Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gutsy Gibbon on My ThinkPad T61

Recently, I bought a new ThinkPad. Much to the chagrin of the bf, I didn't start using it right away. It sat on a pile of boxes while I planned my attack.

See, I wanted to reinstall Windows—to get rid of crapplets—before I filled the disk full of stuff.

And, I wanted to set up the machine to dual-boot Ubuntu.

I wasn't entirely successful with the clean XP install. I mostly followed the guides listed below. But I must have done something wrong, because after my install, Windows would only start in safe mode. And when I looked at the install log, it was complaining about several crucial DLLs not being right. (I no longer have the error messages, because I cleared them out, or I'd list them here for posterity.)

But then I remembered that the bf and I had actually bought an OEM XP CD to install under Parallels on his MacBook. Oh yes, I could use that!

So I did, and everything was happy.

Once past that hurdle, I followed the article My Ubuntu Installation on Thinkpad R60: Dual boot with WinXP to set up the dual-boot.

It only took me 3 tries.

The first time, I managed to download a bad Ubuntu installer image. The lesson learned there was that before burning a CD and trying to use it to install an operating system, you should check the MD5.

The second time, I missed that it didn't keep all the attributes about what I wanted to do with my partitions from the first time. The partitions (obviously) were still there, but I missed that I needed to re-fill-out some of the details about how Linux should use them.

The third time, it worked like a charm!

Now, let me tell you, Linux has come a !!!LONG!!! way since the last time I looked at it—which was something like SUSE 7.1.

Quite a lot of things really did work, right out of the box.

I followed the guide Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on a ThinkPad T61 at ThinkWiki—very helpful.

I had a few travails—which if I'm feeling motivated, I'll post about later—but I'm amazed at how many things are working:

  • Wireless networking
  • Printing to an IPP HP LaserJet printer on the network
  • VPNing into work and remote desktopping into my work computer
  • Suspending (well sometimes anyway)
  • Automounting network shares

I want to give a big shout-out and "Thank You!" to everyone in the Linux, Ubuntu, and ThinkPad community who helped make this possible. It's beautiful.

And I even let myself order the Tux Babydoll T-Shirt from ThinkGeek in celebration.


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