A friend of mine had made the decision to finally start the move away from Windows towards using Linux. I definitely encouraged this, so I helped her to spec out a nice new laptop. She had liked my wife's Thinkpad A21e laptop running Linux, so we decided to go with a similar model. The R30 laptop was a bit cheaper than the A series, so we decided to go with that. We have previously installed Red Hat 9 on this laptop.

But now we wanted to upgrade this to Fedora Core 1. (Yes, I know that Fedora Core 2 is available but she has a dual-boot laptop, and I'm not comfortable with doing dual-boot yet with FC1 and XP, and I didn't want to experiment on someone else's Linux box.)

The laptop has this configuration:

Note that the R30 uses a hot swappable drive bay for the CD-ROM and floppy drive. You cannot use both the floppy and the CD-ROM drive at the same time (maybe you can if you have a dock.)


Since there wasn't much of her personal data on the laptop (just a few files) I was able to back up her home to a USB flash device, re-install with Fedora Core 1, and restore her home. A fresh install of a "default" desktop configuration of FC1 took about an hour. Doing the backup/restore is definitely the way to go.


This laptop has an AMR modem, which has not been supported until recently. I haven't tried it, but if you need to get the modem working, you might look into slmdm. Latest version is something like 2.7.16 or newer. Web site is smlink.com.

Instead, my friend has a PCMCIA hardware modem, and that works fine under Linux. The only problem we've had is that the modem might not be immediately recognized when you insert it in the socket. To solve this, I found if you eject the PCMCIA card, wait a second, and re-insert it, the card will work. YMMV.

The internal network card was detected and support was loaded using the e100.o module.


Sound support is loaded fine using the trident.o module. (This sound card was not working under Red Hat 9.) The grey volume buttons on the laptop do work. You may need to tap the grey buttons to set the volume, if you aren't getting any sound on your laptop.

X Windows

The video card was correctly detected by the installer, but the display was actually listed as "Unidentified". That's easy to change to "Generic laptop display 1024x768".

Other stuff

I do not have any IR devices, so I have no idea if IR support is working on the Thinkpad R30. But I don't have any reason to think it won't work.

USB was detected and support was loaded by Linux. Works fine with a USB mouse.

APM seems to work fine. When I ask Linux to shut down, it will turn off the machine, so that is working okay.

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