Installation instructions for the ThinkPad X61

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There are informative Ubuntu forum threads on Feisty and Gutsy for the X61.

A very detailed report on the X61 under Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon is here. The report was written describing Tribe 5, the last prerelease, but describes the release version of Gutsy Gibbon equally well.

These Slackware installation instructions are also revealing.

X61 won't boot from the CD-ROM/DVD drive (Solved)

Follow these instructions to enable your optical drive:

  1. Reboot your X61. Press the ThinkVantage button quickly when you see the ThinkPad screen and then press F1 to enter BIOS.
  2. In BIOS, select Configure -> Serial ATA.
  3. Now, select Compatibility instead of AHCI.
  4. Exit BIOS and start your computer normally.

Suspend/Resume doesn't work out of the box (Solved)

Under GNOME, you may find that Suspend/Resume doesn't work out of the box. Fn-F4 does suspend and lid open does resume, but the backlight is off after resume.

To fix this, do the following:

  1. In the file /boot/grub/menu.lst, find the line beginning with "# kopt=". This is where grub sets the options for your kernel. Append to this line the following: " acpi_sleep=s3_bios". (That is, these words should be preceded by a space separating them from the existing options. Do not remove the initial "#" from the line.)
  1. Run the command update-grub as root.

This fix is needed under Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn), but is not needed under Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 5 or the final release version. It seems likely the difference is due to the GNOME upgrade.

Sound doesn't work (Solved)

Sound won't work under the stock ALSA 1.0.14 shipped with Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, but will in later versions including the patched 1.0.14 shipped with Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon.

Your speakers default to being muted. To fix this, run alsamixer in a terminal window; right-arrow over until the Speaker column is visible, and press the "m" key to toggle it from mute ("MM") to on ("OO").

You may have to go to System->Preferences->Sound->Devices and select PCM to enable your Volume button to work.

The mute button always mutes rather than toggling; you have to undo it by hitting the volume-up button.

Known Issues under Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 and Gutsy Gibbon Beta (Tribe 5)

  1. Sound doesn't work under Feisty, but does under Gutsy Tribe 5 and Gutsy Final.
  2. Wireless doesn't work under Feisty, but does under Gutsy Tribe 5 and Gutsy Final.
  3. 2D graphics works fine, but there is no 3D acceleration yet.
  4. Fingerprint reader doesn't work yet.

Other Notes

The stock drive in the X61 of October 2007 appears not to have the click-of-death issue noted on some other ThinkPads. Note, this could potentially change if Lenovo changes drive suppliers.

The X61 is apparently very similar to a T61 internally. You may be able to find helpful tips in the installation instructions for the Installation instructions for the Thinkpad T61 for problems that are not solved here.