ThinkPad X3 UltraBase

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UltraBase X3

ThinkPad X3 UltraBase

The X3 UltraBase is a portable dock for the X30, X31 and X32 ThinkPads providing extra ports as well as a bay for an optical drive and a set of stereo speakers. Containing a full featured Ultrabay Plus slot, it provides flexibility in drive choice as well as the option of a secondary battery for extended working time on the road. The X3 UltraBase also features a battery slot on the underside that accepts the same battery as your X30 Series ThinkPad. The UltraBase X3 doesn't provide a second docking port as the original UltraBase did, hence you can't dock the UltraBase to any of the other docking solutions.

Overview, docs

X3 UltraBase - Overview


Pros & Cons

  • Positives: Expansion capability, portable
  • Negatives: makes the ThinkPad quite thick, no extra docking port
  • Compatibility: X30, X31, X32

Ultrabay Plus

The Ultrabay Plus slot in this dock is a full featured one and supports hot swapping with all Ultrabay Plus and Ultrabay 2000 drives. You can also feed it with the Ultrabay Plus battery pack to extend the overall battery life time. However, you can not use the additional battery slot on the UltraBase if you use the Ultrabay Plus battery pack (a plastic pen prevents you).

Linux support

In general, see How_to_hotswap_the_UltraBase and How_to_hotswap_Ultrabay_devices.

This can be problematic under Debian, as the default kernel (2.6.18) do not support the IBM docks by default, as the IBM_DOCK and DOCK methods are not compatible. This is not a problem with 2.6.22 for some reason. Under 2.6.18, you need to recompile the Linux kernel with CONFIG_ACPI_IBM_DOCK enabled, and CONFIG_ACPI_DOCK disabled. You also need to hook a few scripts into the acpi events system.


# acknowledge docking with the dockstation
echo dock > /proc/acpi/ibm/dock


# prepare the laptop for undocking with the dockstation

echo undock > /proc/acpi/ibm/dock


event=ibm/dock GDCK 00000000 00000003


event=ibm/dock GDCK 00000003 00000001

2.6.22-rc2 actually works without a flaw, without the above modifications, provided that the "bay" and "dock" modules are loaded at boot time.

According to this page you'll have to use this command to undock, since 2.6.18 kernel (after loading the dock module) :

echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/dock.0/undock