Here is how I got Linux (RedHat 6.1) running on a IBM Thinkpad 570. The model
I have is the 2644-3AU, but the various models only appear to differ in
processor speeds, disk sizes and so on, so the actual model shouldn't make much
difference. I also have the UltraBase and CD drive, but didn't actually use it
during the install.
I gleaned much useful information from the Linux on Laptops page, in particular the other Thinkpad pages.
The following describes what I did: I was successful, but I guarantee nothing, and accept no liability for lost data, damaged hardware or any other untoward happening in your life.
This should reboot to a working system.
Get the ALSA driver, library, and utils, ./configure, make and make install, and it should work. If you get no sound out when you play something, start aumix and turn up the volume.
The sound driver doesn't like APM suspend/restore, see below.
Addendum. Later versions of the 2.2 series kernel now support this soundcard (Crystal SoundFusion (CS461x)). Compile as a module, as it still doesn't like APM.
As I installed an extra 64M of memory, I needed to edit /etc/lilo.conf to include append="mem=130496K" as the BIOS reserves a chunk of memory at the top end for itself, and we need to inform Linux of this. If you don't do this, things may seem to work for a while, but then weirdness will happen! Actually the BIOS reports 130560K is usable, but the above is the number everybody recommends.
I also put vga=791 in lilo.conf which gives me a nicer looking console than the standard one.
Hit Fn-F4 get suspend (save to memory). Judging by the drop in percentage of power reported by APM, you might be able to leave the machine in this state for a week, but I've not tried that. On occasion, rather than suspending, the machine goes into standby (screen and disk off, just like hitting Fn-F3). I don't know what causes this, but just trying again seems to work.
The hibernate (suspend to disk) Fn-F12 also works. Hibernate will not start if the AC power is on, or the hibernate file in the Windows partition is too small. Use the ThinkPad Configuration Program under Windows (Power Management) to resize the hibernation file if necessary. The version of APM in RedHat 6.1 allow you to specify a script to be run before and after a suspend. I use this to save the volume levels (aumix -f /etc/.aumixrc -S) and remove the sound driver (modprobe -r snd-card-cs461x) before, and to reinstall the driver (modprobe snd-card-cs461x) and restore the volume (aumix -f /etc/.aumixrc -L > /dev/null) after.
It seems to work well, though it does cause the machine to freeze for maybe a second when you connect or disconnect. Just be patient, and your machine will be restored back to you!
The modem takes 0.5M of kernel memory: surely this can't be a good design?
There is work on open source drivers.
The tpctl page includes a program named ubswap that might allow warm swapping (swapping when suspended) of the UltraBase. Another thing I've not tried.
The picture at the top of the page was taken using a Canon S10, loaded using a Compact Flash card adapter in the PCMCIA slot (see the section on PCMCIA ATA/IDE card drives in /usr/doc/HOWTO/PCMCIA-HOWTO), and edited with the gimp.
Everything seems to work reasonably well, though it's a bit more bothersome to get it all set up than it should be (e.g., recompile kernel for APM, ALSA sound, etc.) Battery life is much as advertised, though the battery meter (asapm or equivalent) can be a little erratic in the amount of time it thinks is left.
IBM claim they will be supporting Linux on all their machines, including the Thinkpads, so maybe one day ...
Russell Bradford, December 1999/January 2000.