Linux on the IBM ThinkPad i Series

I recently acquired a IBM ThinkPad i Series 1300 1171 370 notebook computer. Since I primarily run linux, it was only natural to install linux on this machine.

I have successfully installed Redhat 7.0 and have had only a few difficulties. Redhat installed right out of box using the built in CDROM drive, however, it will not boot properly. The pcmcia card managaer(cardmgr) locks the machine hard and I need to turn it off and on again to get going. The sound also doesn't work out of box and still isn't fixed in kernel 2.2.17(The ALSA sound drivers get this working). I elaborate on these problems and describe work-arounds, if I know them, below.

Problem Hardware and Work-arounds

XFree86 3.x and X Windows

To install X, simply run the Xconfigurator tool by typing Xconfigurator at the prompt when you are root, and choose the SMI Lynx EM+ graphics card option when asked. The i1300 1171 370 has 4 MB of video RAM, some models only have 2 MB. Check the IBM page for details. When asked about a monitor, I just chose the generic LCD at 1024x768 option and all worked fine. Bear in mind that some i Series machines only have 800x600 displays and so you should choose the generic LCD at 800x600 option. The machine will work if you choose a standard 104 key keyboard and PS/2 mouse when asked to specify the keyboard and mouse. The scrolling button behaves as the third button so there is no need for the EmulateThreeButtons option.

After answering all of Xconfigurators questions, you can just run gdm as root from the command line and go on your way. Bear in mind, however, that switching the machine to runlevel 5 to have the machine start X windows on bootup did not work, I didn't pursue this but I think that I hosed something and things should be fine for you. Also, I don't use the startx command so I don't know if it works, but it should.

Here is a copy of my XF86Config file for XFree86 3.3.6. I have a ThinkPad i1300 1171 370 (4MB video RAM, 1024x768 LCD screen). The configuration tool will set up the XFree86 3.3.6 XF86_SVGA server with an appropriate XF86Config file. SMI cards are not yet supported under XFree86 4.0.1.

XFree86 Caveats

XFree86 4.0.1 and X Windows

The SMI Lynx EM+ is supported in this release of XFree86(I think) and should fix most of the problems above. I haven't tried it yet, but I will as soon as I upgrade to RH 7.1

Other Hardware