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SDB:SUSE LINUX on IBM Laptops from pro-com
Version: 9.0 - 9.1
SUSE LINUX on IBM Laptops from pro-com
pro-com offers IBM laptops with SUSE LINUX. This article provides special information regarding the installation and configuration. Further information about the configuration is also available at pro-com. For both installation variations, you should run YaST Online Update (YOU) to load new drivers (especially 9.0) or eliminate bugs.
Installation with the Restore CD:
Insert and boot from the restore CD (set the correct boot sequence with F12 or in the BIOS) and wait for about thirty minutes. Prior to the actual installation, you can set the size of the Windows partition and create a VFAT exchange partition. Alternatively, the enclosed campus edition of SUSE LINUX 9.0/9.1 can be used for a custom installation.
Installation with SuSE 9.0/9.1 CDs or DVD
Install from the DVD to avoid having to change the CD. First, press F2 to set the screen resolution to 1400x1050, provided this is supported by your model.
Because these laptops still support APM, select the menu item "Installation without ACPI". Alhough the laptops also work with ACPI, some power saving modes are not supported by the current kernels. Therefore, APM is option of choice.
There are some minor issues that should be taken into consideration when installing SUSE LINUX with YaST. IBM Thinkpads have a hidden recovery partition that YaST is unable to detect. In the installation proposal, this partition is presented as free space that will be used for the installation of SUSE LINUX. Follow the instructions in the next paragraph to retain the recovery partition. If you do not need the Windows recovery option, you can delete this partition and skip the next paragraph.
Retaining the IBM Service Partition:
First, write down the end of the Windows partition. To do this, enter the partitioning dialog and select "Create custom partition setup". Select the entire hard disk. The next screen shows the last cylinder of the partition. Write down this cylinder. Now you can resize or delete the Windows partition. Subsequently, you must create new partitions for SUSE LINUX, such as 512 MB for swap and 10 GB for the root file system. Make sure that the last partition does not exceed the cylinder number you wrote down.
After changing the partitioning, launch the installation. Following the installation, create the user root and other users. Additional hardware can be configured later, so you can skip this step.
YaST online updates can be installed during the Internet test. Make use of this option or skip the test if you are in a hurry.
The other hardware components are configured in the next screen. Simply press "Next".
Following the installation, you can configure the hardware:
IRDA: By default, the IRDA package is installed but not started. If it is not installed, check if IRDA is enabled in the BIOS. If you want to use it, enter rcirda start as root. To save power, start IRDA whenever you need it. To enable IRDA permanently, enter insserv irda.
Peculiarity of 9.1: Change the following line in the file /etc/modprobe.conf:
# IrDA alias tty-ldisc-11 irtty to # IrDA alias tty-ldisc-11 irtty-sir
Bluetooth (if supported): The Bluetooth utilities are not installed by default. If you need them, install the packages with YaST. In the package selection, simply search for "blue" and select the packages. Bluetooth is controlled over USB, but it should first be activated by pressing Fn+F5. The LED under the display should light up. Enter hcitool scan to search for other Bluetooth devices.
WLAN: WLAN can easily be configured with YaST. Currently, only the managed mode is supported: a connection to an access point. Depending on the version of the WLAN card (IBM a/b/g in newer models), a kernel update is necessary in 9.0. In 9.1, the needed drivers are already included.
Ethernet: The machine has a built-in Intel Gigabit network chip (e.g., T40p) or Intel e100, which can be configured with YaST (without any configuration, addresses are automatically assigned via DHCP). The needed module (e1000 or e100) is selected automatically.
Sound: The sound card is configured during the installation using the module snd-intel8x. The volume can be set with the keys under the display.
DVD/CD-R combo: During the installation, this device is detected as a writer and integrated over the SCSI emulation (only 9.0). UDMA is not activated automatically. This should be done in YaST/Hardware/IDE DMA mode. Burning works perfectly with the included software. DVDs can be burned with k3b (only models with DVD writer).
