Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on a ThinkPad T61

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This document outlines configuring Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on your Thinkpad T61. Most items will work out of the box and a base install should provide you with a 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.

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

Installation Notes

  • If booting with the live CD gives you a blank screen you should select the "Safe Graphics" menu choice.


Accelerated Video and Desktop Effects

Intel 2D and 3D accelerated video work out of the box.

Due to | bug 111257, compiz is disabled on the Intel i965 based video cards. To fix it, download this file[1], unzip it, and follow the instructions in "description and README."

Note: If you enable Compiz on an Intel card there will be issues with viewing media files, please see the bug report above for details

Nvidia 2D video works out of the box, to enable accelerated 3D support click System->Administration->Restricted Drivers Manager

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 Synaptics and the Restricted Drivers Manager

Multiple Monitors

If you previously used Xinerama this is no longer a supported option, you should use one of the tools described below to configure dual displays.

Nvidia N140m:

When using the default drivers (The open source "nv" drivers) you can use Administration->"Screens and Graphics" to setup the second monitor

Using the proprietary drivers you must use the Nvidia tool located at Applications->System Tools-> Nvidia X Server Settings. Note: Twinview works but a movie will span both the laptop screen and second monitor or projector.

Intel X3100:

Plugging in an external monitor works, but is a clone of the built-in LCD by default. Using the Screens and Graphics tool located under Administration you can setup the second monitor as an extension of the existing screen or a clone for presentations.

Setting up dual monitors via the command line

If you like doing it via the command line and are using the Intel drivers or the open-source "nv" driver you can use this example (Note all this should be possible using the Screens and Graphics tool so only make this change if you prefer the command line method):

This is an example for a 1680x1050 built-in LCD and a 1600x1200 external LCD: Add a "Virtual 3280 1200" line in the Display SubSection of the Screen Section in your xorg.conf:

Exit to a virtual terminal (press: ctrl-alt-F1), login and type the following:

# sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
# xrandr --output LVDS --auto

To set the built-in LCD to ouput 1680x1050

# xrandr --output VGA --right-of LVDS

To extend the desktop

Fonts on High-Res Screens

On high-res screens (e.g. 15" 1680x1050), some users consider the default fonts too be too large (Launchpad bug report). You can fix this by following these steps:

  1. Open System->Preferences->Appearance
  2. Select the "Fonts" tab
  3. Click the "Details" button (lower right)
  4. Adjust the Resolution down to 96dpi
  5. Make sure you have Subpixel (LCD) Smoothing enabled
  6. Save the preferences

If you also want small fonts on the GDM login window, you can do this:

  1. Open System->Administration->Login Window
  2. Select the 'Security' tab
  3. Click the 'Configure X-Server' button
  4. Append '-dpi 96' (without quotes) to the text in the 'Command' field
  5. Reboot the computer.


Intel X3100:

The brightness controls should work out of the box on a fresh install.

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.

How? the brightness buttons aren't working for me in the virtual terminal either --Pascal 27-10-2007

This should be asked in the talk page, but are you hitting Ctrl-Alt-F1 and are you running the nv driver or nvidia driver? --Darrena 17:46, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


Inextricably Linked to the Modem

Make sure that you have the modem enabled in the BIOS. If it is disabled, you may discover (with much consternation) that your audio is also disabled. In this situation, your drivers may still load, but you will get an error message whenever you try to play audio.

After trying all of the ALSA related fixes for this machine, with no love, I remembered what a colleague had said about his T60, and tried this on a hunch. Blammo, it worked!

Enabling Audio controls

By default, the sound may be disabled and the volume control buttons on the laptop (up by the ThinkVantage button) and the volume control applet (up by the clock) will not control the speaker volume (they actually control the microphone!). this bug report links to a fixed version from an Ubuntu dev a fixed version is available To fix this:

  1. Right-click on the volume control applet (by the clock) and select "Open Volume Control"
  2. In the "Switches" tab, make sure "Headphone" and "Speaker" are both checked.
  3. Close the Volume control.
  4. Right-click on the volume control applet again and select "Preferences".
  5. Make sure the device is set to "HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)" and highlight the "PCM" option.
  6. Close the preferences.
  7. Select System->Preferences->Sound.
  8. In the "Default Mixer Tracks" section, make sure "PCM" is highlighted.
  9. Close the sound preferences.

You should now hear sound and be able to control the volume using the laptop buttons or volume applet.

A recent BIOS update [2] fixes the mute button, you can then configure it to mute/unmute audio in Keyboard Shortcuts.


There have been reports that the microphone may not work, please add your input to the talk page [3] and update this section when a consensus on the problem and solution has been reached.

