Saturday, December 12, 2015

Toughpad FZ-G1 with Linux

Got my hands on this yesterday. Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 with iKey FZ-G1 Jumpseat Keyboard attached. Like a tradition, I never even saw windows booting on this machine, because I installed Fedora 23 in two minutes to SSD.

First time for years, I felt like carrying some serious set of hardware, mainly due the weight of the combination. 10.1" screen gave me an 1980x1200 resolution which is pretty small print. After tweaking settings of GNOME3 to suit better, this device turned pretty awesome.

Toughpad itself is IP65 but keyboard is not specified to any IP ratings. Keyboard is whole rubber and I bet it stands some elements, but without any official IP rating.

We are working on a project where we utilize FZ-G1 and I probably will be able to share some details of it later on. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Panasonic recommends Linux

I've been enjoying my CF-54 with Fedora 23 lately and this battery life amazes me every time. I can run this almost full day easily and carrying plain thing without power supply make life easier anyhow.

I also acquired second HD cradle while back, making my upgrade routines easier. This whole HD cradle was actually the thing which drove me to Fedora 23 testing, because I could leave my 'operative' setup on self intact while trying out something new. 

After all, I've been really satisfied for this setup. Running Linux on Panasonic Toughbook CF-54 is so far best experience and our company does this on multiple users with toughbooks with no issues.

Sticker on this one should say "Panasonic recommends Linux".

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Extra battery for CF-54

Been using my CF-54 for a couple of months now and it's one of the best Linux enabled laptops I've ever used. I've been doing some travels lately and there are few features for this Laptop which I'd like to share.

First, I've been using extra battery on expansion bay.

It adds 32 Wh capacity to my standard inbuilt battery (41 Wh). So my CF-54 is now equipped with 73 Wh battery capacity. This gives me room to use this laptop for a full day just on batteries. I even survived a days with standard 41 Wh battery and this extra gives me almost double more.

Another nice feature which makes this thing really unique is removable HD with case. When ever I am forced to leave my laptop in Hotel room or other unmonitored location, I am able to take HD with me. Leave no valuables behind they say.

So, best Linux laptop so far. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ultimate Linux laptop (CF-54)

Today I got my hands on to new Panasonic CF-54. Installed Ubuntu 15.04 (64 bit) to it and found out that this is ultimate Laptop for Linux user! I never booted Windows on it and I suggest you to do same, if you have this gear.

Few points which will get this into class A laptop with Linux;
  • Really rugged feel, but measures and weight are well in control
  • Handle. This alone is the thing after you have been able to test one out. 
  • 1920 x 1080 FullHD display, which is matte and has touchscreen
  • Inbuilt 4G which works under Linux (see earlier post about Toughpad)
  • Bluetooth, touchscreen, sound, wifi - works
  • 4G with Sierra 7305 (1199:9041) 
  • Exact model number is CF-54B3961MN
I will update this post after more experiences and details, but if you're after solid professional laptop for Linux use - look no further.


I've been using my Toughbook CF-54 now for a while as my main laptop and I cannot complain about anything while running Ubuntu 15.04 (AMD64). Everything just works so well that I am still amazed. I think Panasonic should advertise them as Linux able supplier, because it's starting to be good differentiation from other vendors, especially after Windows 10 failed to impress peoples.

I've been running like tenths of laptops as my main gear during last few years and equal to finding perfect laptop, I've been experimenting perfect carry on bag with various items. Just before my CF-54, arrived my Fjällräven Greenland briefcase and just last week I found out that CF-54 fits perfectly inside laptop pocket of this briefcase. It fits like clove in there, even it surely looks like that CF-54 is too big for the case, but no. It's perfect. I try to include some images in future. But if you're after ultimate Linux laptop and discreet carry on solution, try these two. They are amazing. Both of them.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Ubuntu Mate 15.04 to Toughpad

Based on my experiences on CF-AX2, I decided also reinstall Toughpad FZ-M1 with Mate version. And yes, it's beautiful and working. I did some font size tweaking to 16 px fonts and 7" screen serves my eyes pretty ok.

And same thing applies, Mate runs much more responsive even on this Celeron based hardware.

Panasonic CF-AX2 with Ubuntu-Mate 15.04

After installing Ubuntu 15.04 to Toughbook CF-AX2, I noticed quite heavy CPU and graphics adapter usage due compiz. I decided to give this little fellow an ease by installing Ubuntu Mate 15.04 for it. And how surprised I was. I ran cooler and lot more responsive than with Compiz equipped Ubuntu.

