Installing Fedora 16 on a ThinkPad T41

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This is based on Fedora 16 with the default GNOME desktop. Your experience with KDE may be different. Since the video adapter in this ThinkPad is rather dated, Gnome 3 will run in Fallback/Classic mode.
Help needed
Not all models of this ThinkPad are equal, you may have a different WiFi adapter, or some options I did not have. If you tested them, please add their status down below.

New in this release

Fixed or new in this Fedora release, with regards to this model ThinkPad is the following;

  • ..


  • ..

Success Chart - Out of the box experience

This machines SMOLT profile is available here.

Item Working Notes
Installation Local CD/DVD install yes
Network Installation yes
USB Installation unknown
Display - ATI RV250 Laptop Screen yes But corruption during boot
VGA yes Mirror is fine, but extended-desktop results in very slow performance
DVI unknown Requires port-replicator or dock with DVI
S-Video unknown
Power Management Software Suspend (hibernate) yes
Suspend to Memory (ACPI sleep) no Xserver hang on resume. bugzilla. Boot with radeon.agpmode=1 as a workaround.
Audio yes
Wireless WiFi - Atheros AR5212 yes
WiFi - Intel unknown (should work)
Bluetooth yes
Input Keyboard yes
TrackPoint yes
TouchPad yes
Extra keys partial see ThinkPad Extra keys section below
Ports Ethernet yes
Modem no Requires closed-source driver. Install the slmodem rpm from the rpmfusion-nonfree repository, edit /etc/sysconfig/slmodem and set INTERFACE=alsa and ALSA_DEVICE=modem:1 and optionally the country. Then run "chkconfig slmodem on; service slmodem start" and point your dialer to /dev/ttySL0
Serial yes Requires port-replicator or dock
IrDA no Device is detected, but does not work
PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse yes Mouse works, but disables Trackpoint/Touchpad
Parallel unknown (should work) Device is detected
USB yes
PCMCIA/Cardbus yes
Harddisk Active Protection no Fedora ships the hdapsd rpm, but not the tp_smapi kernel module, which is required to read the motion sensor bugzilla
Ultrabay device removal partial Eject switch causes udev event, but no default udev script to handle the event to unmount filesystems in time. ata_piix does handle the removal and insertion of ATA devices.
TPM (security subsystem) yes Enable security chip in BIOS, then "yum install tpm-tools", then "modprobe tpm_atmel; service tcsd start; tpm_version" works.
Dock removal unknown

Tested and Verified on Fedora 16

Information in this section has been tested and verified using this Fedora release.


Installation is straight forward, you can follow the generic Fedora install instructions.



It is recommended to edit /etc/default/grub and add hpet=force to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line, and running # grub2-mkconfig. This will activate HPET (High Precision Event Timer), which will allow the CPU to sleep for longer periods and save power.

You will also want to add radeon.agpmode=1 to work around a suspend/resume bug by forcing AGP 1X mode. Do note that forcing AGP 1x mode will mean less performance in games that copy large sets of textures around (e.g. Quake, World of Padman).

X Server - ATI RV250

Out of the box external displays (VGA or DVI) should work, and you can switch display modes with the Fn-F7 key combination.

The following issues still exist for single-head (LVDS only) setups

  • unknown physical LVDS display size (0mm x 0mm) reported by RandR

And for Multihead or External displays. Some of these issues are likely caused by the limited amount of VRAM available (32MB)

  • Multihead causes the desktop to become very slow
The below issues are a left-over from F14. They need to be checked.
  • S-Video output is distorted Bugzilla
  • Screen rotation does not work in combination with Multihead

ThinkPad Extra keys

ThinkPad keys are handled by a mixture of the thinkpad_acpi, acpi button and acpi dock drivers.

Key Function Handled by Event Works Notes
FnF3 lock screen thinkpad_acpi yes yes
FnF4 suspend acpi button yes partial button works, but suspend fails on resume
FnF5 wireless thinkpad_acpi yes partial Works as a radio kill switch, kills WiFi but not Bluetooth
FnF7 videomode thinkpad_acpi yes yes
FnF12 hibernate acpi button yes yes
FnHome brightness up - no yes no OSD
FnEnd brightness down - no yes no OSD
FnPgUp thinklight - no yes no OSD
FnSpace zoom thinkpad_acpi yes no Known Xorg limitation, scheduled to be fixed with the new XKB2 extension, whenever that may be.
VolumeUp Volume Up thinkpad_acpi no yes no OSD. Hardware and Software volume controls are independent from each other.
VolumeDown Volume Down thinkpad_acpi no yes no OSD. Hardware and Software volume controls are independent from each other.
Mute Mute thinkpad_acpi no yes no OSD. Hardware and Software mute controls are independent from each other.
Access IBM Vendor key thinkpad_acpi yes partial No default action, but can be associated in the Gnome keyboard settings
NextTab Browser Next tab standard keyboard driver yes yes
PreviousTab Browser Previous tab standard keyboard driver yes yes
Power Power button acpi button yes yes Need to press button for ~1 second to trigger a suspend event.
Lid Lid button acpi button yes yes Will trigger a suspend event.
Dock Dock eject button acpi dock unknown unknown Should cause udev event
Ultrabay Ultrabay eject switch acpi dock udev no Causes udev event, but missing handler. See below.


Ultrabay eject is not handled properly by default. Since there is no undock udev handler. This udev rule and eject script works for me: How to hotswap Ultrabay devices


IrDA is detected, but does not work. Part of the problem is that the default Fedora configuration expects to find the IrDA port at /dev/ttyS2, while it should use /dev/ircomm0 instead. This can be fixed in /etc/sysconfig/irda after which the irda service can be started (# systemctl start irda.service).

However, even after this communication with other devices fails. irdadump does not show any output when something like a mobile phone with IrDA is sending data.

Untested on Fedora

The following features where not tested with this Fedora release. If you have tested them, please update the table

  • Intel WiFi
  • Parallel port
  • Dock eject