Difference between revisions of "IBM ThinkPad X41"

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The X41 and X41t (tablet) are both SATA-based machines that
include a SATA-PATA bridge allowing the use of PATA HDDs, see external links for
modifications to use SATA HDDs and SSDs. The laptops utilise a Pentium M
processor (either 1.5GHz or 1.6GHz), the [[Linux-ck]] packages contain optimised
packages for this architecture. 
This article contains some useful tweaks to make the most of your machine, the
tweaks are mainly powersaving biased. With vanilla Arch, around 3 hours battery
life was achieved, following powersaving tweaks were applied more than 5 hours
was achieved, this was with second highest screen brightness.
==Useful packages==
Some useful packages for your IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad X41:
===System Packages===
* {{Pkg|acpi}} - provides /proc/acpi, interesting things like lid state, temperatures, volume, brightness etc.
* {{Pkg|xf86-input-wacom}} - Driver supporting Wacom tablet screen.
* {{Pkg|xf86-video-intel}} - Xorg driver for the Intel 915GM graphics chip.
* {{Pkg|tp_smapi}} - Adds support for SMAPI functions (battery discharge control, battery information, hdaps acceloremeter support).
* {{Pkg|thinkfinger}} - Driver for fingerprint reader.
The IBM X41 comes with a ipw2915 wireless Centrino (A, B and G) or ipw2200
wireless Centrino (B and G) module, the {{Pkg|ipw2200}} module provides support
for these too devices. {{Pkg|netctl}} has been tested and works flawlessly with
the ipw2915
* {{Pkg|powertop}} - Measure power usage.
* {{Pkg|cellwriter}} - (X41t) on-screen tablet keyboard.
* {{AUR|thinkfan}} - Control the utilisation of the fan.
* {{Pkg|gpm}} - Linux console mouse server.
==General Tweaks==
===Scrolling with trackpoint===
The following file can be installed for Xorg to support middle mouse button and
trackpoint scrolling.
Section "InputClass"
        Identifier      "Trackpoint Wheel Emulation"
        MatchProduct    "TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint|DualPoint Stick|Synaptics Inc. Composite TouchPad / TrackPoint|ThinkPad USB Keyboard with TrackPoint|USB Trackpoint pointing device"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Option          "EmulateWheel"          "true"
        Option          "EmulateWheelButton"    "2"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"      "false"
        Option          "XAxisMapping"          "6 7"
        Option          "YAxisMapping"          "4 5"
Taken from [[Xorg#Example: Wheel emulation (for a Trackpoint)]]
==Powersaving tweaks==
Initially without any powersaving tweaks, the X41 uses quite a lot of power
(this can be monitored using {{Pkg|powertop}}, it also provides suggestions for
reducing power consumption). Here are some modifications that I found
considerable improved the battery life of the X41t.
===laptop-mode (kernel)===
Laptop mode is included in the kernel, it buffers disk activities to reduce
utilisation of your HDD therefore saving a considerable amount of power. The
effect with SSDs is less pronounced, but still saves some power.
{{bc|<nowiki>echo "vm.laptop_mode=5" | sudo tee /etc/sysctl.conf/laptop_mode.conf"</nowiki>}}
===SATA-ALPM (pm-utils)===
ALPM - Aggressive Link Power Management allows the SATA host bus adapter to
enter a low power state when inactive therefore reducing power consumption.
{{bc|<nowiki>echo "SATA_ALPM_ENABLE=true" | sudo tee /etc/pm/config.d/sata_alpm
sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/config.d/sata_alpm</nowiki>}}
===Powersaving on PCI devices===
Powersaving isn't automatically enabled on devices as sometimes it causes
issues, this saved me about 3W.
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="pci", ATTR{power/control}="auto"</nowiki>}}
===i915 RC6 powersaving===
The i915 chipset supports a variety of powersaving features, checkout
{{ic|<nowiki>modinfo i915 \| grep -i power</nowiki>}} for all options. The
following are a good set to enable.
{{hc|/etc/modprobe.d/i915.conf|<nowiki>options i915 i915_enable_rc6=7 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1</nowiki> }}
RC6 is a powersaving protocol, 7 enables RC6, deep RC6 and deepest RC6 (refer to
[[Power Management#Enable RC6 Power Save Options]] for more information).
{{ic|i915_enable_fbc&#61;1}} enables framebuffer compression reducing the time taken
to update the screen. {{ic|lvds_downclock&#61;1}} lowers the clockrate of the
===Disable NMI watchdog===
The NMI watchdog is a debugging feature of the linux kernel that is enabled by
default. It is useless for normal operation and significantly increases the
number of CPU wakeups/second.
{{bc|<nowiki>echo "kernel.nmi_watchdog=0" | sudo tee /etc/sysctl.conf/nmi_watchdog.conf
PHC - Processor Hardware Control. {{AUR|intel-phc}} supports the Mobile Centrino
line of processors and hence the X41, this program allows you to undervolt your
$ yaourt -S intel-phc
$ phc-intel setup # To install drivers
$ yaourt -S linux-phc-optimize
$ sudo linux-phc-optimize # Repeat this each time the laptop crashes until you've got a full set of parameters
Once you have established stable VIDs, adding them to system startup can be
accomplished modifying the intel-phc configuration file. If it doesn't exist,
create it
<nowiki> VIDS="" </nowiki> }}
You can check that this is enabled on your next reboot by {[ic|sudo intel-phc
==Tablet support==
The X41t utilises a Wacom digitiser for input, {{ic|pacman -S xf86-input-wacom}}
provides support for it. Once installed the driver should be activated following
the next reboot or {{ic|modprobe xf86-input-wacom}}.
= External links =
* This report has been listed in the [http://tuxmobil.org/ibm.html Linux Laptop and Notebook Installation Survey: IBM].
* SATA support modification: [http://www.placaware.com/?page_id=120]
* [http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X41 ThinkWiki X41 page]

Latest revision as of 22:03, 25 November 2017

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