Difference between revisions of "Lenovo ThinkPad X230"

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 +
[[Category:Lenovo]]
 
{{Article summary start}}
 
{{Article summary start}}
 
{{Article summary text|Lenovo Thinkpad X230's basic test setup and configuration. It is more of a review!
 
{{Article summary text|Lenovo Thinkpad X230's basic test setup and configuration. It is more of a review!
Line 20: Line 21:
 
   ##'                    '##  RAM: 1402 MB / 3676 MB  
 
   ##'                    '##  RAM: 1402 MB / 3676 MB  
 
  #'                        `#  Disk: 6G / 103G
 
  #'                        `#  Disk: 6G / 103G
 +
 +
 +
systemd-analyze: Startup finished in \
 +
            2.234s (kernel) + 1.048s (userspace) = 3.282s
 +
systemd-analyze blame:
 +
            407ms NetworkManager.service
 +
            62ms systemd-modules-load.service
 +
            58ms systemd-vconsole-setup.service
 +
            44ms avahi-daemon.service
 +
            41ms systemd-logind.service
 +
            41ms systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service
 +
            38ms polkit.service
 +
            33ms systemd-udev-trigger.service
 +
            32ms ModemManager.service
 +
            29ms systemd-sysctl.service
 +
            23ms systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service
 +
            20ms colord.service
 +
            20ms sys-kernel-debug.mount
 +
            20ms systemd-remount-fs.service
 +
            16ms dev-hugepages.mount
 +
            15ms dev-mqueue.mount
 +
            12ms wpa_supplicant.service
 +
            12ms systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service
 +
            11ms systemd-journal-flush.service
 +
            11ms upower.service
 +
            8ms rtkit-daemon.service
 +
            7ms alsa-restore.service
 +
            6ms dev-sda2.swap
 +
            5ms systemd-random-seed-load.service
 +
            5ms systemd-readahead-collect.service
 +
            4ms systemd-udevd.service
 +
            4ms systemd-readahead-replay.service
 +
            3ms systemd-update-utmp.service
 +
            3ms systemd-readahead-done.service
 +
            3ms atd.service
 +
            2ms systemd-user-sessions.service
 +
            1ms tmp.mount
 +
          903us sys-kernel-config.mount
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 
}}
 
}}
Line 26: Line 65:
  
 
Lenovo ThinkPad X230 comes off with a wide range of available configurations. Since Lenovo's acquisition of ThinkPad brand from IBM, it has received lots of negative critics for not maintaining the original quality and compromising the brand itself. Regardless, ThinkPad still is one of the first preferences for many geeks, students (mainly due to student discounts) and Linux users. It is the standard option available in Lenovo's X Series under 12-13 inches display category.
 
Lenovo ThinkPad X230 comes off with a wide range of available configurations. Since Lenovo's acquisition of ThinkPad brand from IBM, it has received lots of negative critics for not maintaining the original quality and compromising the brand itself. Regardless, ThinkPad still is one of the first preferences for many geeks, students (mainly due to student discounts) and Linux users. It is the standard option available in Lenovo's X Series under 12-13 inches display category.
=== Review ===
 
Few things that are not liked:.
 
* The build "looks like" fairly cheap. It seems to be okay but not something extra-ordinary. Thinkpads are known for sturdiness and ruggedness; X230 is also but there is a 'plastic' feel.
 
* The color at the bottom of wrist pad started to fade at small places cause of scratches in normal use - by placing it on hard surfaces like raw wood and marble.
 
* X230 has a new keyboard. I have no complains about it except that of function keys. They are raised few millimeters higher than other keys and one can willingly manage to peel them off cause of their half-open bottoms.
 
* Track pad is totally useless. It is small. Though the cursor movement works but not the buttons because the touch pad itself is one big pushable button. Its designers perhaps struggled with  space availability due to Trackpoint buttons leaving very less space for the touch pad. For Trackpoint users and fans, it may not be much of a deal breaker as the Trackpoint is more productive for them.
 
