When I first got the Toshiba Portege 3490CT from an auction at work, my main goal for the machine was to install Linux on it. Searching the web for instructions didn’t give me enough details since I’ve never used Linux in the past. Since most of the posts in forums are not getting anywhere, I decided to post my quest on a blog (one of the reasons I started this blog) to see if anyone would walk me through it by posting comments.
And there comes “craigusoz” who I traded comments for more than 20 times on my post about this challenge. He (I assume) pointed me to PXE netboot install and a detailed set of instructions posted on Ubuntu Forums. I tried it last weekend and it didn’t work. I was then pointed to using a different set of inputs in the Tftpd32 program. I tried it again today and it worked. I raised my arms in the air when the Ubuntu installer appeared on the laptop. For the interest of future explorers, here’s a picture of my inputs on Tftpd32:
Let me backtrack the hardware setup of this process:
- 1 Wintel desktop running Windows XP
- Actiontec 4 Port Wireless-Ready DSL Gateway R1520SU modem
- Toshiba 3490CT with a LAN Port Replicator
Both computers were connected to the Actiontec modem through Ethernet cables. My DSL set up is usually running through Static IP so I left it as is. I followed craigusoz’s tips and changed the DHCP beginning IP address to 192.168.0.10 on the modem. Tftpd32 was set up like the picture above. I reboot the laptop to the BIOS and told it to go through the Net. Then magic happened. Note that the only instructions posted on Ubuntu Forums I followed at this point were the sections titled, “Extract & Configure Ubuntu Image” and “Running the Ubuntu Install”. And I downloaded the Feisty version of netboot.tar.gz. The contents of my tftpd32 folder looks like this:
Note that the initrd WinZip file was extracted into that 16+MB file and this part wasn’t in the instructions. I just thought the file wouldn’t work in its compressed format.
Install part 1: Before starting Tftpd32, I turned off the firewall on the Wintel desktop. I read in the responses on Ubuntu Forums that it could be a problem. I left the firewall on the modem at the “Basic” setting. I think my DSL has a download speed of 1.5 Mbps and the installation process took about an hour. When I reboot, the Ubuntu desktop didn’t magically appear. I got passed logging in and then I was stuck at the command line.
Install part 2: I searched the net a little and found out other people have the same problem with the desktop not loading but seems like theirs are more about hardware. I tried a few different commands including startx and nothing worked. Then I found a post on the blog Ubuntu Geek which said run the command apt-get install ubuntu-desktop and it didn’t quite work for me at first. I dig around some more and found another post on Ubuntu Forum about how to get the machine to connect to the web. I typed in the command sudo ifup eth0 and a few lines of text showed up that told me the laptop was given an IP address. Then I typed in sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop and that did it. It started downloading a bunch of packages off the net. That took over 45 minutes. What didn’t make sense to me about having to do this extra step is that I remember selecting “Ubuntu Desktop” as the application during Install part 1. Anyhow, downloading packages was followed by unpacking and the system set up. All of this happened on its own. This part took about an hour and a half.
I was then back to the command line again. I typed in startx and wah laa, Ubuntu finally appeared in front of me. I am so proud of myself. Thank you, craigusoz, I wouldn’t have done it without you. If you think this post is reading kind of rough, it’s because I wrote it on the laptop in Ubuntu. I don’t have an ergonomic set up for the laptop at the moment so I must now go feed myself and stretch my back. Good luck to the rest of you, Ubuntu explorers, and I hope someone will find this post useful.
BTW, I have the Microsoft Wheel Mouse plugged in to the laptop and it works instantly. It must be luck.