ramblings from the hive mind

My perfect x61 Intrepid setup

20 March 2009 | View comments
Damien Austin-Walker

The upgrade from Ubuntu Hardy (8.04) to Intrepid (8.10) on my Lenovo ThinkPad x61 was easy and took about an hour.  Then there are a few things to get working again...

Enable the middle 'mouse' button

Apparently Intrepid switches to evdev for X server input so instead of modifying your xorg.conf like in Hardy, create a new file called /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mouse-wheel.fdi with the following contents:

<match key="info.product" string="TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint">
<merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheel" type="string">true</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheelButton" type="string">2</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.XAxisMapping" type="string">6 7</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.YAxisMapping" type="string">4 5</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.ZAxisMapping" type="string">4 5</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.Emulate3Buttons" type="string">true</merge>


Bluetooth off by default

Turning this off as default both saves battery life and is more secure, it still toggles on when you need it with Fn+F5. Follow instructions here

Screen brightness control

You can't adjust the screen brightness even though the slider goes up and down when you press the brightness controls.

In /etc/modprobe.d/options

add the following

# Workaround
options thinkpad_acpi brightness_enable=1

Thinkfinger Fingerprint Reader

I mainly followed the guide on but it needs updating and covers many distributions so I have reproduced the instructions just for Intrepid below.

If installed from the normal Intrepid repositories, you have to press enter after sweeping your finger. (bug: Jon Oberheide made an update (here:

Edit your sources list 

$ sudo nano /etc/apt/source.list

and add the PPA repositories:-

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

Update installer:

$ sudo apt-get update

And install:

$ sudo apt-get install thinkfinger-tools 

DON'T then do "sudo tf-tool --add-user $USERNAME" as specified as it has been patched out and you will get

ThinkFinger 0.3 (
Copyright (C) 2006, 2007 Timo Hoenig <>

Two output paths specified, but you may only specify one:


$ sudo /usr/lib/pam-thinkfinger/pam-thinkfinger-enable
$ sudo tf-tool --acquire

(swipe finger 3 times)

if you wish to check it works then
$ sudo tf-tool --verify 

Fix for the fingerprint reader getting too hot

The fix for this can also be found on  My hand was getting so hot (it is now I've only just applied the fix!) sometimes I would recommend this - I'll edit this post accordingly once I know if it makes a difference or not.


The upgrade to Intrepid wanted to remove my Skype and I let it.  I see why now as the Skype you can download for Ubuntu from the skype website states it's for Ubuntu 7.04-8.04 with no mention of 8.10.  However it works just fine with 8.10 for me, so just download it and reinstall.

'Kernel Panic' Wireless freezing up

 I had some problem with the wireless freezing up. Once or twice it also froze the whole keyboard and left the caps lock light flashing - as the keyboard was completely unresponsive the only way out of this was a hard reboot.  I had a similar issue with Hardy 8.04 but only when using my Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G card, the upgrade to Intrepid was mainly driven by the hope that it would fix this issue not make it worse.

After reading the thread here I installed the intrepid backports.

$ sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-intrepid

 Some say it work, for others it hasn't.  The latest comment suggests installing the newest driver from  Using

modprobe -l *iwl* to check what wireless drivers your system is using.

Mine was using....



I was sure from reading the orig hardware spec when I bought the machine wayback that the number started with a 4 so I checked using

$ lspci

 Which gives me

03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network Connection (rev 61)

Looking at it looks I have the latest drivers anyway from the backports so it should be fine.  It seems the drivers from kernels later than 2.6.26 support both the 3945 and 4965 all the way up to the 5350 AGN hardware  I will test and come back to finish this post with the results.

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