Installing openSUSE 10.3 GM on a ThinkPad T61

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Here are my specs on my thinkpad T61

2.0GHz 4meg cache core 2 duo

2 gigs of ram

nvidia nv140 128 megs of ram

14.1 inch 1440x900 display

atheros a/b/g wireless card

Think finger

100 GB 7200 RPM hard drive

There are other configurations out there, so hopefully people with the different parts can do their part and chip with how they got their to work.


Thinkpads have an option for either an nv140 or an Intel card. I only have the nvidia option, so someone else can add the Intel card.

Nvidia There are multiple ways to do it, but I am going to do the old fashioned way from nvidia, while it may be a little harder, you can do it with any driver.

1. Download the linux x86_64 driver from, note where you download it to. Also ensure that you installed "Linux kernel development" under yast, software. 2. once done, open a terminal console with a "ctrl- alt - f2"

3. login as root

4. execute the command init 3

5. After it is done (a few seconds later), hit enter once

6. cd to where you downloaded the file (by default /home/$USERNAME/Desktop where $USERNAME is the user WHO DOWNLOADED THE FILE)

7. executesh

8. Answer a bunch of questions, at the end answer yes to setting up you xorg.conf file.

9. Run a init 6 to reboot


All these steps are not required if you have T61 with Intel graphics card (as I do), in this case everything works just fine out of the box.


To my knowledge this laptop comes with an option for 3 different wireless network cards. Here are my instructions for the atheros, I am hoping someone else can write the instructions for everything else.

Atheros: 1.Go to madwifi's home page (using the wired Ethernet will work, or you can use another machine) From this website you can download the driver.

2. Open up the command line (konsole) and "Untar" the file with a tar xvf madwifi-

3. Switch to the root user with su then change into the directory with a cd madwifi-

4. compile the driver and load the module (it is really easy, I promise) with a make ; make install; modprobe ath_pci. You should get a bunch of jibberish on your screen and a few minutes later it will be done.

4. Open up yast by hitting "alt-f2" and typing in "yast".

5. Go to network devices -> Network card -> add

6. Select the device type to wireless

7. add to the module name ath_pci and hit next.

8. configure it for your network

9. Once you reboot you should be good to go.


My T61 comes with "Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG" wifi controller, which worked out of the box without installing any additional drivers (yeah, I did not forgot to insteall iwlwifi and iwl3945 packages during the installation).


My T61 comes with 4965agn and works out of the box with unsecured networks. On the WEP encripted network it doesn't get any IP nor does it work with static IP. I tried it with Gnome network manager, KDE network manager and result is the same. It works however on Ubuntu Gutsy with WiCd installed (with built-in NM it doesn't). But after some googling and pulling my hair out, i found this solution - in this order:

1. Open terminal window

2. su -

3. ifconfig wlan0 up

4. iwconfig wlan0 key your_key_here

5. iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed

6. iwconfig wlan0 essid your_essid_here

7. dhclient wlan0

And woila...It works!


Sound works out of the box, it is just set up a little funky. In KDE if you go to the speaker icon and click on it, then go to "mixer" to get to the settings. Here you will raise the volume on "PCM". Then go to the tab "switches" and ensure that speaker is turned on. Once you are done right click on the speaker icon again and go to "select master control". Select "PCM" and hit ok. Your buttons will now to raise and lower the volume. Mute does nothing though.


Don't forget to raise volume levels in alsamixer, they are muted by default! Everything else is works as expected (mute button mutes, volume up button raises volume and volume down vice versa).


1440x900 working great. Selected 16:10 aspect ratio when installing and then the resolution and it is working fine. The brightness adjuster doesn't work in You need to switch to a console (ctrl - alt - f2) to lower the brightness, then switch back (ctrl - alt - f7). Hopefully someone gets this working! I am pretty sure it is an issue with the nvidia driver, but I can't be for sure.


No idea about NVidia (I intentionally decided to buy a machine without it, since I'm tired of bugs in their binary-only drivers), but kpowersave is able to change the brightness here. You can do the same using /proc/acpi/ibm/brightness (see `cat /proc/acpi/ibm/brightness`).


Works like a champ, I set up a wireless mouse with it using KDE, no problem.


Bluetooth freezes my machine after waking up from suspend-to-ram (making it almost impossible to debug). I don't use any bluetooth devices, so I have just disabled it by `echo "disable" > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth`.

Think finger

Coolest feature of this laptop, of course we need to get it working.

1. Go to yast (alt-f2 and type in yast) then "hardware" -> "Fingerprint Reader". Just simply enable it and then hit finish. Yast will install a few packages and you are ready to set it up.

2. From the console execute tf-tool --add-user $USERNAME where username is your username.

3. Swipe your finger successfully three times and you are done, to login type in your username and then swipe your finger.


Yes, it works fine in console, though neither kdm, nor gdm support it, which makes this thing pretty much useless. The only advantage is that you don't need to type root password when doing 'su -'.

Suspend and Suspend to Disk

Not working so well, hit suspend and it does nothing. Suspend to disk works, and then won't successfully wake up.


Works like a charm here, both to ram and to disk. Checkout kpowersave settings and make sure you have this line: S2RAM_OPTS="-f -a3" in /etc/pm/config.d/defaults (-f is needed because T61 is quite new and not yet listed in s2ram database).

Also working here with the S2RAM_OPTS set properly as above.

In OpenSuSe 10.3, the S2RAM_OPTS should be set in: /usr/lib/pm-utils/defaults


codecs are available here :


In order to boot with ThinkVantage, OpenSUSE boot loader should be installed on /. The root partition must be a primary partition and must be active.