:w :w Installing CERN certified Linux version RH-6.1 on IBM  ThinkPad T20

Installing the CERN certified Linux RH-6.1
on an IBM ThinkPad model T20

Feb 23, 2007: This document was written on June 25, 2001. Almost everything in it is completely obsolete, and many things are just misleading, except the issue of that particular disk having wrong data in the IBM data sheet which comes with it.
In the best case this document may perhaps be useful in suggesting how to think when something does not behave as expected.
This document, referenced elsewhere, is kept here to avoid reaching a "broken link"

I have installed the CERN certified version of Redhat Linux 6.1 on an IBM ThinkPad T20 laptop, standard configuration, with a 12 GB disk (IBM model DARA-212000) and an Intel PRO/100 CardBus II PCMCIA network adapter. Windows 2000 was already installed in the first 6 Gb partition of the disk, the second being reserved for Linux (had been initialised to second Windows partition by dealer).

The following difficulties required special action:

Details of installation:

  1. Using Windows 2000 (or some other machine and a floppy), download in the Windows area the following components:
  2. Boot from the CERN CDROM with options "text hda=1444,255,63". Otherwise fdisk will see 963,255,63 and believe that the drive has only 8 Gb (probably reflecting the wrong number of "linear" cylinders in the IBM data sheet!). The "linear" geometry 23392,16,63 does not allow the creation of the /boot partition in my case (above a 6 Gb DOS partition).
  3. Select CUSTOM installation because the CERN Workstation install does not let you add "linear" to the LILO configuration file. The machine would hang after typing LI only at any further attempt to boot from the hard disk. I asked for a first 16 Mb /boot partition, a 256 Mb swap (RAM memory being 128), a 500 Mb /var, and the rest for / since I did anyway not intend to install AFS.
  4. Select the CERN recommended package selection.
  5. Declare the graphics card to be the S3 Savage and the monitor an IBM TFT 14 1024x768. The mouse is a PS/2 requiring 3 buttons emulation (the one the owner purchased, that is, in addition to the awful ThinkPad pointer). This will give lousy X11 at 640x480 for the time being. Do NOT agree to having X11 start automatically.
  6. Do not order a boot floppy because the CDROM is in the slot! However, if you know how to later make such a boot floppy, once the installation is complete, make one, and please tell me how!
  7. When this stage of installation is completed, the machine reboots. Log in as root. Make a directory /mnt/msdos and then mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/msdos. Make a temporary directory under /root and copy to it the four files downloaded in Windows disk space. Unpack the svga driver (one file only anyway; you may ask why it comes as a tar file: otherwise you would forget to make the module executable, right?) but do not unpack the pcmcia archive.
  8. Move or copy XF86_SVGA to /usr/X11R6/bin.
  9. Move or copy XF86Config to /etc/X11. You can overwrite or first rename the existing /etc/X11/XF86Config.
  10. Replace the existing link /etc/X11/X so that it points to XF86_SVGA instead of XF86_VGA16
  11. Edit /etc/X11/XF86Config to enable 3-buttons simulation if your mouse has only two.
  12. Unzip the modem archive linux568.zip and perform the install as in the instructions that will appear.
  13. Move or copy the PCMCIA archive to /usr/src/linux and unpack it there. Change directory to pcmcia-cs-3.1.18. Read the HOWTO and perform the instructions( make config ; make all ; make install )
  14. Using linuxconf, configure the network.
  15. To make it actually work you will need to trigger /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup eth0 as it does not start automatically for example by introducing the network adapter.
  16. Install SUE following the instructions from CERN.
  17. Reboot, enjoy the crisp graphics under X11, mount the ASIS CDROM,follow the instructions from CERN (execute /mnt/cdrom/asis/bin/gnorpm and reward yourself with a cup of coffee, that's the only step where I felt idle).
  18. As superuser, edit /usr/sue/lib/acb.cfg for the three parameters required for callback to CERN. Remember that /usr/sue/etc/acb must be run as superuser.
  19. I have been too lazy to work on the sound system. Try sndconfig to get a solution.

After having done all that, you should be in mood to enjoy your ThinkPad T20!


Too bad, the one on which I worked is not mine, but a friend's.


This page prepared by Jacques Goldberg, Dept of Physics, Technion, Haifa, Israel. The following documentation has been of paramount relevance: