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TuxOnIce (formerly "Software Suspend 2")

TuxOnIce, formerly called as "Software Suspend 2", "suspend2" or "swsusp2", is an implementation of suspend-to-disk functionality in the form of a Linux kernel patch and several userspace utilities. It is an alternative to both the BIOS-driven hibernation feature found on most ThinkPad models, and the swsusp "software suspend" functionality built into recent Linux kernels.


Compared to the alternatives, TuxOnIce has some unique features:

  • Saving the memory image into a swap file, a swap partition or a normal file on any filesystem.
  • Cancelling a suspend in progress.
  • Different bugs -- if the alternatives don't work, try this one!

It also have the following advantages over swsusp (these features are also provided, in principle, by the not-yet-stable uswsusp):

  • The ability to compress the memory image as it is written to disk, thereby reducing suspend and resume times.
  • Control over amount of RAM written to disk -- can (optionally) discard cached disk blocks to reduce suspend and resume times.
  • Textual and graphical UI (optional).

Since it is implemented purely in software, TuxOnIce is in principle machine-independent and should work on all modern ThinkPad models. However, in some cases problematic drivers need to be unloaded before suspension. This is handled by the hibernate script (see below).

Availability / Project Homepage

Model-specific Status

Thinkpad Model Type Operating System Kernel Version Suspend2 Version Success Note
240 2609-21G Zenwalk 4.2 2.2.9 Yes
390X VectorLinux 5.8 svn Yes
T60p 2.2.9 Yes Requires "ProcSetting extra_pages_allowance 7500" in hibernate.conf, SATA mode set to compatibility in BIOS and the DMA fix from Problems with SATA and Linux
T60 2007-77G Yes Requires "ProcSetting extra_pages_allowance 7500" in hibernate.conf
T42 Yes Might require "ProcSetting full_pageset2 1" in hibernate.conf. Fixed in
T43 Yes
T21 Yes need to unload the sound module (snd-cs46xx) on suspend. May want to enable UseDummyXServer if running X
T21 2647-4BG Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft Yes I used experimental Trevino's kernel packages
X41 Tablet Fedore Core 4 Yes requires SATA resume patch and the SATA drivers compiled as built-in or in initrd (see Problems with SATA and Linux) and a hibernate.conf fix (see Installing Fedora Core 4 on a ThinkPad X41 Tablet)
X22 Ubuntu Breezy Yes see Installing Ubuntu (Breezy) on a ThinkPad X22
G41 Yes see Installing Debian on a ThinkPad G41
R51 1829 Yes
R51e 2.6.16-suspend2-r8 Yes Requires "ProcSetting extra_pages_allowance 8000" in hibernate.conf
R52 2.2.7 Yes FC5 with kernel 2.6.17-1.2145_1.rhfc5.cubbi_suspend2
T23 2647-9KU Debian Etch 2.2.7 Yes
X60s 1702-55G Arch Linux 2.2.8 Yes I use the beyond patchset
X60s 1702-E8G Gentoo GNU/Linux 2.2.9 Yes gentoo-sources-2.6.20-r8 with swsusp2 2.2.9 and some other patches. Suspend to disk worked ootb (also I tried 2.6.16 / swsusp2 2.2.5 and 2.6.19 / swsusp 2.2.9), but suspend to ram does not (a resume from hibernate-ram results in a fucked up X - console works). Workaround: Use acpi for suspend to ram: echo mem > /sys/power/state
X61s 7669-27G Gentoo GNU/Linux 2.6.24 Yes 2.6.24-tuxonice-r3. Suspend to disk worked ootb.
Z61m 9452-CTO Kubuntu Edgy 2.2.9 from experimental repository from http://3v1n0.tuxfamily.org/dists/edgy/suspend2/ Yes I have blacklisted these modules: tg3, tp_smapi, hdaps, uhci_hcd (fingerprintreader would not go into suspend), sdhci. More options in the hibernate scripts are "IbmAcpi" and "ProcSetting extra_pages_allowance 15000". SATA mode set to compatibility in BIOS

Installation Instructions

The project home page has a detailed HOWTO and FAQ. The following are just a few highlights.

Modifying the initrd generation scripts, and recreate initrd

If your systems uses an initrd file (most do), you'll need to patch or replace your initrd-creation script.

  • Fedora 4: in /sbin/mkinitrd, find this line:
echo "echo Mounted /proc filesystem" >> $RCFILE

and add the following immediately afterwards:

echo "echo > /sys/power/suspend2/do_resume" >>$RCFILE
  • Fedora 5: in /sbin/mkinitrd, find this line:
if [ -z "$noresume" -a -n "$swsuspdev" ]; then

and add the following immediately before the above:

emit "echo 1 > /sys/power/suspend2/do_resume"

You can also use the mkinitrd-suspend2 package from atrpms.

  • Debian: If your system uses mkinitrd to create the initrd, copy swsusp-initrd.sh script to your /etc/mkinitrd/scripts directory before creating initrd image. If you use initramfs-tools, put a similar script into /etc/initramfs-tools/scripts/local-top/ (the manpage of initramfs has templates of example "boot scripts")

In any case, make sure you regenerate your initrd file by reinstalling the kernel package or explicitly with mkinitrd or mkinitramfs commands.

Hibernate script

TuxOnIce works best with the hibernate script (available from the project home page), which takes care of auxiliary tasks needed on many systems (e.g., unloading problematic modules and restoring video modes).


Configuration tips

Crash fix

To avoid pages being resaved during suspend use kernel and suspend2 (not stable yet) OR add the following to /etc/hibernate/suspend2.conf:

ProcSetting full_pageset2 1

RediSafe-like functionality

The hibernate functionality on some ThinkPad BIOSes offers the useful "RediSafe" feature, which suspends to both RAM and disk. This way you get quick resumes (directly from RAM), plus the safey of suspend-to-disk in case the battery runs out.

TuxOnIce provides this feature too; simply add the following to /etc/hibernate/suspend2.conf:

PowerdownMethod 3

Be aware of possible filesystem corruption scenarios

Certain usage scenarios can cause filesystem corruption with suspend2. Some details on this are in the project's HOWTO. None of the workaround configurations fix the problem satisfactorily, so be warned. In particular, with an ext3 root filesystem, if you suspend to swap partition, and then use sysrescCD/Knoppix/some other way to mount the root filesystem read-only, you risk data corruption when you try to resume from the suspended image.

As far as possible, after suspending the system, don't touch the root filesystem unless you are resuming from it :)

ACPI Problem

Also see Problems with ACPI suspend-to-ram

Resume hangs

If the resume process hangs after "Extended CMOS year: 2000" with the boot option no_suspend_console, you my try to enable hpet with hpet=force