Installing Ubuntu 6.06 (dapper) on a ThinkPad T23

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Installing Ubuntu 6.06 (dapper) on a T23 was straightforward. Almost everything worked fine out of the box.

What Works Out of the Box

  • Display
  • Sound
  • Wireless (IBM High Rate Wireless LAN)
  • USB
  • Proccessor frequency scaling
  • Hibernate (suspend to disk)
  • Suspend (suspend to ram)
  • Function Buttons (generate ACPI events)
  • Lid Switch
  • Brightness (adjusts when on battery)
  • Wired Lan
  • External VGA
  • Serial Port

What Works After Tweaking

  • Volume Buttons
  • Laptop-mode

Not Tested

Fixes After Installation


Laptop-mode appears to work fine, but is disabled by default. To enable it edit /etc/default/acpi-support and set ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE=true. When your laptop goes on battery power it should be automatically enabled.

Volume Buttons

The default installation maps the laptop's volume buttons to the software mixer. As the T23 has a hardware mixer, this was causing the volume range to be reduced since both were adjusted at the same time. The simplest way to avoid this is to clear the keyboard shortcut that causes the software mixer to be adjusted. This can be done with the Keyboard Shortcut preference tool (System->Preferences->Keyboard Shorcuts), and hitting the backspace key when selecting volume mute, volume up and volume down. There is currenly a bug filed for this in the ubuntu bugtracker, but nothing has been done with it as of writing.

Another possibility is to use tpb. You can do this by typing $ sudo aptitude install tbp in a terminal window (you could also use synaptic package manager). This will cause the hotkey-setup and ubuntu-desktop packages to be uninstalled 1. Once installed tpb will show it's on screen display (OSD) when one of the special buttons is pressed. This worked when installed, but on a reboot, the OSD was no longer displayed. I have not yet found the cause of this.

Other Notes


NetworkManager is a utility that is meant to simplfy networking for laptop users, allowing easy and automatic switching between network connections. It can be installed by typing $ sudo aptitude install network-manager in a command prompt (you can also use synaptic). In order for NetworkManager to detect all of the installed networking cards properly, you will need to edit /etc/network/interfaces and remove (or comment out) all the lines except

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

Once this is done a reboot should allow NetworkManager to detect all network cards (resetting dbus with $ sudo /etc/init.d/dbus restart should work as well). You can then pick which network to connect to the with the NetworkManager applet in the gnome system tray, or let NetworkManager pick one automatically. Unfortunately, I could not get NetworkManager to connect to my AP when using WEP, using either the orinoco or the hostap driver (the normal gnome network applet had no problems however), so I was unable to use it.

  1. hotkey-setup is the default package that handles the special keys on various laptops, and ubuntu-desktop is the special superpackage that depends on all the other packages in a standard ubuntu desktop installation. Both are safe to uninstall, however without ubuntu-desktop any packages added/removed to the default installation (say, on a distribution upgrade) won't automatically be installed.