Installing Fedora Core 5 on a ThinkPad T43 (2686)

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Revision as of 14:32, 3 April 2006 by Scott.lawrence (Talk | contribs) (Install FC5)
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Convert the FAT filesystem to NTFS.

Booted Windows XP - let it run the conversion from FAT to NTFS. When that is finished, reboot again into Windows

  1. Get and install the Windows updates.
  2. Restore settings from old laptop Windows account using the file and settings transfer wizard.
  3. Configure the fingerprint scanner for login (did not try using it for powerup yet) because it's so cool.
  4. Make a set of Rescue and Recovery CDs (6).
  5. Run the filesystem defragger.

Reboot - press F1 to get to BIOS settings; adjust boot order to be just CD and then HD.

Resize NTFS [1]

Boot Knoppix 4.0.2 CD.

Run qtparted

  1. select sda
  2. select the NTFS partition
  3. Action->Resize, set size to 15G
  4. File->Commit to run the resize and save.

Reboot back to Windows XP to check the filesystem. At boot, it wanted to run a filesystem check - let it run. (after booting, it wanted to reboot again because it thought some device had changed - went along with it).

Install FC5

I used a single install from the DVD image - boot the FC5 DVD:

  1. Check media (takes a while).
  2. Select customized partition layout
    1. Deleted the IBM recovery partition 1
    2. Create partitions:
  /boot     ext3  100M (default)
  swap            5G (I have 2G RAM)
  /xpshare  vfat  1G (to mount to both OSs)
  /         ext3  remaining space

Proceed with normal installation (I chose Gnome desktop and did not install KDE; root will use Gnome, but I use Xfce).

This installed kernel 2.6.15-1.2054_FC5

Post-Install Setup

Log in as root.

Run 'yum update' to get updates since DVD was made.

Configure X resolution for LCD

  1. Select menu "System->Administration->Display"
  2. Hardware tab choose Generic LCD Panel->LCD 1400x1050
  3. Settings tab set resolution to 1400x1050
  4. Log out and restart X w/ ctl-alt-backspace, log in again

Switch to postfix mta (my personal preference):

 yum install postfix
 alternative --config mta (select postfix instead of sendmail)

CPU Frequency Scaling

Set the ondemand governor by adding the following to /etc/rc.local:

     modprobe cpufreq_ondemand
     echo "ondemand" > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Thinkpad Buttons

Get support for various special keys and buttons (volume, screen brightness), by installing Tpb:

 yum install tpb xosd

See How_to_get_special_keys_to_work#tpb_configuration for how to reconfigure keys.

Set up suspend and hibernate

No kernel recompile needed!

Create scripts in /etc/acpi/actions: (things to do when entering a sleep mode):

 /usr/bin/dbus-send --system --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager \
     --type=method_call /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager \
 /sbin/hwclock --systohc (things to do when waking up):

 /sbin/hwclock --hctosys
 /usr/bin/dbus-send --system --dest=org.freedesktop.NetworkManager \
     --type=method_call /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager \
     org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.wake (enter and then leave suspend-to-ram mode):

 echo -n mem > /sys/power/state
 /etc/acpi/actions/ (enter and then leave suspend-to-disk):

 echo -n disk > /sys/power/state

Set the lid switch to trigger sleep (suspend-to-ram) by creating the file /etc/acpi/events/lid.conf:


Set the "Access IBM" button to be hibernate by editing /etc/tpbrc and setting:

 THINKPAD /etc/acpi/actions/


  • Configure wifi
  • Install laptop-mode
  • Configure multi-head X server
  • Build the fingerprint reader software and integrate into login and ssh-agent


  1. I chose to just remove the IBM Recovery Partition - essentially rendering the "Access IBM" button useless at boot time, in order to get the ~4G of disk space. This may have been a higher risk choice, since apparently if I ever need to reinstall Windows from the Recovery CDs I made, the only choice will be to recreate the factory disk layout, destroying my Linux installation. Life is full of choices. There are instructions on an alternate method of doing the disk layout that retains the useful recovery partition and the "Access IBM" button; use them if 4G is less important to you than being able to restore Windows without touching Linux.