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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. 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.


  • triggers ACPI Events for
  • enables control via /proc files of
    • Bluetooth
    • Video output switching, video expansion control
    • Docking and undocking (limited)
    • Fan (on most models, only enable/disable; speed control is added by a further patch)
    • Volume
    • LCD Brightness
    • ThinkLight
    • LEDs
    • Beep codes
    • Several CMOS states
  • can show values of

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

Project Homepage / Availability


In development, usable, maintainership is being transferred to a new maintainer. Patches should go to the ibm-acpi-devel mailing list.

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. So, if you need a bright display even on battery power, you should not set any brightness via /proc/acpi/ibm/brightness.


Application support

  • GKrellM supports fan and thermal information
  • gaim-thinklight is a gaim plugin which makes the ThinkLight blink, when a message arrives.
  • 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.
  • IBM ACPI applet is a small gnome panel applet which shows the fan speed and thermal informations
  • 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