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This is a guide to running Linux with the IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad X61 laptop. The X61 is a very small sized and light laptop with a good amount a power. This system is being tested with Ubuntu 7.04.
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 2 Duo T7100 1.8 Ghz||Yes|
|Graphics||Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100||Yes||See notes below|
|Sound||Yes||See notes below|
|Wireless||Intel 4965AGN 802.11abgn||Yes||See notes below|
|56K Modem||Not Tested|
|USB||3 x USB2.0||Yes|
|Firewire||1 x Firewire||Not Tested|
|Card Reader||Yes||Works perfectly with Ubuntu 10.10|
This system does not include a optical drive so you will need another method to install Linux. A external USB optical drive works fine, as does the Ultra-Base docking station.
Most current Linux distributions wont support the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 by default but there are drivers available to add support. In Ubuntu you need to use the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver.
Update: With any recent Linux distribution the graphics controller will be supported.
The X61 use the 4965AGN wireless controller. This works with the new iwlwifi driver but these are currently quite hard to install. However they will be incorporated in the Linux kernel shortly which will remove this difficulty. Have a look at the Configuring the iwl4965 driver for the Intel 4965AGN wireless controller guide for installation details.
Update: With any recent Linux distribution wireless will work properly.
You will need the CVS ALSA modules to get sound working properly. Not even the latest 1.0.14 drivers are new enough for the X61. You can find a little easier to use alsa snapshot packages here. Grab the latest. If you are using Ubuntu and followed the guide for the iwl4965 you may have the /lib/modules/2.6.22-10-generic/ubuntu/media/snd-hda-intel/snd-hda-intel.ko file. This file will cause you problems so just remove it before installing the new ALSA modules.
Update: With any recent Linux distribution sound will no longer be an issue.
For now quite a lot of work and Linux knowledge is required to get the Lenovo Thinkpad X61 working with Linux. However it is expected that with the drivers needed to run this laptop properly being scheduled to be included in the mainstream kernel shortly that these difficulties will be alleviated. Update: Ubuntu 7.10 and more than likely other recently released distributions now include good support for this laptop. The graphics, sound and wireless work without extra configuration.*Update* Ubuntu 10.10 supports all Thinkpad X61 functions except the Tablet fingerprint reader.