How to Install a Mandrake 8.0 on a IBM Thinkpad T20

I started with a Mandrake 8.0. Unfortunaltely, the graphical installation program did not detect the trackpoint, neither a connected PS/2 mouse. I had to plug an USB mouse to end the installation The XFree86 4.0.3 installation program did detect the correct graphic card and sound was ok with a generic cs46xx module. I heard then that the detection problem of the PS/2 auxiliary devices was due to a patch applied to the 2.4.3-20mdk kernel. I decided then to move to a 2.4.4 kernel because there is a patch to suppress kernel panic at wake-up of PCMCIA IBM Toren-Ring card and the PS/2 mouse was successfully detected.

Hardware Specifications Model

IBM ThinkPad T20 (Type-Model=2647-81G)
Physical RAM: 256 Mo
Hard Disk: 12 Go IBM-DARA-212000
Sound Card: Crystal Audio CS-4136
Video Card: S3 Savage IX8
Network Card: IBM Turbo 16/4 Token-Ring PC Card (PCMCIA)
Modem: Lucent Microelectronics WinModem 56k (Integrated)
Peripherals: 24x DVD Player

2.4.4 Kernel

Kernel sources were obtained from The Linux Kernel Archives. I had to aply a  patch from Linux Token Ring Project to avoid kernel panic at PCMCIA Token-ring detection and used this .config.


I used the integrated PCMCIA Token-Ring support provided by kernel 2.4.4 (see .config above). Here is my /etc/pcmcia/config.opts file.


The ALSA Drivers 0.5.11 downloaded from Advanced Linux Sound Architecture with the following lines in my /etc/modules.conf was ok:
alias char-major-14 snd
alias snd-minor-oss-0 snd-interwave
alias snd-minor-oss-3 snd-pcm1-oss
alias snd-minor-oss-4 snd-pcm1-oss
alias snd-minor-oss-5 snd-pcm1-oss
alias snd-minor-oss-12 snd-pcm1-oss
alias snd-card-0 snd-card-cs461x

Xfree86 v4.0.3 Configuration

Here is my /etc/X11/XF86Config-4. It is ok for the Savage IX8 in 1024x768 resolution and a PS/2 mouse. I had to add the "ShadowStatus" option in the device screen section to avoid X-server freeze.

ThinkPad BIOS Control

To configure the BIOS settings directly from Linux, I use the Thinkpad Control Program v1.1beta from tpctl homepage.

Trackpoint Utilities

After 2.4.4 kernel installation, the trackpoint was successfully detected and configured as a Standard PS/2 mouse via the menuconfig program. I obtained better control on this device configuration installing the tp4utils_1_1_beta program from Linux Trackpoint Utilities. I choose to start the tp4d daemon from my /etc/rc.d/rc.local, adding the following two lines:
rm -f /tmp/tp4pipe
/usr/bin/X11/tp4d -z -S 0x96
(to disable the z-axis and set the x-y axis sensibility to 0x96)


A driver for the Lucent WinModem, compilable against a 2.4.x kernel can be found at (ltmodem-99b was the last stable version when I downloaded this driver). An easy way to get the correct initialisation string for the modem was to run wvdialconf from the wvdial programs package. The full commands I had to type (as root) were:
     - touch /etc/wvdial.conf (because I did not have any configuration file before)
     - ln -s -f /dev/ttyS0 /dev/ttyLT0 (because the modem device created during lt-modem install is /dev/ttyLT0 and wvdialconf only scan for /dev/ttySx devices)
     - wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
Then I had to update the generated /etc/wvdial.conf file with the phone number, username and password given by my ISP.  After this, I just installed a pppd 2.4.1 (from rpm package) and edit my /etc/resolv.conf to put my ISP's DNS and I was able to connect to the internet from home

Network Printing

I use Common Unix Printing System 1.1.6 (RPMs installed from the Mandrake Installation cd) to print to postscript network printers. The Web Admistration Interface is very easy to use and powerfull and there is a lot of  supported printers.

Still to do

DVD playing
Suspend/Resume with hibernation
IrDA support
DHCP (currently using a fixed IP address)

Problems to fix

No power off at the end of shutdown.
Complete freeze when dialing using wvdial on a busy phone line.

Helpfull Links

The Linux Kernel Archives
Linux Token Ring Project
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
Linux Trackpoint Utilities
tpctl homepage


E-mail me at if you have any comment on this page.

Last News

Since I wrote this page, some changes happened to the Linux partition of my T20:
    - move from XFree86 4.0.3 to 4.1.0
    - installation of AfterStep 1.1.8 and WindowMaker

Document Log

Jun 16th 2001: initial version
Jun 18th 2001: modem installation and dialer configuration added. 'Comments' section added. Options are passed to tp4d at startup. 'Problems to fix' section refreshed. 'Mic. Fixed Problems' section added.
Jun 23th: X-server freeze problem fixed using ShadowStatus option in XF86Config-4.
Aug 3rd: Last News section added.