Hey everyone. I bought a Toshiba Satellite A355-S6935 with some help from my family on Christmas. This laptop uses the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 graphics card which causes the black screen from the Ubuntu LiveCD. After about a month of frustration, running VESA (low-graphics) I finally figured out how to successfully install Ubuntu 9.10 with the proper graphics configuration. There are many threads that are not very newbie-friendly and took me a long time to figure out how to do this. With that said, I am brand new to Linux and I now LOVE it. Gnome+Compiz+GLX-Dock is my personal favorite environment. If you prefer KDE, check out Kubuntu. Mint also looks pretty decent. There are many clips on youtube that show different linux installations.
Here are the proper steps to properly install it on a 64-bit (3+ GB RAM) laptop with Mobility HD 3650 graphics card.
1) Download a 64-bit version of Ubuntu Desktop. I had the latest version “Karmic Koala” or 9.10. Go to http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download and select the Alternative download options. Chose the Ubuntu 9.10 installer with 64-bit architecture. Save the ISO to a place you will remember. The file is almost 700 MB so it could take a while on slower connections.
2) Burn the ISO to a CD-R. Ubuntu's installer is a LiveCD which means that you can boot the CD up from the BIOS. Make sure you burn the ISO without opening it and playing with the files or you may risk the ISO to be nonbootable. You can use Ubuntu without installing it on your hard drive. Pretty cool. For newer laptops, which you most likely have, look for the Boot Selection function during the startup with your computer. It should show up as soon as you turn it on. Mine happens to be F12. Hit that key and select your CD/DVD drive to boot from it.--If you can't find the Boot Selection, go into the Setup (usually F2, delete, or F10) and look for boot options. Set the CD-ROM to be the first bootable option, save, and restart.
3) Okay here's the important part. Apparently this particular graphics card fails to get properly allocated into the Kernel. So here's what you've got to do. Add pci=use_crs to the boot options. Do this by selecting your language with the arrow keys and enter. Then hit F6 and it will show you a menu. Close the menu out with Escape. Then type pci=use_crs directly after quiet splash --. It should look like “.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash -– pci=use_crs”. Hit enter to enter the Ubuntu environment. This should bypass the black screen problem with those having issues.
4) Okay you should be in the Ubuntu environment at this point in your monitor’s native display resolution (mine happens to be widescreen 1366x768 16:9). Double click the Install Ubuntu 9.10 icon and install away! For those with Windows, dual-booting is fine but Grub loader will run before Windows which some people don’t like. I dual-booted but set up the advanced boot option to install grub on a USB flash drive so I didn’t mess at all with my Windows boot environment. N00bz/Newbies/whatever: Grub is a bootloader which is a menu of operating systems and memory tests etc. which loads up directly after the bios.
5) Okay once the install is complete it will tell you to pop out the CD and restart. Now make sure you boot from the hard drive you installed onto (Reconfigure your Setup in BIOS to boot from IDE/Hard Drive if you changed the setup). Grub's main menu should appear. Make sure your selection is over Ubuntu 9.10 (NOT RECOVERY) Hit E to edit the boot options. Now scroll to the second last line after quiet splash and, just like before, add pci=use_crs after that. It should look SIMILAR to “46a-a2bcale93d ro quiet splash pci=use_crs”. Just make sure you have pci=use_crs at the end of the line after splash. Then hit control+x to boot into Ubuntu,
6) Set up your network. I wont go into this because it's all different. Once you have internet connection, update your machine with System – Admin – Update manager. Hit the check button and install all updates that are available. Chose to use the new Grub loader if it asks you to. Okay, now you need to restart. You must boot up the same way as before by adding the pci=use_crs option. This will be the last time before you can manually add it to grub.
7) Okay after booting using the pci=use_crs option, edit your grub configuration by Applications – Accessories – Terminal. Type in the following into the console.
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
hit enter, type your password and hit enter. Now your grub config will show up in gedit. Scroll to the option
and change it to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pci=use_crs"
Save the document and close out. Now in terminal type
And now you wont have to worry about typing in pci=use_crs again. This will add it automatically to the boot options for you so you don't have to manually add it.
8) Download the hardware drivers with Applications – Ubuntu Software Center – Get Free software. Type in fglrx in the search box and download jockey-gtk, ati binary X.Org driver, and ATI Catalyst Control Center. Install all of those, then select system – admin – hardware drivers. I got ATI/AMD Proprietary FGLRX on mine, I guess you can install a couple different ones for the same gfx card, but that's what I use. Hit activate, and restart. You should now be able to use Extra Animations and Compiz etc.
I hope I helped out those who are having trouble getting Ubuntu installed on their Toshiba and Acer laptops! I am no Linux expert, in fact, this is the only time I could understand Linux after trying SuSe many years ago. Please be patient, and if you have any questions please make sure to research before asking.
One question I have is, is there any way the developers can implement the pci=use_crs option to the F6 command during the LiveCD boot options? That could save massive headaches to new users of Ubuntu who have the same GFX card I have and don't understand what they're doing yet. I almost gave up with Ubuntu, despite how much I loved it. Windows will always be a my last resort now.