Lenovo Thinkpad T43

1. Hardware information

Machine Type: 1871, 1872, 1875 and 1876 (Intel Graphics)

Machine Type: 2668, 2669, 2686 and 2687 (ATI Graphics)

1.1. Standard Features

2. CentOS-6

2.1. Installation

CentOS 6 was successfully installed with an i386 Net Install image over PXE; it downloaded installation files from a local repository. The laptop's gigabit Ethernet port was used, however, it appears that the CentOS 6 kernel also supports the ipw2200-based wifi card; as such, a Net Install over wifi is possible. Bear in mind that the laptop's wifi card only supports Wireless-B/G and so a Net Install over wifi will be somewhat slower than a Net Install over LAN.

2.2. Issues

Unfortunately, it appears that the fglrx93 graphics driver, required for the ATI X300 graphics chip, is not available for C6; advanced features such as 3D acceleration are not available or will perform slowly.

2.3. Models tested

3. CentOS-5

3.1. Installation

CentOS 5 installs flawlessly from either an installation CD/DVD or a Net Install CD. If you are going to use a Net Install image, connect the laptop to a wired network until you configure the wireless networking card; the wireless interface will not work (see Post-installation notes below).

3.2. Post-installation notes

You will need to set up two third party repositories, RPMForge and ELRepo, for these steps. For more information, warnings, and instructions for setting up and using RPMForge and ELRepo, see the guide on Third-Party Repositories.

3.2.1. Wireless Firmware for ipw2200

The wireless card on the laptops tested, the Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Mini-PCI adapter, requires additional firmware to operate. Install the ipw2200-firmware package from RPMForge.

3.2.2. Graphics Drivers for ATI Mobility Radeon X300

For models 2668, 2669, 2686 and 2687, which have the ATI Mobility Radeon X300, ATI's binary driver should be installed for optimal performance, hardware-accelerated 3D rendering, improved power management, and various other bells and whistles. Install the kmod-fglrx93 package from ELRepo. Reboot after installing; no further tweaking should be needed.

3.3. Issues

3.3.1. Power issues

Both Hibernation and Suspend are non-functional. The "moon" indicator turns solid, but the laptop does not actually enter suspend or hibernation, and requires a hard-reboot. This appears to be a kernel panic; the caps-lock key flashes on and off. In addition, the kernel occasionally panics on shutdown; once it panicked after plugging in the power cord while running on battery power. These issues could possibly be ACPI related. CentOS 6 solves these problems and is fully compatible with this laptop, so it is recommended that new users install CentOS 6 instead.

3.3.2. Using both LCD and CRT screens

When giving presentations it is not possible to use both the LCD and CRT output because of what seems to be a power usage issue (even when using a power outlet). The CRT output on an LCD projector moves whirly. This happens with the integrated Intel GM915 card. (1872-CTO)

(This issue was fixed with a newer xorg-x11-drv-i810 driver from CentOS 5)

3.4. Models tested

4. Links

HowTos/Laptops/IBM/Thinkpad-T43 (last edited 2011-07-13 05:31:35 by Supertanker)