* There are some parts that are not rigid, give away a feeling that they might not be well manufactured and are press-able -- like area under Thinkpad logo on top lid and hollow express card slot.
 
* Smaller resolution of 1366x768. Not that of an issue for me because smaller screen size of 12.5 inches still gives some good working space but I could make use of more if it was 1080p or higher. But again, it still seems to be a standard screen resolution from other vendors, currently!
 
 
Pros:
 
* Steel hinges that hold the top lid. Eases the lid movement.
 
* Of course, the 180 degrees bending LCD.
 
* Crunchy IPS display.
 
* TrackPoint -- the pointing stick.
 
* Island-style keys give a grip for touch typing.
 
* Good inner chassis can be found if you disassemble this laptop.
 
* Ambient system temperatures and the uptime with Arch!
 
 
 
=== Hardware ===
 
=== Hardware ===
Below is the short list for this setup. After-market RAMs and SSD were bought because Lenovo is apparently charging a lot for these.
+
Below is the short list for this setup. ''After-market RAMs and SSD were bought'' because Lenovo is apparently charging a lot for these.
 
==== Tested Configuration ====
 
==== Tested Configuration ====
 +
{{Tip|Below were the tested configurations at the time. If you are interested in more details and review, see the gist [https://gist.github.com/bassu/8478346 A Hacker's Ongoing Review for Lenovo ThinkPad X230] for full details.}}
 
{| class="wikitable sortable"
 
{| class="wikitable sortable"
 
! Feature !! Configuration
 
! Feature !! Configuration
Line 54: Line 76:
 
|CPU||Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz
 
|CPU||Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz
 
|-
 
|-
|Graphics||Intel HD 4000 - Integrated Sandy Bridge
+
|Graphics||Intel HD 4000 - Ivy Bridge
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Ram||3.5GB (Kingston)
 
|Ram||3.5GB (Kingston)
Line 78: Line 100:
 
|Cam||Yes
 
|Cam||Yes
 
|}
 
|}
 
==== Compatibility ====
 
Everything works fine out-of-box except the biometric / fingerprint scanner cause of missing driver. X230 comes with a newer model of chip from Upek. Its manufacturer Authentec was contacted and we found that they only support Windows operating system. So for now, the Upek model with PCIE ID 147e:2020 or newer will remain unsupported in Linux until someone writes an open source driver.
 
  
 
=== System Configuration ===
 
=== System Configuration ===
Line 93: Line 112:
 
* cronie
 
* cronie
 
* atd
 
* atd
Boot time was as roughly ~4-5 seconds.
+
Boot time was as roughly ~3 seconds.
 +
 
 +
==== Fingerprint scanner ====
 +
Works out of the box. See [[fprint]] article for installation instructions. No extrac actions are needed.
 +
 
 
==== Kernel ====
 
==== Kernel ====
 
{{Note|You may want to run 'linux-ck' instead of the default kernel to conserve power and to fix iwlwifi issue with system sleep and wakeup. See power saving section below}}
 
{{Note|You may want to run 'linux-ck' instead of the default kernel to conserve power and to fix iwlwifi issue with system sleep and wakeup. See power saving section below}}
Line 101: Line 124:
 
BINARIES="badblocks"
 
BINARIES="badblocks"
 
FILES="/etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf"
 
FILES="/etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf"
HOOKS="base udev autodetect pata block filesystems usbinput fsck plymouth"
+
HOOKS="base udev autodetect block filesystems keyboard fsck"
 
</nowiki>
 
</nowiki>
 
}}
 
}}
{{hc|/etc/modprobe/modprobe.conf|2=<nowiki>
+
{{hc|/etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf|2=<nowiki>
 
options i915 i915_enable_rc6=1 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1
 
options i915 i915_enable_rc6=1 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1
 
