Installing OpenSUSE 10.1 on a ThinkPad T43

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Most things run just fine after installation, the Rest I got working with the great articles here.


The Pre-Desktop-Area has to be protected before installation, otherwise the Recovery-System will be lost. To do so, set Predesktop-Area to "Secure" in BIOS. Additionally, it's always useful to have the Recovery-CDs burned before an installation attempt

The automatic shrinking of the NTFS-partition did not work during the Installation of OpenSUSE, so I shrinked it with QtParted from a Knoppix-DVD. To be able to boot Windows and Linux (via Grub) and the Recovery-System (with Access IBM), install the bootloader in the new, extended partition (usually /dev/sda).

Besides that, everything went fine, most Hardware was set up correctly: Graphics Card, Touchpad and Trackpoint, WLAN, Bluetooth, Modem (yet untested), Volume Control.


Everything set up correctly, ibm-acpi ist installed, Suspend-to-RAM and Suspend-to-Disk work with the keys already assigned to them. I still miss RediSafe though, maybe I'll use Software Suspend 2 some day.


How to get special keys to work gives a general overview.

Suspend keys worked by default installation, as did FnF5 for switching Bluetooth on and off. For the remaining keys, the nvram-module was missing. So when /dev/nvram/ is missing, you have to create it first:

# mknod /dev/nvram c 10 144

and load it with

# modprobe nvram

Additionally, I had to specify the module to be loaded automatically at /etc/sysconfig/kernel:


Last, the access rights had to be corrected. To do so, search for nvram in /etc/udev/rules.d/50-udev-default.rules and change the entry to:

KERNEL=="nvram",                NAME="%k", GROUP="nvram", MODE="660"

so the users of group nvram have access to it. Of course that group has to exist, and you need to be a member of it:

# groupadd nvram

# usermod -a -G nvram <username>

After a reboot, you can use either tpb or the KMilo-Plugin in KControl (System Administration -> IBM Thinkpad Laptop) to set up the keys. I liked the OSD of KMilo better. Additionally, I set the Mixer setting to "Software" (MIXER ON in tpb), so the Mixer volume and mute status matches the one in KMix.

Fingerprint Reader

How to enable the fingerprint reader neatly explains everything. I had to do the last steps manually, because the Script for enabling the fingerprint reader with BioAPI did not run till the end on SuSE 10.1.

3D Acceleration

The Standard driver did work for 2D, but with no 3D acceleration. When I added

Section "Module"
        Load  "glx"

to my /etc/X11/xorg.conf, the 3D acceleration worked with the OpenSource driver, but now there were problems with Suspend. So I decided for the proprietary fglrx-Driver directly from Ati. Installed fine, after I created a distribution-specific rpm with the Installer.


Trackpoint Scrolling

External Sources