User:Dgriffi/Installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Faun) on a ThinkPad T42

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Created by: Dgriffi 01:30, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

This article describes how to install Ubuntu Linux 7.04 (Feisty Faun) on an IBM/Ubuntu Thinkpad T42. This is not meant to be a definitive guide (see the Ubuntu Guide at for that).

This article is currently a work in progress and is not meant to be followed yet. For that reason, it is not yet visible in any of the expected categories. Please do not add this article to any category yet. Once I am finished, I will move/copy this article to regular wikispace and add appropriate categories.


My Thinkpad

These are the specifics for my particular Thinkpad.

  • IBM Thinkpad T42 2005
  • Intel Pentium M (Dothan) 1.7 GHz
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB
  • 14.1" TFT display with 1024x768 resolution (XGA)
  • 512 MB PC2700 memory
  • 30 GB HDD PATA
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Mini-PCI Adapter

Why Thinkpad?

Pretty much any distribution of Linux can be expected to work well out of the box with any desktop computer. This is not so for notebooks. In 2005, when I decided that I needed a notebook, I scoured the internet looking for discussions of which notebook is the best for Linux. The Thinkpad is not the cheapest, nor is it the most powerful of notebooks on the market. Mostly due to this wiki, I concluded that it is the best choice because it is the best understood from a Linux perspective. I much prefer to have a computer that works well than something on the bleeding edge of technology.

Why Ubuntu

As I previously stated, one can now expect a given Linux distribution to work more or less out of the box on a desktop system -- not so with notebooks. I fiddled around with assorted distributions including Debian, Redhat, Suse, and Slackware. I also tried NetBSD and FreeBSD. I initially resisted the thought of Ubuntu because I didn't like the idea of ultimate control over the machine being taken away from me. By and by, I wiped the drive yet again and decided to give Ubuntu a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find that mostly everything worked well straight from installation.

The Installation

Dealing with Windows

Booting Ubuntu

Wireless Network

The First Reboot

Setting up APT and Friends


Ubuntu should have already installed "xserver-xorg-input-synaptics". If not, please do that.

FIXME After installation, Ubuntu does have passable support for the Trackpoint touchpad. If you want to modify the defaults, you should install the packages "gsynaptics" and/or "qsynaptics" for GUI interface or "tpconfig" for a command-line interface.

Thinkpad Buttons

Fingerprint Reader

Never used it.


Never used it.


  • Open /etc/defaults/acpi-support and make sure that HIBERNATE_MODE is set to "platform". If this is not done, then audio output will be disabled.

Proprietary ATI Display Drivers

Ready For Use

This section describes things to be aware of during regular daily use of your Thinkpad T42 notebook.

Category:Ubuntu Category:T42