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Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Basic Installation Instructions

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on February 16, 2007

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This is one of a number of posts detailing how to install Ubuntu 6.10 (codename Edgy) on a Thinkpad X41.

This post focuses on the initial steps to installing Ubuntu.

  1. Download an Ubuntu CD image from one of these links, depending on which is closer to you geographically: Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, USA, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Singapore or Namibia. Alternatively, go here and choose a mirror to download from.
  2. Burn this CD image to a blank CD with the CD burning software of your choice. I used Nero.
  3. Create backup disks for Windows XP, in case something goes horribly wrong and you need to reinstall Windows. The Thinkpad X41 usually doesn’t come shipped with Windows XP on a disc (or at least mine didn’t), so you’ll need these disks if you ever want to reinstall Windows. To do this, click Start/.. tbc
  4. Connect your CD/DVD drive to your laptop, and place the Ubuntu CD in it. Restart your laptop and boot from the CD. If your system is not set to boot from CD (i.e. it always uses the hard drive), then when the laptop is starting to boot, hit the blue “Access IBM” button, and change the boot options to boot from CD before hard drive.
  5. Ubuntu should now load. You will see an icon labelled “Install” on the desktop. Double click on this, and click your way through the install wizard. The defaults are generally the right choice. The installations should take around twenty minutes, without a progress bar – don’t worry, it hasn’t hung, it’s working just fine.
  6. Restart the laptop, removing the CD from the drive.
  7. Since you’ve installed Ubuntu as a dual-boot partition alongside Windows, you will probably want to be able to access your Windows hard drive. The help document provided by Ubuntu at “Partitions and Booting/Make Windows Partitions available from Ubuntu” is out of date – there is no System->Administrators->Disks menu item, as it claims. Instead, open the Help system with System->Help->System Documentation, and click on “Working with your Desktop“. From the left menu, choose “Partitions and Booting/Make Windows Partitions automatically available“.By default, Ubuntu (as with pretty much all Linux distros) provides read-only access to NTFS partitions. To get read-write access, you have to install an extra package called ntfs-3g
    1. Click System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager.
    2. Scroll down to ntfs-3g, check the box next to it and click Apply.
    3. Open a terminal with Applications->Accessories->Terminal and type:
    4. sudo mkdir /media/windows
      sudo cp /etc/fstab/ /etc/fstab_backup
      sudo gedit /etc/fstab

    5. You now have to find out the name of your Windows hard drive. type:
    6. cd /dev/disk/by-label

    7. This will list the disks available to you. See if you can recognise the name of your C drive in Windows – originally mine was called IBM_PRELOAD. Take note of it
    8. At the end of the fstab file we opened earlier append
      /dev/disks/by-label/IBM_PRELOAD /media/windows ntfs-3g locale=en_US.utf8 0 0
    9. Save and close the file, and type “sudo mount -a so the changes take effect. If you still can’t access the windows partition at /media/windows then restart Ubuntu to force the changes to take effect.
    10. On a personal side note, to speed up access to the drive, I created a soft link to it, called “C”, from my home folder. To this open a terminal and type
      ln -s /media/windows ~/C
  8. If you find your internet connection is slow, then it could be due to the IPv6 protocol interfering with you network requests. To fix this (source link):
    1. Open a terminal and type
      sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/aliases
    2. Locate “alias net-pf-10 ipv6″ and replace it with
    3. #alias net-pf-10 ipv6
      alias net-pf-10 off ipv6
      alias net-pf-10 off

    4. Save the file and exit gedit.
    5. Open Firefox and type into the address bar about:config.
    6. Find and set the following values in the list:
      1. Set network.dns.disableIPv6 to “true” by double clicking on it
      2. Set network.http.pipelining to “true”
      3. Set network.http.pipeining.maxrequests to 8
      4. Set network.http.proxy.pipelining to “true”
    7. Reboot your system.
  9. To share folders over a Windows network (through Samba) network, a couple of steps are required [source link]:
    1. Click System->Administration->Shared Folders
    2. Click Add and choose the folder you want to share.
    3. Next you must add a password for whatever users you want to be able to connect to your machine over the network. Open a terminal and type sudo smbpasswd -a myusername where ‘myusername’ is, of course, your user name.
    4. You will be prompted for a password twice.  Enter it, and you will then be able to connect to that share over a windows network.

5 Responses to “Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Basic Installation Instructions”

  1. […] on Thinkpad X41 – Installing Multimedia Components Table of Contents | Prev Post | Next […]

  2. […] Basic Installation instructions […]

  3. […] points to a worrying possibility.  People are obviously working with Ubuntu on their spare time, installing it, upgrading, adding applications and window managers etc, and need help doing this.  They are […]

  4. paranoia said

    Does Samba allow me to not only be able to access my shared windows files, but vise-versa as well? I need a way to access files on Ubuntu from my Windows machine.

  5. Yes, as far as I know it does. Click on “System/Administration/Shared Folders”. When you click the “Add” button, you can select the type of share you would like, one of which is Samba for Windows.


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