Installing Fedora Core 4 on a ThinkPad T43 (2668)

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Installation is quite smooth, but requires some work by hand. I enlist only the changes


Add the dynamic clock option in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. It aims to provide a moderate boost in battery life. The device section should contain a videocard section like the following one:

Section "Device"
       Identifier  "Videocard0"
       Driver      "radeon"
       VendorName  "Videocard vendor"
       BoardName   "ATI Radeon Mobility M300"
       Option      "DynamicClocks" "on"

Wireless Network Installation

Running # lspci shows

04:02.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)

I got the madwifi source code from MadWifi Home Page. Compile after downloading:

# tar xzf madwifi-cvs-current.tar.gz
# cd madwifi
# make
# su
# make install


The module version included in current kernels (2.6.12) is 0.8, but the current version of the module is 0.11. It has some advantages. For directions on how to install this driver, please refer to Ibm-acpi. After compilation, edit /etc/rc.local:

# This script will be executed *after* all the other init scripts.
# You can put your own initialization stuff in here if you don't
# want to do the full Sys V style init stuff.

touch /var/lock/subsys/local

modprobe ibm_acpi experimental=1 hotkey=enable

The last line enables hotkeys. To utilize supsend to RAM or to disk, the acpid has to be configured.

Alternatively, you can do the same thing by adding the following lines to /etc/modprobe.conf (2.6 kernels):

 options ibm_acpi experimental=1 hotkey=enable

Suspend to disk

To get suspend to disk working, fetch a recent kernel and recompile. For further instructions, take a look at the swsusp-Section in How to make ACPI work. Especially configure the kernel to suspend to the swap partition. If you're not sure, take a look at the partitition list output by issuing in command line

# fdisk -l

Don't forget to compile SCSI and the Intel SATA into the kernel. Do a

# make && make install

Check the boot loader (ususally grub) to include the new kernel.

Reboot and do a

# echo -n 4 > /proc/acpi/sleep

If everything works, the system will be shut down to disk.

Suspend to RAM, DMA for DVD drive

See Problems with SATA and Linux.

Problems with Audio

Although most have claimed no problems with audio using Fedora Core 4 on a T43 (model 2668), I had persistent problems. These were manifest by IRQ errors:

irq 11: nobody cared!
Disabling IRQ #11

By moving IRQs in the BIOS configuration from IRQ 11 to IRQ 10, I was able to narrow the problem down to what the ThinkPad BIOS refers to as IRQG which corresponds to the audio system. After preventing loading of the sound module (snd_intel8x0), the IRQ problems went away but I had no audio.

After much searching for a solution, I found someone who was having the same problem. After upgrading through several kernel releases without success, I finally re-compiled using the options suggested by Mr. Schwenke regarding the interrupt controller. The new kernel, derived from 2.6.14-1.1637_FC4 and also patched for the suspend to RAM problem (Problems with SATA and Linux) works great.

External Sources