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Linux on the Toshiba Satellite A200-237

Johan Vromans
Articles » Toshiba A200 » Fedora 9 » Omnibook module

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Phoenix BIOS

As opposed to many other members of the Satellite A200 series this model has a Phoenix BIOS, and hence does not have standard Linux support for several specific Toshiba features like Fn keys.

The OmniBook kernel module was originally developed for HP notebooks with a Phoenix BIOS, but it has been made to work on several other notebooks as well, including many Toshiba Satellites.

Building the module is trivial. Since the A200-237 is not recognized I had to force the so-called ‘ectype’ to a supported value. I get the best results with ecype=12.

    # insmod omnibook.ko userset=1 ectype=12

This gives me the following files in /proc/omnibook:

Controls whether console blanking turns off the LCD backlight. Don’t know if this really does something.
Shows whether a Bluetooth adapter is present, and whether it enabled. Writing ‘1’ to this file enables Bluetooth.
Shows BIOS details.
LCD brightness. Writing a number between ‘0’ and ‘7’ changes the brightness of the display. However, /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness still shows the original brightness, and after a couple of seconds the brightness is restored by some other program.
CPU temperature, in degrees Celsius.
CPU throttling states. When a number is written to this file the state display changes, but nothing really happens. /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0/throttling still shows the old value. So this one is probably bogus.
The version of the omnibook module, “2.20070211-trunk”.
Shows whether a wifi adapter is present, and whether it enabled. Bogus.

To summarize: Using the omnibook kernel module gives me two important features: the CPU temperature and the possibility to enable/disable Bluetooth.

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articles/Toshiba-Satellite-A200-237/fedora9/omnibook.html last modified 15:11:51 20-May-2008