Kolmas viikola Helsingissä

or: You’re holding it wrong. Seriously. Once upon a time, you could buy a IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad with Intel graphics and it just worked. While the Intel issues in the last versions of Ubuntu were mostly home-grown, the current disaster with the Core i3/i5 on-chip graphics isn’t. Like in the X201.

The Ubutu experience

Getting Ubuntu 10.4 LTS to work on an X201 isn’t too hard. You just need to follow some simple steps:

  1. Get Ubuntu (obviously) and put it on an USB stick; the X201 doesn’t have a CD drive
  2. Go to http://people.canonical.com/~hzhang/554569/ and grab the latest kernel package linked there (see also Launchpad bug 554569)
  3. Get the most recent BIOS update from Lenovo. A description on how to update your BIOS if you don’t have an optical drive may be found at thinkwiki.org
  4. Go to the BIOS setup and deactivate Intel AMT.
  5. Install Ubuntu normally. The installer should work just fine. If the graphical installer doesn’t, try the alternate install CD.
  6. After the installation is done, boot from USB once again and go into rescue mode to install the kernel package downloaded before.
  7. Boot normally.

Remaining issues

  • External video
    VGA works, but if you shut down the machine with the external monitor connected, it will somehow lockup (CPU is busy)
  • Suspend/Resume
    With the kernel from the launchpad bug, USB works after resume; the only thing I noticed is that sometimes the wireless LAN won’t come up again (like 1 in 10 resumes).
  • UltraBase
    No idea yet. Haven’t used though it is said that there are still problems with the display port on it

6 thoughts on “Kolmas viikola Helsingissä

  1. The CD/DVD drive in your UltraBase docking station should make it unnecessary to use USB for the bios update or for the rescue-mode boot.

    1. True; but I had two USB sticks at hand while having no empty CDs. And the booting from USB works quite well on the X201

  2. I’ve updated the kernel using the above from the source described in step 2.

    KMS boots successfully, but now external speakers attached to ultrabase doesn’t work. Any thoughts?

    1. Sorry, my Ultrabase is ~1300km away from me currently. In the meantime I upgraded to 2.6.35 + X.Org from the xorg edgers PPA. This works quite well and as a bonus seems to significantly speed up H.264 decoding; Full-HD wasn’t possible before. I can have a look at the audio thing tomorrow probably.

  3. I installed ubuntu 10.04 a couple times. The first was before I shorted the motherboard and needed to update using the above customized kernel–then the external speakers worked.

    It is good news that you have working external speakers so thanks for that much, Jens.

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