Install Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon on a T61p

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Installing Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) on a T61p


This document outlines configuring Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on your Thinkpad T61p. Most items will work out of the box and a base install will provide you with an almost completely working system. Due to the modular nature of the T61 there are many different configuration, please read carefully and only make the changes specific to your system. In the successor of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, Hardy Heron, more things are working out of the box. See the how-to for Hardy Heron if you're looking for instructions installing Hardy Heron (recommended).

Feel free to update this Wiki with your information however please ask questions on the Talk page.

Installation Notes

Note: On lenovo t61p thinkpad with nVidia Corporation Quadro FX 570M graphics card the installer fails to create a usable xorg.conf file and the system reboots into an unusable black screen as X refuses to start. This is caused by the installer selecting the nv driver, which does not support this card. Using the vesa driver will allow X to start.

  1. Install Ubuntu onto the laptop. The Live CD will boot in safe graphics mode for most users (but not all). However, the splash screen does not work for 64-bit users and perhaps 32-bit users as well. Be patient the system will boot, even though the screen is black. It may be faster to do the initial install using the alternate CD (text mode install).
  2. After it is installed, fix issue: "no x session on first reboot after install" (see steps below)

To fix this, you have to reboot into rescue mode and hand-edit xorg.conf to use vesa driver until the restricted nvidia driver is enabled.


  1. Choose Recovery Mode from the Grub boot menu.
  2. Edit the xorg.conf file: # nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  3. Scroll down until you see the section listed below and replace nv with vesa on the driver line: Section "Device" Identifier "nVidia Corporation G80 [Quadro FX 570M]" Driver "nv" BusID "PCI:1:0:0" EndSection
  4. Hit CtrlX to exit, Y then Enter to save.
  5. Reboot: # reboot

You should now get the GUI login, but all of the accelerated graphics eye candy will be disabled until you have updated the nvidia drivers as per the Display/Video Section.

If you have a Ubuntu 7.10 DVD, you could use the same to first launch a live CD version of Ubuntu. When the live CD boots up it asks for the installation of restricted nVidia drivers (internet connection required). Once the restricted drivers are installed. Use the "Install" option from the live CD session to start the installation of Ubuntu.

Alternate Fix

  1. Boot from Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop CD
  2. If during the black screen you suspect that the Ubuntu Live CD is not going to boot, or you don't wish to wait, restart the installation and explicitly choose to install in safe graphics mode.
  3. When the safe graphics installation halts while trying to initialize the X server, press CTRL-ALT-F1 to bring up the command line.
  4. At the prompt, start X in Vesa mode with the command 'startx'. Continue the Live CD install as usual, switching back to the GUI installation process with CTRL-ALT-Function key if there are interrupting messages from another X server startup process.
  5. When the system restarts, skip to the command line again and when X fails to start, type 'startx' again to go into vesa mode.
  6. Now install the restricted nvidia drivers to resolve the problem.



The nv driver does not support the Nvidia 570M card at all. To enable accelerated 3D support click System->Administration->Restricted Drivers Manager. It will allow you to download and install an updated set of nvidia drivers.
If this is a fresh installation, you will get an error "can't get source for nvidia-glx-new", which means you need to update the package list: first, be sure that in System->Administration->Software Sources, the entry "Proprietary drivers for devices (restricted)" is checked. Then either click System->Administration->Update Manager->Check, or open a terminal and type "sudo apt-get update".
On the next reboot you should get accelerated support and full graphics resolution (but still no splashscreen).
If the Restricted Drivers Manager fails to install the driver you can use the Envy tool from: This tool is unsupported and the only supported method of installing the Nvidia drivers is via Synaptic or the Restricted Drivers Manager

On the model with 1920x1200 video, the default fonts are very tiny. Change them with System->Preferences->Appearance->Fonts->Details.

--cmnorton 16:16, 20 March 2008 (CET) I run my T61p in both a KVM (docked) and a solo environment. I found the only way to get the displays to work properly in both was to set the BIOS to VGA output (my KVM connectors are VGA), and use the vesa driver. Using other combinations with and without the nvidia driver caused display problems.


source: Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on a ThinkPad T61

Nvidia Quadro N140 and 570M:

The brightness controls do not work, however you can switch to a virtual terminal (ctrl+alt+F1) increase or decrease the brightness and then switch back to X (ctrl+alt+F7) without disrupting the running applications. In a few rare cases switching back to X (ctrl+alt+7) may freeze your computer with a black screen so save any open documents before switching out.