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=1
 
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=1
 
</nowiki>
 
</nowiki>
 
}}
 
}}
 +
The {{ic|badblocks}} binary helps fix logical bad blocks if detected by fsck during system startup. First line in modprobe.conf file enables different Intel HD power saving options. To see what each of the parameters does, issue a command {{ic|modinfo i915}}. The second line disables the wifi N mode as Intel wireless driver suffers connection loss due to possible bugs. You can comment on this line if you want to transfer data at wireless N speeds.
 +
 +
After saving the above files, make sure to regenerate your init ram image by command {{ic|mkinitcpio -p linux && mkinitcpio -p linux-ck}}.
 +
 +
Then, to update grub2 with the new kernels you have to run {{ic|grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg}}.
 +
 +
{{Note|Using '''i915_enable_rc6&#61;1''' will enable basic power saving with first stage of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Configuration_and_Power_Interface#Processor_states C-state 6] [http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2013/06/03/intel-xeon-phi-coprocessor-power-management-part-2a-core-c-states-the-details (sleeping state)].  The stages vary by level of deepness in the sleep, that can be attained by setting the value of '''i915_enable_rc6''' between 1 to 7 in ascending order as can be seen in its documentation with '''modinfo i915''' command shown above.}}
 +
{{Warning|Keep in mind that c-state power saving always comes at performance sacrifice and setting a higher value can cause a jittery display or some unexplained and unexpected misbehavior with i915 so you may want to experiment with different values to find out what suites your needs.}}
 +
 
==== TrackPoint ====
 
==== TrackPoint ====
 +
Pretty much self-explanatory.
 
{{hc|/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-thinkpad.conf|2=<nowiki>
 
{{hc|/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-thinkpad.conf|2=<nowiki>
 
Section "InputClass"
 
Section "InputClass"
Line 123: Line 156:
 
</nowiki>
 
</nowiki>
 
}}
 
}}
 +
 +
==== Touchpad ====
 +
 +
The original configuration renders the touchpad quite useless, as it behaves very jumpy. [[https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-input-synaptics/+bug/1042069/comments/5 Ubuntu Bugtracker]] offers a solution for this issue. Add the following
 +
 +
{{hc|/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf|2=<nowiki>
 +
Section "InputClass"
 +
        Identifier "touchpad"
 +
        MatchProduct "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"
 +
        Driver "synaptics"
 +
        # fix touchpad resolution
 +
        Option "VertResolution" "100"
 +
        Option "HorizResolution" "65"
 +
        # disable synaptics driver pointer acceleration
 +
        Option "MinSpeed" "1"
 +
        Option "MaxSpeed" "1"
 +
        # tweak the X-server pointer acceleration
 +
        Option "AccelerationProfile" "2"
 +
        Option "AdaptiveDeceleration" "16"
 +
        Option "ConstantDeceleration" "16"
 +
        Option "VelocityScale" "32"
 +
EndSection
 +
</nowiki>
 +
}}
 +
 +
Setting e.g. the motion-acceleration value in dconf to 2.8 works nicely.
 +
 +
 +
==== Backlight Control Keys ====
 +
{{Note| On most X230 models, backlight works by default without any issues. Use below only in case of any problems.}}
 +
Due to an issue with the firmware of several ThinkPads the backlight control keys (fn + F7/F8 on the X230) don't work correctly. Setting the brightness via e.g. the GNOME power control panel or altering the brightness value in sysfs is possible.
 +
 +
The issue can be temporarily and partially fixed in adding the acpi_osi="!Windows 2012" kernel parameter in
 +
 +
{{hc|/etc/default/grub|2=<nowiki>
 +
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet acpi_osi=\"!Windows 2012\""
 +
 +
sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
 +
</nowiki>
 +
}}
 +
 +
The fix is partially in that only 8 steps are accessible via the keys.
 +
 +
For more information see https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=51231 .
 +
 
==== Power Saving ====
 
==== Power Saving ====
Use 'powerdown' to save power. On this setup, it gave 14+ hours on a 9 cell battery and 6+ hours on plugable 6 cell external battery, with normal usage of cmus, firefox and gimp.
+
{{Tip|<nowiki>The parameter pcie_aspm may not be needed in the more recent 3.9+ kernels</nowiki>}}
 +
{{Tip|Don't enable pcie_aspm if '''dmesg <nowiki>| grep -i "doesn't support pcie aspm"</nowiki>''' is true because even if you do, kernel will still keep it disabled}}
 +
One option is to use [[Powerdown]] to save power. On this setup, it gave 14+ hours on a 9 cell battery and 6+ hours on plugable 6 cell external battery, with normal usage of cmus, firefox and thunderbird.
 
