Xubuntu 6.06 on ThinkPad 770E
Installing Xubuntu 6.06 on IBM Thinkpad 770E
Last updated: 9 / 2006 by Szabolcs Galambosi
The specifications and the status of my Thinkpad 770E
|Pentium II , 266
|14.1 TFT Display
Trident Microsystems Cyber 9397 4Mb
|External Floppy Drive
to the grub menu
|Internal 56k Modem
|CS4237B audio controller
||Works after some tuning
|Wireless PCMCIA card, Dlink DWL-650+
About the TP 770E
I bought this laptop second hand for 80 euros. While it is quite
ancient compared to the current lines of laptops, it is very well
built. Moreover this piece had a good set of batteries, giving me
roughly two hours of surfing. The laptop still has the original 5 Gb
hard drive, but I upgraded the memory to 224 Mb.
The 266 MHz P2, however, has its limitations. I needed something
lightweight in the X department. Damn Small Linux
works very well, but a quite new kernel in the 2.6 line is needed to
support the DWL-650+ wlan card. Also tested Debian (Sarge) with Xfce as the desktop
environment, but settled finally with Xubuntu.
Installing Xubuntu 6.06
No special procedures in the installation. The laptop had some windows
version pre-installed, which I mercyfully wiped. Later on I noticed,
that other Thinkpad users leave a small DOS partition for ps2.exe utility.
However, I've managed well without it.
With to current kernel version of 2.6.15-26-386 even the notorious
wireless card works out of the box. Very nice!
Additional setup needed
The CS4237B audio controller remained silent after the initial
installation. The necessary modules and options has to be supplied by
hand. After reading info on the 770E on ThinkWiki,
and quite a bit of googling, I managed to get the sound working
(listening to music even as I now write using xmms). The first thing
is to install pnpbios-tools.
It supplies lspnp
gives the following information:
CSC0000 Crystal PnP audio system CODEC
0f CSC0010 Crystal PnP audio system control registers
10 CSC0001 Crystal PnP audio system joystick
11 CSC0003 Crystal PnP audio system MPU-401 compatible
Running lspnp -v
shows, that the io and
disabled. So, I first used setpnp 0e on; setpnp 0f on;
setpnp 11 on. Of course you probably need
root priviledges for this. This time the relevant part
of lspnp -v | less shows
CSC0000 Crystal PnP audio system CODEC
Crystal PnP audio system control registers
Crystal PnP audio system joystick
Crystal PnP audio system MPU-401 compatible
So apparently the relevant parameters are port=0x530, cport=0x538,
dma1=1, dma2=0, irq=5. I made a script which is placed in /etc/init.d/ibm-sound
and is run on boot. Here it is:
setpnp 0e on
setpnp 0f on
setpnp 11 on
modprobe snd-cs4236 index=0 port=0x530 cport=0x538 dma1=1 dma2=0 irq=5
Partly works. Activated by Fn + F4. The
wireless card does not work after waking up. Removing and inserting the
module however fixes it.
Works out of the box.
Xubuntu with its up to date kernel has apparently a very good hardware
support. If not counting the sound system, the install is very
straightforward. The xfce environment is light enough to be run on the
770E. While surfing (firefox,
opera), mailing (thunderbird),
and even working might not be lightning speed, the system is very
usable. And thats really not bad for 80 euros.
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