When using the vesa driver the brightness controls do work. So this problem seems to be related to the nvidia driver.

Update: Note that as of version 169.04 of the Nvidia driver brightness controls do work normally (with my 570M at least). (Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 comes with restricted Nvidia driver version 100.14). You can install the latest Nvidia binary drivers with "Envy" (see above)


  • Fix ALSA:

Gutsy uses ALSA v1.0.14 by default. Unfortunately, the audio card is not supported using that version. The solution is to upgrade to v1.0.15 or above. At the time of this writing, there are no packages for this version; however, new users should search Synaptic because that will make the process much easier: search for alsa-base and determine whether the available version is at least v1.0.15. If there are no packages available, the driver must be compiled from source. Follow this guide to install the alsa v1.0.15. After restarting, open a terminal and run alsamixer. Use the left/right arrow keys to select the channels; make sure that PCM and headphone are not muted (use m key). Muting/unmuting input channels can cause interference, so experiment to produce the best sound quality. --Jbrown96 22:57, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I was unable to unmute sound using alsamixer or any other gui. Instead running this as root unmuted the channel and then everything worked fine. echo up > /proc/acpi/ibm/volume --balsdorf 15:43, 30 January 2008

Everything except the mic works fine for me with ALSA 1.0.14. When I unmute the internal mic in alsamixer, it plays the mic sounds out the speakers. --Chazchaz101 07:17, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Same experience as Chazchaz101, but I could fix the microphone problem by adjusting the ALSA configuration as described in source: Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy_Gibbon) on a ThinkPad_T61#Microphone. --A-j 23:31, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

  • fix sound buttons:

source: Installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) on a ThinkPad T61

the volume control hotkeys are configured to control microphone volume out of the box.

fix: If you're using Gnome, from the System menu, click Preferences -> Sound, and in the Default Mixer Tracks field, choose PCM.

  • fix volume control applet:

the volume control applet is configured to control microphone volume out of the box.

fix: If you're using Gnome, right-click the applet > preferences > Select the device and track to control

    • do not change device (s/b HDA Intel)
    • change track from Microphone to PCM

--cmnorton 16:14, 20 March 2008 (CET) In order to get sound to work, I added options snd-hda-intel model=thinkpad-t61p to the bottom of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base. This is referenced in [1] .

After installing the latest "BIOS update" with the ThinkVantage Update tool in Windows, sound was working on my laptop. I did not need to upgrade ALSA. --gandy 14:55, 08 April 2008 (CET)


If you have some kind of recent T61p (mid-2008), the Intel WifiLink 4965 wifi controler might not work out of the box. The easiest way to have it working is to use Intel's drivers for windows (*%20XP%20Professional&lang=eng) and use ndiswrapper on them :

  • unzip the driver zip file somewhere (let's say you use $home)
  • go to the driver directory $home/Disk/XP/Drivers/x32/
  • run the command: ndiswrapper-1.9 NETw5x32.inf (you should check the driver version as it can become NETw6x32.inf after next release)
  • remember to switch on wifi from both frontal switch (physical switch, under your left wrist) and then with Fn-F5 as well. The bluetooth led should be lightened.

Some users report that IPv6 has large negative impact on internet connection speed (wired and wireless) on Ubuntu 7.10. If you are experiencing this, the following steps will allow you to disable IPv6 and restore your connection speed.

There is a workaround to improve connectivity for Firefox. On the Firefox address bar type about:config and look for network.dns.disableIPv6 and change its value to trueUbuntu710 Firefox Fix.png.

Type the following in the terminal $ sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/aliases. The system may ask you to provide the Super User password. Once the file is opened, search for the following string, alias net-pf-10 ipv6. Comment this line by prefixing a #. Now add a new line just below the commented line, alias net-pf-10 off.

Update to Aliases.png

Now, save the file and restart Ubuntu.

Reference: Youtube video. How-To: Fix a Slow Internet Connection in Ubuntu 7.10.

Suspend with Nvidia Binary Driver

  • Fix suspend with Nvidia binary drivers:

Follow the directions on the Ubuntu wiki. Nvidia Binary Driver Suspend

The link above reports "Note: enabling TwinView breaks suspend-to-ram (reported to work with drivers 96XX), if you know better please delete this note and write how you did it." I have not found a resolution, so if you know of one, please also delete this note and specify your solution. Thanks.


