Toshiba NB100-11R running Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx (Netbook Edition)

Informative post time!

I’ve owned a Toshiba NB100 netbook for coming up to a year and half now and I’m still in love with this machine that came installed with Ubuntu 8.04 Netbook Edition (formerly remix).

Because this is an Ubuntu Certified machine I didn’t really encounter any big problems and the OS itself is easy to use (I would class myself as a fairly advanced computer user regardless).
The only significant problems I found though were that on a very early software update the sound seemed to stop working.  This was easily fixed by entering a pair of commands in the Terminal application.
Unfortunately, just a few days back (the original problem happened a week after I bought the unit – which is a year and half ago), a new update broke the sound again, as well as ability to use the webcam, and keyboard mapping had gone wrong too. For example ‘m’ came up as the number ‘0’.  I could not enter the characters needed for my admin password.

Fortunately, Ubuntu 10.04 (a long term support – LTS version) had just come out and I fancied trying it. If I were to install it, it would have to be a clean install because the 8.04 provided by Toshiba appears to be disabled in that it allows software updates but not OS upgrades.
Because the NB100 like most netbooks does not come with a CD drive, I had to burn the netbook edition ISO image to a USB key which I did painlessly using LiLi on my desktop Windows XP PC.

I was worried that I might need to install specific ‘Payson’ packages (as witnessed on a forum thread where users with NB100s installed with Windows tried to match its slightly lower spec’d brother) to get the machine to respond as wanted, but it turns out that as soon as I booted into the live environment everything worked! The one thing that doesn’t work and which does not bother me is the function key to wireless off. I rarely do this, because, hey you’re on a netbook. Another bonus I found is that battery life rose from 3h 20mins to 4hrs. I don’t know if that’s erroneous reporting, but I’m glad that battery life didn’t decrease.
There are keys on the 11R that allow for fan control but these, like the Windows key never did anything under 8.04.

This is not a full review of 10.04 netbook edition per se, but I am pleased to report that it is faster and more attractive than the previous LTS. A boon for existing 11-R owners is the fact that installing this allows for upgrading without clean install in future and possibly now avoiding broken updates (fingers x’d!). The OS is truly beautiful, and it’s not bold to say that it is very reminiscent of the latest MAC OS operating systems.

One last addition is that when re-installing all your software you’ll also want to add in the Ubuntu restricted formats package from the Ubuntu Software Centre application to get all the usual stuff like Microsoft fonts, Flash, Java and support for MP3, MPEG etc.

I have not updated the BIOS for this machine. It remains as it was from December 2008 as I haven’t found any reason to update it.

Update: The wireless on/off toggle function key actually still works, I was too slow to realise!  So, everything works!

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14 thoughts on “Toshiba NB100-11R running Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx (Netbook Edition)

  1. I booted Ubuntu netbook Edition 10.04 from a USB flash drive and the interface was very slow (the mouse pointer was moving a little, then stop for about 30 sec). I thought I have this problem because the operating system is on a memory stick and maybe if I install it on the netbook everything will work just fine. After installing it I have the same problem (the mouse freezes). I too use a Toshiba NB100. Do you have any suggestion for me?

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems. When I booted into live mode off the USB key it wasn’t any slower than expected and I had no problems with the trackpad. Have you upgraded your BIOS recently? It might be worth doing, or if you already have, it could’ve caused the problems – I’ve read of that happening to people which is why I’ve stuck with my default one. It’s possible to downgrade though. Also, did your NB100 originally come with Windows XP or Ubuntu 8.04? If you had Windows XP it’s possible that it’s not as finely tuned for Ubuntu, but I’m just speculating here.
      I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck!

      • What BIOS version do you have? On the ubuntu forums I found some people who recommended v1.60
        The problem right now is that I already have v1.60 and still have those same problems as the people with v1.90 or v2.10

      • My BIOS is 1.10. I’m not sure if that can be found anywhere online though I’m afraid.

    • Hi, I have the same problem and I can’t find any solution to fix it…. I tried with different Ubuntu notebook distributions and I have always the same problem

      • I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe it’s worth contacting Toshiba to see if you can get BIOS 1.10, perhaps by email? Have you tried Kubuntu? If it works it’s possible that the issue is between the GNOME interface and newer BIOSes. Also, perhaps try Fedora.

      • Excellent! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 At least now I know 2.10’s reliable if I ever come to upgrade my BIOS.

  2. I have a nb100 with BIOS 1.60. With Ubuntu 10.04, mouse fails.
    I updated Bios to 2.10 (using Toshba windows driver) and now it works fine!
    Thank for your suggestions
    Emilio

    • If you mean do you need any additional drivers to get Ubuntu working on the NB100 the answer is no, it should work perfectly out of the box. You can have a go before installation using the live environment first.

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