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Last updated: September 21st 2006
General Hardware Specifications of the Thinkpad T22:
Status under Linux
|Pentium III Processor, 900 MHz||Works||No special procedure required during installation.|
|14.1 TFT Display||Works||Select Generic LCD Display with 1024x768 resolution in Installer|
|S3 Inc. Savage/IX-MV||Works||No special procedure required during installation|
|256MB, SDRAM, 2DIMMs||Works||No special procedure required during installation|
|30 GB ATA Hard Drive||Works||No special procedure required during installation|
|Integrated Network Card Intel Ethernet Pro 100||Works||No special procedure required during installation|
|Internal 56k Modem Agere LT WinModem||Not tested||I heard you can download the driver from Lucent|
|CD/DVD Drive||Works||Watching DVD not tested|
|D-Link DWL G630 CardBus (Texas Instruments ACX 111)||Works||Need to install ndiswrapper and drivers from CD (see below)|
|Cirrus Logic CS 4614/22/24||Works||No special procedure required during installation|
This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.17-1.2142_FC4
I tried using other distributions on this machine (Gentoo, Arch Linux, SuSE, Fedora Core 5, Ubuntu, Slackware) and they all were either pretty painful to setup or did not allow me to use my T22 efficiently. Fedora Core 4 is a very solid ditribution for those who intend to use their computer as a work tool (those who want a gaming platform or a multimedia toy will be fairly disappointed by Fedora Core 4 as it doesn't include mp3 players, Macromedia Flash, a DVD reader and other multimedia applications). I was able to easily install development tools such as GCC, gdb, Emacs and all necessary libraries by selecting the 'Workstation' option during the installation. The distro is actively maintained (even though FC5 is now available). Keeping the system up to date is really easy with the command line tool 'yum'.
There is one drawback however. With FC4 (as well as FC5), you are often required to install packages that you do not need. Almost all the packages are compiled with all options turned on. Thus the packages have a lot of dependencies. For exemple, if you use Gaim, you will not be able to uninstall Evolution-Data-Server because Gaim has an optional support for EDS. But unless you are very short on disk space, this should not be a problem (at the time of writting this article, my Fedora install takes 3.7Gb, including some optional packages and the rather big Mathematica software).
You can download FC4 by going to http://fedora.redhat.com/Download/mirrors.html and selecting a mirror near you. Then navigate to 4/i386/iso/ and download the 4 CD images. I did need the 4 CDs during installation. I guess you could install a basic system with only the first one or two CDs, but I recommend using the four CDs as it makes installation easier. I think you can also buy CDs from some resellers.
I wanted this machine to dual boot with Windows XP. I first installed Windows and during the installation, I erased all the partitions on the hard drive (including the recovery partition, which you may want to keep). I created a 8Gb partition for Windows and left the remaining space for Fedora. Once Windows installation was complete, I was ready to install FC4.
First, shutdown the computer (a reboot will not work because during a reboot, the BIOS will not let you choose the boot medium). Then turn it on and press F12 when the computer offers you to do it. Insert FC4 CD1 and select your CDROM drive. The system will boot from the CD (you can just type ENTER at the prompt to load the default kernel which works just fine for the installation). The installation is pretty straightforward. You can select the default options most of the time (especially regarding the firewall and SeLinux). If you want development tools, use the 'Workstation' option. I let the installer partition automatically my hard drive using the free space. The default desktop environment for FC4 is Gnome. If you prefer to use KDE, when you are asked whether you want to customize the package selection say yes and in Desktop Environment, check KDE (your can even uncheck Gnome if you are not planning to use it).
When all the configurations are done, the installer will start copying packages on the hard drive. This takes a while (about one hour) and you need to change the CDs once in a while. Then, after rebooting, there are some more questions concerning the sound card and the display. The CirrusLogic sound card gets detected and works (when you click the 'Test Sound' button, you should hear something; if you don't, try pushing the little volume buttons on the keyboard). For the display, the Savage card gets detected but not the display. So choose Generic LCD and a 1024x768 resolution. You should select 16bits color (thousands of color). Then, you are done.
When you first login into your account, you should launch system-config-services (if you use KDE, it is located in K menu (the little red hat) -> System -> Services or K menu -> System settings -> Server settings -> Services). First, remove lm_sensors from all runlevel. There are known problems with lm_sensors and Thinkpads, so you should avoid using them. Then, the T22 doesn't have bluetooth so you can uncheck that. Cpuspeed is not working properly on Linux so you can remove it. If you do not connect your computer to a printer you won't need cups and cups-config-daemon. If you don't need isdn remove it. Same thing if you don't use RAID, uncheck mdmonitor. You can remove rhnsd as it does not work very well (using yum on the command line is much better). If you do not plan to connect to your computer from another computer, you should disable sshd. APM works better then ACPI with the T22 so disable acpid and make sure apmd is enabled. Finally, you might want to enable pcmcia, NetworkManager and NetworkManagerDispatcher if you use a wireless card (more on this latter). Save all your changes and quit.
Then, to make sure that FC4 uses APM, you should edit the file
/boot/grub/grub.conf as root with your favourite text editor (I like vim):
su -c 'vim /boot/grub/grub.conf'
and add "acpi=off apm=on" on the kernel line. It should look like this:
title Fedora Core (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet acpi=off apm=on
With apm (and the latest updates) you will have suspend to ram working fairly well. Then you should go into K menu -> Control Center -> Power Control -> Laptop Battery and choose APM Config. There click on the "Setup Helper Application". This will enable APM control in KDE.
