Installing Ubuntu on a ThinkPad T21

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Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

The upgrade from Ubuntu 7.04 to Ubuntu 7.10 also goes smoothly.

To get a high resolution terminal you should use the vga=792 option in /boot/grub/menu.lst

If the screen goes blank with this option:

1. sudo vi /etc/initramfs-tools/modules and add fbcon and vesafb

so my /etc/initramfs-tools/modules looks like:

fbcon vesafb

2. sudo update-initramfs -u

3. sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer

change the line "blacklist vesafb" to "# blacklist vesafb"

4. reboot and everything is fine

Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

The upgrade from Ubuntu 6.10 to Ubuntu 7.04 goes smoothly.

You may need the Sound-After-Suspend fix that the T20 also uses. (please first look at discussion for hints about this point)

Ubuntu 6.10 Desktop

To install Ubuntu 6.10, we have to use the "alternate install" CD because X freezes on boot. Note: Safe boot won't work.

Once it is installed and reboots, press ESC to get to the grub menu, 'e' to edit the menu entry, then DOWN to get to the "kernel ..." line. Press 'e' to edit the kernel boot entry, then type "init=/bin/sh", ENTER. Press 'b' to boot the modified entry. This should get you in single-user mode.

Type (without the # signs)

       # mount -o remount,rw /
       # cd /etc/init.d
       # mv gdm gdm.old
       # mv x11-common x11-common.old

To prevent X from booting the next time around. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to reboot the computer.

Let Ubuntu boot normally. Don't edit the entry.

You should get a login prompt in a text-terminal. Login with your username and password, then type (don't type the $ sign)

       $ sudo vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Once in vi, type in order

       /DefaultDepth
       ENTER
       :s/16/24
       ENTER
       ESC
       ZZ

Once this is done, try starting X manually

       $ X

Which should get you a X screen. No window manager will be running, so you can't do much but exit by pressing CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE.

Once X is known to work, you can enable gdm and X again by undoing to first steps:

       $ cd /etc/init.d
       $ sudo mv gdm.old gdm
       $ sudo mv x11-common.old x11-common

Then reboot the computer

       $ sudo reboot

You should then be greeted by the usual gdm login prompt.


Crapulon says:

I also found it is a good idea to have "acpi=off apm=on" as GRUB kernel options. Without this Ubuntu could not recognise the Ethernet port or internal modem. Edit the GRUB menu.lst file so that update-grub automagically adds these options. To do this:

1) Type: sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst

2) Find the section titled ## Start Default Options ##, then add the two new options to the line that begins with "# kopt=" eg. in my menu.lst file the new line (line 66) reads:

   # kopt=root/dev/hda1 ro acpi=off apm=on

3) Write the changes and exit vim.

4) Once the file has been re-saved, you can re-install the bootloader. The command for that is:

sudo grub-install /dev/hda

NOTE: This assumes your hard drive is at /dev/hda. Use "df" to see your hard drive names if you are not sure. This operation can potentially make your computer unbootable if there are mistakes, so be careful! (Of course, even if the hard drive became unbootable, you could most likely boot off a CD and fix it. )

Reboot, and check that all is well.

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