Installing Arch Linux on a ThinkPad X40

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Revision as of 19:22, 7 March 2010 by Ref (Talk | contribs) (Hibernate)
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Some notes to get Arch Linux running on a Thinkpad X40.

Not fnished yet. I'm documenting the installation process as it goes


I downloaded the FTP installation CD on


My main concern was getting the WIFI to work. As the downloaded ISO also functions as a livecd, I tried to get it up and running with that. Without success. I found the answer to my question here:

I installed madwifi and madwifi-utils. In the modules section of /etc/rc.conf I banged the ath5k module, disabling it. With ath5k not banged the card showed up as wlan0, associated correctly with the AP, but didn't get a DHCP lease. Even with manually setting the IP and adding the default route, I couldn't ping the AP.

After banging ath5k, the wireless card shows up as ath0. Associating works, DHCP doesn't time out. :)

Power Management

The two most important factors of a mobile device are battery life and weight. I'm always a bit disgrunted when an advertisement doesn't mention one or either.

Without any powersaving installations the 8cell battery still managed for a nice 4 hours.

CPU Frequency Scaling

CPU Frequency Scaling is a technology primarily for notebooks that enables the OS to scale the CPU speed to system and/or power use.

I simply followed the following instructions:


I tried pm-utils. 2

 # pacman -S pm-utils

Add acpi_sleep=s3_bios to the file /boot/grub/menu.lst as kernel option.

I added following modules to the /etc/pm/config.d/config file in the order they are dependant of eachother. The last ones depend on the first modules.

 SUSPEND_MODULES="wlan_wep wlan_scan_sta ath_rate_sample ath_pci wlan ath_hal"

But suspending seems to work even without this.

If the backlight is not working when resuming from suspend, the following might fix it [1]:

 case $1 in
       chvt 1
       vbetool post &
       sleep 1
       kill $!
       chvt 7

Put the script in /etc/pm/sleep.d/. The changing of the virtual terminals with chvt is used to avoid a garbled screen after invoking vbetool in X.


To hibernate, you can simply use pm-utils too. It provides the pm-hibernate program. Only add the resume drive to the kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst:


The drive assigned is the swap partition. The swap partition should be at least big enough to hold your RAM data.

I also needed to add the resume hook to the file /etc/mkinitcpio.conf [2]. Then recompile the kernel:

 mkinitcpio -p kernel26

Enable suspend/hibernate buttons

To get the suspend keycombo (fn+f4 and fn+f12) to work, install xbindkeys:

 # pacman -S xbindkeys

And place the following in ~/.xbindkeysrc

 "sudo pm-suspend"
 "sudo pm-hibernate"

The keycode you can find out by running xev and looking for the appropriate keycode.

Adding xbindkeys to a startup script of your windowmanager makesthe keys active. As the name suggests, xbindkeys only works in X.


Installed xorg with

   # pacman -S xorg

Then generated the xorg.cong file with

   # hwd -xa

(I know, risky ;))

Looked good, but X didn't start with this (couldn't find display). I installed the xf86-video-intel and changed the display driver from i810 to intel in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

   Section "Device"
           Identifier  "Card0"
           Driver      "intel"
           VendorName  "All"
           BoardName   "All"

Getting the back/forward special keys to work

Add the following to your ~/.Xmodmap 1

   keycode 77 = Num_Lock
   keycode 234 = XF86Back
   keycode 233 = XF86Forward

Enabling scrolling with middle mouse button

Add the following to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf, to the PS/2 mouse section 1

   Option "EmulateWheel" "true"
   Option "EmulateWheelButton" "2"


Don't forget to run [3]

 # alsaconf

to get the sound to work properly.