Please talk to me

It looks like quite a few people are reading the site every day.


If you’re using an NB10 with Linux, please would you leave a comment about which distribution you’re running, how the install went, any problems you’ve had, etc?


32 thoughts on “Please talk to me

  1. My nephew had a toshiba NB10-A101.
    I installed Ubuntu 14.04 64 bits on it.
    The install did not come well.
    First i had problem to boot from the DVD with an USB DVD recorder (my fault, USB 3.0 port is buggy for booting).
    Then i managed to install and reboot=works!
    But next reboot = No boot device!
    Found your blog and rename the efi file = Works for good!
    Despite that the bios is still trying all the boot device (usb, ethernet) before booting from the HDD, even with HDD is 1st boot device (bug in Bios i presume).

    • Yes the BIOS is very buggy.

      You can speed the boot up by setting inactive (not removing) the corresponding entries in the boot order variable, with “efibootmgr -A”.

  2. I have an NB10-A-10N , bought in Germany and delivered with 2GB Ram.

    Before installing Linux, i bought a Mushkin Chronos 240GB SSD and a G.Skill 8Gb DDR3 1600 So-Dimm. With the new parts i startet to install Ubuntu 14.4. Installing was without problems, but the notebook did not start after installing. This link was very helpful, so the system started.

    The next step was fixing some problems:
    For these links i had to change some things in /etc/default/grub. First i did
    sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
    and added some lines:
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”i8042.reset i8042.nomux=1″
    the last step was fixing the Bluetooth:

    Now almost everything works perfect, only the LAN-Port has problems with resuming after stand-by (as reportet on this blog). The Kernel ist still 3.13.


  3. I’ve unplugged the Windows8 HDD, recycled it in a 2.5″ enclosure and replaced it with a Samsung 250GB SSD. The laptop really flies with a SSD and its 4 cores.
    I’ve installed debian unstable in CSM mode and it works fine. Problems I’ve encountered during installation:
    – I had to enable USB3 mode in BIOS otherwise it was booting the kernel from the USB stick but it was not able to mount the stick to proceed with the installation (this was a weird one)
    – I had to pass the kernel the nolapic parameter when I’ve booted first time otherwise the screen stayed black. This was before the initrd was rebuilt
    – Grub1 cannot be installed on this machine because CPU goes to 100% during grub-install. It’s a known problem for grub1 and 64bit machines and the developers are unwilling to fix it because “the future is grub2”. I’ve ended up with lilo (because I dislike grub2) which is lean and great.

    Everything works: touch screen, touch pad, sound, virtualization, eth, wireless

    One thing which I haven’t figured out yet are the Fn hotkeys. Maybe someone could advise. For now I use aumix for adjusting volume and xbacklight for the screen luminosity. I’ve changed in BIOS to have F1-F12 keys with a normal press and Fn-Fx for hotkeys. I presume I have to change something in xmodmap to make these hotkeys work but I’m not sure how.

  4. Hi Emil,

    Thank you for leaving a comment.

    It’s great to have confirmed that CSM works.

    I’m running Debian testing. All the Fn-Fx keys work for me. Haven’t done any configuration to make this happen.

    Have you tried reversing the BIOS setting (for F1-F12/FN-F1-12) and testing whether that is any different?


  5. Changing the setting in BIOS only changes how you press the hotkeys – with or without Fn.

    I’ve solved it meanwhile by using xbindkeys but unfortunately this is per user not system-wide
    The content of my .xbindkeysrc:
    “xbacklight -10”
    m:0x0 + c:232

    “xbacklight +10”
    m:0x0 + c:233

    “aumix -v -5”
    m:0x0 + c:122

    “aumix -v +5”
    m:0x0 + c:123

    “aumix -v 0”
    m:0x0 + c:121

    Other useful settings I’ve made in Xmodmap:
    ! Caps Lock is an escape
    clear Lock
    keycode 0x42 = Escape
    ! all windows keys are used as character switch
    keycode 0x85 = Mode_switch
    keycode 0x87 = Mode_switch
    keycode 0x40 = Alt_L Meta_L
    keycode 0x6c = Alt_R Meta_R
    clear Mod1
    clear Mod3
    add Mod1 = Alt_L Alt_R
    add Mod3 = Mode_switch
    ! switch middle and right mouse buttons
    pointer = 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

  6. Hello!

    First of all, let me just say that I found your blog very interesting. However, as I understand little about computer hardware, I would like to ask you a question in order to know what are the consequences of Toshiba NB10 overheating.

