Installing Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn on a ThinkPad 600E

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Tested using a Thinkpad 600e model 2645-5BT

This page should help you with installing Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu on your Thinkpad 600E. For decent performance the Xubuntu distribution is recommended, however this will depend on your requirements.

For this installation you will need have at least 256Mb of RAM installed in your Thinkpad.

Please bare with me while I write this page, thanks. CnlPepper 04:45, 22 May 2007 (CEST)

Downloading Install CDs

Download the full live/install CD for your chosen distribution and burn it to a blank CD:


1.  Make sure your Thinkpad's bios is flashed to the most recent version.
2.  You must disable quickboot in the bios (access by holding F1 while powering on the machine, do not release F1 until the bios screen appears).
3.  Insert and boot the live CD.
4.  When the live CD boot menu appears highlight the first option and press F6. A line of text should appear below the menu.
5.  Add the following linux kernel options to the end of the line of text that appears:
acpi=off pci=noacpi pnpbios=off vga=0x317
6.  Once the live CD has booted, double click on install icon on the desktop and follow the installation instructions.

If you find the installation hangs before finishing (leave at least 10 mins before declaring it hung!) then disconnect any cardbus/pcmcia cards you normally have attached and try re-installing. Occasionally the install CD has issues with some, lesser supported wireless cards.


When you boot into the installed version of Ubuntu for the first time you will find that a number of items have been either incorrectly configured or have been configured sub-optimally. The following configuration settings will fix or improve the performace of ubuntu of the Thinkpad 600e.


When Ubuntu is first installed you will find that the audio output of the laptop does not work. This is due to the linux kernel mis-detecting the 600e's audio chip. To get the audio working it is necessary to blacklist the incorrect audio modules. Using a text editor running as root perform the following modifications to the system configuration files (this can be done using the nano text editor by typing sudo nano into the terminal, followed by the appropriate filename). It is recommended you back up the originals incase of mistakes.

1.  Modify /etc/modules by adding the following to the end of the file:
2.  Modify /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist by adding the following to the end of the file:
blacklist snd-cs46xx
blacklist cs46xx
blacklist snd-cs4231
blacklist snd-cs4232
3.  Replace the contents of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base with the following:
# Alsa 0.9.X kernel modules' configuration file.

# ALSA portion
alias char-major-116 snd
# OSS/Free portion
alias char-major-14 soundcore

## You need to customise this section for your specific sound card(s)
## and then run `update-modules' command.
## Read alsa-driver's INSTALL file in /usr/share/doc for more info.
## ALSA portion
#alias snd-card-0 snd-cs4232
alias snd-card-0 snd-cs4236
# You have to specify every damm paramter to get it working:
options snd-cs4236 isapnp=0 cport=0x538 port=0x530 sb_port=0x220 fm_port=0x388 irq=5 dma1=1 dma2=0
## OSS/Free portion
alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0
alias sound-slot-1 snd-card-1

# OSS/Free portion - card #1
alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss

alias /dev/mixer snd-mixer-oss
alias /dev/dsp snd-pcm-oss
alias /dev/midi snd-seq-oss

# Set this to the correct number of cards.
options snd cards_limit=1

After rebooting (or manually restarting the modules if you know how) the Thinkpad's audio should be fully functional.


Note: On some laptops (at least on mine), the sound devices are not automatically activated, even with BIOS quick boot disabled. This may be a result of using APM instead of ACPI. See the Problem with broken sound on some ThinkPads for more info. Adding the following script (not thoroughly tested!) to /etc/rc.local should enable them:
# activate devices (Thinkpad boots with devices disabled unless "fast boot" is turned off)
# Try the ACPI method first, then if it fails, use APM method.

   {echo 'activate' > /sys/devices/pnp0/00:05/resources} || setpnp 0x0e on
   {echo 'activate' > /sys/devices/pnp0/00:06/resources} || setpnp 0x0f on

# Now that devices are active, use modprobe to load the drivers.
modprobe snd-cs4236

# You may need to load these modules here instead of in /etc/modules.
# modprobe snd-pcm-oss
# modprobe vvsnd-mixer-oss
# modprobe snd-seq-oss

exit 0


By default the xserver graphics modes will be set to a 24 bit colour depth. As the neomagic card in th 600e does not support hardware acceleration in 24 bit mode the performance of the graphics will be very poor (jerky windows, poor video playback). By changing the default colour depth to 16 bit, which is supported by hardware acceleration, you can obtain a significant increase in graphics performance. To modify the default graphics colour depth open up the /etc/X11/xorg.conf in a text editor as root and locate the section of the file labelled "Screen". In this section will be the command,

Defaultdepth 24

Change this to read,

Defaultdepth 16

To allow the successful playback of DVDs (ie achieve good frame rates) a second modification to the xserver configuration is required. To obatin a decent rate of DVD playback you need to tell the xserver how much menory it can allocate to perform video overlay. To do this find the section labelled "Device" and a add a line containing,

Option "OverlayMem" "829440"

The xserver will need to be restarted fo these modifications to take effect (either via reboot or by manually restarting the server)


see ubuntu forums if your particular card is undetected.

Power Settings

acpi needed to be disabled, need to use apm.

nano -w /etc/modprobe.d/power

add the following bit of code to the new file:

options apm power_off=1 realmode_power_off=1


DVD Playback

totem-xine + libdvdcss2 + xine extra codecs = perfect