Adam Kessel's Thinkpad X40 discoveries

The first thing i did when I returned from vacation in Paris with my girlfriend was to check out all my regular open source information websites to keep me up to date (More on Paris later). On planet.debian.org Adam Kessel wrote some interesting things for ThinkPad X40 owners. I have stolen the text from his blog entry in fear that the link to his weblog won’t work one day.

A couple of extremely useful recent discoveries on my IBM Thinkpad X40:

  • /proc/acpi/ibm, provided by the ibm-acpi package. You can control all sorts of Thinkpad-specific behaviors in here—including my favorite, which is the automatic display switching when you open and close the lid or dock/undock. You can turn off automatic display switching with:

    echo auto_disable > /proc/acpi/ibm/video
    

    You can also turn the light keyboard light on and off with:

    echo on > /proc/acpi/ibm/light
    echo off > /proc/acpi/ibm/light
    

    Etc. Go IBM!

  • Display corruption: this brings me to my biggest problem running GNU/Linux on the Thinkpad X40—display corruption. When you switch from internal LCD to external CRT, or sleep and resume, or close/open the lid (with the automatic switch behavior described above), the display moves down 15-20 pixels and the top lines are corrupted garbage. I’d post a screenshot, but of course the screen doesn’t realize it’s corrupted, so it would have to be a digital photo. In any case, I just discovered this experimental driver to replace i810_drv.o· which makes the problem go away entirely. Just drop it in over the i810_drv.o in /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/ (bad behavior for Debian—will be overwritten by an upgrade of course). Hopefully this driver will make its way into the mainline X drivers and eventually back into Debian. This makes using my Thinkpad at least 20% less annoying.

Now if only someone would write a driver for the internal SD card reader (apparently no one has gotten it to work·), I think I would have 100% usage of my laptop’s features.

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Adam Kessel's Thinkpad X40 discoveries by Jacob Emcken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.