Linux, IBM ThinkPad 600E, and Sound (and more)

As much as I struggled with it about 6 months ago, I must now say this: It's easy. Really.

I have an IBM ThinkPad 600E (model 2645) which I adore. It's a wonderful notebook--one of the best I've ever used. I bought one not long after leaving my old job. I had a 600E there and fell in love with it. So I had buy one for myself when I left.

IBM, on the other hand, was stupid for putting two things in the notebook that Linux couldn't grok:

Luckily sound isn't much of an issue anymore. Here's how I got it working.

  1. Searched Google to see how others did it.
  2. Found that someone at SuSE had mostly documented it!
  3. Upgraded to Mandrake Linux 7.1 because I wanted to try it and I knew I'd have a decent kernel and set of modules. (I had messed up the modules 6 months ago when I last tried to get this working.)
  4. Created a /etc/aumixrc which contains:
  5. Added these two lines to /etc/conf.modules:
    alias char-major-14 cs4232
    options cs4232 io=0x530 irq=5 dma=1 dma2=0
  6. Added these lines to /etc/rc.d/rc3.d/S99local:
    /sbin/modprobe cs4232
    /usr/bin/aumix -L
  7. Rebooted

Upon reboot, I found that xmms, mpg123, cdplay, and everything just worked as expected.


It's worth noting that Linux only sees the first 64 of the 128MB of RAM in my notebook by default. I help it out by adding an append line to /etc/lilo.conf such that the relevant block looks like this:



I've found that running the SVGA XFree86 server works great, as long as it is in 16bit color mode. Running it in 24bit color makes it slow as hell. But 16bit is excellent.

That's is.

Updated on: Mon Sep 4 22:47:54 2000
Copyright 2000, Jeremy D. Zawodny <>

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