to pick it up on its own, I know Fedora does.

Out of the 4 laptops I have with Linux, none run any hotter under Linux than they do Windows, 2 actually run cooler because CPU scaling is set up better in Linux than Windows.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
jimmy512
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As elliott said, get cpu frequency scaling working properly and you should have no problems with heat. The last time I installed ubuntu, cpu frequency scaling was automatically configured (haven't ever tried suse - but probably isn't hard). The other good thing about frequency scaling is that it saves a lot of power. If you are worried, you could set up a system monitor like conky on your desktop to monitor fan RPM's and system temperatures. You would need to set up a program called lm_sensors (or equivalent) for this, which would probably be quite easy in ubuntu or suse. My cpu runs at ~30 C, which is pretty cool, and my motherboard runs at ~18 C, colder than the room it's in.

There are programs out there that monitor your cpu temperature, and then make adjustments to the fans based on this. Dont do this if you are not feeling confident though (the fans have to be switched off totally for about 5 seconds) - you may just want to whack your fans on full if you aren't confident with the laptop, its fans or linux yet.

The fans may also be hardwired to a thermostat in the computer, so you may not want to worry about them at all.

Last edited by jimmy512; 12-02-2007 at 02:35 PM.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 04:59 PM   #4
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepj View Post
I recently purchased a new laptop and I was looking to dual boot with ubuntu/opensuse. However a friend of mine said there could be problems with linux keeping my system at the proper temperature. This has made me a bit reluctant to do anything. I was hoping some knowledgeable person could give me some advice
I just installed Ubuntu 7.10 and my laptop battery lasts longer and my machine runs cooler. I can put it on my lap and feel the difference. I have an AMD Sempron and the cpufreq_* drivers are loaded. I can see that the processor is humming along at 800 MHz instead of it's top rate of 2 GHz. That is quite a power savings.

Just as a comparison, this is a dual boot Windows/Linux machine and I have the AMD driver and utility for monitoring the CPU frequency installed in Windows. Even with the settings on the most conservative values, I am still seeing better battery life using Ubuntu.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 05:13 PM   #5
mikepj
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Thanks to everyone for the useful information. How can I tell if scaling is on or not? Is there a particular process that I can pick out, or do I need to manually load a module? Also if I can get lm_sensors to work, whats the temperature ceiling at which point I should start worrying?
 
Old 12-02-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
elliott678
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Usually there is a panel applet or something you can use to watch it as it scales, if there isn't you could always use "cat /proc/cpuinfo" with no load on the system and look at the MHz readout. If your OS doesn't load the module for you, it will be powernow-k8 for that Turion.

Actually, most laptops don't have sensors that show up in lm_sensors, most of mine use ACPI, there should be a panel applet or similar that will read this too. I really don't worry too much about temperature in laptops, usually as long as they are under 90C they are fine...they become uncomfortable to hold long before then. Most of mine hover around 45-55C, unless I am really working them hard.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 04:34 AM   #7
pappy_mcfae
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I have two laptops running Slackware 12 as well as Windoze XP, and they couldn't be happier. I haven't noticed any operational temperature difference between running Slack or Windoze. The cooling fans cycle no matter which one is running, and I can't discern a difference in the duty cycle of said fans. Sounds to me like your pal handed you a bum steer on that one.

Blessed be!
Pappy
 
Old 12-03-2007, 11:02 AM   #8
jimmy512
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Quote:
Also if I can get lm_sensors to work, whats the temperature ceiling at which point I should start worrying?
You should probably be starting to worry (and notice the heat the thing is giving off) at about 60 C - 70 C. However, no damage will probably be done till 85 C to 90 C (that is on a desktop machine anyway). Just be careful and keep watching it for a while. Also, put the computer under a bit of stress to see how it reacts (play flightgear or run glxgears). This should give a good indication to how it will run.
 
Old 12-14-2007, 04:07 PM   #9
WuWeiBaby
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Ubuntu on an a210

I am also planning on dual booting my A210, but I have found that the drivers for the Realtek (uck!) hardware (Lan, WiFi, Audio) are weak or non-existant. I did get the WiFi working but the process was not even close to being user friendly.

If anyone has any news about drivers for these devices I would greatly appreciate it.

RTL8139 Lan
RTL8187B WiFi
RealTek HD Audio

There is other devices that I'm sure I'll run into difficulty installing but the above are the necessities.

Has anyone successfully put linux on one of these machines yet? What Distro, how difficult was it?
 
Old 12-15-2007, 10:16 PM   #10
Aesir09
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I ALSO HAVE A TOSHIBA A120 AND CAN'T GET WI-FI WORKING :/


help
 
Old 12-17-2007, 01:58 PM   #11
debeus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesir09 View Post
I ALSO HAVE A TOSHIBA A120 AND CAN'T GET WI-FI WORKING :/


help
Find out what type of wireless card it has and check your distribution's website, if there's no information there try googling "your wireless card" + linux. Chances are you can get it to work, but you might have to use ndiswrapper.
 
  


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