Kubuntu 9.10 runs a Lenovo Thinkpad SL500

Get ready for Christmas, so I have the task to prepare a Lenovo SL500 (LENOVO Thinkpad SL500 NRJF2GE) with an operating system. Of course Kubuntu 9.10 (or other Unix flavors) are the first choice. It is for a beginner, so it has to be easy, virus free and good for her karma. The wonderful thing about Kubuntu and other modern end user distros is, that is at least my experience, they run nearly on every hardware out-of-the box. KDE 4.3+ is nice, modern, leading edge and very easy to use. So with this Notebook, everything is wonderful, it runs under Linux, is quite fast (OK no one would call it a number cruncher, but it is more than fair), it is cheap, has a non-glare display, good choice. That’s enough for the advertising, here are 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

This laptop was bought without W*-Taxes so it comes with a clean hard disk. Check the manual, insert the battery-cells, plug to electrical power, insert a Kubuntu 9.10 64bit CD, boot with F12 pressed and the experience starts.

Installation of Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

The installation of Karmic is performing absolutely fine. In this notebook there is a Intel Celeron® (Dual-Core) T3000 2x 1,8 GHz CPU, so I used the 64-bit (amd64) version of Kubuntu (http://www.kubuntu.org/download.php)

++ Graphics card — Intel® GMA 4500MHD

XServer starts with the correct resolution and 3d support. I did not checked an external monitor, that should work with this Intel adapter.

+ 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 2 GB main memory is nearly as fast as boot from scratch considering the boot up speed of Ubuntu 9.10 :-)

++ Synaptics touch pad and mouse knob in keyboard

Also my external mouse ist running.

++ USB

Wonderful.

++ DVD

There was an issue, everything worked, I used packages from Medibuntu as you shout but all the video players vlc, xine or dragon had problems showing a DVD movie. The final solution was to set the region code of the DVD drive (in my case to 2) this can be done with regionset. Up to now I never had an issue on that, but it can happen. Allow me a short journey how efficient such problems can be solved on Linux. Open a terminal window (konsole) and type the command line of the problematic application e.g. “dragon”. Then check the messages in the console, I have found “libdvdnav: ifoOpenVTSI failed”. Now use this string for an Internet search, after three clicks and 5 minutes later you will find a solution. I love this open source idea and the community, thanks :-)

++ Keyboard

Fine from scatch, but with the kernel module “lenovo-sl-laptop” nearly complete. Just add it to the list of modules

sudo vi /etc/modules

for those who find the editor “vi” scary

kdesudo kate /etc/modules

as last line add “lenovo-sl-laptop”. After reboot nearly all media key work, for sure to test it you can load the module manually:

sudo modprobe lenovo-sl-laptop

++ Network — Realtek RTL8111/8168B – Atheros AR5001

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

++ Audio

The Intel Corporation 82801I works fine.

++ SD/MMC card reader

Registers as Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter and is working.

++ Webcam

Works fine I tried it with cheese.

++ 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.

? PCMCIA

Seems to work, I did not checked carefully.

Any hints?

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

Links

www.ibm.com — Hardware Maintenance Manual — ThinkPad SL400, SL400c, SL500, SL500c

Good starting points for Linux on Notebooks/Laptops are:
http://tuxmobil.de/

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

lspci listing

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 07)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
00:1a.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 03)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR5001 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
0c:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 02)
0d:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 05)
0d:00.1 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 22)
0d:00.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 12)
0d:00.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 12)

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