I recently bought a Thinkpad R52. The first thing I did was install gentoo. So far I'm pretty impressed. The R52 doesn't have fancy features, but it has all the basics. I was deliberating whether to wait for the core duo laptops to come out and just getting a laptop now. I figure I won't be running Xen too much, and I don't want to be spending time getting everything working on a first gen laptop. Thinkwiki already has lots of good info, and most of the stuff in my laptop is standard issue stuff. I'll detail my steps I've taken thus far. Later I'll try to push back onto thinkwiki and the gentoo wiki pages, since I don't have everything working right now.... This document is a live document so it is not complete right now..

Gentoo 2005.1 install

The install was a normal gentoo stage 3 install and went quite quickly. (My fasted install yet, but it's also my fastest computer...)

make.conf, USE flags

Here's my current make make.conf... Will fill this in...


Alsa worked out of the box, I just followed the gentoo instructions and needed to use alsamixer to boost the volume levels.


I attempted to mess with udev to detect my usb key (which I successfully used on my other gentoo install). The sata drives (which appear as sda) appeared to confuse udev and no device entry was created. I read the gentoo KDE documentation and it now says to use dbus, hal and ivman. Installing those allowed for painless mounting of usb keys and cds in the /media directory. I'll probably go update my desktop with these packages.


i810 with the stable (6.8) x.org didn't work. I needed to install the modular 7.0 version. That involved lots of editing of package.keywords, package.unmask and package.mask. After the editing I found a script that does that. (I added around 110 packages, not fun!) To get the the 1400x1050 resolution working I needed to add 915resolution package and configure to add the 1400x1050 video mode to the bios. The kind folks from the dri mailing list were prompt to reply to my questions. After upgrading X and installing 915resolution, DRI seemed to fall out and worked (1000fps for glxgears). I have gotten the trackpoint working, the touchpad working and external usb mice to work. This involved editing xorg.conf and udev rules. The synaptics driver will not load for some reason giving the following error:

(**) Option "PalmMinZ" "200"
(EE) Touchpad no synaptics touchpad detected and no repeater device
(EE) Touchpad Unable to query/initialize Synaptics hardware.
(EE) PreInit failed for input device "Touchpad"
(II) UnloadModule: "synaptics"
(**) Option "CoreKeyboard"
(**) Keyboard1: Core Keyboard But the touchpad is currently working with the normal ps2 mouse driver.

Trying to start syndaemon (/etc/init.d/syndaemon start) gives the following::

Can't access shared memory area. SHMConfig disabled? [ !! ]

Apparently I'm missing something. I have attempted to get the external vga port to work on my lcd montitor (though I want to get it working for projectors). My attempt was unsuccessful as I hit Fn-F5 I could only toggle between a black screen and a screen that had two quarter size screens side by side occupying the top half of the monitor.


The fonts were looking pretty bad even after I got 1400x1050 working. (Well the xterm fonts were crisp...) To rememedy that I just followed the gentoo font documentation and firefox and kde started looking really good.

wireless ipw2200

Wireless took a little more work to get working. This is actually one area where the gentoo documentation is a little lacking. I tried to get things working with wpa_supplicant but it kept crashing. Finally I reverted to wireless tools and was able to get it working. "FOOBAR" is my local ESSID, I have other ones for work. Since my nameserver changes when I'm at work and at home, I had to remove the "nodns" option. "iwconfig" told me that my wireless device was "eth1" , so I symlinked /etc/init.d/net.eth to net.lo. I can now start wireless at work and home by running "/etc/init.d/net.eth1 start". Kwifimanager has proven pretty pointless, and I haven't been able to actually use it to configure or connect my wireless card. The relevant areas of /etc/conf.d/net are:

#wireless wireless-tools
modules=( "iwconfig" )
config_eth1=( "dhcp" )
#dhcp_eth1="nodns nontp nonis"
dhcp_eth1="nontp nonis" #REMOVE THE nodns so /etc/resolv.conf gets updated
preferred_aps=( "FOOBAR" "any" )

I also added the following to "/etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6"::

ipw2200 led=1 hwcrypto=0 disable=1

Hibernate, sleeping, acpi etc

Gentoo has pretty good power management instructions and I was able to create a battery profile that steps my cpu speed down when the AC cord is pulled. My first (and only) attempt at suspend to ram failed (I needed to reboot). And I haven't messed around with it more. (The laptop boots pretty fast anyway right now).