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Old 03-07-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2006
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Recommendations for a linux distro

Hi there!

I've been trying to get a Linux-only Thinkpad T22 set up for school.

I"ve tried distros such as Ubuntu, Freespire, Fedora Core, and... I think that's it, haha.

I've had problems with Ubuntu with the S3 Savage graphics card, but figured that out later on. Not a single distro so far has successfully had sleep implemented perfectly. Ubuntu Edgy sleeps, but comes back with no sound. And the guide on ThinkWiki doesn't make the sound work either.

Also, I have a 2Wire Hermes I chipset PCMCIA wireless, supposedly the same as an Orinoco Gold, "Guaranteed to work with Linux".

Well, I've had problems with that too. Under windows, it picks up wireless networks just fine, but under Ubuntu, it seems like it can't see any networks, although I am able to type in my school's network and connect (still not a great connection at times).

And lastly, my school requires a Cisco VPN client to connect to their wireless. I installed it under Ubuntu and it worked once. Just once. Could never figure out what was wrong. I tried vpnc, made a conf file for it, and it never worked.

I'm a bit comfortable with the terminal, although I'd still consider myself a Linux beginner.

My Thinkpad T22 has 256mb of RAM, a 900mhz Pentium III, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW, and 80gb hard drive.

Basically, what I'm asking, is if any of you know of a linux distro that would work nice with my thinkpad - having proper sleep, works great with 2Wire (Orinoco Gold), and easy to use Cisco VPN or vpnc.

I've searched endlessly online, and I think I read somewhere on a forum of someone saying that openSuSE 10.2 works flawlessly on the Thinkpad T22. Anyone know how VPNC goes with that?

Oh, and if anyone would like to see my school's profile file for cisco VPN to see if I just set up VPNC incorrectly, I'd be more than happy to put that up.

Thanks sooooo much in advance. I am so tired of constantly switching around and tweaking things. I need a good, solid OS to do my schoolwork on.
Old 03-07-2007, 09:50 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Distribution: openSUSE / Ubuntu
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Sounds like you've done your homework.

With any distro - SUSE included - you can get a live CD or live DVD to try out before you install. Also, some distros handle hardware better than others. For example, I used to use Mandrake 6 because Red Hat didn't run on my P133 Fujitsu laptop. Later, when I got into SUSE, I did so because Mandrake 10 didn't see my USB printer and SUSE did.

I've been very happy with SUSE's hardware detection. I have it running on two laptops - both single boot - and have no issues.

By "sleep" do you mean "suspend to disk" or "suspend to ram"? I'm personally never going to setup "suspend to ram" because the concept simply sounds flawed. I use suspend to disk on a daily basis.

Also, your laptop is a bit short on RAM. I'd try to get it up to 512 at a minimum if you want to see any performance. I personally do not run systems with less than 1GB RAM. RAM is cheap nowdays.
Old 03-08-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2006
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Hey, thanks for the reply.

By sleep, either would be fine, although I prefer whichever is quicker.

I'm not too sure that suspend to disk works on my Thinkpad though. From what I've heard, the BIOS needs its own partition to hibernate or something like that. Or I could be completely wrong, of course.

Yes, I do realize that I have a miniscule amount of RAM. The max the Thinkpad takes is 512. I ordered two 256mb Kingston RAM sticks, but they did not work in my Thinkpad. It takes PC100, and seems to be really finicky with PC133, which was what the sticks I bought were. Sigh... looks like eBay for me.

I'm currently back to Windows XP

I needed VPN to work correctly for my school's network, and as I stated before, my Cisco VPN is broken now. I think it may have be due to a kernel update.

I've done a little more research on the Thinkpad, and I hear APM works... so so.

Any difference between using ACPI and APM?


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