Install Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) on a ThinkPad T400

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Revision as of 18:43, 22 November 2009 by Jango (Talk | contribs) (added headers)
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Before Installation

Before you can start Ubuntu from CD or USB you have to change two BIOS settings:

  • Change to Internal or ATI Graphics with Config --> Display --> Graphics Device --> [Integrated graphics] or [Discrete Graphics]
  • Disable OS Detection for Switchable Graphics. Otherwise it will mysteriously switch back to Switchable Graphics.

Now you can boot your Live-CD, connect to Wireless Lan, and install the OS.

What works out of the box?

  • Intel driver for Integrated Graphics (Intel Integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD)
    • with 3D acceleration out-of-the-box
  • ATI fglrx driver for Discrete Graphics (ATI Mobility Radeon 3470 graphics)
    • To enjoy 3D acceleration, you have to install the proprietary fglrx Driver. (for example with the jockey-gtk tool)
  • VGA/HDMI output

  • Sound card
  • Optical drive (Including DVD burning)
  • built-in webcam (tested with skype, cheese and vlc media player)
  • 7-in-1 card reader from Ricoh (MMC, Memory Stick, Mem Stick Pro, SD, SDHC, XD, XD Type H Memory)
  • Trackpoint and Touchpad
    • Including scroll at the right side of the pad by default. (for scrolling with the middle mouse button, see below!)

  • Control buttons/Hotkeys
    • Volume control buttons
    • Screen brightness control (FN + Home/End)
    • Thinklight control (FN + PgUp)
    • WLAN/BT/OFF toggle (Fn+F5 press once: Wlan and BT off/Press second time: BT off, Wlan on/Third time: BT on, Wlan off/Press another time: BT and Wlan on)
    • To add a bluetooth-only-toggle (Fn+F6) that doesn't affect WLAN take a look here
    • Wlan/BT hardware switch
    • Media player control (FN + arrows)
    • Browser history buttons
    • Switch to extern Monitor (FN + F7 press once: picture on both monitors/Second time: on external Monitor/Third time: Laptop monitor)
    • Suspend shortcut (FN + F4)
    • Hibernate shortcut (FN + F12)
    • Battery info shortcut (FN + F3)
    • Screenlock shortcut (FN + F2)
    • dock eject button (FN + F9) not tested yet!
    • ThinkVantage Button (You only have to allocate a programm!)

  • Some ACPI features
    • Battery status, power graphs and history (tested with an single 6-Cell battery)
    • Lid states and events
  • Suspend/Hibernate

What needs some Tweaks?

Mute button

The Mute button only mutes the sound but no induction in the gnome volume indicator. To fix this you must edit your grub configuration adding a kernel option acpi_osi="Linux".

Configure your grub

> sudo vim /etc/default/grub

Look for the line:


Add the kernel option to the end of the line:

# GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="acpi_osi="Linux""

Save the file, then update grub

> sudo update-grub

Scrolling with Trackpoint

Create a new file called /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mouse-wheel.fdi typing:

sudo gedit /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mouse-wheel.fdi

And fill it with this code:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 

<match key="info.product" string="TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint">
 <merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheel" type="string">true</merge>
 <merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheelButton" type="string">2</merge>
 <merge key="input.x11_options.XAxisMapping" type="string">6 7</merge>
 <merge key="input.x11_options.YAxisMapping" type="string">4 5</merge>
 <merge key="input.x11_options.ZAxsisMapping" type="string">4 5</merge>
 <merge key="input.x11_options.Emulate3Buttons" type="string">true</merge>

Source: [1]

(Based on code from Michael Vogt and adapted to support both vertical and horizontal scrolling.)

Enabling Touchpad on/off key

Source: [[2]] The SHMConfig is now controlled through hal. In the past this was done through xorg.conf

You have to add the file

$ sudo gedit /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi

with the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
  <match key="input.x11_driver" string="synaptics">
   <merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">True</merge>

After this change please reboot. Restarting hal doesn't help.

Configuring Trackpoint's sensitivity and speed on start

Source: [[3]] Adjusting the speed and sensitivity of the TrackPoint requires echoing a value between 0 and 255 into the appropriate file. For example, for a speed of 120 and a sensitivity of 250, type the following into a terminal:

   # echo -n 120 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed 
   # echo -n 250 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity 

Feel free to experiment with your settings until you find a combination that is comfortable. Do it as root, sudo does not work. Instead use "sudo -i" or "sudo su".

