Installing Kubuntu8.04 KDE 4.1 remix on a ThinkPad X60s

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Installation of Kubuntu 8.04 KDE 4.1 remix on a ThinkPad X60s

Summary

What works out of the box

  • Graphics card incl 3D acceleration
  • Wifi (incl with KNetworkManager)
  • Suspend to RAM
  • CPU scaling
  • Sound
  • Volume and mute keys (but no visual feedback)
  • Keyboard illumination key (Fn+PgUp)
  • Everything not listed below :)

What needs to be fixed

  • Hibernate / Suspend to DISK
  • Screen Brightness controls (Fn+Home,Fn+End)

What has not yet been tested

  • Modem
  • TPM
  • PCMCIA
  • VGA out
  • Integrated fingerprint reader

Installation

Back up everything you don't want to lose.

Update the BIOS if you're comfortable with doing that.

Installation was done from a USB CD/DVD drive from the Kubuntu 8.04 Live CD (KDE 4 remix) from kubuntu.org. You can do the partitioning using the live CD (there is an auto or manual partitioning tool in the installer, but you could also use fdisk or QTparted also). In particular take care if you want to keep the preinstalled Windows XP and Windows recovery partitions (or blow them away if you don't -- feels good doesn't it?). In any case you need to reduce the size of the Windows XP partition (perhaps to zero) to free some space, and create new partitions for Kubuntu and a swap partition (at least as large as the installed RAM so that suspend to disk can work). Previously the laptop had been booted into Windows so the FAT32 partition would get converted into NTFS.

Fixes after installation

KDE 4.1 repository

The KDE 4 remix cd gives you KDE 4.0, but KDE 4.1 is considerably better, so change this right away:

Add "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubuntu hardy main" to the file /etc/apt/sources.list. Then type

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

and answer the questions in which you are prompted. If you do not have kubuntu-kde4-desktop installed, simply type sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install kubuntu-kde4-desktop and answer the questions. Both of these options are to be typed at the command prompt.

Restart KDE for the improved KDE 4.1 desktop.

Update all other software to the latest version.

Change the KDE menu back to classic mode

Make your life easier -- right click on the KDE menu icon and click "Switch to Classic Menu Style".

Turn on desktop effects

The X60s is capable of running the beautiful Kwin compositing effects, so in System Settings click Desktop then Desktop Effects / General tab click "Enable Desktop Effects".

Fonts

By default the fonts look good, but it's worth learning how to make them absolutely perfect. It's not hard. The X60s is capable of displaying pin-sharp fonts, so don't accept any fuzzy antialiasing.

In System Settings/Font Installer you may want to install the true-type fonts from your Windows partition in the Fonts directory (do it system wide with the Administrator mode).

Then in System Settings/Appearance/Fonts, select the best fonts and reduce the size to say 8 point and set "Use-antialiasing"=disabled, "Force Fonts DPI"=disabled.

In Konqueror choose the best TT fonts in Settings/Configure Konqueror, and set minimum font size=7, medium font size=8.

See also Optimal Use of Fonts on Linux.

Sound

In System Settings / Sound move the AD198x Digital #1 output up to the top preference for the sound outputs if necessary.

Suspending

VGA out

External Sources