Installing Ubuntu 6.10 on a ThinkPad Z61m

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Installing Debian Sid via Sidux on a Thinkpad Z61M

I successfully installed Debian Sid using Sidux on my Thinkpad Z61M. Sound worked out of the box . It took only a little configuration to get wireless and full video (1680x1050 plus 3D acceleration) working. Suspend to disk also works although I am doing this at the command line at present; Fn + F12 doesn't seem to do anything.

Sidux is a good solution for anyone who prefers native Debian to Ubuntu, and who is happy to run Sid.

Details of my experience are available on my website: [1].

Lenovo ThinkPad Z61m (9452-CTO)

Hardware Details

Operating System

Ubuntu 6.10 'edgy eft'. See the Ubuntu Laptop Testing Team for up-to-date details.

What works out-of-the-box


  • 100 GB SATA, 7200 RPM
  • DVD Super Multiburner
  • Intel AD1981HD High Definition Audio 1.0 controller with 2 speakers
  • Intel PRO/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
  • ThinkPad Bluetooth with Enhanced Data Rate (BDC-2)
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • UltraNav
  • Built-in Microphone

Power Management

  • Suspend to RAM (Fn+F4 works too)
  • Hibernate (Fn+F12 works too)
  • CPU speed stepping
  • LCD Brightness depending on current power scheme
  • Screen brightness control with Fn+Pos1/Fn+End
  • Lid switch

Extra Keys

  • Volume up, Volume down, Mute
  • Fn+Pg up (ThinkLight)
  • Front wireless radio switch (turns off Wifi and Bluetooth)
  • Fn+F2 (Lock acount)
  • Fn+F3 (Show power manager information pop-up)
  • Fn+F5 (activate/deactivate WiFi and Bluetooth)

What needs to be configured

See further down this document to find a HowTo for all of these issues.


  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 (128 MB)
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Mini-PCI Express Adapter
  • IrDA 1.1 (FIR - 4Mbps)
  • 4-in-1 digital media reader (MultiMedia Card, MemoryStick, SD)
  • Switching to virtual terminal (Alt+Ctrl+F1) garbles screen.

Extra keys

These keys have no assignment by default.

  • Windows key (Keycode Super_L)
  • Context menu key (Keycode 0xe3)
  • ThinkVantage button (Keycode 0x9f)
  • Web browser back (Keycode 0xea)
  • Web browser forward (Keycode 0xe9)
  • Multimedia Keys (Fn+up, Fn+down, Fn+left arrow, Fn+right arrow)



  • ThinkPad 56K Modem (MDC-1.5)
  • Firewire
  • VGA out
  • S-Video out
  • Headphone Jack
  • Microphone Jack
  • CardBus slot (Type 2)
  • ExpressCard slot (54 or 34)
  • Integrated Fingerprint Reader
  • UltraBay Enhanced


This is a list of minor annoyances. I can live with them but a solution would be nice. I hope most of them will be solved with edgy+1 ;)

  • Laptop fan is constantly on. Don't know if this is specific to linux or is an hardware issue. I think this is related to the graphics card getting too hot. You may be interested in Problem with fan noise.
  • WiFi occasionally does not work after suspend
  • USB mouse occasionally doesn't come up after suspend
  • Bluetooth cannot be deactivated seperately (Fn+F5 deactivates Bluetooth AND Wifi)

Installing edgy eft

I used the Live CD installer. The installation process goes easy and painless. Just follow the instructions and you're fine. I completely erased the hard disk, wiping Windows XP off the ThinkPad. No dual-boot, no problems.

VMware server

Unfortunately I had to use windows for a professional image management application called IMatch, and I did that by using VMware server. Be advised the Lenovo recovery disks won't work in VMware. They will install fine, but after the first boot attempt after the installation Windows just keeps rebooting again and again.

So I used a purchased copy of Windows XP Professional that I had left from my former Dell Inspiron 8100 which was not in use anymore. To be honest I prefer this vanilla Windows XP install because it doesn't come with all the preloaded software that is on Lenovo's rescue CD.


ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 (128 MB)

To get hardware acceleration and a resolution >1024x768, you need to install ATI's fglrx driver.

1. Install the fglrx driver:

$ sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

2. In Edgy the Composite extension is enabled by default, however, fglrx does not yet support Composite with DRI. In order to disable Composite you have to edit the xorg.conf file (and make a backup of this file first):

$ sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

3. Add these lines at the end of the file:

Section "Extensions"
	Option	    "Composite" "Disable"

4. Now activate the fglrx driver:

$ sudo aticonfig --initial

$ sudo aticonfig --overlay-type=Xv

5. After restarting your system (or alternatively doing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to restart the X Server) your system will be running the fglrx drivers.

Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Mini-PCI Express Adapter

Getting WPA working with your Wifi card is easy.

1. Install the network-manager-gnome package

$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome

2. You have to deactivate the GNOME network settings for all networking devices that should be controlled by network-manager:

System -> Administration -> Network

3. In the network settings deactivate the Wifi network.

4. Log out and log in again to activate the new settings.

IrDA 1.1 (FIR - 4Mbps)

IrDA does not work out-of-the-box because the necessary package and configuration is not included in a stock Ubuntu install.

1. Install the missing package $ sudo apt-get install irda-utils

2. Configure irda-utils

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure irda-utils

3. On the configure screen set the options as the following:

Activate IrDa on boot-up: yes
Attempt to probe for IrDa at system boot: yes
Discovery mode: yes
Typ of the IrDa-adaptor: native
Typ of the FIR-chip: nsc-ircc
Options for the modules of the FIR-chip:
Port for setserial to deactivate: 

4. Restart IrDA:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/irda-utils stop

$ sudo /etc/init.d/irda-utils start

5. Load the FIR IrDA driver:

$ sudo modprobe irda0

6. Now test if activating IrDA was successful. Place your IrDA device (mobile phone, PDA or whatever) in front of the IrDA eye and activate IrDA on your device. Doing a

$ cat /proc/net/irda/discovery

should list your IrDA device.

4-in-1 digital media reader (MultiMedia Card, MemoryStick, SD)

The digital media reader does not work because the kernel module tifm_sd is not loaded on startup. To get it loaded, add it to the modules file:

1. Open the file modules (and do a backup first, just in case):

$ sudo cp /etc/modules /etc/modules.backup

$ sudo gedit /etc/modules

2. Add the following to the end of the file:


3. Save the file and restart.

Getting virtual terminals to work

After installing the fglrx drivers, virtual terminals (Alt+Ctrl+F1) don't work anymore. The screen is all garbled. To get your virtual terminals working again, follow these instructions:

1. Edit grub's menu.lst file (and make a backup first):

$ sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.backup

$ sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

2. Find a line that says

# defoptions=quiet splash

3. Replace this line with

# defoptions=quiet splash vga=791

4. Now find the line that boots your kernel. This line is just below the ## ## End Default Options ## and looks like this:

kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-generic root=/dev/sda1 ro quiet splash

5. Add the following at the end of the above line:


The line should now look like this:

kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-generic root=/dev/sda1 ro quiet splash vga=791

6. Save the file, exit and reboot.


00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller AHCI (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 7145
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5752M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
15:00.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments Unknown device 8039
15:00.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments Unknown device 803a
15:00.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803b
15:00.3 Class 0805: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803c