Lenovo ThinkPad X120e

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Install Notes

Video Drivers

Users have the choice between the open source ATI video driver or the closed source Catalyst video driver.

In order to use the open source driver you must have at least kernel 2.6.38.

The open source ATI driver has flawless performance (including suspend). Gnome 3 works well with the open source ATI driver.

The Catalyst drivers do offer better 3D performance but usually have various minor issues (such as suspend support). Please share your experience if you're using Catalyst with the x120e.


The Thinkpad X120e can come with one of two wireless cards.

  • The Realtek BGN Wifi card currently is supported by rtl8192ce from AUR.
    • The 2.6.38 kernel includes support for this card, but suffers from intermittent hard locks when associating with an access point. The AUR driver linked here does not suffer from this problem. (The Ubuntu folks seem to have the same issue with the x120e and the module included in the kernel.)
  • The Broadcom ABGN Wifi card is currently supported by broadcom-wl from AUR. See the Broadcom wireless wiki page for more info.


The kernel modules work, but the HDMI audio is the primary device (not the speaker). You can swap that:


Note: I'd like to configure in snd-hda-intel modules, which could be like:


index is essential if you don't want to write an alsa swap configuration file.


TrackPoint Scrolling (wheel emulation)

To enable scrolling with the TrackPoint while holding down the middle mouse button, create a new file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-thinkpad.conf with the following content:

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"

There are more details about how this works on the Xorg page.

Power Management

Enable Thinkpad ACPI

To have the thinkpad_acpi module load everytime at bootup add it to MODULES=() in /etc/rc.conf

This module allows you to see and control various aspects of your Thinkpad from /proc/acpi/ibm

Disable Bluetooth

Note: You must first have the thinkpad_acpi kernel module loaded

To save some power you can disable Bluetooth:

echo "disable" > /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth

If you want to disable Bluetooth at every boot just add that line to /etc/rc.local

CPU Scaling

To enable dynamic CPU Frequency Scaling first add powernow-k8 to MODULES=() in /etc/rc.conf Next add the following to /etc/rc.local:

echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/scaling_governor

If you wish to have the ondemand governor ignore niced (background) processes when deciding whether to increase CPU speed:

echo 1 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/ignore_nice_load

SATA Power Policy

echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host0/link_power_management_policy

Will tell hard drive to minimize power use.

Sound card Powersaving

Because the sound card in the X120e isn't actually an Intel card (even though it uses the Intel HDA driver) I'm not sure if this actually does anything. Doesn't seem to cause any problems though.

echo 1 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save

Fan Control

The X120e's fan spins constantly but luckily can be controlled by the user.

Warning: Modify fan settings at your own risk, only you are responsible if you toast your laptop or your lap.
Note: Until undervolting is possible it seems as if the CPU produces enough heat to where the fan actually does need to spin constantly

To enable manual fan control place the following into /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf

options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1

At this point the fan will still be safely under the system's control. You can either directly modify the values in /proc/acpi/ibm (NOT RECOMMENDED) or install a fan control daemon such as [thinkfan].

External Resources

X120e on ThinkWiki