Installing Fedora 12 on a ThinkPad X40

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This is based on Fedora 12 with the default GNOME desktop. Your experience with KDE may be different.
This page will no longer be updated by the original author, as the ThinkPad has been upgraded to Fedora 13

Success Chart - Out of the box experience

This machines SMOLT profile is available here.

Item Working Notes
Installation Local CD/DVD install yes
Network Installation yes
USB Installation yes
Display Laptop Screen (LVDS) yes
VGA yes
Power Management Software Suspend (hibernate) yes Works after installing updates
Suspend to Memory (ACPI sleep) no Seems like it works, but after resume you get a blinking cursor, switching to another VT works, but you cannot login. This seems to be due to everything segfaulting bugzilla
Audio yes
Wireless WiFi - Atheros unknown
WiFi - Intel 2200BG yes
Bluetooth yes
Input Keyboard yes
TrackPoint yes Install gpointing-device-settings rpm for full configuration capabilities
Extra keys partial see ThinkPad Extra keys section below
Ports Ethernet yes
Modem no Requires closed-source driver. Install the slmodem rpm from the rpmfusion-nonfree repository, edit /etc/sysconfig/slmodem and set INTERFACE=alsa and ALSA_DEVICE=modem:1 and optionally the country.
Serial yes Requires dock
IrDA no It seems the device is detected, but then it tries to register a second device and fails with "nsc_ircc_open(). can't get iobase of 0x2f8". As a result no device files are created in /dev
PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse yes Requires dock. Mouse works, but disables Trackpoint.
Parallel unknown (should work) Requires dock
USB yes
PCMCIA/Cardbus yes
SD slot yes 4GB SDHC flash card automatically detected.
Harddisk Active Protection partial There is now a hdapsd rpm, but it is not installed by default, and neither is the hdaps kernel module getting automatically loaded. And even after install it is not started automatically. Starting it manually (modprobe hdaps; hdapsd -d sda), does seem to cause the HDD heads to get parked, but it gives lots of warnings that seem to indicate it does not yet work as intended.
Ultrabay device removal partial Eject switch causes udev event, but no default udev script to handle the event to unmount filesystems in time. ata_piix does handle the removal and insertion of ATA devices.
TPM (security subsystem) unknown Not brave enough to mess around with it. You can try to install the tpm-tools rpm.
Dock removal no Dock removal is completely un-handled. doing so without first powering down is not recommended.

Tested and Verified on Fedora 12

Information in this section has been tested and verified using Fedora 12.


Installation is straight forward; you can follow the generic Fedora install instructions.



It is recommended to edit /boot/grub/grub.conf and add hpet=force to the kernel line. This will activate HPET (High Precision Event Timer), which will allow the CPU to sleep for longer periods and save power.

X Server - Intel 855GM

It seems that KMS has improved a lot with this release of Fedora. Both LVDS and VGA displays work in mirror and extended desktop mode, although extended desktop is rather limited as the Intel graphics chip is limited to just a 2048x2048 desktop size.

Compiz seems to work (needs more testing)

There are some i915_handle_error messages in syslog, and briefly displayed on boot, but they do not seem to have any further effect. bugzilla.


Both the Intel 2200BG and Atheros wireless should work out of the box.

I did limited tested with the Intel 2200BG and it seemed to worked.

Atheros WiFi was not tested.

ThinkPad Extra keys

ThinkPad keys are handled by a mixture of the thinkpad_acpi, acpi button and acpi dock drivers.

Key Function Handled by Event Works Notes
Fn-F3 lock screen thinkpad_acpi HAL yes
Fn-F4 suspend acpi button HAL yes works after installing updates
Fn-F5 wireless thinkpad_acpi HAL no causes HAL 'wlan' event, but has no further effect.
Fn-F7 videomode thinkpad_acpi HAL no Attempts to cycles through various modes, but always comes back in mirror mode.
Fn-F9 undock acpi button HAL no causes event, but does not actually undock
Fn-F12 hibernate acpi button HAL no button works, but system does not work properly afterwards
Fn-Home brightness up - no yes no default OSD. Install the tpb rpm as a workaround.
Fn-End brightness down - no yes no default OSD. Install the tpb rpm as a workaround.
Fn-PgUp thinklight - no yes no default OSD. Install the tpb rpm as a workaround.
Fn-Space zoom thinkpad_acpi HAL no Known Xorg limitation, scheduled to be fixed with the new XKB2 extension, whenever that may be.
VolumeUp Volume Up - no yes no default OSD. Install the tpb rpm as a workaround.
VolumeDown Volume Down - no yes no default OSD. Install the tpb rpm as a workaround.
Mute Mute - no yes no default OSD. Install the tpb rpm as a workaround.
Access IBM Vendor key thinkpad_acpi HAL partial No default action, but can be associated with gnome-keybinding-properties
NextTab Browser Next tab standard keyboard driver HAL yes
PreviousTab Browser Previous tab standard keyboard driver HAL yes
Power Power button acpi button HAL yes Need to press button for ~1 second to trigger event. Causes a dialog asking you what to do.
Lid Lid button acpi button HAL yes
Dock Dock eject button acpi dock no no Does not cause any event
Ultrabay Ultrabay eject switch acpi dock udev no Causes udev event, but missing handler. See below.


Ultrabay eject is not handled properly by default. Since there is no undock udev handler. This udev rule and eject script works for me: How to hotswap Ultrabay devices

Untested on Fedora 12

  • Atheros WiFi
  • Parallel port
  • TPM