IMO a very nice, light yet sturdy laptop with comfortable keyboard, matte display and impressive battery life time. Completely quiet most of the time, too. I haven’t seen any better for coding while travelling so far (and that’s the reason why I chose it).

With just a few tweaks, runs Linux smoothly. :-)

It is very likely that the doc. is valid more generally to the whole Portégé Z30-A model line. No guarantees, though.


Installation of Debian Jessie went just fine. The machine is equipped with an SSD, so I advice against much partitioning; I’ve created just 2 partitions: boot partition and rootfs partition. I swap (if ever) to a file; see http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-add-a-swap-file-howto/ for instance.

Power management

Suspend works out-of-the-box. However, making systemd PID 1 helps a bit with GNOME 3 integration, so you might want that; just add


kernel boot-line parameter to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT variable in /etc/default/grub config. file.

Note that I don’t use suspend to disk (aka hibernation); the machine can quite easily live about 9 hours on battery, so suspend to RAM is usually more than enough.

Display back-light control doesn’t work after installation, however, adding


kernel boot-line parameter (same place as above) fixes that.

Don’t forget to update grub after making your changes:

# update-grub


toshiba_acpi kernel module is responsible for support for several platform-specific features. At time of writing, e.g. keyboard backlight control (via Fn-Z) doesn’t work, but that’s true for my current kernel 3.13. Checking the next stable kernel (3.14.2), it seems that support for the keyboard backlight was already added.

WiFi & bluetooth

Install Intel WiFi firmware:

# apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi

toshiba_bluetooth kernel module is auto-loaded, but doesn’t seem to be necessary. I’ve found it even counter-productive, since as soon as you disable bluetooth (e.g. with rfkill), it seems to attempt to re-load the Intel bluetooth firmware every few seconds (at least it certainly pollutes the kernel ring buffer with messages about it).

Just blacklist the module; create /etc/modprobe.d/toshiba-blacklist.conf file containing

blacklist toshiba_bluetooth

and run

# depmod -ae

Touchpad & trackstick

The machine is equipped with an ALPS touchpad and a trackstick. The input devices work out-of-the-box, but for now only in a kind of PS/2 mouse compatibility mode, meaning that no multi-touch is supported.

However, at the time of writing, sub-driver for the`psmouse` kernel module providing support for the touchpad is in preparation (see linux-input mailing list archives for more info). If you use kernel 3.14 or later, you might already have the device supported fine.

Meanwhile, you might want to take a look at https://github.com/he1per/psmouse-dkms-alpsv7.

Fingerprint reader

I haven’t focused on that yet, but fprint project should be the answer.