Lenovo Thinkpad SL500
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 should not be too complicated. Following the wireless setup guide to suit my needs worked for me.
The SL series have two possible wireless chipsets: Intel WiFi Link 5100 or a Atheros AR5007EG
Intel WiFi Link 5100
The Intel chipset has kernel support and works out of the box with the iwlwifi-5000 firmware, which can be installed with:
pacman -S iwlwifi-5000-ucode
Support for this chipset should be available under the ath5k module, included in the kernel since 2.6.25.
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.
lenovo-sl-laptop Kernel Module
This experimental kernel module was written to control bluetooth, hotkeys, fan, and screen brightness in place of the incompatible thinkpad_acpi module. 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.
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
make 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.
The SD card reader seems a bit buggy.
Fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, Modem.
Thread on the forums concerning configuration of Arch Linux on the SL series