Power saving kernel parameters in addition to graphics card power saving, are as under.
 
Power saving kernel parameters in addition to graphics card power saving, are as under.
 
{{hc|grep GRUB_CMDLINE /etc/default/grub|2=<nowiki>
 
{{hc|grep GRUB_CMDLINE /etc/default/grub|2=<nowiki>
 
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet ipv6.disable=1 elevator=bfq"
 
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet ipv6.disable=1 elevator=bfq"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd pcie_aspm=force"
+
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd pcie_aspm=force acpi_backlight=vendor"
 
</nowiki>
 
</nowiki>
 
}}
 
}}
 +
The parameter {{ic|<nowiki>elevator=bfq</nowiki>}} enables the [[Wikipedia:Brain Fuck Scheduler|Brain Fuck Scheduler]] written by [[Wikipedia:Con Kolivas|Con Kolivas]], part of [[Linux-ck]] and [[Linux-pf]] kernel forks. {{ic|<nowiki>pcie_aspm=force</nowiki>}} forcefully enables the [[Laptop#PCI-e_ASPM|PCIE Active State Power Management]] and {{ic|<nowiki>apci_backlight=vendor</nowiki>}} loads the vendor specific [[Backlight#ACPI]] driver (i.e. thinkpad_acpi) so the brightness keys (Fn + F8 and Fn + F9) work correctly. After editing the grub file, make sure to regenerate your grub configuration by command {{ic|grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg}}.
 +
 +
Note that the {{ic|<nowiki>apci_backlight=vendor</nowiki>}} kernel option also works with the standard Arch kernel (currently 3.7.10-1) and has the additional bonus that (Fn + spacebar) controls the keyboard lighting.
 +
 
==== Suspension ====
 
==== Suspension ====
{{Warning|If you suspend your system quite often, it is inevitable that you will stumble upon a wireless driver iwlwifi bug with errors 'fifo queues full' in dmesg. It is caused by weird PCIEM power control behaviors and is inhibited in all default kernels (as of writing 3.7.1-3). The only fix is to either enable PREEMPT & BFS with custom compiled kernel or use an optimized kernel like 'linux-ck' as reported by forum user Bassu. Default kernels are not suitable for power-conservation anyway. Check https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid&#61;1209357 for details.}}
+
 
Sleep/suspension and unsuspension can be easily managed by systemd without setting it up in Desktop Environment applet or pm-utils. But there are some modules that must be loaded off and on every time the system is put to sleep or is awaken. And it is quite fast with systemd anyway.
+
{{Warning|If you suspend your system quite often, it is inevitable that you will stumble upon a wireless driver iwlwifi bug with errors 'fifo queues full' in dmesg. It is caused by weird PCIEM power control behaviors and is inhibited in all default kernels (as of writing 3.7.1-3). The only fix is to either enable PREEMPT & BFS with custom compiled kernel or use an optimized kernel like '''[[Linux-ck]]''' as reported by forum user [[User:Bassu|Bassu]]. Default kernels are not suitable for power-conservation anyway. Check https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid&#61;1209357 for details.}}
 +
Sleep/suspension and unsuspension can be easily managed by systemd without setting it up in Desktop Environment applet or pm-utils. But there are some modules that must be loaded off and on every time the system is put to sleep or is awaken. There's also a need to kill wpa_supplicant by adding {{ic|<nowiki>systemctl restart wpa_supplicant.service</nowiki>}} in below {{ic|<nowiki>sleep.sh</nowiki>}} file. And it is quite fast with systemd anyway.
 +
 