Sound Cracking

There have been intermittent reports of users experiencing cracking when listening to audio. Here are a few possible solutions:

  • Try to switch to the OSS driver in system => preference => sound => devices => Music and movies, select OSS - Open sound system (instead of ALSA)
  • If this issue is only occurring for Rhythmbox go to Edit > Preferences > Playback > and Check "Use Crossfading Backend". Restart Rhythmbox and you should have better audio quality.
  • Check that the microphone is muted and modify your mixer settings by moving items like PCM down halfway and see if the cracking goes away.


Some users experience hissing during playback, and even when idle. To solve this mute the microphone when it is not in use:

  1. Run "alsamixer".
  2. Arrow over to "Mic", and hit "M" to mute.
  3. Arrow over to the first "Docking", and hit "M" to mute.
  4. Arrow to the first "Internal", and hit "M" to mute.

Now, make sure that "Headphone" and/or "Speaker" are _not_ muted, and that "PCM" is at a reasonable level (say ~70) so you don't make your ears bleed, and try playing something back. (<Esc> will exit alsamixer)


The modem works with the Linuxant drivers available at


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.

Fingerprint Reader

The reader works with ThinkFinger. General instructions available here and here. Instructions in French available at

Note that ThinkFinger in it's current version does not work with KDE and Kubuntu in any way (it crashes KDM and is not integrated at all).

Prebuilt packages are available from jldugger using Launchpad's PPA:

Add the thinkfinger package repository by creating /etc/apt/sources.list.d/thinkfinger.list with these two lines:

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

Then update the package database and install packages:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libpam-thinkfinger libthinkfinger-dev libthinkfinger-doc libthinkfinger0 thinkfinger-tools

After the package is installed add the following two lines to /etc/pam.d/common-auth

auth    sufficient
auth    required try_first_pass

Edit /etc/modules and add the following line:


Load the module manually for this session:

$ sudo modprobe uinput


  • Recording fingerprints works
  • Login works
  • The password must be entered to unlock a locked screensaver
  • sudo works
  • gksu and gksudo hang : for example it is necessary to run synaptic twice and enter your password upon failure. To be able to use the Finger print reader in the session subsequently, kill the hanging gksu/gksudo process. A workaround is editing the Gnome System Menu (alacarte) to specify sudo instead of gksu/gksudo for the launching command and choose type "Application in Terminal" : this opens an extra terminal window for each superuser application you want to use though.

Trackpad scrolling

Trackpad scrolling works out of the box in the standard thinkpad way: Slide your finger up and down the very right edge of the trackpad. Note that /etc/X11/xorg.conf will be changed and the edge scrolling will be disabled after running nvidia-xconfig , copy the trackpad section from the backup of xorg.conf

To enable using the middle mouse button to scroll, add the following lines to the "Configured Mouse" section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

   Option    "EmulateWheel"          "true"
   Option    "EmulateWheelButton"    "2"


Blank screen fix for intel graphics cards

This fix is for Intel Graphics Cards only.

You may get a blank screen when resuming from suspend or hibernate (Launchpad bug report). If so, try editing /boot/grub/menu.lst, adding "acpi_sleep=s3_bios" (no quotes) to the "defoptions" list so that it looks something like this:

 ## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
 ## alternatives
 ## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
 # defoptions=quiet splash acpi_sleep=s3_bios

Once you have edited the line and added the acpi_sleep parameter, you need to run

 $ sudo update-grub

Note that if you get the blank screen upon resume, a quick-fix is to switch to a console (Ctrl-Alt-F1) and then back to X (Ctrl-Alt-F7). This will usually bring the display back to life. However, the long-term fix is to add the acpi_sleep parameter as shown above.

How to Suspend with nVidia 140m/570m

The suspend to RAM will work with the nVidia card and the proprietary drivers, but it requires some file editing. It did not work for me out of the box. Using the package manager, download and install the latest nVidia drivers (100.14.19+ at time of writing). I also had to use the 2.6.22-12-generic kernel image (the 2.6.22-13 image did not work with this driver --- I'm assuming it has to match wit the nVidia version, but I am not an expert). (Note: I am using KDE. I would think these fixes would work for gnome as well, but someone else would have to test them.)

Once you have it installed and working, you have to make a change to /etc/default/acpi-support. Open the file in your favorite editor and change the following lines:

 $ sudo nano /etc/default/acpi-support


 # Should we save and restore state using the VESA BIOS Extensions?
 # Should we attempt to warm-boot the video hardware on resume?
 # Set the following to "platform" if you want to use ACPI to shut down
 # your machine on hibernation

This allowed me to suspend and resume, but after two suspends the wireless wouldn't work anymore. Theoretically, ACPI unloads the network drivers before suspending, but it doesn't seem to work correctly so I added these to the blacklist modules manually (in the same file as above:


 # Add modules to this list to have them removed before suspend and reloaded
 # on resume. An example would be MODULES="em8300 yenta_socket"
 # Note that network cards and USB controllers will automatically be unloaded 
 # unless they're listed in MODULES_WHITELIST
 MODULES="iwl4965 iwlwifi_mac80211 cfg80211"

Your wifi modules may be different. (I have the intel AGN wireless card -- I don't know if these modules are different for other cards.)

