Lenovo ThinkPad SL500

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Revision as of 22:21, 11 January 2010 by Sctincman (talk | contribs) (Removed "Installation" (seemed superfluous) and added a quick introduction section)
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The support for this laptop is not as bad as it first seems. In fact, pretty much everything works fine. I am very happy with this machine!


Despite the Thinkpad name, the SL series actually contains IdeaPad firmware, making it incompatible with the thinkpad_acpi modules. A new module, lenovo-sl-laptop has been written to expose most of the lost functionality. Thinkwiki has a page for the SL series with good general information and howtos.


Getting the wireless to work on Linux was easier than getting it to work on Windows :P

The driver we need is included in the kernel. Add iwlagn to your MODULES array in rc.conf

Following the rest of the wireless setup guide to suit my needs worked for me.


Installing ALSA using the guide on the wiki worked for me.

Add snd-intel-8x0 and snd-pcm-oss to the modules array in rc.conf.

If you don't want that annoying system beep, add !pcspkr to your modules array in rc.conf.


This experimental kernel module was hacked together from the Thinkpad module to control bluetooth, hotkeys, fan, and screen brightness. A package is currently available in the AUR. After installation, be sure to load the module, and to load on startup, add lenovo-sl-laptop to the MODULES array in rc.conf.

Despite it's experimental status, it works quite well. Sadly, there is no support for the HDAPS.


To allow control of the backlight, first edit /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf as follows:

options lenovo-sl-laptop control_backlight=1

Then turn of ACPI control of the backlight by performing the command on startup.

echo 0 > /sys/module/video/parameters/brightness_switch_enabled

A preferable alternative is to add the following to your kernel boot line to do so on startup.


Building Manually

Instead of installing the AUR package, the module can built manually from source.

To do so, first obtain the source from here and perform the following

sudo install -m=644 -D lenovo-sl-laptop.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/lenovo_sl_laptop/lenovo-sl-laptop.ko
depmod -a
modprobe lenovo-sl-laptop control_backlight=1

The bluetooth light on the front of your laptop should turn on.

Finally, add lenovo-sl-laptop to your MODULES array in your rc.conf.

USB and SD auto mounting

Check out the Udev rules for automounting USB and sd cards, very handy.

Other notes

The SD card reader seems a bit buggy.


Fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, Modem.