 
{{hc|/usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/sleep.sh|2=<nowiki>
 
{{hc|/usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/sleep.sh|2=<nowiki>
 
#!/bin/bash
 
#!/bin/bash
 
 
if [ "$1" = "pre" ]; then
 
if [ "$1" = "pre" ]; then
  /sbin/hwclock -w
+
killall -9 wpa_supplicant #nm-applet bug's workaround
# /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwldvm
+
#  /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwlwifi
+
 
fi
 
fi
  
 
if [ "$1" = "post" ]; then
 
if [ "$1" = "post" ]; then
  /sbin/hwclock -w
 
 
         /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwldvm
 
         /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwldvm
 
         /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwlwifi
 
         /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwlwifi
 
/sbin/modprobe -v cfg80211
 
/sbin/modprobe -v mac80211
 
 
/sbin/modprobe -v iwldvm
 
/sbin/modprobe -v iwldvm
 
/sbin/modprobe -v iwlwifi
 
/sbin/modprobe -v iwlwifi
 +
 
fi
 
fi
 +
 
</nowiki>
 
</nowiki>
 
}}
 
}}
Line 186: Line 267:
 
</nowiki>
 
</nowiki>
 
}}
 
}}
 +
 +
===== Suspend failing =====
 +
 +
As of kernel 3.10 and 3.11 suspend may fail because the kernel tries to switch of the onboard ethernet device twice (see http://forums.fedoraforum.org/archive/index.php/t-293457.html).
 +
 +
A workaround is to unload the driver manually and reload it on wake.
 +
 +
{{hc|/usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/e1000e-probe.sh|2=<nowiki>
 +
#!/bin/bash
 +
# /usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/e1000e-probe.sh
 +
# handles e1000e driver suspend problems:
 +
# pci_pm_suspend(): e1000_suspend+0x0/0x20 [e1000e] returns -2
 +
# dpm_run_callback(): pci_pm_suspend+0x0/0x150 returns -2
 +
# PM: Device 0000:00:19.0 failed to suspend async: error -2
 +
# PM: Some devices failed to suspend
 +
 +
case "$1" in
 +
  "pre") rmmod e1000e
 +
  ;;
 +
  "post") modprobe e1000e
 +
  ;;
 +
esac
 +
</nowiki>
 +
}}
 +
 +
=== External links ===
 +
* [ Review based on first hand experience by original tester]

Revision as of 18:29, 17 January 2014

Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary end


Lenovo ThinkPad X230 comes off with a wide range of available configurations. Since Lenovo's acquisition of ThinkPad brand from IBM, it has received lots of negative critics for not maintaining the original quality and compromising the brand itself. Regardless, ThinkPad still is one of the first preferences for many geeks, students (mainly due to student discounts) and Linux users. It is the standard option available in Lenovo's X Series under 12-13 inches display category.

Hardware

Below is the short list for this setup. After-market RAMs and SSD were bought because Lenovo is apparently charging a lot for these.

Tested Configuration

Tip: Below were the tested configurations at the time. If you are interested in more details and review, see the gist A Hacker's Ongoing Review for Lenovo ThinkPad X230 for full details.
Feature Configuration
System X230 2306CTO
CPU Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz
Graphics Intel HD 4000 - Ivy Bridge
Ram 3.5GB (Kingston)
Disk Crucial M4 120GB SSD
Display 12.5" IPS
Wireless 2x2 Centrino Wireless-N 2200
Built-in Battery 9 Cell
Additional Plugable Battery 6 Cell 19+
Backlit Keyboard No
ThinkLight Yes
Fingerprint Scanner Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Cam Yes

System Configuration

Systemd

Configured as usual with readahead and the below services.

  • NetworkManager
  • cups
  • slim
  • sshd
  • syslog-ng
  • vnstat
  • cronie
  • atd

Boot time was as roughly ~3 seconds.

