Kubuntu 7.10 on a Lenovo R61i

I just got my new Lenovo Notebook and Kubuntu 7.10 installs and runs perfectly. I am really happy, nearly everything is operational just out-of-the box. It is based on Intel Santa Rosa platform so, who says Linux will not run on leading edge hardware?. Read the details:

Disclaimer

This page is nothing more than my personal experiences with my notebook. This is nothing official from any vendor! I am not responsible for anything you do with your hard- and software. For any support contact the respective vendors! Please respect the legal notice.

Who should read the following description? The machine runs mostly “out-of-the-box”. All the rest is due to you. Be willing to learn, follow instructions form Ubuntu geeks, accept to fail and start again. At least you should know:
  1. How to operate apt or Adept Manager
  2. Read Readme-Files and HowTos
  3. Read Error-Messages and use search machines to find a solution

A good resource for hints, tips and questions is http://ubuntuforums.org/

Preparations

In Germany you can not buy this laptop without Windows for a reasonable price. I hope the European Union wakes up in some months ;-) The package comes without any media. Neither operating system, nor a recovery CD or DVD. Via the “ThinkVantage”-button you can boot in a recovery mode, which resist on a 5 GB partition. As I do not need a thing called Windows at all, I refused to accept the EULA and made a backup of the complete hard disk using the Kubuntu Live CD.

Let’s go: Boot the laptop from Kubuntu Live CD, attach a external USB-hard-disk, open a shell e.g. by pressing Alt+F2 enter “konsole” and now you can use the dd-command for low-level backup. Just as example:

sudo dd if=/dev/sda | gzip --fast -c | split -d -b 650m  - /media/disk/r61i/sda_image.gz.

restore (hopefully) with somewhat like:

sudo cat  /media/disk/r61i/sda_image.gz.* | gunzip -c | sudo dd of=/dev/sda

Please! Do this on your own risk. Learn about dd in advance (Google is your friend). Be aware the whole process will take more than an hour, because there is a 160 GB storage to be processed at low-level. Finally on my USB-hard-disk it was about 30 GB backup data.

Installation of Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)

The installation of Gutsy is performing absolutely fine. In my notebook there is a Core 2 Duo T5250 1.5 GHz CPU, so I used the 64-bit (amd64) version of Kubuntu (http://www.kubuntu.org/download.php)

++ Graphics card — Intel GMA X3100

XServer starts with the correct resolution and 3d support.

Remark: Since Kubuntu 10.04 fullscreen browser flash videos are not displayed, you see just a blank screen, audio still works. Solution is to create a file /etc/adobe/mms.cfg switching OverrideGPUValidation=true.

echo "OverrideGPUValidation=true" > /tmp/mms.cfg
sudo mkdir /etc/adobe
sudo mv /tmp/mms.cfg /etc/adobe

+ Power management — ACPI

Battery sensor works, screen power save and automatic shutdown on low energy level. Furthermore the ACPI controlled key as describes in paragraph Keyboard.

++ Suspend to ram

Works as designed, I do not know if really every device is up and running again after suspend but it seems so USB, network, no complains from my side.

++ Suspend to disk, hibernate

Works as designed, check suspend to ram. Honestly I have to say suspend to disk with 3 GB main memory is nearly as fast as boot from scratch :-)

++ Synaptics touch pad and mouse knob in keyboard

Also my external mouse is running.

++ USB

Wonderful.

++ Keyboard

Nearly complete, turn up and down the sound, mute, suspend to ram, zoom, and media keys next, prev, pause/play, stop. With Kubuntu 10.10 the brightness control of the display is functional, maybe also with earlier versions.

++ Network — Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG WLAN

Both network adapters work out-of-the-box.

++ Audio

Runs. After installation the channel PCM was muted, so open kmix and turn it loud.

+ SD/MMC card reader

Registers as Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter and is working. All my SD-card were mounted.

++ Bluetooth

Works with my mobile phone.

? Modem

I do not know, it is a SoftModem maybe you get it going with the help of ThinkWiki.

? Fingerprint reader

I have no use for it, also give ThinkWiki a try.

? PCMCIA

Seems to work, I did not checked carefully.

Any hints?

Please send me any hints, new tips, report errors, etc. via comment below. Please no support requests, thanks!