Modem: The modem works with patched smartlink drivers. A kernel update is necessary in SUSE LINUX 9.0. In 9.1, the needed drivers are already included.
Only 9.0: Install the package smartlink-softmodem with YaST. Then run smartlink-softmodem-config. Nothing needs to be configured. Simply confirm all queries with Enter. Subsequently, the modem can be configured with YaST. The modem device is /dev/ttySL0. To test the device, run screen /dev/ttySL0 and enter ATZ. If everything works correctly, the utility should return "OK".
9.1: The device is entered automatically during the configuration.
X11: The configuration of X11 takes place during the installation. If you did not set 1400x1050 (depending on the model) when you launched the installation, you should do this now to avoid interpolation of the LCD screen. By default, 3D is not activated. If you need or want 3D, configure this with sax2. Newer models with the FireGL TX2 card need the external ATI driver for 3D. Ready-to-use SUSE packages are available at: ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/supplementary/X/ATI/. The readme file provides information about the installation and configuration.
The monitor output can be activated with Fn+F7.
Touchpad & trackpoint: By default, both are activated in the BIOS and functional. The middle button only works if the touchpad is disabled (9.0). If you only use the trackpoint, you can disable the touchpad in the BIOS.
Keyboard (only 9.0): The keyboard and most of the function keys work. Next to the cursor keys, there are two keys whose function may need to be mapped to PgUp and PgDn. Fn+F12 (suspend to disk; see apm) does not work. To enable the number pad emulation, the following line must be appended to the file /etc/X11/Xmodmap:
keycode 77 = Num_Lock
This can easily be done with the following command (as root):
echo "keycode 77 = Num_Lock" >> /etc/X11/Xmodmap
Then restart X (e.g., with CTRL-ALT-Backspace). The "number pad" can be activated with Shift-Scroll (key over F11).
Mapping the keys next to the cursor to PgUp and PgDn:
echo "keycode 234 = Prior" >> /etc/X11/Xmodmap
echo "keycode 233 = Next" >> /etc/X11/Xmodmap
USB (only 9.0): The laptops support USB 2.0. External drives appear as desktop icons (KDE) when they are connected. Unfortunately, USB 2.0 no longer works after an APM suspend. Therefore, drives should be unmounted from the file system before you shut the lid or switch to the suspend mode (e.g., with umount or by right-clicking the drive symbol and selecting "Unmount"). As a hotfix, unload the ehci-hcd module and restart hotplug.
If you do not have any USB 2.0 devices, the module does not need to be loaded. For this purpose, edit the following line in /etc/sysconfig/hotplug:
HOTPLUG_USB_HOSTCONTROLLER_LIST="ehci-hcd ohci-hcd uhci-hcd usb-uhci uhci usb-ohci ehci-hcd"
The modified line should appear as follows:
HOTPLUG_USB_HOSTCONTROLLER_LIST="ehci-hcd ohci-hcd uhci-hcd usb-uhci uhci usb-ohci"
Alternatively, this can be done with YaST (see cpufreq). This problem does not exist in 9.1. In 9.1, external storage media can be accessed by clicking the "My Computer" icon in KDE (e.g., in /media/).
APM: APM works. Standby and suspend have been tested. The computers wakes up without any major problems (see USB). The battery indicator in KDE is functional. When the lid switch is actuated, the system is suspended. The system can also be suspended with Fn+F4. To wake up the system, press this combination again.
Cpufreq: The CPU and the chipset support dynamic control of the clock frequency. This function is activated by default. During battery operation, the processor runs with the lowest frequency to save power. If necessary, this can be changed by setting the option
in the file /etc/sysconfig/powermanagement to "no". Subsequently, restart the service with rccpufreqd restart. To change the setting with YaST, open the "Editor for /etc/sysconfig Files" in "System" and search for "cpufreq". Select the value CPUFREQD_SAVE_BATTERY_POWER and click "Go to". Set the value to "no". In 9.1, powersave is used, enabling the further configuration of hardware power saving functions.