Fingerprint scanner

Works out of the box. See fprint article for installation instructions. No extrac actions are needed.

Kernel

Note: You may want to run 'linux-ck' instead of the default kernel to conserve power and to fix iwlwifi issue with system sleep and wakeup. See power saving section below

If you really want to cut power then neither the stock kernel nor the Arch supplied kernel is optimized to run on any laptop efficiently. Try the patched kernels like linux-ck or linux-pf instead.

/etc/mkinitcpio.conf
MODULES="i915"
BINARIES="badblocks"
FILES="/etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf"
HOOKS="base udev autodetect block filesystems keyboard fsck"
/etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf
options i915 i915_enable_rc6=1 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=1

The badblocks binary helps fix logical bad blocks if detected by fsck during system startup. First line in modprobe.conf file enables different Intel HD power saving options. To see what each of the parameters does, issue a command modinfo i915. The second line disables the wifi N mode as Intel wireless driver suffers connection loss due to possible bugs. You can comment on this line if you want to transfer data at wireless N speeds.

After saving the above files, make sure to regenerate your init ram image by command mkinitcpio -p linux && mkinitcpio -p linux-ck.

Then, to update grub2 with the new kernels you have to run grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

Note: Using i915_enable_rc6=1 will enable basic power saving with first stage of C-state 6 (sleeping state). The stages vary by level of deepness in the sleep, that can be attained by setting the value of i915_enable_rc6 between 1 to 7 in ascending order as can be seen in its documentation with modinfo i915 command shown above.
Warning: Keep in mind that c-state power saving always comes at performance sacrifice and setting a higher value can cause a jittery display or some unexplained and unexpected misbehavior with i915 so you may want to experiment with different values to find out what suites your needs.

TrackPoint

Pretty much self-explanatory.

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-thinkpad.conf
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"
EndSection

Touchpad

The original configuration renders the touchpad quite useless, as it behaves very jumpy. [Ubuntu Bugtracker] offers a solution for this issue. Add the following

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf
Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad"
        MatchProduct "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"
        Driver "synaptics"
        # fix touchpad resolution
        Option "VertResolution" "100"
        Option "HorizResolution" "65"
        # disable synaptics driver pointer acceleration
        Option "MinSpeed" "1"
        Option "MaxSpeed" "1"
        # tweak the X-server pointer acceleration
        Option "AccelerationProfile" "2"
        Option "AdaptiveDeceleration" "16"
        Option "ConstantDeceleration" "16"
        Option "VelocityScale" "32"
EndSection

Setting e.g. the motion-acceleration value in dconf to 2.8 works nicely.


Backlight Control Keys

Note: On most X230 models, backlight works by default without any issues. Use below only in case of any problems.

Due to an issue with the firmware of several ThinkPads the backlight control keys (fn + F7/F8 on the X230) don't work correctly. Setting the brightness via e.g. the GNOME power control panel or altering the brightness value in sysfs is possible.

The issue can be temporarily and partially fixed in adding the acpi_osi="!Windows 2012" kernel parameter in

/etc/default/grub
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet acpi_osi=\"!Windows 2012\""

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

The fix is partially in that only 8 steps are accessible via the keys.

For more information see https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=51231 .

Power Saving

Tip: The parameter pcie_aspm may not be needed in the more recent 3.9+ kernels
Tip: Don't enable pcie_aspm if dmesg | grep -i "doesn't support pcie aspm" is true because even if you do, kernel will still keep it disabled

One option is to use Powerdown to save power. On this setup, it gave 14+ hours on a 9 cell battery and 6+ hours on plugable 6 cell external battery, with normal usage of cmus, firefox and thunderbird. Power saving kernel parameters in addition to graphics card power saving, are as under.

grep GRUB_CMDLINE /etc/default/grub
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet ipv6.disable=1 elevator=bfq"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd pcie_aspm=force acpi_backlight=vendor"

