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 Post subject: Latest Nx on IBM Thinkpad T42

Joined: 03 Jul 2013, 08:30
Posts: 59
Finally... after much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth got Nx (latest) loaded on the elderly T42 I got off Ebay. Reason was to reduce power draw as the Dell Studio is a hog.

Problem 1. While the T42 will boot off usb devices, usb sticks are not one of them.

Solution 1. Created a live cd of plop Boot Manager. (The Boot Manager iso. is on the NX live stick after you create it under tools>BootManager) Directions on burning a live cd from the BootManager.iso are HERE.

On loading the BootManager, it found the usb live stick, but the default usb driver is EHIC and as the T42 uses an older Intel M proccessor, it wants UHIC. Much digging found the solution in the BootManager documention (Link above) Just as the Boot Manager starts to kick in, hold ALT-C this stops the boot loader before it loads EHIC driver It gives the option to hit Enter to load or S to skip. Hit S and it will rescan the drives using UHIC. This time hit Enter at the option, and your live Nx stick should boot.

At this point I found it best to eject the CD as Nx was thrashing around trying to unmount a volume in use. I knew this because I had removed the "quiet splash" entry in all the Syslinux> cfg files before trying to boot the stick so I could watch what was happening rather than the pretty dots ........... ......... ..........

Problem 2. Did I say the T42 was running an Intel M processor? Yep, and while it is PAE capable, it is disabled by default (?)

Solution 2. Went back to the live Nx stick under Syslinux > and opened all the cfg files I thought I might need and added "forcepae" (no quotes) to the end of the APPEND line (same line I removed "quiet splash" from.) Voila... No PAE error.

At this point, I installed to the HD using the std Nx utility with no problems. Once again removed "quiet splash" from Etc>default>grub as root, and ran update-grub in the terminal to remove the splash screen.

Would have liked the live stick option underway, but with the hassle, it seemed best to just run off the HD....

Now for the questions.
1. Spent some time getting the Raring desk top how I like it. I am sure those config files live somewhere, but I just can't remember where. Is it possible to copy the old desktop config files off Raring and import them into the new 14.04 based version? Could sure be a time saver. Edit: Found it Home>(Me)>.config>lxpanel>Navigatrix>panels

2. On the same note, it is time to upgrade the Dell from the Raring based distro to the new 14.04 version (glad to see it's supported for 6 years) as the missing repos are a real pain. What is the most graceful method to do this? I know I can copy all my Home files over, and that I will have to re-install Eagle and the rest of my circuit design software, etc but do we have any tips other than just stuff it in there and start from scratch?

TIA for any input and hope the above T42 tips helps out someone else. Should work for most of the T-4x series.

(The Other) David

 Post subject: Re: Latest Nx on IBM Thinkpad T42

Joined: 09 Apr 2014, 15:51
Posts: 45
I appreciate you taking the time to write up your notes on getting NX loaded. I'm getting ready to tackle an install on an older Panasonic Toughbook M34, and your work-a-rounds should prove helpful using Plop. Best regards, Cleve

 Post subject: Re: Latest Nx on IBM Thinkpad T42

Joined: 03 Jul 2013, 08:30
Posts: 59
No problem... All my "knowledge" comes from other folks notes in general... Moe got me headed down the path of using PLOP to work around the bios not recognizing a stick as a boot device.

Besides, If I post my notes and work arounds here, I can find them again when I forget how I "fixed" something

(The other) David

 Post subject: Re: Latest Nx on IBM Thinkpad T42

Joined: 02 Jan 2015, 12:19
Posts: 4
I just installed Navigatrix ( Nx) 0.5 - september 2014 version on a old IBM Thinkpad t42 and my experience differs slightly.
First of all, the T42 is NOT PAE capable and will require the "forcepae" option to be added to the boot options in grub.
    The T42 is capable to boot from a USB memorystick ( at least with last 3,23 bios). Press F12 while booting and choose your USB dive as temporary boot device and you will be able to boot from the USB memorystick
    When you get to the Navigatrix boot options menu, choose your boot language/ option and then press "TAB"
    After pressing "TAB" you will be able to edit the grub boot options.
    Then, add "forcepae" (no quotes) to the end of the APPEND in grub, then press F10 to close the editor and start NAVIGATRIX
    After the systm is booted up, open a terminal window and type
    sudo update-grub

