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Andres Gonzalez (dre2004 at gmail dot com)
This is a guide to running Linux with the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad R61 laptop. The R61 is a fairly standard looking laptop but includes the Centrino Duo chipset and the model tested here has a nice display.
For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad R61 specifications page.
This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.
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|Processor||Intel Core Duo T7300 2.0Ghz||Yes|
|Screen||15.4“ WSXGA+||Yes||Highest Resolution 1680×1050|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce Go 8400||only proprietary modules|
|Graphics||nVidia Quadro NVS 140||Yes||with nouveau or nvidia-driver|
|Integrated Camera||Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd.||Unknown||Trying to get this to work now|
|Sound||Yes||Use the snd-hda-intel module|
|Wireless||Intel 4965AGN 802.11abgn||Yes||See notes|
|56K Modem||Not Tested|
|USB||3 x USB2.0||Yes|
|Firewire||1 x Firewire||Yes||Tested with Kino and AV Cam|
|ExpressCard Slot||Not Tested|
|Fingerprint Reader||Yes||with fprintd|
Depending on the Model of R61 you have you will have a different Video Card.
These details are specific to the 89185MM.
|Graphics Chipset||Device Info NVIDIA NB8M-GS||01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0429 (rev a1)|
The standard debian nvidia driver didnt work for Nvidia NB8M-GS chipset the commercial drivers were used instead. The latest version 100.14.11 worked fine. Update: This chip has not been tested by me on newer versions of Nouveau or the proprietary drivers, some more recent information would be appreciated
These details are specific to the Quadro NVS 140M
|Graphics Chipset||Device Info NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M||01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Quadro NVS 140M (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [[VGA]])|
The open source Nouveau driver works with this GPU out of the box, without any configuration of xorg.conf or the kernel. As of November 2013, due to the lack of licensing issues (Nouveau is open source), you can expect it to included with all recent distributions. It works decently with several games (Minecraft, DoTA 2), but the performance is not stellar, and these games had to be run on very low settings. The proprietary driver may be better if you are looking to do anything GPU intensive.
The Nvidia GeForce Go 8400 included with the R61 does not function with the built in nv module so you will need to use the Nvidia proprietary driver. You can find installation instructions for the nvidia driver here.
Some cheaper models of the R61 include the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100. This has not yet been tested.
The 4965AGN wireless controller works fine on the R61, albeit they are a pain to install. You can get these drivers from http://intellinuxwireless.org/?p=iwlwifi. You can view installation instructions at our Configuring the iwl4965 driver for the Intel 4965AGN wireless controller guide. In most distributions, this driver will be included, but there are a few expections (e.g. Debian), where the driver is not included due to its proprietary nature.
Ubuntu 12.04, Mint 15, Crunchbang 11, Slackware 14.1, Arch linux and likely many other popular distros work perfectly out of the box with the R61. Aside from some firmware issues with the wireless controller, setting up this laptop is a breeze, requiring little to no extra configuration.