Bluetooth works out of the box. Pressing Fn-F5 once will enable bluetooth, disable wireless, pressing again, enable both and pressing one more time will disable bluetooth.

If you would like to set bluetooth state independently the script below determines the current bluetooth state and toggles the device on or off.

First create a new file named bluetooth-toggle: # sudo touch /usr/sbin/bluetooth-toggle

Now open a editor: # sudo gedit /usr/sbin/bluetooth-toggle

Paste the following script:

cat /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth | awk '{ print $2 }' | while read line;
   if [ $line == "enabled" ]; then
       echo disable > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth
       echo enable > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth

Now set the execute permissions: # sudo chmod +x /usr/sbin/bluetooth-toggle

You can invoke the script out of the console by typing sudo bluetooth-toggle or create a menu icon by using the menu editor under preferences using gksudo bluetooth-toggle as command line.

source: Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on a ThinkPad T61

You can also create a launcher for this script that you can stick in the GNOME panel.

Fingerprint Reader

The Thinkfinger package allows you to swipe a finger in most places where you would have to type your password. At least for me, the most recent (0.3) version used here works with sudo, gksudo and on the login page but not with the the screen saver. Also, you are still required to type your user name on the login screen.

There appears to be a method to make the reader work for the screensaver, but I haven't tested it yet.

1) Add the launchpad repository to your sources: $ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.lst note: if that file is not present or empty, try $ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list add the lines:

deb gutsy main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src gutsy main restricted universe multiverse

2) Install the following packages:

$ sudo apt-get install thinkfinger-tools libpam-thinkfinger libthinkfinger0

3) Test the package installation and connection to the reader:

$ sudo tf-tool --acquire && sudo tf-tool --verify

A completed test should look something like this:

frank@Laptop:~$ sudo tf-tool --acquire && sudo tf-tool --verify

ThinkFinger 0.3 (
Copyright (C) 2006, 2007 Timo Hoenig <>

Initializing... done.
Please swipe your finger (successful swipes 3/3, failed swipes: 0)... done.
Storing data (/tmp/test.bir)... done.

ThinkFinger 0.3 (
Copyright (C) 2006, 2007 Timo Hoenig <>

Initializing... done.
Please swipe your finger (successful swipes 1/1, failed swipes: 0)... done.
Result: Fingerprint does match.

4) Enable use of reader for authentication:

$ sudo gedit /etc/pam.d/common-auth


auth    sufficient

before the line and


to the end of the line.

5) Add User(s): For each user: $ sudo tf-tool --add-user your_user_name

You can safely ignore the error:

Unable to set ACL of aquired file: /etc/pam_thinkfinger/charlie.bir: Operation not supported

6) Check uinput kernel module:

$ lsmod | grep uinput If the output starts with uinput, then you're done. If you don't get any output, then it needs to be started and set to start on boot.

Start uinput: $ sudo modprobe uinput

Start on boot: $ sudo gedit /etc/modules add the line:


At this point, you should be ready to swipe!


Touchpad and TouchPoint


In order to adjust the Touchpad sensitivity and settings such as side scrolling and tapping, you must install the xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package: $ sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics If the newly installed Touchpad control panel gives you an error, you may will to modify your xorg.conf file. $ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add the line:

 InputDevice    "Touchpad"

to the ServerLayout section add the following lines before any existing mouse or pointer entries:

 Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier "Touchpad"
   Driver "synaptics"
   option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
   option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
   option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
   option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"
   option "SHMConfig" "on"
   option "MaxTapTime" "180"
   Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"
   Option "Buttons" "9"

This should allow you to open the Touchpad panel in the preferences menu and make permanent changes to the settings.


In order to set the TrackPoint speed and sensitivity temporarily, you can can echo values between 0 and 255 to the proper sysfs location for example:

$ echo -n 255|sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed

to set the speed to max or

$ echo -n 76|sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed

to set the speed to 76. In order to make these settings persist over reboots, you have to edit your rc.local:

$ sudo gedit /etc/rc.local

and the following lines: before the line that says exit 0 :

 echo -n 255 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity
 echo -n 76 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed

where the numbers are the same as the values as the temporary settings you want.

Many how-to guides for other distros use the sysfsutils package and the accompanying sysfs.config file for setting the values instead of using rc.local. Unfortunately, it appears that Gutsy does not process this file at startup, so rc.local must be used instead.