When you satisfy your setting, add the two lines into /etc/rc.d/rc.local in order to avoid restoring the default setting every time the system reboots. In Ubuntu 9.10, add the lines to /etc/rc.local before the exit 0 line:

   # By default this script does nothing.
   echo -n 120 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed 
   echo -n 250 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity 
   exit 0

Gnome Power Manager: Put computer to sleep when inactive for: XX Minutes workaround

Type ALT+F2, input gconf-editor and click on Run. Navigate to /apps/gnome-power-manager/actions. Notice that sleep_type_battery has no value defined. Click on it, select options with the right mouse button, click on Edit key... Set value to hibernate or suspend whatever you want.

Now your computer should suspend or hibernate after the idle time you set on gnome-power-manager. Remember that this time starts only after the screensaver has jumped in. That's 5 minutes standard. So if you set 10 minutes it will sleep after 15 minutes idle time.

Notebook-Harddrive Bug

Source: [[4]]

Change "BATT_HD_POWERMGMT=1" in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf to an higher value to stop permanent harddrive-parking! Line 238, 200 seems to be a reasonable value:


What doesn't work at the moment?

Integrated Fingerprint Reader

There is a new chipset build in, the "AuthenTec AES2810". So neither the thinkfinger nor the fprint Project support this Device at the moment.

Bus 002 Device 004: ID 08ff:2810 AuthenTec, Inc.

Daniel from fprint Project wrote in their mailing list, that support for our device is in development! For more information look here: fprint Unsupported devices

Switchable Graphics

Not tested yet.

Upgrading from earlier versions of Ubuntu

Resume/Suspend problems

If you have problems with resume/suspend, first try if it works from the LiveCD. If LiveCD works, the problem must be in your Ubuntu configuration. Try reinstalling acpi-support and laptop-mode-tools:

sudo apt-get remove --purge laptop-mode-tools acpi-support
sudo apt-get install laptop-mode-tools acpi-support

If this doesn't help, check the files in /etc/hal/fdi/information directory and remove the unnecessary files.


Active Protection System

Install Packages:

Since Karmic the packages were updated in the respiratory. So you only have to install this packages:

sudo apt-get install tp-smapi-source hdapsd hdaps-utils

Then use module-assistant to build tp-smapi:

sudo module-assistant prepare tp-smapi
sudo module-assistant auto-install tp-smapi

Set Options:

To load these modules on every startup you have to write them into the /etc/modules file:

sudo gedit /etc/modules

Append this to the file:


We also need options to load these modules correctly. They have to be written in /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf

Fill the file with this code

# enable thinkpad_ec
options thinkpad_ec force_io=1

# option to correctly set tilting through hdaps sensor
options hdaps invert=1

Test installation:

Now you can try, if the modules are loaded yet. Do so with

lsmod | grep hdaps

if not perform:

sudo modprobe thinkpad_ec tp_smapi hdaps

Afterwards you can test hdaps-gl (with typing hdaps-gl in terminal) which shows the position of your Laptop.

If the installation of hdapsd succeeded, you can test it by typing this into your terminal:

sudo hdapsd -d sda -s 15 -a -v -y 

If you suddenly move your laptop the output will change! (stop it with pressing Ctr + C)

Now you can start hdapsd with typing:

sudo /etc/init.d/hdapsd start

After an reboot everything should start automatically and work correctly! You can change the sensitivity value and other things in this file: "/etc/default/hdapsd". To see the effects you have to type "sudo /etc/init.d/hdapsd restart" to restart hdapsd!

Additional tools:

To install the gnome-panel-applet type these lines into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install libpanel-applet2-dev
cd Desktop/gnome-hdaps-applet-20081204
gcc $(pkg-config --cflags --libs libpanelapplet-2.0) -o gnome-hdaps-applet gnome-hdaps-applet.c
sudo cp gnome-hdaps-applet /usr/bin/
sudo mkdir /usr/share/pixmaps/gnome-hdaps-applet/
sudo cp *.png /usr/share/pixmaps/gnome-hdaps-applet/
sudo cp GNOME_HDAPS_StatusApplet.server /usr/lib/bonobo/servers/

The first line is to install required deps, second line is to move to the source directory (we have downloaded it looong time ago!), then we compile it and copy the files to several positions. After an reboot you can add this applet to the panel!

Please feel free to correct mistakes. If you have trouble, don't be shy and contact me with jabber: