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IBM-Lenovo ThinkPad Z61m


This is a guide to running Linux with the IBM-Lenovo ThinkPad Z61m laptop, model 94515CM.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameIBM-Lenovo ThinkPad Z61m
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2400 1.83Ghz
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
Graphics64MB ATI Mobility Radeon x1300
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other3 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, Fingerprint Reader

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
SoundYesUse snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYesUse tg3 module
WirelessYesUse ipw3945 module
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
Fringerprint ReaderNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested



The open source radeon module does not currently support the ATI Mobility Radeon x1300 found in the Z61m. However support for this chip has been added for this chip in the current version of the proprietary ATI module. You will need to install this module to online malware removal get the display working correctly.


This laptop currently requires the proprietary ATI module so it is recommended that you avoid the IBM-Lenovo ThinkPad Z61m if you do not like this module. Other than that this laptop is well supported under Linux.


Gary B, 2009/02/13 15:53

And another thing - AFAIK there is no way (under Ubuntu anyway) to get the WiFi to work using authentication - it only works with wide-open Access Points. IIRC the z61m ships with several different WiFi cards, so YMMV. Fortunately I use VZ broadband, so no need for WiFi.

Dante, 2009/07/26 17:59

Hi Gary - I don't know what you mean with “authentication”, but my Z61m running Ubuntu 8.04 connects flawlessly to my wireless network using WPA2-AES. Do you mean authentication via a Radius server? (Haven't tried that one yet…)

Gary B, 2009/02/13 15:51

I forgot to mention - you can D/L and install fingerprint reader software. I don't recall if it can be used in the login/auth system. In testing, I found that at least for me the reading success was too low to rely on it for anything, and I never added it to the boot process. I did not try re-training the recognition.

Gary B, 2009/02/13 15:37

I have been running Ubuntu on mine for about a year now. I started with feisty, then gutsy, now hardy. Overall things work well. A note about the ATI graphics - with the proprietary ATI driver, suspend and hibernate will not work. With the open source driver, OpenGL will not work - so no Compiz :(

I use the Verizon PC5750 card using instructions found various places on the net. I generally get excellent performance. In order to get it registered with Verizon I had to put the card into a friend's windows laptop and run their software. I have pestered Verizon to release their VZAccessManager package for Linux to non-corporate clients, so I can use the various features. I have had VZ support people confess that there is, in fact, a Linux version of VAM, but you have to be an 'enterprise customer' to get it.

I recently dropped it and broke one of the hinges. I was able to navigate Lenovo's site and order replacement hinges for about $40. I used an epoxy for plastic repair to fix the busted screw holes in the cover, and the downloaded maintenance manual for instructions. All went well. I didn't bother replacing the little round screw covers in the corner of the screen bezel. Be careful when removing the keyboard and front kbd bezel, to avoid yanking on the ribbon cables.

John S, 2008/10/06 17:54

another data point

It took a lot of trial and error to get the video configuration just right. I have a external monitor which I use most of the time. These are the settings that work best for me. Trying to use dual head resulted in many strange problems and hangs.
sudo aticonfig –initial
sudo aticonfig –overlay-type=opengl
sudo aticonfig –desktop-setup=clone
sudo aticonfig –resolution=0,1920×1200,1280×800

Adjust for your resolution

So far I have not gotten firewire and pcmcia to work
This also has a memory stick slot in the front and this doesn't work for me yet.
don't care about the modem or bluetooth
have not tried the fingerprint reader yet

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ibm-lenovo_thinkpad_z61m.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/31 08:35 by
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