Installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) on an X61 Tablet

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You can get Linux running pretty smoothly on this machine. I will simply repeat the steps I used to get my tablet working, some of these steps might be superfluous. Please edit, if some of the steps are unneccessary. I expect Gutsy Gibbon installs to be much smoother, when the system comes out in October...

Helpful Guides

A helpful guide for me was

Actual installation

The trickiest part about actually installing Ubuntu on this machine is that there is no CD drive. If you've shelled out the $200 for the 'ultrabase' then you can just pop the CD in that, and procede normally. I had to install via a pendrive. Instructions on how to do this are at

  • On my machine, and with my particular USB drive, I found that it was difficult get power to the USB drive in a normal boot process. I had to enter the BIOS (F1 during power on), configure the USB HDD to be first boot choice, and then enable the POST memory check (extended boot?, I think it was called). Then I had to insert the USB drive during the memory check, and make sure the light on the USB came on in order to get it to boot from the installer. Hopefully most people won't have this problem, but I did, so if you have problems getting the drive to be seen, make sure the USB is getting powered.

Graphics Card

The X3100 with an Intel GMA965 runs Compiz Fusion very nicely, once the proper drivers are installed. The 'i810' driver that is installed by default with Fiesty does not support the X3100, but there are newer drivers (simply named 'intel') that do support it. Source is available from Unfortunately, installing on the stock kernel (2.6.18, if I remember) does not work with these drivers, as agpgart is incorrectly registered. I upgraded to 2.6.22 and the drivers work nicely. Here's the walkthrough...

  • Install the new kernel
# gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the Gutsy repositories

# deb gutsy main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src gutsy main restricted universe multiverse

Save and exit gedit

Install the new kernel

# apt-get update
# apt-get install linux-image-2.6.22-9-generic linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.22-9-generic linux-backports-modules-2.6.22-9-generic linux-headers-2.6.22-9 linux-headers-2.6.22-9-generic  linux-restricted-modules-2.6.22-9-generic 

Reboot. Make sure to select the new kernel in GRUB when you turn on the computer.

Install the graphics card drivers from the repositories

# sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel xserver-xorg libgl1-mesa-dri libgl1-mesa-glx libglu1-mesa mesa-utils

Let X11 know to use the Intel drivers

# gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf


Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Generic Video Card"
        Driver          "vesa"
        BusID           "PCI:0:2:0"


Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Generic Video Card"
        Driver          "intel"
        BusID           "PCI:0:2:0"


Solving the Weird Resolution Problems

When you reboot into the new drivers, it seems that X defaults to the graphics card's 'TV' output instead of the 'LVDS' option as it should. This will cause X to be confused about where the screen edges are, and in general make everything weird. This can be corrected in one of two ways

  • Solution 1:

Everytime you log in, enter this command

# xrandr --output TV --off
  • Solution 2:

Edit xorg.conf to automatically correct this problem. Note that this will cause xrandr (which you may want to use for screen rotation) to fail when you try to use it.

add this to the device section

Option "monitor-TV" "TVOutput"
Option  "CacheLines"    "32768"
Option  "TripleBuffer"  "true"
Option  "DRI"   "true"
Option  "PageFlip"      "true"

add this at the bottom

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "TVOutput"
    Option "Disable" "true"

save and exit, restart X

Installing compiz fusion

Basically, I followed the instructions at

The line about adding the GPG keys is malformed, copying and pasting won't work. Use this command

# gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 81836EBF
# gpg --export --armor 81836EBF | sudo apt-key add -

There you go! Now you have a visually gorgeous system running :-D! All the effects run very smoothly for me, I was very pleased with this integrated card's performance...


This essential laptop feature will definitely work. The intel ABG card has drivers, guides should abound as to how to install it. I purchased the newer AGN card, and this is how I installed the new drivers.

They work pretty well, I've only noticed them being flaky once.


We bought this machine largely for the tablet abilities, and the pen works out of the box! Yay! The side button automatically maps to scrollwheel-pressed-down, but you can remap it to right click if you want. Eraser also works.

Tablet-Specific Applications

We're tablet users and we have special needs! Here are some apps I found these apps indespensible

Jot. When I placed my order for my tablet, Lenovo said I had a full month wait til it arrived. I filled the time writing a handwriting recognition app for Linux. My goal is to allow for full sentence or full word recognition. As of 8/20/2007, its still in alpha testing, but I should have a pretty good release mid-September to early October. Source is available from You need libfakekey0, gtkmm-2.4-dev, libcairomm-1.0-dev installed so the makefile will work...

Onestroke. This program will recognize a single character at a time pretty well. Its written by Michael Levin, and is in pretty usuable condition. Onestroke can be found at

Xournal A journal clone, that is great for taking notes. Fully functional, an all-around great app.

#apt-get install xournal


Sound does not work out of the box, but you definitely can get it to work well.

Keyboard and Buttons

You should have no trouble with getting the main 105 keys to work.

Some of the Fn buttons work, some don't. I'm still wading through ways to get these to work, but they're not super-high on my priority list. If you find ways, feel free to post :-)....

Screen Buttons. The D-pad will work, but by default maps to weird values. Add

setkeycodes 6f 108 
setkeycodes 71 103 
setkeycodes 6e 105 
setkeycodes 6d 106 

to /etc/rc.local to make the D-pad work like your keyboard arrow keys. The middle button is 'Enter'

The other buttons also work. I have not mapped them to anything specific yet, but in a real terminal (no X environment), you can use the showkey command and setkeycodes to map the other 4 buttons to whatever you want. More instructions on this will follow once I decide what I want to use these 4 buttons for

[[Category::X61 Tablet]]