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Linux on Lenovo R51

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones
Linux On Laptops

(OK, "Linux on Lenovo" sounds better -- more alliterative. But I figured I should put the model in.)

I bought a Lenovo/IBM Thinkpad R51 (type 1836) in December, 2005, and it arrived with an infestation of Windows XP. These are my notes, intended to supplement other documents on the net.

Photo of ThinkPad R51
Image courtesy of thinkwiki, and probably
copyright by IBM or Lenovo or somebody.

2011-10-27: I now have Debian Stable on this machine, Squeeze version 6.0.3. Due to concerns about the future of Gnome 3 and Ubuntu's Unity, I installed XFCE. I had two gotchas:

2010-05-29: For the impatient, most modern versions of Linux should just fall into place. With modern installers, you should be able to resize the NTFS partition as part of the installation. If not, the GParted LiveCD should do what you need. Don't muck with the hidden second partition, which has your recovery partition.

Recovery CDs

Make a set of recovery CDs. From "Access IBM", follow the steps to make either a 7 CD set of recovery CDs or (if at all possible) a CD and a DVD. If you do the latter, put the CD in first, then the DVD. Then back up anything you want to preserve on the laptop's hard drive.

If your recovery partition has been damaged, you can restore it. Boot to the first recovery CD, the "IBM Rescue & Recover with Rapid Restore CD". Click on "Continue" in the flash screen, then on "Restore Factory Contents" to restore the Product Recovery Discs. Click "OK" and "No". Accept the terms and conditions, and click on "OK". Feed CDs as prompted. Reboot as requested. The system will take you to the Rescue and Recovery system.

Lspci Output

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82855PM Processor to I/O Controller (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82855PM Processor to AGP Controller (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 81)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801DBM (ICH4-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801DBM (ICH4-M) IDE Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]
02:00.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI4520 PC card Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
02:02.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2200BG (rev 05)
02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB PRO/100 VE (MOB) Ethernet Controller (rev 81)

Partial Dmidecode Output

BIOS Information
        Vendor: IBM
        Version: 1RETDLWW (3.17 )
        Release Date: 07/27/2005
…
System Information
        Manufacturer: IBM
        Product Name: 1836Q4U
        Version: ThinkPad R51

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Last Modified: 28 Oct, 2011
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