Since Fedora Core 4 has been released quite a while ago (june 2005),
there are tons of packages that need updating. Make sure your internet
connection is active, open a terminal and type
su -c 'yum update'
After checking with the online repositories, yum will tell you that there are a couple of hundreds of packages to update (in fact, almost all the packages on your system will need to be upgraded). Say yes and go do something else as the update procedure will take some time (depending on your connection speed). A couple of hours later, you will have all the new packages installed. If at some point yum fails, just restart it until it complete its job. Then, restart the computer (a new kernel will be available). You will now be into a fully working and up to date Fedora Core 4 system. At this point, I recommend you double check your Services settings to make sure yum did not overwrite them.
Until I completed the above procedures (APM and update) I had problems with my display and with turning the computer off. When I turned off the computer, the display would become all green and red and the computer would not turn off even after two or three minutes. I had to hold down the power button a couple of seconds to suthdown completely. If you get the same problem, do not worry because after the upgrade and adding the apm=on to the kernel line, everything went smoothly.
I personally like Pine a lot. I think it is one of the best and easiest
to configure email client available. Fedora Core comes with Evolution and
Mutt. Evolution uses a lot of resources and on a computer such as the T22
(which is relatively old), resources are scarce. Mutt is very hard to
configure and to use. You need to go through tons of documentation pages
in order to know how to use Mutt. Pine is easy. You get all the
functionality you need and there is always this nice little bar at the bottom
that tells you what happens if you press such and such key. Anyways, if you
like Pine, you will be disappointed by the fact that it is not available by
default with FC4. You will need to enable the Livna repository in order to
get Pine (as well as ndiswrapper). To do this simply enter the following
command in a terminal:
su -c 'rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-4.rpm'
This will enable the livna repository and install the GPG key for that repository. Then, you can install Pine with:
su -c 'yum install pine'
This particular network card has a Texas Instrument ACX111 chipset which
is very linux unfriendly. However, you can get the card to work perfectly
with ndiswrapper. First of all, make sure the livna repository is enabled
(see above) and then issue the command:
su -c 'yum install ndiswrapper'
This should install the userspace tool ndiswrapper as well as the kernel module. Then insert the CD that came with the D-Link card, mount it, and issue the following commands:
mount /dev/hdc /media/cdrom
su -c '/usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -i /media/cdrom/Drivers/WinXP/TNET1130.INF'
su -c '/usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -m'
su -c '/sbin/depmod -a'
Then, in order for wlan0 to show in the Internet Configuration Wizard I had to add the following line to /etc/modprobe.conf:
alias wlan0 ndiswrapper
Then you can launch Internet Configuration Wizard (K menu -> System -> Internet Configuration Wizard). Select Wireless and follow the instructions. You can then insert the card. If you have the NetworkManager service running, the card should get detected automatically and you should be able to connect to your access point.
To connect to some resources provided by my home university (as well as to secure my wireless connection), I need to estalish a VPN connection with the Windows server of the university. Those servers use the PPTP protocol which is somewhat difficult to set up on Linux. To get it to work, I followed the instructions on http://pptpclient.sourceforge.net/howto-fedora-core-4.phtml. If you use the latest kernel provided with FC4, you do not need to patch it.
There is a nice tool called tpb which displays usefull information on
the screen when you press the special buttons on the keyboard (such as volume
buttons, screen brightness, thinklight). You can install tpb with
su -c 'yum install tpb'. I think you need to kill X (and maybe
even to restart your computer) for tpb to begin working.
Fedora Core 4 uses UTF-8 encoding by default. I guess this is fine for
most people, but I do have problems with unicode and Pine (Pine developpers
say they are working on making Pine unicode-aware, but for now, it is not).
So I simply add this line to the file .bashrc in my home directory:
and set Pine to use ISO-8859-1 character encoding.
That is fairly weird and I have found no solution up to date. So I just plug in my Kingston Data Traveler in the computer and then I check my emails, take a coffee and the key gets detected.
I did not try this with Fedora but I had the problem will all other distributions I have tried. I can get the S-Video to work using S3switch program. My desktop appears on my TV. However, if I try to watch a DVD, the DVD window on my laptop shows me the movie just fine, but the same window on the TV is all blue. This is a weird problem to which I found no solution up to now. In fact, watching DVDs on my TV is the only reason why Windows XP is still installed on my T22.
I did not even bother to try to get the modem working. I think some people actually did get it to work using the drivers provided by the manufacturer. You can find more information about that on the ThinkWiki website (see link below).
First of all, I do have problems with suspending to ram when a network device is on (either when the Ethernet cable is plugged in or when the D-Link card is plugged in). The system either won't go to sleep or will go to sleep but still do something (and generate a lot of heat that don't get dissipated by the sleeping fan). So it is important to unplug any network device before closing the lid of the computer. Also, most of the time the network devices won't come back to life automatically upon wake up. I have to manually reactivate them with the Network Device Control utility.
Then, there is a minor problem with the KDE battery meter. When the computer comes back from suspend mode, the battery meter goes wild. It indicates that the battery has 70 or 80 hours left (which is ridiculously high). Things come back to normal only after a reboot.
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