Thinkpad T43p and Ubuntu 2 comments

The new Thinkpad arrived and I have been using it for over a month now.

The spec looks like this

This machine runs like a dream. Nothing slows it down. I installed half life 2 before removing the windows partition and it run with full detail on 1024*768 without a hitch. I have yet to find anything on Ubuntu which seems to strain in the slightest. The large display makes it a fantastic coding machine (along with the famous Thinkpad keyboard and trackpoint).

After installing Ubuntu breezy almost everything worked straight away. I cannot get network-manager to work, but I think that is down to the wifi drivers. Suspend resume takes a bit of tinkering to get working, and does not function with the proprietary ATI drivers only the GPL drivers (although I hear this problem is soon to be fixed).The fingerprint scanner takes a bit of installing , but being a very non standard piece of hardware I am willing to forgive that. It integrates into PAM and so far I have GDM, XScreensaver and sudo all functioning from it. The only catch is that gtksudo (used by Ubuntu to request a password when you launch any administrative tools) does work with it, but does not present a GUI, so when you launch something nothing happens at all on screen until you swipe your finger.

The Hard drive active protection system only has an early beta driver, and I am simply not willing to have potentially buggy software manically parking my hard drive on a whim, so I have not tried it yet. I will wait until its a touch more mature.

I had originally planned to write a detailed install guide. But the existing guides do the job very nicely. Between Thinkwiki.org and this guide there really is not anything left for me to write.

The machine has a few small shortcoming. First off, only 2 usb2 ports, and no firewire at all. I have a pcmcia firewire card so that didn't bother me too much. The second is that the built in modem requires a proprietary driver to function. Yet again this does not bother me, I have not needed to dial up by modem in years, and there is a free as in beer version of the driver that allows you to connect at up to 14.4kbps which will do me fine if I ever hit such an emergency.

If you are looking for a linux friendly laptop, I have to recommend the T43p highly.

Comments

Have you tried setting up XGL/Compiz on this laptop? I have the same model as you (same specs and everything), but XGL simplly won't work for me.

Nikhil 18:18 Friday the 20th of January 2006 #

I have indeed, see here for a good tutorial and a small tip and getting it going. The stability has been lacking at times, but it does work.

Sean O'Donnell 18:22 Friday the 20th of January 2006 #

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