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 a bit over than 5 hours
was achieved, this was performed with screen brightness at the second highest
Grab the .iso file from [https://www.archlinux.org/download/ the download page], write this to a memory stick {{bc |<nowiki> sudo dd if=archlinux-201x.xx.xx-dual.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M</nowiki>}}Restart the computer and boot into it like any other Arch installation.
==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 two devices. {{Pkg|netctl}} has been tested and works flawlessly with
the ipw2915.
* {{Pkg|powertop}} - Measure power usage.
* {{Pkg|cellwriter}} - (X41t) on-screen tablet keyboard.
{{Note|Thinkfan seems to fail due to thinkpad_acpi not having a fan_control function}}
* {{AUR|thinkfan}} - Control the utilisation of the fan.
* {{Pkg|gpm}} - Linux console mouse server.
==General Tweaks==
===Scrolling with trackpoint===
The following file can be added for trackpoint scrolling support in X.
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.d/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 can save about 2W.
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.d/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
CPU. Undervolting reduces the voltage(V) the processor runs at, because P=IV this will reduce your power consumption, this has no effect on performance, any excess voltage will be dissipated as heat, your laptop will run cooler and the fan will activate less frequently.
$ yaourt -S phc-intel
$ 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, this is 9 times
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="17 15 13 11 9 7 5 4 4" </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.
= External links =
* This report has been listed in the [http://tuxmobil.org/ibm.html Linux Laptop and Notebook Installation Survey: IBM].
* [http://www.placaware.com/?page_id=120 SATA support modification]
* [http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X41 ThinkWiki X41 page]
* [http://linuxfocus.org/~guido/gentoo-tpt43p/cooling/ T43p Cooling - applicable to X41t], I've added ~1mm thick copper sheet to both the CPU and northbridge heatsinks with no ill effects.

Latest revision as of 22:03, 25 November 2017

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