Bobbing for Kernels

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ThinkPad bringup notes

Posted by kernelbob on September 17, 2008

Anne got a new ThinkPad.  This post is my lab notes on what happens while I’m installing Linux.

9/17.  Booted Kubuntu KDE4 Live CD 8.04.1.  Ran just fine.  Didn’t stick around long enough to really learn what KDE4 is about, but it’s clearly got some new ideas.

9/17.  Booted Ubuntu Live CD 8.04.  Did not initialize X11.  After trying several things, I got it working on the vesa driver by switching to VT 1 and “sudo killall -CONT gdm”. Hmmm…

9/17. Disk partition resizing failed.  No explanation yet.  Is Windows still there?

9/17.  Booted into Windows.  It’s there.  Retried the Ubuntu install.  This time, the disk successfully partitioned.  No explanation.

9/17.  Ubuntu 8.04 installed.  Graphics has the same problem.  The i810 driver can not recognize the video chip.  The vesa driver works.

9/17.  No network devices.  The e1000 ethernet chip has a new PCI id, so the driver won’t recognize it.  (Intel changed the PCI ID to prevent Vista from loading its buggy driver, see this link.)  Haven’t investigated the Wi-Fi yet, but the workaround for the video chip and e1000 is to boot an alpha release of Intrepid Ibex (Ubuntu 8.10), which I will download tomorrow.

9/17.  The Intel 5100AGN Wi-Fi chip is also too new for Hardy.  Need Intrepid.

9/18.  Burned some Intrepid CDs.  Alpha 5 and daily 20080917.1.  Neither of them boots.  Then I burned Ubuntu 8.04.1, which came out in August, I think.  That one works.  Installed, no tweaking necessary (so far).  Installed some optional packages.  Played with VirtualBox.  Tried to install Windows XP under VB, but that doesn’t work.  Apparently the product activation key that came with the Thinkpad doesn’t work with the installation media I have?

Also, the Wi-Fi chip is not recognized.  But wired Ethernet works fine.

9/20 Got the latest Ubuntu generic kernel from Intrepid Ibex.  Installed the .deb directly.  Downloaded the ign5000 firmware from Intel.  rmmod/modprobe the iwlagn driver.  It works.  Loaded a web page over wireless…

Kernel deb:

Wireless firmware: — unpack and copy iwlwifi-5000-1.ucode to /lib/firmware.

So that’s resolved.  Also installed openssh-server and synergy.  Would like to resolve the Windows activation thing so that Anne can run Windows under VirtualBox.  The Windows install disk says her product key is not valid.

Also need to configure the backup server to back this laptop up.  But I think the hard part is done.


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