Installing SuSE 10.1 on a ThinkPad X41 Tablet

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Item Working Notes
3d Acceleration: Yes works out of the box
Screen Rotation: Partially requires configuration, no xrandr support
Sound: Yes works out of the box
Network & Wireless: Yes works out of the box
ACPI: Yes non-tablet related features work out of the box
Bluetooth (some models):  ? untested
Fingerprint reader (some models):  ? untested
Hard Drive Advanced Protection System: Partially no userspace capabilities, see comments
Tablet Features: Yes requires configuration

Pre-Installation Considerations

First off, you need to figure out a way to boot from something other than the hard disk. Other HOWTOs here will explain how to do network booting, etc, but I sincerely recommend investing in a USB drive, preferably a DVD burner. If you shelled out the money to get one of these laptops, they're dirt cheap in comparison, and will save you a LOT of time, frustration, and hassle. I ran down to Microcenter and got the cheapest one, and it works flawlessly. You can use this to boot from the SuSE DVD or CDs.



If you know what you're doing here, you can skip this.

  • Are you going to need to resize your hard disk partitions in the future?

I'm not talking about your Windoze partitions, those are a given. If you're going to need to resize your Linux partitions in the future, then you'll want to do the main (root) Linux partition with RieserFS. It's decently fast, reliable, and you can resize it if you need to. If you are not going to resize down the line, use XFS for your main (root) partition. This is Linux on steroids, and is the preferable option, but you cannot shrink it or move it, and you can only grow it from the end ;-) Either way, when you get to the big screen full of configuration options (you'll know it when you see it), click on the Expert tab on the top, and then go down in the big long menu to Partitioning. Select Custom Configuration, and then with whatever space you have for Linux set up the following:

  • 1. A 1Gb partition formatted with SWAP, mounted as swap
  • 2. 75% of the remaining space formatted as either ReiserFS or XFS, mounted as /
  • 3. 25% of the remaining space formatted as Ext3 and mounted as /local
    • The /local partition is optional, and you can mount it as whatever you want. The purpose is to give you a partition to backup onto. Ext3 is sort of the "generic" linux partition type, and you can read it from a variety of different opperating systems and tools.
    • If you have Windoze partitions or others on the drive (including the restore partition, if you kept it), you will need to make some or all of these Logical Partitions of an Extended Partition. Google around for more info on this.

Package Selection

If you know what you're doing here, you can skip this.

Search for the following item, and be sure to install everything that pops up:

  • wacom

If you're going to use Xgl (see further down), also install what pops up from:

  • xgl
  • compiz

Also install everything in the following groups:

  • Graphical Base System
  • KDE Desktop Environment
  • All of KDE
  • Laptop
  • C/C++ Compiler and Tools
    • You will need the non-oss packages for things like the wireless to work.

Consider this the minimum selection, I would advise installing the Kernel, KDE and GNOME development sections also, as they will help considerably when building packages. You can always install/uninstall packages later. Search for any popular Linux apps you like, they're probably on the CDs/DVD somewhere ;-) Overall, it's best to install too much rather than too little. You never know when you're going to need a particular library or program, and most packages are relatively small. The exception to this is drivers, if you don't have the hardware, you're not going to need the driver. If you have limited hard drive space, then consider trimming the selection down a bit.

Xorg/Tablet Setup

Time to make a choice:

  • Are you going to use Xql?

If so, skip down to the next section. If you don't know what Xgl is, aren't sure whether you want to use it, or know you don't want to use it, then follow this to setup Xorg. You can always setup Xgl later.

Xgl/Tablet Setup

Screen Rotation

Hotkey Configuration