Running GNU/Linux on the IBM ThinkPad T40p

This page collects some information about the GNU/Linux installation on my T40p notebook.

Other helpful links

Others have created very helpful pages about the notebook.

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Linux 2.6 Configuration

Linux 2.6.11rc4 works rather well for me. Most devices appear to work, with a few exceptions:

You can download my kernel configuration here.

ACPI Support and Suspend-to-RAM

The kernel configuration above supports suspend-to-RAM. (Software suspend-to-disk used to work, when I disabled highmem support, but the suspend/resume times were so unattractive that I didn't use it.)

I run acpid which reacts to two ACPI events:

If you want to be able to close the lid while the computer is running, do not use the script (or use exit 0 as the first command).

X11 Support

Debian's xserver-xfree86, version 4.3.0.dfsg.1-12.0, works reasonably well in 2D mode. In particular, the X session can continue after suspend-to-RAM.

I have disabled the touchpad in the BIOS, to avoid stupid mistakes when hitting it by accident. This has the added benefit that the middle button is working.

The graphics hardware supports different screens on the built-in TFT display and the external monitor. However, I don't use this functionality because I find it confusing. Instead, my X11 configuration allows me to invoke X11 in two different modes. By default, X11 runs in the resolution of the built-in TFT. For presentations, I can enable the external monitor at a 1024x768 resolution using:

$ startx -- -layout Ext

BIOS Configuration

You can safely disable the predesktop area if you want to. If you just want to run a GNU/Linux system, you can reclaim a few more gigabytes on the hard disk.

The boot and hard disk passwords are thought to be safe. Of course, the disk password does not really encrypt the data on the disk, but according to my source at IBM, you have to remount the disk spindles into a different drive if you want to access the data and you do not know the password.

The passwords are not boot passwords. They are not required if the system is just rebooted. Therefore, you might want to change the ca line in /etc/inittab to:

# What to do when CTRL-ALT-DEL is pressed.


Florian Weimer
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