Linux on ThinkPad

I must start by saying that nothing I’m about to write should be construed as any kind of comment regarding IBM’s possible plans for Linux on the desktop.

Having said that, I’m happy to say that I’m now finally running Linux on my ThinkPad, complete with Notes 6.5.1 under WINE. So far it’s looking good, it’s looking like I’ll be able to go 100% Windows Free™ in the next month or so.

Contrary to rumors on some web sites, it’s not some super-secret “Blue Linux”. It’s just a regular Linux distribution from a well-known vendor, with a bunch of IBM stuff pre-installed and pre-configured. The key point is that on IBM hardware like this ThinkPad, everything just works—X works, sound works, external USB hard drives work, USB mice work including the scroll wheel, there are icons preconfigured for all the applications an IBM person typically needs, and some sensible choices have been made so that there aren’t ten different text editors and ten different GIF viewers. I still managed to find over a gigabyte of stuff to remove, but then again I’m a Gentoo zealot.

It took a couple of evenings of my own time, but I think it’s worth it. And just in case things go horribly wrong, I have a spare hard drive with a Windows 2000 install I can swap in…

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