Wait, what’s going on here?

November 7, 2007

Quick post. Like Troy and Charles and some others recently, I’ve been considering distros lately. I’ve literally never attempted to install any Linux/BSD on my T60 Thinkpad. No LiveCDs ever work and Sebas always has very reassuring comments like “I sure am getting more efficient at recompiling kernels on my T60.” But this weekend, let’s say Windows finally gave me no option.

As fate would have it, that very morning Binner posted a blog entry about SUSE 10.3. Not a fan of Novell, but have always been a fan of SUSE. How did the install go? Defied expectations. All hardware recognized. Did you read that last sentence? As faithful readers of my blog over time may remember, I never have much luck with hardware recognition. This was aces. And not only did SUSE install quickly and subsequently boot quickly, it looked good. Not just “should I be surprised it gave me the correct resolution” good, but “this could be the best font rendering I’ve seen” good. A couple of clicks later, and you have the following screenshot:

This screenshot is of me watching Heroes using my headphone jack while sitting on the couch and streaming the flash video through my wireless connection. With almost no work. Hence the title: Wait, what’s going on here?

Of course, now I want to try other distros to see if they’ve made similar strides (based on similar kernel versions, etc).  But far too busy to tinker (apart from the one hour for Heroes I gave myself as a present tonight) so SUSE it is for the time being.  There do seem to be issues with the repositories (surprise, surprise) and suspend/hibernate, but I’m not going to make any judgments before investigating further.  I needed to get productive and SUSE has let me do exactly that.  Great work by the SUSE team!


11 Responses to “Wait, what’s going on here?”

  1. Hans Hansen Says:

    I’ve been running Kubuntu 7.04 and now Kubuntu 7.10 on my T60 (with ATI graphics. Sigh…) Since May this year 🙂 (OpenSuse was just to slugish for me 😉 )

    Hm… The above is not meant as flamebait!

    But with Kubuntu there is no suspend/hibernate 😦

    Point is, T60 runs Linux 🙂

  2. Erunno Says:

    This is contradictory. Either Linux runs on the T60 and you have working suspend/hibernate or it doesn’t. Maybe our definition of “working” differs but for me it means that all of my hardware is working as intented and not only a subset of it.

    Anyway, I’m an openSUSE user as well but the package management is still not really satisfactory. Slow and error-prone when it comes to dependency resolution if you add too many repositories.

  3. liquidat Says:

    Erm – the screenshot is a bit small, can you please link to a larger one so that we can actually have a look at the fonts? 😉

  4. Nescius Says:

    try also mandriva, it shocked me by similiar way, but in contrary to your experiences with suse, suspend does work there and repositories usually work quite good, i dont know if they are comparable by numbers of packages.

    do they have the chameleon looking arround for your mouse?

    we’ve gone long way since 2002 when i started with linux 🙂

  5. Sebastian Says:

    Using Kubuntu Gutsy (7.10) on my T60 since months – and everything (incl. suspend/hibernate, hdaps, fingerprint) works without a problem. (hdaps and fingerprint are the only things not working out of the box)

  6. kriko Says:

    I’m using DejaVu fonts on my desktop and they were very bad after booting into new opensuse, because subpixel hinting is disabled.
    There is an easy fix:

  7. sebas Says:

    Wade, if you start writing patches for your kernel, make sure to CC: me, I’m eager to test anything that makes me compile more kernels, more efficiently. 😉

  8. varg Says:


    This is contradictory. Either Linux runs on the T60 and you have working suspend/hibernate or it doesn’t. Maybe our definition of “working” differs but for me it means that all of my hardware is working as intented and not only a subset of it.

    could you please shut up? Suspend/hibernate are about the most useless features ever , if you really want to save battery just turn the computer off! (When you have a lot of RAM hibernate is gonna take much longer than a shut down + reboot anyways ) And they don’t seem to work on ANY computer with any linux version.

  9. sebas Says:

    @other Sebastian: Are you using the fglrx driver, or do you have the T60 with Intel chip?

  10. Chani Says:

    varg: you’re being as annoying as the guy you’re replying to. suspend/hibernate are very, very useful features. I almost never log out of kde these days. if I’m using my laptop and suddenly have to get up and run off (say, to catch the bus) I just slam the lid shut and go. it hibernates itself and I don’t have to worry about whether my files are saved or what the battery state is or anything. it’ll hibernate itself if the battery gets low, too, so if I accidentally leave it on and unplugged I don’t have to worry.

    I seriously wouldn’t be able to put up with a distro if I couldn’t get hibernate working, these days.

    …speaking of which, I hope I can post this before auto-hibernate kicks in. short battery life sucks.

  11. apokryphos Says:

    Thinkpads are generally well-supported on openSUSE; IIRC Lenovo have been kind enough in the past to provide the SUSE mobile team with some laptops in order to get them into shape, though it does take time. All of which of course goes upstream, of course.

    If you need help tracking down any issues (like your repositories or hibernate ones), please feel free to drop by the IRC channel (#suse) or the mailing list. Would be nice to track down those issues (if they are not known).

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