Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) Tribe 4 on a ThinkPad T61

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Revision as of 20:34, 23 August 2007 by Darrena (Talk | contribs) (Bugs)

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Initial Install

Issue #1: The initial install from the live CD graphical installer does not work if the laptop is in SATA AHCI mode. You have to go into the BIOS (Press the ThinkVantage button almost as soon as you turn on your computer) and set the SATA controller to "Compatibility" mode or else you get a "can't access tty" error. After Ubuntu is installed and you've done an "apt-get update" you can -- and should -- set the controller back to AHCI mode.

Issue #2: The initial install from the live CD graphical installer hangs with a blank tan screen after gdm loads. It is clear that gdm is running, but the desktop never actually loads. The solution is to:


  1. switch to a console (Ctrl-Alt-F1)
  2. type "sudo bash"
  3. type "killall gdm"
  4. type "/etc/init.d/gdm start"

Note that typing "/etc/init.d/gdm stop" does not work for step 3 -- you must run "killall gdm".


  1. Simply (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace) which will kill gdm, and bring you back to the login screen. Login as normal now.


You can access a good tool for changing video (and for that matter, keyboard and many other devices) options by running the following in the terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal):

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg


At higher resolutions, the gnome toolbars function in a smaller area than the rest of the desktop. This is because the TV output is turned on. If you see the login screen show up in the top-left corner of the screen, taking up only 2/3 of the screen, then you have this issue and you'll need to disable the TV output.

To turn the TV output off and fix the small desktop issue, add the following section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

 Section "Monitor"
   Identifier "TVOutput"
   Option "Disable" "true"

and then in the Device Section, add the option:

 Option "monitor-TV" "TVOutput"

Reference: [1]


As of August 22nd the latest Nvidia driver is available via Restricted Driver Manager and the steps below are not required.

If you would like 3D acceleration then you must download and install the proprietary drivers from Nvidia here:

To install these drivers:

  1. install build-essentials from Synaptic
  2. Download the drivers from the link above to your home directory
  3. When the download completes hit Ctrl-ALT-F1 to drop to a console.
  4. Login and type:
    1. sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
    2. sudo sh

If the file you download is newer that 100.14.11 make sure you modify the command appropriately

When asked, permit the installer to modify xorg.conf

Reboot: # sudo shutdown -r now

With each new Kernel release this process must be repeated except you should tell the installer to not update xorg.conf


Audio does not work out of the box. You need to download and compile ALSA from CVS

Also look at Ubuntu Launchpad bug# 122560 for the relevant patches to apply over Alsa driver 1.0.14 if you do not want to use the CVS version.


Thinkpad 11A/B/G

The Atheros card works with the Madwifi driver included as part of the Restricted-Modules package in Gutsy and should be installed by default

Intel IWL4965 A/G/N

The iwlwifi driver included in Gutsy often stops transmitting or receiving after an hour or so. This issue supposed to be resolved in version 1.0.0-1 which is included in any system updated after August 22nd

Fingerprint Reader

The reader works with ThinkFinger, see instructions at: [2]

Trackpad scrolling

To enable using the middle mouse button to scroll add the following in your Trackpoint section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

       Option          "EmulateWheel"          "on"
       Option          "EmulateWheelButton"    "2"

Trackpad scrolling works out of the box for me in the standard thinkpad way: slide your finger up and down the very right edge of the trackpad --Plumpy 23:04, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


Font Issues on High-Res Screens

On high-res screens (15" 1680x1050), the default fonts are too bold above 8 or 9px (the exact number depends on the font). I have not heard people with normal-resolution screens complaining about this. You can easily see this by running gnome-specimen and gradually stepping up the font size. At some point (usually around 8-9px) the font will turn bold.


Suspend has major problems. Suspend-to-disk always hangs, and the only suspend-to-ram command I've gotten to work at all is "s2ram -f -a1". About half the time s2ram never resumes, and usually when it fails to resume it just shows a blank console with "Linux!" written in the upper left. However, even when it does resume to the desktop, it invariably does something very odd: It *loses* a processor and a half. Before running s2ram you can do a "cat /proc/cpuinfo" (note the space after the word cat) and see two processors running at ~1800MHz, but after resuming from a s2ram, the same command will only show a single processor running at ~900MHz, and any further suspends will completely hang the system. Very bizarre.

Console Switching

After a while of running in X mode, it becomes impossible to switch to a console and see anything. I've not figured out any pattern here, but this is what eventually happens after a few hours: You do a Ctrl-Alt-F1 (or F2 or whatever) to go from X to a console, and all you see is a blank screen. The console is actually there and running -- you just cannot see it. You can log in blind and type commands into the console and they'll run just find; you just cannot see what you're doing.


After installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers you will be unable to modify the brightness setting. A workaround is to drop into a text console by hitting ctrl-alt-F1, modify the brightness and then return to X windows with ctrl-alt-F7. Your X session will not be lost and you can do this with applications running.

Open Launchpad bugs related to the T61

General listing of issues: [3]

Update ALSA to support the sound card in the T61: [4]

Brightness dialog doesn't always disappear: [5]

Wireless connection "Hangs" after a couple of hours

This is reported to be fixed in version 1.0.0.-1 which is included in systems updated after August 22nd