Installing Fedora 7 on a ThinkPad 600X

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Installation Method

Fedora 7 can be installed using a rescue CD, Live CD or a full DVD. The 600X came with a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. Neither of these will read DVD+R discs, and while the latter may read a DVD-R disc, I am going to document my install using the LiveCD and install the rest of the system over a network.

You will need a wired network card that is compatible with Fedora 7 to follow the install procedure. Unfortunately, there is no single list of compatible network cards. On the other hand, the majority of wired network cards work well and with no tweaks needed during installation.

Hard Disk Issues

I will not spend time on various philosophies about hard drive partitioning or dual- or multi-boot installations. If you have concerns about your data, make backups and practice on a spare hard drive before you perform an installation on an important drive.


Back up any data on your hard drive.

You may wish to set the CD-ROM drive mode to High Performance. This may save you a few seconds here and there. You can do this using the ThinkPad Configuration Utility for Windows or DOS.


Boot the CD

Boot the 600X using the Fedora 7 Live CD. I suggest using the "Verify and run from image" at least once to test the CD itself at least once before you attempt an installation.

I get the following errors during boot. I ignore them:

pci 0000:00:01.0: Error creating sysfs bridge symlink, continuing...
pci 0000:00:02.0: Error creating sysfs bridge symlink, continuing...
pci 0000:00:02.1: Error creating sysfs bridge symlink, continuing...

Booting will take a good long while, and by the time NetworkManager starts, your wired network card should show some activity. Shortly after that, you'll get the login prompt. Enter "root" as your user name.

Start the Installation

  • Double-click the Install to Hard Drive desktop icon. The Fedora Installer starts.
  • Click Next to get going.
  • Select your keyboard and click Next.
  • Select the partitioning method and click Next. Deal with your partition layout if you chose to customize it and click Next. (I chose to keep my current partition layout, but format each partition.) Confirm formatting if you've chosen to do that.
  • Select if and where to install the GRUB bootloader and any options. Click Next.
  • Select which network devices will be active on boot. I leave only IrDA on. Click Next.
  • Select your time zone settings and click Next.
  • Enter your new chosen root password and click Next.
  • Installation is ready to go. Click Next and take a walk. Or be as nerdy as me and watch the entire process.

The drives spin while performing three steps: 1) The install image is copied to the hard drive. 2) Post-installation configurations are changed. 3) The bootloader is installed. This entire process took 12 minutes on my 600X, configured with 576MB RAM, a 40GB 5400RPM hard disk and an 800MHz CPU. It might take longer on your machine, especially if you have less RAM.

  • Click Close.
  • Shut down the machine.
  • Start the machine, removing the CD when you can (or wait for it to boot the CD and select the hard drive to boot from).
  • Watch the first boot. I get the same errors as above, plus a new one:
cpufreq: FIXME

Finish the Installation

There are some basic configuration settings to be made before you're given a desktop. Configure them as you like. Sound should work, but it may be very soft. Increase the hardware volume by pressing Fn+PgUp several times, and increase the volume of the slider if you don't hear it the first time.

Click Finish and you'll be allowed to login.

If you have a network card, you'll see a paper bag. It will tell you there are updates available. Go ahead and apply them. I'll wait.