Viola, Navigatrix run smoot on your system. It seems that even if you choose to install Navigatrix from the install option at the desktop, the "forcepae" boot option is preserved and do not need to be applied to grub after install. The install was done with latest BIOS for the Thinkpad T42 that can be downloaded from the support site: - you will need a USB floppydisk adapter and a 1,44' floppy to flash the bios if required.

My main reason for trying Navigatrix is to run Opencpn chartplotter under Linux. It seems that Nx is a heavy system that will benifit greatly from 2gig of ram, who is the maximum for the T42. Nx seems to be very heavy, but also polished and with a lot of added capibilities and possible easier to install and use, than for example Xinutop - on the other hand Xinutop uses only a fraction of the resources and is a better option on old systems.

If your main use of Nx ( or Xinutop) is the Opencpn chartplotter, I would suggest to install the latest (beta) version by adding the PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nohal/opencpn
, when finished
sudo apt-get update
and then
sudo apt-get install opencpn opencpn-doc opencpn-tcdata opencpn-gshhs-low opencpn-doc opencpn-gshhs-crude opencpn-gshhs-intermediate opencpn-gshhs-high opencpn-gshhs-full

You will now have the latest version Opencpn also,,,,

 Post subject: Re: Latest Nx on IBM Thinkpad T42

Joined: 04 Nov 2010, 20:51
Posts: 1062
petter5 wrote:
It seems that Nx is a heavy system that ouwill benifit greatly from 2gig of ram, who is the maximum for the T42. Nx seems to be very heavy, but also polished and with a lot of added capibilities and possible easier to install and use
One of the irritating things about software is that it is like having a boat; everything is a compromise. Ease, gear, size, comfort, style, all bring complexity and expense. The key is to find a balance for what you want to do. On a stock T42 there are Linux distributions that would scream. There are also some that would give you a silent catatonic stare.

Unfortunately, greater visual appeal means greater demands on a system. Newer software tends to mean greater demands, and so on and so on...the dog chases its tail around and around.

4 years ago, Navigatrix use to be 1.3GB and would run on 128MB of memory. Just keeping the core packages current pushed the ISO to over 2GB and a requiring a minimum 196MB memory to run. (Personally, I would slash my wrists with anything less than 256MB, and drink heavily with less than 512MB, but that's another matter.)

It just depends on what you want and expect for eye candy, ease, functionality, and performance, and how you use your machine. Yes, clearly most everything runs better with 2GB, an amount that was borderline 'crazy' 10 years ago. Adding the maximum amount of memory is the first thing I do to a machine I intend to keep and use. But that's just the way I do it. (Netbook 2GB; laptop 4GB; desktop 16GB...which is definitely overkill by the way)

These are the compromises everyone makes and the reason there is work on light distributions such as Puppy, Damn Small, etc., for the new low horsepower embedded systems as well as the 'legacy' systems manufactured after mammoths went extinct.

With great diversity you can find a Linux system that will work on nearly anything. It is an entirely different matter to find one system that will work on everything, much less be suitable for the user, even a GUI that would please 20% of users (n.b., the Gnome2/3-Unity-Mate dramas).

For example, there are over 20 desktop environments/window manager to pick from. Navigatrix uses LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) and Openbox.

In the scope of Linux distributions, there are lighter desktops, and there are much much heavier desktops. LXDE and Openbox are a balance, a compromise of efficiency and the prospect of continued development.

There has been talk about changing the desktop environment, but this brings another set of problems, and so it goes.

Frank Baudet's Xinutop is a good choice if you need something lighter and are braver. You can even give a go at creating your own if you are very brave.

I've tried.

By the time I added current software and the features I wanted, it started to look a lot like Navigatrix, but just didn't work as well.

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