Installing SUSE LINUX Professional 9 on a ThinkPad T41p

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The machine

ThinkPad T41p

The Install process

I started the install on a spare 80GB HDD, so did not have to worry about preserving any data or OS.

I let SUSE determine almost everything automatically, but during the install there where a few things that I needed to adjust.

Keyboard and Mouse

Keyboard and TrackPoint work out of the box.

Note that I have the integrated TouchPad disabled in the BIOS, so I cannot comment on its functions.


SUSE defaulted to 1024x768 instead of my displays native 1400x1050 resolution. But this was easy to adjust.


The installer (Yast) recognized the integrated Ethernet and Wireless, and allowed me to specify the SSID (wireless network name) and Key. To bad it did not allow me to scan for available wireless networks at this time.

I did run into an issue in that after install DNS lookups where failing, shutting down the default configured firewall resolved this issue, but is obviously not the best solution.


SUSE automatically recognized the bluetooth function, but I have not tried to use it yet


The modem was also autodetected, but to get SUSE to install the support for it, I was forced to select and configure a dialup provider. I got around this by just providing it with some fake data.

After install I echoed 'atdt' to /dev/ttySL0 and got 'NO DIALTONE' back (which would be correct, since nothing was connected to the RJ11 port), so it seems to be working.

Infrared (IrDA)

By default SUSE Yast can only handle SIR devices, but after manually putting IRDA_PORT='nsc-ircc' into /etc/sysconfig/irda and following the instructions on the How to make use of IrDA page, I was able to start the irda service and the kernel module loaded.

Note that I have not actually tried to do anything with IrDA yet.

Power Management

SUSE supports "Suspend to Disk" and "Suspend to RAM", but by default these functions are disabled.
They can be enabled Yast, which I did.

After enabling these functions, I tried pressing Fn-F12, but there was no response.
The battery/power icon in the system tray can be used to initiate Suspend functions.

Suspend to Disk

The system was able to suspend to disk and resume from a graphical desktop, although I was a bit concerned when a garbled screen was displayed for a few seconds during restore, before the screensaver lockup appeared asking for my password.
After resume my wireless network was again operational.

--- Added 5th June 9:03am By Anonymous --- The suspend to disk feature worked when I pressed Fn+F4. Which was supposed to be suspend to RAM in the original thinkpad keyboard maping.

--- Added 5th July 11:06 by Anonymous --- Under YaST's System/Power Management section there are options to change the triggers for suspend to RAM and suspend to disk. The default if suspend to disk is enabled is that the Sleep button (Fn+F4) will trigger a suspend to disk.

Suspend to RAM

The suspend itself worked fine (from a graphical desktop), but resuming the system resulted in a white screen that slowly (unevenly) turned dark.

External Sources