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ibm-acpi - IBM ThinkPad ACPI Extras Driver

This is a Linux ACPI driver for the IBM ThinkPad laptops written by Borislav Deianov, and currently maintained by Henrique de Moraes Holschuh. It aims to support various features of these laptops which are accessible through the ACPI framework but not otherwise supported by the generic Linux ACPI drivers. As a kernel module, ibm-acpi works as a bridge to deliver information about certain hardware events like key presses or control the state of certain hardware features by software.

The ibm-acpi driver was renamed to thinkpad-acpi on Linux kernel 2.6.22


Some of these features are available only when the module is loaded with the experimental=1 option. To enable it, add the following to /etc/modprobe.conf (or your distribution's equivalent):

options ibm_acpi experimental=1

for kernels 2.6.22 and above fan control is enabled with the following in /etc/modprobe.conf:

options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1

Project Homepage / Availability


In development, usable, actively maintained. Patches should go to the ibm-acpi-devel mailing list.

On older versions of the driver, even if you have disabled the BIOS setting for automatically dimming at battery power, after using the brightness switch of ibm-acpi, the auto-dimming behavior is enabled. This has been fixed in the latest thinkpad-acpi devel/backport versions and also kernel 2.6.26.

Application support

  • GKrellM supports fan and thermal information
  • gaim-thinklight is a gaim plugin which makes the ThinkLight blink when a message arrives.
  • pidgin-thinklight same as above but for pidgin
  • gaim-lightthink is an alternative to gaim-thinklight.
  • rocklight is a xmms visualization plugin that makes the ThinkLight flash to the beat of your music. The package also includes a standalone stroboscope mode program.
  • GNOME Sensors Applet is a small gnome panel applet which shows the fan speed and thermal informations. In Debian it's the sensors-applet package.
  • ACPI fan control scripts can be used to control the system fan according to system temperatures (overriding the firmware)

Interesting links related to this project