Oravanpoika (© Rauno Lipasti 2004)

Mikko Lipasti :: Mandrake Linux on IBM Thinkpad X30

What I have

Long story short

It just works. That kind of renders this page redundant, now doesn't it :)

Install procedure

1. Selecting boot method

X30 has neither CDROM nor floppy disk drives built in. I hear you could boot from CompactFlash media, haven't tried though.

X30 BIOS supports booting from USB CDROM drives, though. This is what I used. Just plug in the USB drive, check from BIOS setup screen that booting from USB is enabled and select CDROM from boot device menu.

Another way to do it is booting from network.

Yet another way would be to open up the laptop, remove the hard drive, connect it to a normal desktop PC and do the install there. You'd miss most of the hardware autodetection magic though.

2. Want to keep Windows & the restore partition?

Mandrake installer can resize both FAT32 and NTFS partitions. If you've been using Windows a lot before installing, be sure to defrag it first. And take backups.

X30 has a hidden FAT32 partition containing recovery programs and data. You can always restore your laptop to factory defaults by booting off that partition. Be noted, however, that it will overwrite everything, including partitioning, or that's what I'm told anyway. If you want to keep it, just be sure not to accidentally delete it when fiddling with partitions in the installer. It will show up as 'windows2' (or 'windows' if you deleted the pre-installed Windows) in lilo boot screen.

3. Installation

Graphic installer won't work, you'll have to use the text-mode installer.

Graphic card and X aren't automatically enabled. Be sure to set them up at Summary screen if you wish to use them. Autodetection works fine though.

If you have FireWire devices such as the Plextor drive, you'll need libraw1394_5-0.9.0-1mdk. Just use urpmi or visit Linux1394.org if you're not running Mandrake.



APM suspend / resume work ok with the standard 9.1 kernel (2.4.21-0.13mdk). Updated kernels seem to break something.

This read "ACPI" earlier, that was a mistake, sorry. I tried ACPI but it didn't work for me.

What's working?

Haven't tested modem, Bluetooth or CompactFlash, but I hear they work too.

That'd mean everything.

Volume control and "ThinkPad" keys

Even the volume control buttons work out of the box. IBM seems to do it in hardware, which can be a bit confusing the first time it hits you: even if your software volume control is at 100% you still may hear nothing. BTW, sound quality isn't good, but hey, it's a laptop... who'd seriously listen to anything on anything less than 8 inches anyway?-) Standard 3.5 mm stereo jack is there, go ahead and plug it right into Line In on your amp.

Install tpb and xosd (urpmi finds both from Mandrake contribs) and you'll get on-screen indication of changing volume settings. You can also bind the "ThinkPad" key to launch the app of your choice by adding a line to ~/.tpbrc saying THINKPAD command


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