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Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Location: Athens, Greece
Views: 9,615
Message 1 of 10

Linux on a R61

I own an R61 thinkpad (Machine Model = 89185QG) and I was wondering whether I can install Linux.

Does anybody know if my model supports Linux OS?

If yes, which distribution should I install?

Punch Card
Posts: 10
Location: Altoona, Wisconsin, USA
Views: 9,601
Message 2 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

Google is our friend. A quick search for "R61 Linux" tells us that Lenovo began offering SUSE installed on new R61s early this year. Also popping up on this search are install reports, etc. As for which distro to use, each one of us has personal favorites. The distro you choose will depend on your level of expertise, interest in learning about the OS versus just wanting to get the job done, available help (don't forget local Linux users groups and on-line users' groups), your personality, etc.
Punch Card
Posts: 10
Location: Altoona, Wisconsin, USA
Views: 9,568
Message 3 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

Check out the hardware compatibility list at and the installs listed at

Google your model number.
Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Location: france
Views: 9,273
Message 4 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

Dear all,

I've got the same configuration with both Mandriva and Ubuntu and everythings works on it.

If you need to use the RTC modem you will have to install the HSF linuxant driver, you can find it there : 



Suspend to ram works very well and very fast with Mandriva but doesn't work with Ubuntu !

If you want to use the sounds short cut, it is better to use gnome than kde because there are nothing to do.

With kde 4 I don't know how to make them working but with kde 3.5 you need to install kdeutils-kmilo package

Go in kde control center  -> System Administration -> IBM Thinkpad laptop and select -> run thinkpad buttons ... ,

create a script


To do it, create a file and call it for exemple keyboard and past in it the following lines: 

xmodmap ~/.xmodmaprc


Copy this file into  /home/??????/.kde/Autostart and right clic on it go to properties -> Access -> executable


Go to /home/??????/ and create a new file that you call .xmodmaprc and past in it the following lines:

keycode 234 = XF86Back
keycode 233 = XF86Forward
keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev
keycode 164 = XF86AudioStop
keycode 162 = XF86AudioPlay
keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext
keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume


So now ewerythings works perfectly 




Punch Card
Posts: 17
Location: USA
Views: 9,228
Message 5 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

Hi there,


If you want to install a distribution with purchased support, I would try SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, SP2 (aka SLED 10).

Lenovo has been certifying their product line with  SLED for quite some time.


If you want to run the latest kernel and tools, but with only community support, I would go for OpenSUSE 11.1.



I have run both SLED and OpenSUSE on a variety of Lenovo Thinkpads for quite some time with no issues (T42p, T60p, R61, T61, X60, X300).


Good Luck.


Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Location: Athens, Greece
Views: 9,218
Message 6 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

Thanks a lot. I'll give SLED 10 a try and I'll let the forum know about my experience.

Do you know if IBM has a dedicated site for downloading the above distro, or it si only available through Novell's site?


BTW, Happy New Year !!!!

Punch Card
Posts: 17
Location: USA
Views: 9,189
Message 7 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

I'm not sure whether you can get it from Lenovo or IBM as a download.


To get the ISO's from Novell, all you have to do is create an account with Novell (it's free) and then go to and select the software that you want to download.


For SLED 10, make sure that you download Service Pack 2 (SP2). 


Good Luck.

Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Location: The Netherlands
Views: 9,031
Message 8 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

I used to have a Lenovo ThinkPad R61e and never had any problems with it at all. If you use a recent kernel (2.6.25 or later) it should work without any problems.
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Location: Uruguay
Views: 8,678
Message 9 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

I've been using Linux Mint in my R61 for half a year now.


Had to tweak around for the following to be functional:

* fingerprint reader

* HDAPS (the hard disk protection)


Pending tweaks:

* touchpad horizontal window scrolling

* trackpoint vertical window scrolling


Unsolved issues:

* screen flicker when some OpenGL application is run while Compiz is enabled. I use fusion-icon to disable Compiz before running OpenGL apps.







Fanfold Paper
Posts: 17
Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
Views: 8,339
Message 10 of 10

Re: Linux on a R61

Several members of the LinuxCabal have R61s that work perfectly under Mandriva 2009.0 out of the Box, finger print rader and all. I have read several suggestions telling you to use OpenSuSE 10.x but would offer a caution on that one as the 10.x seies of OpenSuSE is a disaster. If you are attracted to SuSE use v.11.x not 10.x. I have seen the R61 working quite well unde Ubuntu 8.10 as well though that would not be my choice... and we have one pwerson using it with the new Fedora and she seems quite satified with it.



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