ThinkPad X61 Tablet and Ubuntu Lucid Lynx
I have been using my ThinkPad X61 Tablet on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx for about a month now, so I think I am comfortable in writing an update about how well those two work together. To make a long story short, most items are unchanged since Ubuntu Karmic Koala. What worked before still works, what didn’t work before still doesn’t work. The one thing that changed is that to get the scrolling via the TrackPoint to work, you have to create a new file. Read on to see what needs to be changed.
Before I start talking about Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, I want to write a quick summary about the hardware. My tablet is the one with the SWGA screen and does not have finger-touch capabilities. You have to use the cheap pen, included with the tablet, for input. The tablet also has 2 GB of memory and a Core 2 Duo processor running at a maximum of 1.6 GHz. The processor also supports other frequencies, like 800 MHz and 1.2 GHz. The frequencies can be changed using the standard Linux tools right away.
The wireless connection works out of the box. It uses the iwlagn kernel module.
Touchscreen (Pen Only)
The touch screen works out of the box using the Wacom pen. I don’t know about finger-touch support, since as I do not have that capability.
I recommend that you instal xournal for note-taking and cellwriter (my tips and tricks) for handwriting recognition. Both are available in the official Ubuntu repository, but are not installed by default.
Extra Buttons/Screen Buttons
All of the extra keyboard buttons work out of the box, with the exception of the zoom button (Fn+Space). The buttons that work are the volume buttons, the ThinkVantage button and all Fn buttons. The buttonson the screen are the rotate button, the toolbox button, the escape button and the arrow buttons.
By work, I mean they report a valid symbol to X.Org. For some of them, you have to bind them to an action to make them do something useful.
Middle Button Scrolling Using TrackPoint
You cannot use the TrackPoint as a scroll button out of the box. In Karmic, you had to create a file, such that HAL would know to enable this feature. However Lucid no longer uses HAL, instead it reverted back to X.org’s own device configuration system. So you have to create a file for X.org. The contents are still the same, only the syntax changed.
To create this file, run the following command to open a text editor:
sudo gedit /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-thinkpad.conf
And place the following text into it:
Identifier "Trackpoint Wheel Emulation"
Option "EmulateWheel" "true"
Option "EmulateWheelButton" "2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "false"
Option "XAxisMapping" "6 7"
Option "YAxisMapping" "4 5"
Save the file and restart X.org. After that, you can scroll by holding down the middle mouse button and moving your TrackPoint up-and-down at the same time.
Both work out of the box without any problems.
Hard Drive Accelerometer
The hard drive accelerometer STILL does not work out of the box. It will report the position (0,-3) regardless of the real position. My understanding is that there are some political problems (legal, ideal?) as to why it hasn’t been fixed yet.
Of course, you still have to install some packages to make it do something useful. I suggest that you install hdapsd, which will spin down your disk when motion is detected. This prevents it from being damaged.
sudo aptitude install hdapsd
Also my AutoRotate daemon is quite cool. It rotates your screen automatically based on orientation.
The scanner does not work out of the box. And even after manual configuration, you can only go so far. While the hardware is supported, the software that uses it isn’t that great. You can configure PAM to allow you to login via fingerprints, but it cannot identify the based on the fingerprint and it always asks for a specific finger at a time.
The best software for this is fprint. I have written a tutorial on how to configure fprint. However you no longer have to add the PPA in it, since fprint is now part of the official Ubuntu repository.