Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on a ThinkPad T61

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Revision as of 07:09, 25 September 2007 by SteveSims (Talk | contribs) (Accelerated Video and Desktop Effects)
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Installation Notes

If booting with the default options gives you a blank screen you should select the "Safe Graphics" menu choice when booting from the live CD.

If you are doing a text mode install such as PXE/network then your screen will be corrupted during the process. Workaround and details are at


Accelerated Video and Desktop Effects

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

As of September 19, compiz is disabled on the intel video cards. To fix edit /usr/bin/compiz and around line 46 comment this portion out:

#T="$T 8086:2982 8086:2992 8086:29a2 8086:2a02 8086:2a12"  # intel 965

This edit will need to be reapplied every time compiz is updated. A more permanent method is create a script named with the following in it:

SKIP_CHECKS=yes compiz --replace

Then, make it executable by right-clicking the file, selecting Properties, then selecting Permissions, and checking the Allow executing file as program.

Double-click on the script and select Run to start compiz. To start it at boot, go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions. Click Add, name it something, and for Command enter the following:

chmod +x

Click Ok and Close.

If it doesn't work, Control + Alt + Backspace to restart X and it should be working.

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

Desktop Effects may be unstable with the proprietary driver installed by the Restricted Drivers Manager, installing version 100.14.19 as described below should resolve the problem. If you would rather stay with the version that ships with Ubuntu you can disable compiz by going to System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Desktop effects and turn desktop effects off.

Installing Nvidia drivers manually

Installing the drivers via Synaptic or the Restricted Drivers Manager are the only supported methods of installing the Nvidia driver, the method below (while it works for most people) is not supported

Download the drivers from and save it to your Desktop. Exit to a virtual terminal by pressing [CTRL]+[ALT]+[F2]

Stop the X server:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop (stopping the X server)

Remove nvidia-glx-new

$ sudo apt-get remove nvidia-glx-new

Install the drivers:

$ sh (depending on the version that will be online)

Follow instructions in the installer, when complete restart the X-Server with:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart (restarting the X server)

If you have an issue with Gnome or KDE crashing please see this bug report or search the ubuntuforums for some solutions

Multiple Monitors

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.

It has been reported that the NVIDIA drivers tend to crash with xinerama enabled. 2 displays with xinerama off has been stable.

Intel X3100:

Plugging in an external monitor works, but is a clone of the built-in LCD by default. Following the instructions on this page to extend your desktop to the second monitor does *not* work; it results in the crash described here. According to this post and this bug report, the problem is a new Xinerama implementation and an old config file.

To extend your desktop to the second monitor, you'll want to do what this page suggests (under "Dual-Head config breakage with xserver-xorg-video-intel").

Below 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:

If someone could include an example of the change described above it would be greatly appreciated

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), the default fonts are too big (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 do work not out of the box, but they should work once you apply all of the system updates.

However, there now appears to be a bug where the brightness controls stop working after you resume from a suspend.

Until the brightness bugs are finally worked out, you can install "xbacklight" (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal, type "sudo apt-get install xbacklight" without the quotation marks and hit enter), which allows you to set the brightness from the command line and provides a greater range of brightness values.

To set brightness, go back to the terminal and type "xbacklight --set VALUE" where VALUE is a number from 0 to 100 for how bright you want your display to be.

Nvidia Quadro N140: 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

NVIDIA Quadro 570M: Brightness controls do not work out of the box. As in the N140 case, changing brightness in tty1, then switching back does work. At present my system does have keybindings for the brightness controls -- I enabled them somehow -- but there are problems with it. At present I have 2 displays running, and the brightness buttons do not work in this configuration. If I disable the 2nd monitor, the brightness buttons work fine. I will document this fully once I sort out the details. Rybu


Audio does not work out of the box, but will work once you apply all the updates.

Microphone may not work with applications (like sound recorder and skype) even though sound can be heard through the speakers or headphones.

Enabling Sound and Fixing the Volume 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.

NOTE: As of Sep 20, 2007 the latest updates hoses the sound on my T61. FIXED: For some reason you have to physically hit your volume buttons on the laptop up or down to get the sound to run again and not on the rollbar or on any other volume control method (i.e. keyboard).

Intel Wireless

Intel 4965 users will find that they have a very unstable connection with random disconnects within 30 to 60 minutes of association. The issue is described in this bug report. The problem is with wpa_Supplicant and Kees Cook (An Ubuntu Developer) has posted a fixed version here. The fix should be available via a normal update soon.


The modem works with the Linuxant drivers available at


To enable bluetooth you must have the thinkpad-acpi modules loaded:

# sudo modprobe thinkpad-acpi

Then su to root (sudo doesn't work unless you put these commands into a script) to enable the root account so you can use su see [This link].

# su

To enable bluetooth:

# echo enable > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth

To disable bluetooth:

# echo disable > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth

If you would like to set the keybindings put those commands into scripts such as:

# sudo gedit /usr/bin/enablebt

Enter the following:

echo enable > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth

Close/Save the file and mark it executable # sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/enablebt

# sudo gedit /usr/bin/disablebt

enter the following

echo disable > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth

Close/Save the file and mark it executable # sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/disablebt

Modify sudoers to permit those scripts to run as root (Possible security risk)

# sudo visudo

Enter the following under the section "# User privilege specification" replacing enter_your_username_here with your username

enter_your_username_here ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/enablebt
enter_your_username_here ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/disablebt

Note: I need to lookup the keycodes to create the shortcuts, so this section is a work in progress.

A comment - I've tried finding the keycode using all the methods mentioned here [1] but the three methods "keyboard shortcuts", "showkey" and "tail" give me nothing. Fn-F8 does produce an acpi event, maybe that would be a good alternative. "ibm/hotkey HKEY 00000080 00001008". On my computer that's already set-up to run the script /etc/acpi/ So I might just turn that into a bluetooth trigger instead as I have no interest in turning keys into a number-pad (which I think is what tries to do, but fails on my system).

Fingerprint Reader

The reader works with ThinkFinger. General instructions available here.

Debian packages for i386 can be found at:

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

auth    sufficient
auth    required try_first_pass

Note: Instructions in French available at

  • 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.
Help needed
Today 14th of September 2007, after Gutsy's updates, Fingerprint is no longer prompted for login and sudo. Looks like a PAM problem. sudo tf-tools --acquire still works
Today 17th of September.. this issue is solved after updates..
19th of September.. this issue is back after updates

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.

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

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.

Intel 3495ABG Wireless

Works fine out of the box.e, the wireless card won't come back up. When the [quirk checker script] is run, it says:

 CRITICAL ERROR: Use the mac80211 iwl3945 driver instead. ipw3945d is closed source sometimes hangs on resume.

The iwl3945 driver generally only works for about 30 minutes to an hour due to a bug with wpa_supplicant see the section above on the IWL4965 for instructions on fixing this issue

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 cards work, see this section for a note regarding Intel cards

Network Card


Wireless switch

4-in-1 card reader


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
  • 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

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