Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a Toshiba Satellite C50-B-189

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

I got a new laptop the other week to replace my HP one which came to a rather messy end last autumn. It wasn't something I was going to bother with for a while but the little netbook I've been using was causing me some eyestrain.

It's a Toshiba Satellite C50-B-189. I took a bit of a punt on it as there was nothing much online regarding how it would work with Linux so I thought it'd be a good idea to write down what I found.

In general, it works fine with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS except that the internal Bluetooth adaptor doesn't seem to be recognized. [Update 2016-09-04: see below.] I haven't tried the optical drive yet. [Update 2016-09-04: have since used it for reading CDs - works fine for that.]

Installation

I never ran the Windows software which the machine came with but pretty much immediately booted into Ubuntu from a 4 GB USB stick. That needed a little bit of web searching to figure out.

First, to get into the BIOS settings you need to hold down F2 while powering up.

A couple of the BIOS settings needed are obvious:

That wasn't sufficient, though, and a bit more web searching found various lists for other Toshiba laptops. The only one which appeared to be applicable was:

Booting, testing and installation all went well once that was done.

As supplied the machine has a GPT partition table which gparted deals with quite happily. I did save the sda5 partition (“Recovery”) onto an external hard drive but since then have seen things which imply that you also need one of the earlier partitions (sda2 or sda3, which are quite small) as well if you ever want to put Windows back. Luckily I really doubt I'd want to do that.

Bluetooth

lsusb gives:

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0930:0227 Toshiba Corp.
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 1a40:0101 Terminus Technology Inc. 4-Port HUB
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 13d3:5652 IMC Networks
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

The Bluetooth adaptor is the one with vendor:part 0930:0227 which, as you can see, is not recognised beyond the vendor.

Ubuntu 14.10 does recognise it as a Bluetooth adapter but it doesn't work with it. From searching around I gather there's some additional firmware files needed so I expect it'll work soon.

In the mean time, I'm quite content to plug in an external Bluetooth adapter when I need to transfer pictures from by phone or whatever.

[Update 2016-09-04: I've now updated to Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Linux 4.4.0-36-generic x86_64, MATE 1.12.1 and the Bluetooth adapter now works fine for transferring pictures from my phone. It didn't with the previous Ubuntu 15.10 MATE I was using.]