    I read that this model has a “heat sink”. After some reasearch I learned that it works dissipating heat all over the pc in order to maintain a good temperature for its components (am I even close?). My question actually is: when I use my PC, which has Windows 8.1 on it, to watch series for a long period of time, it tends to get very hot… Is it quite a big problem since the computer doesn’t have a cooling fan? Should I be worried about it and moderate the heat effort it does or should I be ok with it?

    I hope I was sufficiently clear and that you answer my question as soon as possible.

    Best regards.

    • Hi Miguel,

      Thank you for your message.

      Your question is perfectly clear.

      The short answer is: don’t worry, it is OK.

      The long answer is: that modern CPUs are able to function at much higher temperatures than used to be permitted. If the CPU temperature rises too high, the system will slow the CPU down (“throttle”) until the temperature falls – so you might see reduced performance after prolonged intensive use.

      It is possible that the lifetime of some components (battery, disk) might be reduced by prolonged use at high temperatures. But it’s not something that worries me – the heat sink (which you can see at the bottom-left in ) is designed to keep heat away from these, and the effect is likely minimal.


  7. Many thanks mentalnirex! I’m stuck with a particular retailer (through a work account) here in Australia but luckily they have the NB10 available on sale right now (N2830 CPU model).

    I haven’t found any great discussions on Kali compatibility but being based on Debian (& with Kali’s latest release offering EFI boot support) I believe your “Linux and the Toshiba NB10” page will be most helpful in getting a mobile pen testing notebook up and running.

    Thanks again & have a great week, SP

  8. The N2830 is much less powerful than the quad-core variants. The price difference is small – it seems a shame to buy it unless absolutely forced to forego the extra cores.

    The newer BIOS releases support compatability mode (BIOS) booting, so EFI is no longer an issue.

    Best of luck.

  9. Nice catch mentalnirex!

    I went into the retailer who called Toshiba (Australia) but unfortunately it seems the quad-core variant is unavailable here 😦 – they only have the NB10-A02D, NB10t-A02C & NB10-A02L models, all dual-cores…

    The NB10t-A02C is currently 15% off RRP this week. Guess I’ve got to make a decision pretty quickly. The only major negative I can find is the screen brightness. Is it OK outside on a sunny day (keeping in mind I’ll really only be using a terminal most of the time)?

    Cheers mate,


  10. Thank you mentalnirex – posted my feedback re. Kali Linux v1.0.8 install on your “Toshiba NB10 – booting Linux” page. Really appreciate all of your help & your great blog on the NB10 🙂


  11. First of all, I do thank you for your blog for it’s very interesting.

    I bought a NB10t-A-102 in France few days ago. I’ve updated the bios to v1.60.
    I wanted to install GNU/Linux in dual boot with preinstalled Windows 8. Horrible, the BIOS is still unpredictable for EFI boot. I could’nt have a reliable choice after just one proper reboot.

    So I gave up installing Windows (I do not have the use of this OS). Unfortunally I paid for it when buying the computer.

    So I finally installed Archlinux alone (CSM Mode) because it has already everything that makes it just boot without any issues with de grub parameters you mentioned.

    This little computer is quite efficient. I’m happy with it.

  12. Hi,

    I was planning to upgrade to a newer Asus netbook until I saw your difficulties getting it to play nicely on your other very helpful blog. I decided to avoid the hassle and go for the NB10 10P model. I was really pleasantly surprised to be able to get a 4 core machine at such a good price. It arrived today and after upgrading bios to 1.60 and turning on CMS in the BIOS I successfully installed Gnome 13.03 which updated immediately to 13.04. Only a few niggles so far: brightness fix applied isn’t working, but bluetooth recognised (but not pairing) and page up/down buttons not working. Everything else is peachy. I’d like to really thank-you for such helpful posts. I’m thrilled to be able to have a setup so quickly thanks to all your tips.