Links

www.ibm.com — Hardware Maintenance Manual — ThinkPad R61, R61e, R61i
Good starting points for Linux on Notebooks/Laptops are:
http://tuxmobil.de/

http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/

15 Gedanken zu „Kubuntu 7.10 on a Lenovo R61i

  1. Daniel Sali

    Hi!
    I managed to enable screen brightness adjustment using the FN+ Home and End key combinations, here is how to do it:
    1. You have to use the ibm_acpi kernel module (called thinkpad_acpi in newer kernel verssions):
    echo ‘level 7′>/proc/acpi/ibm/brightness
    echo ‘level 0′>/proc/acpi/ibm/brightness
    This should change the brightness of your screen, and display the slider.
    You need write access to the files under /proc/acpi/ibm.
    You can adjust the brightness from 0 to 7.
    2. If you want to be able to use the keyboard shortcuts, you have to modify /etc/acpi/thinkpad-brightness-up.sh and /etc/acpi/thinkpad-brightness-donw.sh to the following:
    #!/bin/bash
    echo up>/proc/acpi/ibm/brightness

    #!/bin/bash
    echo down>/proc/acpi/ibm/brightness

    3. You have to install the following packages:
    tpb, kmilo, kmilo-legacy and you should delete kmilo-generic.desktop (use locate: to find it)
    and you have to launch ‘kcmshell thinkpad’ and tick the Run KMilo Thinkpad buttons checkbox.

    I hope this will work for you,
    Best,
    Daniel

  2. Gloygum

    Hi & thanks for getting a blog going on the R61i — we just got one.

    @ Daniel: Thanks for the tips on the brightness controls. Mine didn’t work out of the box, but they do now! Had to use sudo -i in order to obtain write permissions to the acpi files, Regular sudo+command wan’t good enough for some reason.

    Now, I just need to be able to get the thing to come back from a suspend to RAM & I’ll be happy.

    – gu

  3. Marcus

    @gloygum:

    After resume simply press STRG+ALT+F1 (you’ll see textmode screen) und then ALT+F7. This is not very satisfying, but it works for me.

  4. Mark

    Werner:

    Your blog is very informative and helpful. I just purchased a R61i at a good price, and installed Kubuntu 7.10 (64 bit) based on your experience. It seems to work very well, but I can’t get video to work as there appears to be a problem with 64 bit codecs. Any suggestions as to how to get the video and audio working?

    Thanks.

  5. Mark

    Also, to regarding response #3, you mention regaining control of the backlighting using STRG+ALT+F1 and then ALT+F7. What do you mean by ‘STRG’? Also, I assume you have this problem with the 32 bit version, as resume works fine on my 64 bit install.

    Mark

  6. Werner Roth Artikelautor

    Hi Mark,

    I took the video codecs from http://medibuntu.org/ they are working well. At first glance I was unsure, because the 64bit packages are much smaller than the 32bit.

    I am using the system for three months now, watching movies, small video clips, youtube, etc. never got a problem.

    BTW: The DVD drive is not my favorite, it is loud and some of my brand new DVDs can not be read.

    Best Regards
    Werner

  7. Mark

    Werner:

    Thanks for the help. I’ve been using Ubuntu for about a year, but in many ways still feel like a ‘newbie’. What about Flash Player and Java Runtime Environment? Will they work with the 64-bit version? I tried loading one yesterday (honestly don’t remember which) and it would not load – got a message about trying to install the wrong version.

    Finally, what about emulation? Will VM Player work with 64 bit?

    Thanks again.

    Mark

  8. Liam

    Thanks for the write-up. I’ve just used this advice to recommend a laptop to my mum. She’ll be on GNU/Linux in no time! :D

  9. Mark

    Werner:

    You responded to my several questions in January – thanks again for your help! Regarding your response #9 – could you recommend a tutorial or ‘howto’ in setting up VirtualBox on Kubuntu 7.10? I’m still learning on the virtualization side, and Virtualbox seems a bit ‘complicated’ at this point.

    Thanks again. Mark

  10. Gaspar

    Thanks for the info, made for a smooth installation of Ubuntu 8.04. My R61i comes with an internal mic which doesn’t work right away. Two reasons for this: (1) ALSA selects the external mic as default, so you need to change this (for example with alsamixer) and (2) the mic is mute by default and doesn’t show in the Volume Control window. To fix this, just follow instructions found in https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AudioCapture. After changing this, I tested the internal mic with Skype and worked fine.

  11. federico

    Hi there
    thanks in advance
    i have the lenovo r61i and it seems that have toruble with HP laser 1020 and also with internet conections. i migrate from xp to ubuntu and then i wnet to mint and both had problems with the conection. searching here in my cheap pc (but works better) i found many users with same problem but i did not find the solution.
    i appreciate any suggestion
    also i run xubuntu, because i check if the os was the problem, but as soon i start the instalation the message was that not conection

    thanks

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