Installing Fedora Core 6 on a Thinkpad T42p

The following documents an existence proof of FC6 on a T42. I’ve run various Fedora versions on various machines in the past. There have always been problems with fonts, wireless, video drivers, and kernel suspend in the past, but the whole process is much less painful that it used to be. Out of the box, my status:

  • wireless – no device. This is an atheros chip, and needs madwifi.
  • video – great. glxgears gives me about 1560, windows nice and snappy.
  • kernel-suspend-to-disk – didn’t try.
  • kernel-suspend-to-ram – screen doesn’t come back afterwards.
  • sound – does not work.
  • speed-stepping – works.
  • fonts – looks great

Backstory

I don’t really care about suspend-to-ram, I just want suspend-to-disk, and I have to have wireless. The last time I tried this on the same machine was probably FC4, and I never got it to work. The problem is that I didn’t want to recompile the kernel. Therefore, I had problems getting madwifi to compile. The RPMS at atrpms.net worked great, w/ two exceptions. First, the GUI thought the name was wifi0 or some such nonsense, when the actual name exported by the modules is ‘ath0’. Easy to fix by modifying /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wifi0.

Suspend-to-disk worked great once I followed the instructions at http://mhensler.de/swsusp/.

The problem was, the names references by the pre-built madwifi rpms did not match the suspend kernel (cubbi). In other words, I could have one or the other, but not both. Back to Windows…

The Present

Getting the above two bits of functionality working was my prime concern this time through. The first thing I did was try to add via ‘yum update’, and then ‘yum install kernel-suspend2’. This worked fine for suspend.

Then going to atrpms.net again, I was pleased to find “cubbi” versions (suspend2) of the madwifi modules. Unfortunately, my kernel was at 2.6.18-1.2869, whereas the only most recent cubbi versions of the madwifi were 2868.

Fine, I noticed that atrpms also had cubbi (suspend2) versions of the kernel w/ version 2868, so I downloaded the modules, installed, and rebooted. Great, suspend2 works.

Installed madwifi modules, rebooted and…..nothing. The network GUI thinks there is a ‘wifi0’ ethernet device, but there is no such thing. Hacking /etc/ifcfg-wifi0, I told it to look for a ‘wireless’ device called ‘ath0’, and everything is now fine.

Typed ‘hibernate’ from the command line and the system went down. Hit the power button and it all came back up, including the wireless, yeah!

The hard part of this is determining which rpms you need from atrpms. As they say in their preamble, the best way to access the site is through one of the automated tools, such as ‘yum’ or ‘apt-get’. However, I wanted to have control over the process, so it was pretty much trial and error. In the end, I downloaded and installed for the kernel:

  • hibernate-suspend2-1.94-0cubbi2.noarch.rpm
  • hibernate-suspend2-1.94-1cubbi1.noarch.rpm
  • kernel-suspend2-2.6.18-1.2868_1.fc6.cubbi_suspend2.i686.rpm
  • mkinitrd-suspend2-5.1.19-1.cubbi2.noarch.rpm
  • userui-suspend2-0.6.4-2.fc6.cubbi3.i386.rpm
  • userui-suspend2-fbsplash-0.6.4-2.fc6.cubbi3.i386.rpm
  • userui-suspend2-theme-fedoradna-1.0-4.cubbi2.noarch.rpm
  • userui-suspend2-theme-manzanatux-1.0-4.cubbi2.noarch.rpm
  • userui-suspend2-theme-snowboardtux-1.0-4.cubbi2.noarch.rpm

I have not yet played with the frame-buffer splash and themes.

For madwifi:

  • madwifi-0.9.3-31_r1865.fc6.at.i386.rpm
  • madwifi-hal-kmdl-2.6.18-1.2868_1.fc6.cubbi_suspend2-0.9.3-31_r1865.fc6.at.i686.rpm
  • madwifi-kmdl-2.6.18-1.2868_1.fc6.cubbi_suspend2-0.9.3-31_r1865.fc6.at.i686.rpm

Hibernate on Close

Gnome is set up to suspend on lid close by default. Change this by System>Preferences>More Preferences>Power Management.

Left Undone

At this point I’m happy. I used to use XFCE, but gnome is pretty slick at this point, so it doesn’t actively bother me.

Neither the sound nor suspend-to-ram currently work, but I see both as peripheral issues. Hopefully I’ll get around to it in the near future.

Updates

  • Following a tip seen on another linux-on-laptop page, I added “acpi_sleep=s3_bios” to the kernel command line in /etc/grub.conf. This appears to fix up the suspend-to-ram problems.
  • To assign apps to keybindings:
    1. open gconf-editor
    2. go to apps>metacity>keybinding_commands
    3. set up some commands
    4. go to global-keybindings to bind commands to keys
  • Fan is on way too much. Haven’t done much yet, but: cat /proc/acpi/ibm/thermal
    temperatures: 44 46 31 56 36 -128 31 -128
    The GPU temperature is the fourth (56). Evidently fan goes off at 50 and on at 53.
    http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_control_fan_speed