Installing Fedora 8 (Werewolf) on a ThinkPad X61 Tablet

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Revision as of 09:05, 28 December 2007 by Ctorres1300 (Talk | contribs) (Expanded explaination of stylus features)
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X61 Tablet Keywords X61 Tablet
USB Flash Drive Boot
Fedora 8 Werewolf
AHCI Enabled Install
No DVD media

Installing Fedora 8 on a X61 tablet PC.

The X61 Tablet(X61t) installs rather "easily" with some straightforward effort. I had originally tried Fedora 7, but gave up in favor of the latest new release of Fedora 8. I did not have access to DVD a burner so I used a USB HDD and flash key for the install.

Getting install images

You will needs a seperate running install to get ready for the install. First get the DVD and rescue images via bittorrent from Fedora torrent.

Preparing flash drive

{{The key will hold a boot image and rescue image. If key is large enough you can put DVD image on it also without external HDD. Wipe the MBR of the usb key via the following command. (I'm assuming your key is /dev/sdc) This takes forever so you may want to skip this step, I waited.

# dd if:eq/dev/zero of&eq/dev/sdc bs&eq512 count&eq1

Use ms-sys if you don't have it try yum install ms-sys. Otherwise go the project's homepage and install it.

# ms-sys --fat32 /dev/sdX

Find you current OSes mbr.bin to setup the master boot record of the USB key.
# locate mbr.bin
# /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin > /dev/sdc
Use fdisk or parted to make sure you've removed all preexisting partitions from the usb key try.
# /sbin/fdisk /dev/sdc


Use options:
FOR fdisk
N new partition
P primary 1
1 start sector
128 end sector ~

Now make a single partition (primary #1) on the key of type FAT 32 via:
# mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdc1
# mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdc2

Now make sure via parted or fdisk to set this new partition as boot-able in fdisk this is the "a" option for partition 1. dd the bootdisk.img from the DVD to /dev/sdc1

# mount -o loop Fedora-8-i386-DVD.iso /media/cdrecorder
# dd if /media/cdrecorder/images/diskboot.img of /dev/sdc1

Copy rescue ISO onto second USB partition just in case. # mount /dev/sdc2 /media/usbdisk/
# sync; umount /dev/usbdisk

Unmount everything. Try using the USB key to boot the X61 Tablet. Remember to plug in the USB HDD containing the DVD iso file. Also put the ISO in the HDD / path for ease of use.

Configuring different components of X61t

Configuring X to use your tablet features

Getting basic stylus support

In this release of Fedora the linux wacom drivers are part of the distribution. They sort of work as you would expect, minus the multitouch functionality. I will discuss getting the stylus to 'just work'. Then I will explain how to get the multitouch abilities of your tablet to work also. This is significantly more involved. You won't have to do repeat the steps for multitouch support I'll give you what you need.
We need to properly configure the Xorg.conf file so do
# cp /et/etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_PRE_PEN_BACKUP
Now open the file xorg.conf in your favorite editor and give it the follows sections.

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "wacom"
  Identifier    "stylus"
  Option        "Device"        "/dev/ttyS1"          # SERIAL ONLY
  Option        "Type"          "stylus"
  Option        "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"               # Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "wacom"
  Identifier    "eraser"
  Option        "Device"        "/dev/ttyS1"          # SERIAL ONLY
  Option        "Type"          "eraser"
  Option        "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"               # Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "wacom"
  Identifier    "cursor"
  Option        "Device"        "/dev/ttyS1"          # SERIAL ONLY
  Option        "Type"          "cursor"
  Option        "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"               # Tablet PC ONLY

Also note that in your case '/dev/ttyS1' may be different. In order to determine which tty is listening to the stylus you can do: # cat /dev/ttySx
then touch the display with the stylus you should see the shell return some sort of output to your current shell.
We also need to adjust another part of the xorg.conf file. This will tell the X server what to do with the new input devices we have configured. Adjust your server layout section to look like this.

 Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     "single head configuration"
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"

We need to alter it to look like this.
Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     "single head configuration"
        Screen 0 "Screen0"   0 0
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
#??        InputDevice    "Mouse0"    "CorePointer"
        InputDevice    "stylus"    "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice    "eraser"    "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice    "cursor"    "SendCoreEvents" 
#??        InputDevice    "pad"   # For Intuos3/Cintiq 21UX/Graphire4/Bamboo tablets

I would like to note that the '#??' marks lines which are actually required I added them in case I plug in USB mice to the system on the run. You can safely ignore these lines, and you probably should ignore them. We are now ready to test our changes to the X server and see if it all worked. You can kill the current X server via
CtrlAltBack Space
if everything is not completly broken, (syntax errors in xorg.conf file) you should be back at the graphical login, and your stylus should be able to move the mouse cursor. You can review your X configuration by opening another new shell and doing
# xsetpointer -l
which should give you input that looks like this

[root@localhost ~]# xsetpointer -l
"<default pointer>"     [XPointer]
"Keyboard0"     [XKeyboard]
"stylus"        [XExtensionDevice]
"eraser"        [XExtensionDevice]
[root@localhost ~]# 

There are many options that can be adjusted to make your stylus suit your preferences. I'll expand that later if I get around to it. Otherwise, just experiment. The command which will let you adjust your stylus traits 'on the fly' is
$ xsetwacom

Getting multitouch support with you X61 tablet

In the process of trying to get my tablet fully functional, I did a great deal of research. You will find if you have a tablet with multitouch support, the behavior given the above 'basic' X configuration is just terrible. You can't really use the stylus like you would like. The cursor is erratic. Instead you need to try a different wacom driver. Actually this is tweaked wacom driver. I'd like to thank, Russell Sears immensely for writing the patch you'll need and for helping me understand the software patching process. I've gone ahead and built a RPM using the source RPM that that is available from the fedora project homepage. I won't get into the steps to rebuild the source RPM. (I may in the future.) There is a good guide for patching SRPMS written by a guy named Brad. My directions to you is to just grab my custom patched binary rpm. You should be able to install it via
# rpm -U linuxwacom-
Now if the RPM install correctly. Please let me know if you have trouble with it. You should have a stable stylus and useable multitouch support. You may need to install at least one additional RPM to get this patched RPM to work, I'm not sure. The RPM would be xorg-x11-server-sdk, you can get it via yum.

Directions under construction. Additional comments on this work should be emailed to ctorres1300 at