Michael R. Head (suppressingfire) wrote,
Michael R. Head

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Ubuntu 7.04 (feisty) on a Thinkpad T61P

Finally got Ubuntu running on the T61P (which has assumed the name of my last laptop which is in the process of having the contents of its hard drive transplanted). I encountered some issues in the process of doing this.
  • The official 7.04 disc could not boot. I believe this is due to the fact that the CD drive is connected via SATA rather than IDE/PATA. I've had the same problem with recent desktop machines, too. It's possible to get around this by setting BIOS (press F1 during boot) to use "Compatibility" mode rather than "AHCI."
  • There are still problems getting X up, because the hardware is too new for the nv and even the nvidia drivers packaged with feisty. I'm using the unaccelerated VESA driver right now (which is surprisingly quick at 1920x1200).
  • Since I couldn't boot with the CD, I used my "Ubuntu on tap" setup, which worked perfectly.
So yeah, the hardware is too new for feisty, but it can mostly be made to work. To summarize, here are the problems with Ubuntu 7.04/feisty on the Thinkpad T61P:
  •   Wireless doesn't work, due to the Intel 4965 hardware. This can be remedied one of three ways:
  1. Install the native Linux drivers from Intel: http://intellinuxwireless.org/?p=iwlwifi
  2. Install ndiswrapper and use the Windows drivers: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/Intel_4965_AGN_WiFi_Driver/Fiesty
  3. Upgrade to the gutsy prerelease, which, as I understand it, had the 4965 driver included and working by default
  • Bluetooth may or may not be working. The green LED doesn't light up, but I don't have any devices to test it with. In Windows, there's a software button which turns it on. On the T30, the bluetooth was turned on by a hardware button, but there's only a kill switch for all wireless on the T61P, and it's set to "enable"
  • CD drive doesn't work. This is due to it being attached with to the SATA controller. Tell the Thinkpad's BIOS to use Compatibility mode for SATA.
  • The graphics hardware is too new for the included drivers, so vesa is required and must be manually set (use "sudo dpkg-reconfigure xorg-xserver" and select "vesa" instead of "nv"), even though the installer thinks it should use the "nv" driver. Gutsy _should_ be supporting the chip, but as far as the feisty kernel knowns, I've got a "01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 040c (rev a1)" -- the "Unknown device" bit is the problem. Again, the VESA run X surprisingly fast, so it's not such a big deal.
  • Sound doesn't work either, as far as I can tell.

I'm planning to update to the gutsy development release after I post this which should fix most of the issues.

Update: Upgraded to gutsy, and there was little help on any of these issues. Bugs filed and related:
Update 2: The CD can be made to work by doing "sudo modprobe ide-generic; echo ide-generic | sudo tee -a /etc/modules"

Update 3: My "Ubuntu on tap" setup is described elsewhere in my blog.
Tags: linux
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