Linux on an AST J-series Laptop (J30/J50)

Note: I have an empty tray for a replacement HD available for anybody who wants one. No screws, just the wrapper. Handy if you have 2 HDs and can work from either. Some time ago (16 Dec 1996) I obtained a second hand AST J30 laptop, but I've sold it in 1998, and have no more access to this otherwise fine machine.

First a summary of the J30 specs and my basic conclusions (in which I have also merged comments from the people acknowledged at the bottom)

Slackware96 (3.1)

Since this laptop doesn't have a CD-ROM I had to install from floppies. Probably the easiest is to install the A and N series (8 + 6 floppies) and bring up a PLIP link and install the rest from the other machine. If you have enough diskspace using ncftp in recursive retrieval mode is the fastest, since NSF is still a bit slow in linux.

Nice Things

Potential Problems

Perhaps not everybody will agree here, or has different experiences, but these are some of the "features" I'm less impressed with, or others have reported on:


Here is a list of bizarre occurences I had on the machine. Some of them really don't have a reasonable explanation yet, although one can always suspect the bad disk cache/bad memory problem I may have on this machine.


Here will be a list of questions for you, from the general public of J30 owners, that we, the other J30 owners, have not been able to solve yet. Answers and suggestions can be sent to the email address listed below.

Also visit the Linux Laptop Page.

Acknowledgements: Jan Fredrik Leversund (, Andrew K Bressen ( Dong Chen ( Tobias Kenneth Prettol (J50,

Last updated: 11-jun-2000

Problems, Suggestions, Solutions? Email: