Notes on Installing RedHat 6.1 on an IBM ThinkPad 600X

2001 Jul 26 - If I use the CD player (gtcd) or XMMS to play MP3s and then suspend or hibernate, sound doesn't work when power is restored. (RealPlayer doesn't have this problem.) I wrote this script, which must be run as root, to fix the problem. The script unloads and reloads the sound-related modules; I run it each time I come out of suspend or hibernate.

The script calls this Perl script to parse the output from lsmod.

2001 Jul 24 - I upgraded to a 20G hard drive (an IBM Travelstar 20GN, model DSJA-220) a few months ago, using a Windows-based utility to clone the old one. It seemed to choke on the swap partition, but everything works fine.

I received a note on a possible fix for the X hang problem.

2000 Oct 30 - I upgraded to kernel 2.2.16 awhile back, and have finally installed sound support so I can listen to the local PBS affiliate from within the office building-cum-Faraday cage in which I work.

I installed ALSA 0.5.9d, following their instructions and taking Manoj Kasichainula's old conf.modules entries. I also booted DOS to turn off the "pcibuspower" feature, although I don't know whether this was really necessary.

2000 Jul 15 - I have been running VMware 1.1.2 build-364 with NT 4.0 as a guest for a couple of months. I am using virtual disks (and discovered somewhat to my dismay the Linux FS 2G filesize limit) and host-only networking and have had no problems at all.

Fixed the constant disk activity problem.

More information on slow clock problems and the Netscape Composer crash.

2000 Apr 19 - Fixed hanging DOSEMU sessions.
(2000 May 25 - oops, spoke too soon...)
Found a workaround for slow clock problems.

Disclaimer: I work for IBM and get their products at a discount. Nevertheless, the 600X is a nice machine and I'd be willing to pay a reasonable premium if necessary to get the trackpoint. (I absolutely loathe touchpads - don't have enough capacitance in the skin or sufficiently narrow fingertips or something...)

Others have done a very good job describing their experiences. I started with Manoj Kasichainula's page, then looked at Thomas Hood's page.

I upgraded the BIOS (so that the hard drive geometry is properly reported) and installed 256M of additional memory (two 128M DIMMs from Crucial). Linux won't recognize the memory unless you add a "mem=" line in /etc/lilo.conf.

I booted the Win preload to make copies of the PS2 control program and its components (ps2.exe, ps2.msg, ps2.ver, ps2a.idp, ps2main.exe, ps2n.idp, and ps2vdd.dll) so that I could create a hibernation file later. (I should have saved msdos.sys, io.sys, and as well.) Then I installed Linux from CD pretty much as Kasichainula and Hood describe.

Be sure to create a FAT/VFAT partition on /dev/hda1 to hold the hibernation file.

On the first boot, X made some questionable decisions and so I was looking at one corner of the login dialog in a 120 point font or some such. Switching to a text console (Alt-Ctrl-F1) and installing Manoj Kasichainula's /etc/X11/XF86Config file fixed that.

Other files of potential interest (updated 30 October 2000):

Problems I Haven't Seen Addressed Elsewhere
  1. NumLock doesn't work under X.
  2. DOSEMU sessions hang after coming out of suspend (Fn+F4) or hibernate (Fn+F12). (Fixed 2000 Apr 19)
  3. Something's writing to the hard drive every five seconds or so. (Fixed 2000 Jul 15)
  4. pine shows "To: " in the sender field when showing messages I post to newsgroups using pine.
  5. Icons on the Gnome panel are not redrawn properly when the panel is hidden and then restored.
  6. The power management daemon turns off the backlight on the screen after very little inactivity when running on battery power.
  7. Sometimes X will hang - it ignores the keyboard and the mouse. (Possible fix 2001 Jul 24)
  8. Netscape Composer crashes whenever I exit the Insert/Link... dialog.
  9. Sometimes Linux thinks the clock is 121MHz rather than 450MHz.

Jonathan Edwards (