SuSE 8.1 on an IBM R32

From MarcsHomepage

Technical data

List of technical details regarding my R32. There are different models out there, which differ in CPU, memory and display-specs.

I don't have access to this notebook any more, so don't expect updates or more information in the future.

IBM Thinkpad R32
IBM R32 Notebook
CPU Mobile Intel Pentium 4 1,6 GHz
Chipset Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset
Memory 512 MB RAM
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon Mobility M6 LY, 16MB RAM
Display 1024x768x24 XGA
Harddisk 30 GB
Sound i810_audio compatible
Media CD-R/CVD-R-Drive
  • USB 1.2
  • 1x Parallel
  • VGA-out
  • S-Video-out
  • IrDa
  • PC-Card-Slot
  • Microphone/Headphones
  • Modem
  • 100 MBit-Ethernet Intel Corp. 82801CAM (ICH3) PRO/100 VE (LOM)
  • IBM MultiBay
Modem Intel 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Modem

Installation: Things which...

Overall, the basic installation of SuSE 8.1 worked flawless and painless. All basic pieces of hardware where automatically recognized and configured correctly, although the second mouse had to be configured manually. out of the box

  • Sound Works.
  • Ethernet Works flawlessly.
  • Modem Works according to Yast2, but I have never used it.
  • Fn-keys/special-keys: Work, except the ThinkPad-key. All other Fn-keys do as they should. ThinkLight works as well. Brightness-keys work. Display-Switching works (although the R32s ATI Mobility Radeon isn't exactly famous for its good graphics and multihead-capability under XFree 4.1 (has been improved under 4.2 and up as far as I know)). with tweaking

  • Mouse The installer recognizes and configures only the external mouse. The internal TrackPoint-mouse had to be selected manually.
  • X-Server The standard-resolutions like 1024x768 work out of the box, but 3D-acceleration does not. An upgrade to XFree 4.2 led to a more stable 3D-acceleration, but had other issues (external monitors could not be run with resolutions higher than the physical resolution of the internal LCD-panel -which was possible with the old driver under XFree86 4.1). Multihead/Xinerama also works with 4.2 (again only without 3D-acceleration).
  • Keyboard Although the keyboard is found and correctly configured, and the overall quality is better than that of the Toshiba, it is impossible to get it working without problems. Certain key-combinations produce weird output under X or lead to a lockup of the keyboard, but I did not bother, because I used that notebook mainly with an external keyboard (Cherry) which worked without a problem). If you need the internal keyboard: Don't run that machine under Linux until this problem has been fixed.

...don't work

  • Suspend As this is not supported very well under Linux, there is -very unsurprisingly- no support for ACPI-controlled power-save-modes, but suspend to RAM worked in APM-mode.


Overall, I would not recommend this machine, even not for a Windows-user. There, most of the hardware problems should not occur, but still the hardware itself is not worth the money and does not live up to the expectations one has for a IBM-Thinkpad.

The downside is the bad, low-resolution LCD-panel, the bad graphics-chip, the bad keyboard and mouse. And although this is only an anecdotal thing, my ThinkPad died 6 month after I got it and had to be repaired. Don't buy!


This report is listed at TuxMobil - Linux compatibility guides for laptops, notebooks, PDAs, mobile phones and GPS devices.