Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on a ThinkPad T61

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Revision as of 13:49, 14 September 2007 by Yaemmanuelli (Talk | contribs) (Fingerprint Reader)

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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


Intel video works out of the box, but Nvidia accelerated 3D support is not installed by default. To install Nvidia 3D support click System->Administration->Restricted Drivers Manager or go to NVIDIA and download your 32 bit or 64 bit driver and install it manually, for 64 bit that is:

  1. [CTRL]+[ALT]+[F2]
  2. $ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop (stopping the X server)
  3. $ sh (depending on the version that will be online)
  4. follow instructions in the installer
  5. $ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart (restarting the X server)

With Nvidia, you may experience a bug where the X server crashes or fails to start. Numerous solutions are provided (with mixed results) in the Launchpad bug report as well as this thread on the Ubuntu forums.

Adding a second monitor may break your xorg.conf if you use the graphical interface. I haven't tried editing the xorg file manually to see if one can be added.

With Intel, 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").

In my case, I have a 1680x1050 built-in LCD and a 1600x1200 external LCD, so I

  1. added a "Virtual 3280 1200" line in the Display SubSection of the Screen Section in my xorg.conf
  2. restarted X
  3. ran "xrandr --output LVDS --auto" to get my built-in LCD to ouput 1680x1050
  4. ran "xrandr --output VGA --right-of LVDS" to extend my desktop

I found this post to be particularly helpful in setting up video drivers. This worked well on my Thinkpad T61p with an NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M video card.

[1] 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!).

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.


The modem works with the Linuxant drivers available at

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

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

Sometimes after a resume, 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, though, so it's not a suitable replacement.

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.


The brightness controls do work 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" (apt-get install xbacklight), which allows you to set the brightness from the command line and provides a greater range of brightness values.

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 work

Network Card


Wireless switch

4-in-1 card reader


Bluetooth: The bluetooth module is detected but I have no bluetooth device to check with.

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 xrandr for Intel cards or using the Nvidia Control Panel with the Nvidia card.
Help needed
Does the new displayconfig-gtk tool work for switching video with the Intel card?
  • Network Pass-through: Works
  • Modem Pass-through: Works
  • USB ports: Connected upon docking
  • PS/2 Ports: Untested, may require a reboot.

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. r requirements.

These are the figures measured on a T61 14" 1440x900 screen 2.2ghz Core2D 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