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My first laptop

My first laptop

The thinkpad X40 is one of the most popular and well supported laptops for running Linux.

My intention is to include on this page any bits and pieces that you need to perform on top of just installing Linux (in my case, Debian). The page should remain small therefore. Anything included here should be "fixed" at some point.


Docking support has come a long way recently. Unfortunately, we used to have a fairly messy kernel approach to it complemented with user scripts that worked. Now we have a more refined kernel approach and no user scripts to match.

suspend / video

The X40 does not wake the backlight after returning from resume.

Kernels and userspace software prior to 2.6.26 handled this by running some BIOS code to initialize the video card on resume.

2.6.26 was supposed to be a landmark kernel release where all such quirks were handled entirely by the kernel and userspace software needn't worry about it anymore. Unfortunately the X40 backlight/resume issue has not been solved yet (this is kernel bug 10985).

"action invalid: timeout policy...." messages

In my current laptop configuration, I frequently get messages from gnome-power-manager like this on resume. From the following bugs

It seems that there are two "suspend" events being sent in some circumstances.

multiple suspends

Recently (post-Lenny sid, 2.6.26-29) the laptop has started putting itself to sleep immediately after waking up, sometimes two or three times. I'm not sure yet but I think that this happens only when I press the sleep button on the keyboard, rather than a software menu. This leads me to believe something is queueing up sleep instructions and actioning them after the first one has completed.

Stuff to try out

compact flash storage

A 1.8" IDE-to-CF adaptor combined with a compact flash card in place of the hard drive. I've bought one of these but I haven't bought a CF card to try it with.

External links

ThinkWiki - The Linux Thinkpad Wiki

Check out and join the linux-thinkpad mailing list.