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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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By cmnorton at 2008-03-22 16:05
I have installed Ubuntu 6.06, 6.10, 7.04, and 7.10 on an Acer Laptop (Travelmate 630) and an Acer Pentium IV (pre-Threaded) desktop. The desktop was purchased about four years ago, but is new enough to have native USB 2.0.
These installations were simple compared to installing Ubuntu on a Thinkpad T61p, and I believe the advanced NVIDIA graphics is the reason the installation was so difficult. Given this was an employer-purchased laptop that came through with Windows XP, I first needed to preserve Lenovo's extensive Windows tools that come with their pre-installed Windows Thinkpad models.
One of the most important parts of this tutorial is that had I known about these steps, the final reboot would have concluded successfully. That is, had I taken the recovery option on the grub menu and configured X, then I believe the final reboot would not have been interrupted and issues like my /etc/group not being set up correctly would not have occured.
I believe the fact the final reboot was interrupted due to graphics problems is why my /etc/group was not set up completely. I had to go back and add myself (the installer's username who is the first administrator -- root -- on Ubuntu systems) to several groups like adm, dialout, and plugdev.
1) Using bittorrent, I downloaded a 7.10 live CD image; burned; and checked the CD.
Then, I preserved the XP environment that was installed on the T61p by making the rescue DVDs; installing Acronis imaging/backup software; and backing up the drive to a SAMBA share.
2) I booted with the live Ubuntu CD. From instinct, I chose start or load Ubuntu in safe mode. This instinct was from having installed on the Acer Travelmate.
I could not run Ubuntu in safe mode. I got a "black" during the launch process from the live CD menu.
3) I rebooted from the live CD, and chose command line installation. This completed successfully, but upon reboot, I still got the black screen, and had to cycle the power.
4) I booted into recovery mode from the grub menu, and ran these commands:
These completed succssfully, but upon reboot, I still was getting a black screen, and had to cycle power.
5) Then, I rebooted and selected recovery mode again. I ran dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg, and first chose the vesa driver, taking all other defaults. This was not successful. I still got the black screen.
6) I rebooted into recovery mode again, re-ran dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg and chose the vga driver.
After reboting, I was able to continue past the low resolution warning, run the restricted drivers manager, and select the nvidia driver; reboot; and all was well.
This tutorial might have ended hapilly here, but this Thinkpad T61p's role is that of portable development workstation. It has 2GB RAM; a dual core CPU; and a large HD. The purpose is to house our three in-house Informix applications. So, it needs to work in a KVM switch environment.
Unfortunately, the advanced 3D graphics prevented working with an external flatscreen monitor alone or part of a KVM switch.
7) I ran Restricted Drivers Manager; de-selected the nvidia driver; rebooted; told the low-res warning that I wanted to remain in low res; selected a reasonable resolution in the 1280 range; and the external monitor now works fine.
8) Sound did not work, and I added the following to the end of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base
options snd-hda-intel model=thinkpad-t61p
There was no magic list containing my model number. Basically, I put a dash in between the brand and the model and took a guess. This allowed the sound to work normally.