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Installing Fedora 5 on IBM Thinkpad T30

Last updated: 1st June 2006

General Hardware Specifications of  IBM Thinkpad T30 Type 2366-83G:

Hardware Components
Status under Linux
Mobile Pentium IV Processor, 1.8 GHz Works No special procedure required during installation.
14.1 SXGA+ TFT Display Works Select Generic LCD Display in Installer
ATI Video ( Radeon M 7500 ) Works No special procedure required during installation
256MB, SDRAM, 2DIMMs Works No special procedure required during installation
40 GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
Speedtouch 330 USB Modem (Rev 4.0) Works requires Firmware. See Below
Integrated Network Card Works No special procedure required during installation
Internal 56k Modem Detected Not Tested
NEC 6650A DVD-RW Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
BT1060 Wireless PCMCIA Card Doesn't Work Given up
TV-Out Not Detected Not Tested
AC '97 Audio Controller/Sound Card Works No special procedure required during installation

This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.15-1.2054_FC5

Basic Installation of Fedora CORE 5


Downloaded and burned the 2.6.15-1 i386 FC5 ISO image onto a DVD-R, using DeepBurner. My Thinkpad had a Windows XP Pro installation and I wanted to keep that to dual boot. Initially I had some problems getting the FC5 DVD to boot, and then later discovered that the NEC 6650A DVD-RW drive was at fault (More on this later). As a temporary measure, I borrowed a friends compatible DVD-ROM and that was able to boot from the FC5 DVD that I burned.

I used Partition Magic under Windows XP to resize my partitions to the following : 1. 18 GB Primary Windows NTFS partition 2. 9.2 GB Primary ext3 Linux Partition 3. 0.5 GB Linux SWAP partition 4. 10 GB  Extended FAT32 Windows Partition

Installation was fairly straight forward thanks to Stanton Finley's excellent Fedora 5 Installation notes :

Post-Install modifications/tweaks

Worked fine in 800x600 resolution. I had to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf adding the following entires to get it to display 1024x768 :

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "Monitor Vendor"
ModelName "LCD Panel 1024x768"
HorizSync 31.5 - 48.5
VertRefresh 40.0 - 70.0
Option "dpms"

I haven't tried setting any higher VertRefresh rates greater that 70.0, but I am going to try taking this up to 80.0 to support higher resolutions.

Sound card detected. Tested and no problems found.

The internal intel ethernet controller worked right away, but I still haven't been successfull in configuring the BT 1060 PCMCIA Wireless Card. This card is not detected when plugged in and none of the lights on it lit up as it does in Windows. eth0 is configured to initialise at startup, if you don't have a network cable plugged in. If you're dialing up to a ADSL broadband service, you need to configure a ppp0 interface, and this can be done as explained in the Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL Modem section below.

Power Management
ACPI works without any modifications.

Internal 56K Data/Fax Modem
Detected properly but I haven't tested this as I don't use it.

NEC 6650A DVD-R/W Drive
Works fine. Downloaded Xine and successfully tested DVD playing. Then downloaded GnomeBaker and tested that burning DVDs works fine too. Hotswapping the DVD drive in the Thinkpad Ultrabay causes a system freeze however, and I haven't found any remedies for this problem yet..

Thinkpad Buttons
Volume/Brightness seemed to work without any configurations changes however the on-screen display did not function. To get this working I downloaded and installed tpb, the ThinkPad button support utility which is available with the Fedora Extras package. The on-screen display for the Thinkpad buttons works flawlessly with tpb.

Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL Modem
I have a ADSL connection from Virgin Broadband, and this USB modem came along with the subscription. There is a lot of information about this modem on the internet, and its problems in Linux are well known. Finally, what got my modem working was the advice given for PPP over ATM at :

Follow this advice and you should be connected to the internet in no time. You'll need to download the requisite files from an online system prior to installing this modem. If you live in the United Kingdom, the VP.VC values should be 0.38. At the command prompt, an /sbin/ifconfig should show how that the the ppp0 was configured.

Accessing Windows Partitions
FAT32 partitions are seen in Linux by default, and you will just need to mount them. Its recommended to have a small FAT32 partition to share files between your Windows and Linux systems, if you intend to dual boot. To access NTFS partitions, you will have to install kmod-ntfs. Another option is to recompile the kernel. But both options will only give you read access to the NTFS partitions, you cannot write to them.

Unresolved issues
lSPCI Output

/etc/X11/> /sbin/lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge (rev 04)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #1) (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #2) (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM USB (Hub #3) (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 42)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801CAM ISA Bridge (LPC) (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801CAM IDE U100 (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM SMBus Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]
02:00.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1520 PC card Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
02:00.1 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1520 PC card Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82801CAM (ICH3) PRO/100 VE (LOM)Ethernet Controller (rev 42)

SUMMARY & Contact Information

Overall Fedora Core 5 installed very cleanly on the Thinkpad T30. I was pleasantly surprised at how far Linux distros have come in terms of user-friendliness during/after install since the days when you needed a miracle to get you're X-Windows up, or have 10 years of Unix system administration experience up your sleeve!

Please do contact me if you need any help in installation of Fedora Core 5 on your Thinkpad, or you have something to add to these notes.

Sanjib Mitra
Email : sanjibm2006

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