One thing was missing, with two finger scroll on touchpad - I could not find an option to invert scrolling direction to "natural scrolling". DConf editor trick described in various forum posts did not affect, but founding this solved problem:

1. Open file (with sudo) for editing:


2. Add these lines to first "InputClass" section in

synclient VertScrollDelta=-111 
synclient HorizScrollDelta=-111

And it works. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

SSD Issues

Midsummer and some EXT4 failures on SSD on my Dell. I just swapped my Samsung 850 PRO to older Intel 530 SSD due latest TRIM related issues when this happened. (EDIT: check link, how promptly Samsung reacted to this SSD related post of Algolia!).

Under pretty heavy development load with virtual machines, I run upgrade to system and after reboot I couldn't connect to Wifi. I thought that there is an issue with signal (like some times before) - but this was not the case. Whole wifi interface was gone. It turned out that system was unable to load firmware to wifi card and it failed due this.

Couple of reboots later, system came up with read only file system and I saw the reason. EXT4 errors on my Intel SSD, reason unknown.

Update: Ended up changing SSD to rotating HD, before checking reasons for this behaviour. I also dis-enabled /etc/cron.weekly trimming from couple of SSD equipped Toughbooks, just to be safe side, if it's about TRIM failures on SSD's. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Toughpad FZ-M1

I've been tuned my Toughpad for a week now and it seems to work nicely with Ubuntu 15.04. I decided to expand a bit of those scrollbars, font sizes and Firefox buttons - just to make it more handy to use with touch.

While this model I have is based on Intel® Celeron™ N2807, it's a bit slow going but runs on battery for few hours easily. I will try to check out exact figures later on. 
To summarize what I've got in this combo so far;
  • FZ-M1 tablet with Intel® Celeron™ N2807 
  • 2 GB RAM and 128 GB of SSD 
  • Ubuntu 15.04 (AMD64)
  • Integrated 3G/LTE modem, Sierra Wireless EM7305 [works]
  • Multi touch screen [works]
  • Audio, also 3.5mm HF audio w/ microphone [works]
  • Screen brightness control [works]
  • iKey ruggerd keyboard 
  • Integrated LAN port (option for FZ-M1) [works]
  • Bluetooth [works]
So I would say that this is hands down best Linux tablet experience so far. My main goal is to introduce this into one project shortly, but until that this serves my mobile computing platform while on move. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Toughpad FZ-M1 with Linux

Today I got Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 for one project and this tablet rocks with Linux. I installed Ubuntu 15.04 (AMD64) for evaluation and almost everything worked out from box.

Basically this is not tablet, it's more like a tablet form computer. Meaning that you find full and easily accessible BIOS setup and it allows you to boot Ubuntu installation. I've played with Toughbooks over last ten years and I hardly never had any issues with them supporting Linux.

Since I installed Ubuntu with integrated hard disk encryption (LUKS), I believe I need to have keyboard present (to give passphrase on boot). That's why there is this wonderful iKey attachable keyboard.

This keyboard has nice backlight and totally waterproof keys. They are not as usable as normal laptop keys, but they withstand elements. So this is a thing.

Backlight issue

FZ-M1 backlight needed some tweaking to work with Ubuntu, but I managed to google solution for this. You need to create file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf and place this in file:

And add this into file:

Section "Device"
            Identifier  "card0"
            Driver      "intel"
            Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
            BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"


So, if you're after Linux tablet with serious professional touch - I would recommend this Toughpad in fully.

Update on modem

Sierra Wireless EM7305 MBIM vs QMI modes. It seems that Modem Manager has an issues with MBIM mode, so we have to enable QMI mode with this:

echo 1 >  /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-3/bConfigurationValue

After this, modem manager works and you can create your mobile connection just fine. Just remember to insert MicroSIM to your device:


I am working on project where we are looking for small, almost phone sized PC hardware - capable to run Linux as vanilla as it could be. It seems that this FZ-M1 is closest what we have tested. I've checked out Lenovo tablets (Miix), some ATOM based tablets (HP), some Acer's etc. but all them failing either to install or support Linux in this extent. Most miserably is Lenovo MIIX, which has this Intel & Microsoft UEFI32 bit installation quirks.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Upgrades for computing gears

World keeps turning. Just bought second hand Dell E6320, I bet it was brand new from dealer. No dust in anywhere, not even in CPU fan!

I needed something with a little bigger display (13") and robust outfit. So, it be Dell for a while. I have diversity of laptops, mainly because I need to have valid backups for time to come - if laptop gets stolen, broken or otherwise inaccessible.

And of course, I installed Linux on this one. It runs Ubuntu 15.04 with SSD and 8GB RAM. Like a beast. For a price of 269€ - I believe this is a hit for me.