Install Ubuntu 7.04 on Thinkpad A20p

When installing Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn on a Thinkpad A20p the display is a mess. In addition power management does not work which means that it is not possible to make the computer go into standby when the lid is closed. This article explains how to fix both issues.

To fix the display, you will need to break out of the desktop (Alt+Ctrl+F1) so that you can see what you are doing. Log on and get root privileges (sudo su) to be able to write the changes below.

Edit xorg.conf (nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf) and add the following (the existing Monitor section can be kept):

Section "Monitor"
Identifier      "Monitor0"
VendorName      "IBM"
ModelName       "ITSX93"
HorizSync       30-100
VertRefresh     50-100
ModeLine        "1400x1050" 122.00 1400 1464 1784 1912 \ 
                1050 1052 1064 1090 -HSync -VSync

N.B. There should be no line breaks in text after ModeLine.

Then change the reference to “Default Monitor” under the Screen section to Monitor0. Save the file with Ctrl+X Ctrl+Y. The setting will take effect when the system (or X-windows) is restarted.

The next issue was with the power management. The BIOS in the A20p is from before 2000 which is the cut-off year for ACPI support in Ubuntu 7.04. The computer has ACPI support but the kernel needs to be forced to load it. This is done by changing the boot options. To make the change persistent, edit the file /boot/grub/menu.lst.

nano -w /boot/grub/menu.lst
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-16-generic root=UUID=\ 12345678-1234-1234-1234-000000000000 \ ro quiet splash acpi=force

Reboot to make all changes take effect.

4 thoughts on “Install Ubuntu 7.04 on Thinkpad A20p”

  1. Thank you very much for this info! It\’s exactly what I needed for my Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron installation which works perfect now.

    Siegmund Schlechter

  2. Worked like a charm on 9.04. Kinda scary that a 10 year old laptop still works, then again perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that it works :).


  3. Great post! Works with IBM a20p and Ubuntu 10.04. All other helps have included changing the “r128” driver to “vesa” in xorg.conf, which has worked of course, but I think this is better advice, because I now can keep the r128 driver in place!

    Have been searching for a solution for this laptop for few years now (every time i have decided to try ubuntu again in this laptop) and this is the first time I got the correct modelines from someone working!

    Great job! Thanks!

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