The parameter elevator=bfq enables the Brain Fuck Scheduler written by Con Kolivas, part of Linux-ck and Linux-pf kernel forks. pcie_aspm=force forcefully enables the PCIE Active State Power Management and apci_backlight=vendor loads the vendor specific Backlight#ACPI driver (i.e. thinkpad_acpi) so the brightness keys (Fn + F8 and Fn + F9) work correctly. After editing the grub file, make sure to regenerate your grub configuration by command grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

Note that the apci_backlight=vendor kernel option also works with the standard Arch kernel (currently 3.7.10-1) and has the additional bonus that (Fn + spacebar) controls the keyboard lighting.

Suspension

Warning: If you suspend your system quite often, it is inevitable that you will stumble upon a wireless driver iwlwifi bug with errors 'fifo queues full' in dmesg. It is caused by weird PCIEM power control behaviors and is inhibited in all default kernels (as of writing 3.7.1-3). The only fix is to either enable PREEMPT & BFS with custom compiled kernel or use an optimized kernel like Linux-ck as reported by forum user Bassu. Default kernels are not suitable for power-conservation anyway. Check https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1209357 for details.

Sleep/suspension and unsuspension can be easily managed by systemd without setting it up in Desktop Environment applet or pm-utils. But there are some modules that must be loaded off and on every time the system is put to sleep or is awaken. There's also a need to kill wpa_supplicant by adding systemctl restart wpa_supplicant.service in below sleep.sh file. And it is quite fast with systemd anyway.

/usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/sleep.sh
#!/bin/bash
if [ "$1" = "pre" ]; then
	killall -9 wpa_supplicant #nm-applet bug's workaround
fi

if [ "$1" = "post" ]; then
        /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwldvm
        /sbin/modprobe -rvf iwlwifi
	/sbin/modprobe -v iwldvm
	/sbin/modprobe -v iwlwifi

fi

Put vboxdrv in it too, if you use VirtualBox. There is also an issue with system shutdown with power saving tools that cannot distinguish sys devices. You will need to add to the systemd shutdown trigger on this machine or else you'll get a system reboot when you shutdown the machine. Put this in /etc/rc.local.shutdown and update and enable its service, if not already.

/etc/rc.local.shutdown
#!/bin/bash
# /etc/rc.local.shutdown: Local shutdown script.
# A script to act as a workaround for the bug in the runtime power management module, which causes thinkpad laptops to restart after shutting down. 
# Bus list for the runtime power management module.
buslist="pci i2c"
for bus in $buslist; do                                                             
  for i in /sys/bus/$bus/devices/*/power/control; do                              
    echo on > $i
  done
done
/usr/lib/systemd/system/rc-local-shutdown.service
[Unit]
Description=/etc/rc.local.shutdown Compatibility
ConditionFileIsExecutable=/etc/rc.local.shutdown
DefaultDependencies=no
After=rc-local.service basic.target
Before=shutdown.target

[Service]
Type=oneshot
ExecStart=/etc/rc.local.shutdown
StandardInput=tty
RemainAfterExit=yes
Suspend failing

As of kernel 3.10 and 3.11 suspend may fail because the kernel tries to switch of the onboard ethernet device twice (see http://forums.fedoraforum.org/archive/index.php/t-293457.html).

A workaround is to unload the driver manually and reload it on wake.

/usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/e1000e-probe.sh
#!/bin/bash
# /usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/e1000e-probe.sh
# handles e1000e driver suspend problems:
#	pci_pm_suspend(): e1000_suspend+0x0/0x20 [e1000e] returns -2
#	dpm_run_callback(): pci_pm_suspend+0x0/0x150 returns -2
#	PM: Device 0000:00:19.0 failed to suspend async: error -2
#	PM: Some devices failed to suspend

case "$1" in
   "pre") rmmod e1000e
   ;;
   "post") modprobe e1000e
   ;;
esac

External links

  • [ Review based on first hand experience by original tester]