  13. I’ve just installed Ubuntu 14.10 gnome blend on a NB10t-A-10H. I’ve seen all the problems mentioned on the blog (fallback to default efi boot, keyboard hangs after resume), but the rest works fine (even the touchscreen, which is great on the gnome-shell). The disk is really slow, booting from a USB stick is faster than booting from the harddisk! B.t.w. this is a hardware problem, the windows 8 that was originally on the disk was even slower.

    • I have a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD on this laptop. My linux boot time is lightning fast – just a few seconds – but I don’t use gnome, only lightdm with wmaker.

  14. Just a quick update with regards to my Toshiba NB10 running Kali 1.1.0a (Debian-based with 3.18.0 kernel) – there are no remaining issues & I’ve been able to remove my additional Grub command line comments – screen brightness, resume from suspend/hibernate, Bluetooth & Ethernet are now all functional ‘out-of-the-box’ so to speak.

    Occasionally after a long hibernation period I might get graphical anomalies/artifacts on resume but these are easily fixed by dropping into a text ‘tty’ terminal & back to desktop (eg. Ctrl+Alt+F2 then Ctrl+Alt+F7) [This is more likely due to my choice of desktop environment as it doesn’t occur with Gnome]

    My deepest thanks to mentalnirex for taking the time to put this page together; it was just what I was looking for when I purchased my NB10 last year & greatly influenced my decision. I literally don’t leave home without my NB10 & haven’t done so for over six months now… Great features & performance for the price tag & excellent Linux support…

  15. Hi Simon – thank you very much for the kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying your NB10.

    Mine is also still a “daily driver” and has spent a lot of times on trains etc.

    I’m very much out of “playing around with getting the best out of it” mode and in to “happy to use it as-is with little interest in fiddling” mode now.

    I don’t have consistently, reliably working wired ethernet using the on-board adaptor – but I don’t care enough to do any investigation of the problem.

    The NB10 is a faithful and reliable little machine and can be had new for £150 in the UK now. A real bargain. I do sometimes wish for a little bit more CPU power now, but not enough to spend money – and certainly not enough to go through the pain of researching other Linux laptops, buying one, and working out all the Linux nonsense necessary to get it in to a useful state.

  16. Well said mentalnirex.

    Unfortunately (for me) in six months or so I have to research a more recent model (yes, with more CPU power, and I’m on only two cores!) for work to roll out with Debian (Kali) so perhaps I’ll take a leaf out of your book & put together a similar page for other Linux users.

    I think it was totally awesome of you to put this blog together and I wish you all the very best for the future. I’m pretty sure the NB10 will be one of those rare systems that always brings back happy memories – not that I’ll be retiring mine anytime soon 🙂

  17. Unfortunately newer versions of Debian break the ethernet. Wireless is still working fine though.
    The ethernet chip in this laptop is RTL8101e. Driver sources for this chip from the Realtek site
    do not compile in the last linux kernels.
    The binary non-free package firmware-realtek has no driver for the rtl8101 so instead the
    rtl8169 driver is used. This gives the following:

    | r8169 Gigabit Ethernet driver 2.3LK-NAPI loaded
    | r8169 0000:03:00.0: can’t disable ASPM; OS doesn’t have ASPM control
    | r8169 0000:03:00.0 (unnamed net_device) (uninitialized): unknown MAC, using family default
    | r8169 0000:03:00.0 (unnamed net_device) (uninitialized): rtl_chipcmd_cond == 1 (loop: 100, delay: 100).
    | r8169 0000:03:00.0 eth0: RTL8101e at 0xffffc9000065c000, ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff, XID 9cf0f8ff IRQ 89

    and the ethernet is not working anymore.

    • Since the current r8169 driver is buggy and doesn’t work with the RTL8101E chip I’ve made the changes in the r8101 driver so that now it compiles on recent kernels. You may grab it from here:

      Running the script will rename the r8169 module and use the freshly compiled r8101 instead. If you want to keep the traditional “eth0” name you’ll have to pass to your kernel ‘net.ifnames=0’ at boot time.

      Keep in mind that there is no eeprom storing the MAC address for this chip so this must be initialized in some way. If you are using debian or derivatives you can put in /etc/network/interfaces for eth0 a ‘hwaddress ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx’ line or alternatively you can use the command ‘macchanger -m xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx eth0’

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