Tuesday, January 1

Solaris Express on a Toshiba Satellite Pro A200

I bought myself one of those cheap laptops the other month. I needed a small machine for testing and since laptops are just as cheap (if not cheaper) as desktops these days I got a laptop.
The machine came with Vista but I wanted to triple boot Vista, Ubuntu and Solaris Express Community Edition.

  • Use diskmgmt.msc in Vista to shrink the partition the machine came with, Windows can do this natively so there is no need to use Partition Magic or similar tools. Create at least three new partitions. One for Solaris, one for Linux and one for Linux swap.
  • Secondly install Solaris, boot off the CD and go through the basic installer. The widescreen resolution worked out of the box (as usual). Do a full install, spending time "fixing" a smaller installer is just annoying. Solaris will install it's grub boot loader on both the MBR and superblock (on the Solaris partition). It probably makes sense to leave a large slice unused so it can be used with ZFS after the installation is done.
  • Install Ubuntu. Nothing simpler than that.
  • Edit Ubuntu's grub menu config (/boot/grub/menu.lst) to include Solaris. Simply point it to the Solaris parition (hd0,2 for me). Add these lines at the end of the file.
    title Solaris
    root (hd0,2)

I had to install the gani NIC driver in Solaris to get the Ethernet card working and the Open Sound System sound card driver to get sound working.
The Atheros WiFi card is supposed to be supported but I couldn't get it to work, even after adding the pci device alias to the driver. I'll post an update if I get it to work.


Roman Ivanov said...

Did you get wifi working?
What is your overall impression?
I am choosing notebook for Solaris.

Anonymous said...

I have a Linux guide for the Toshiba Satellite Pro A200 which is available at:

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)

Admin said...

Great job. I also got a Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 laptop lately.

Zino said...

yes wifi is working
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heobeo said...

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jasmine said...

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Henry Jones said...

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