This allows me to suspend to ram; I haven't had any problems with it so far. I haven't gotten hibernate (suspend to disk) working, so there may be additional things you need to do for that. (I think part of my problem is that I don't have enough swap, but I don't care enough to actually fix it.)

/*The fix does not work for me. I have a T61 7664-17U(NVS 140m, 4965agn). The computers suspend, but when it wakes up it hangs up and I have to pull out the battery to restart it.*/

General hint: Do not install the package "hibernate" or "uswsusp" or the gnome-power-manager will fail to suspend/hibernate your computer. If you have installed the package don't forget to purge the configuration. (sudo apt-get remove hibernate --purge, uswsusp resp.)

Items that work out of the box

Intel Video: 2D and 3D acceleration works

Nvidia: 2D works, 3D requires the installation of the proprietary drivers

Wireless: Atheros and Intel cards both tested.

Bluetooth: Tested with both a bluetooth headset and an HTC 8525

Network Card Intel 10/100/1000 tested

Firewire Tested with hard drive

Wireless switch

4-in-1 card reader


Headphones You may need to enable Headphone out: Right-click on the volume control and select open volume control. Click the switches tab and then check the headphones box.

Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Fn-PgUp activates/deactivates the thinklight
  • Fn-Up will trigger stop on a media player
  • Fn-Down will toggle pause and play on a media player
  • Fn-Left/Right go to prev/next tracks on a media player
  • Fn-F2 properly locks the screen
  • Fn-F3 shows remaining battery >>does not work on all machines<<
  • Fn-F4 suspends (to ram)
  • Fn-F12 hibernates (to disk)
  • PrtSc opens the screenshot dialog

Docking Stations:

All docking station models should work and the following features have been tested:

  • DVI or Analog video: You can switch to it using "Administration->Screens and Graphics", if you are using the proprietary Nvidia drivers you must use the Nvidia Control Panel.
  • Network Pass-through
  • Modem Pass-through
  • USB ports: Connected upon docking
  • PS/2 Ports

Items that don't work

Wireless USB/UWB

The two USB ports on the left side of the computer fail to connect storage devices during a session but will load them at boot up.

The one USB port on the right side consistently works.

I do not have this problem and nobody else has reported it that I have seen, you may have a bad set of ports. Maybe we should move this to the talk page to attempt to troubleshoot it? --Darrena 02:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I also have this problem. It seems to be the bug mentioned in the section below. This is not even about wireless USB --Pascal, 27-10-2007

Good point, if there are no objections I will remove this section and note this problem in the section below. --Darrena 17:50, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I do not have this problem. Plus, T61's have one USB on the left and two on the right (at least my 15.4" ThinkPad does). Are you sure your ThinkPad is a T61? SteveSims 22:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Interrupt problem

Volume keys

  • mute is inconsistent
    1. sometimes fails to work at all
    2. sometimes works but doesn't display the volume box on the screen

Wireless activity LED

does not turn on at all

doesn't seem to flicker properly.

Power consumption

Gutsy is the first version of Ubuntu to feature a tickless kernel (i386 only, not in AMD64 yet). Power consumption can be monitored using the powertop tool under Ubuntu and using Lenovo battery monitor under Windows.

 $ sudo apt-get install powertop
 $ sudo powertop

I couldn't find any difference in power consumption between the i386 tickless kernel (even with 70ms average sleep in C4) and AMD64 kernel (2ms average sleep in C4). It would be expected that considerably less power would be consumed for the i386 tickless kernel.

There is also a graph available by Right-clicking on the battery icon and selecting Power History.

These are the figures measured on a T61 15.4" 1680x1050 screen 7300 processor (2GHz) 2GB RAM, Intel X3100 graphics with 4965 wifi, Bluetooth and UWB.

12.3W Windows XP Pro, all radios on, about 50% brightness
16.7W Gutsy, all radios on, 50% brightness
19.6W Gutsy, all radios on, 100% brightness
14.2W Gutsy, all radios on, 10% brightness
-1.0W Turning the physical radio switch to off on the front reduces power consumption by 1 watt.

Adding the Nvidia card increases the laptops power requirements.

These are the figures measured on a T61 14" 1440x900 screen 2.2ghz Core2Duo 2GB RAM, Nvidia 140m video, IWL4965 wifi and Bluetooth (Disabled):

18.3W Gutsy, all radios on, 50% brightness
19.4W Gutsy, all radios on, 100% brightness
16.0W Gutsy, all radios on, 10% brightness