Installing OpenSUSE 10.0 on a ThinkPad X41

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Installing OpenSuSE 10.0 on your X41 is straightforward:

(For users of other distros, SuSE uses a patched 2.6.13 kernel, so most of the things I'm describing here should also work on other distros if you're prepared to roll your own kernel.)

I chose to shrink the existing Windows partition in case I would later have to revert back to Windows in order to find out about hardware peculiarities and maybe get firmware installed, but since things just work under OpenSUSE 10.0, you might as well nuke it.

Be sure to check "Mobile Computing" in addition to your packages of choice.

The following things Just Work(tm):

  • suspend to disk
  • mute, volume up and down buttons (but that's probably a hardware thing since it does not affect the ALSA mixer)
  • Fn+PgUp switches on the light (again, probably done in hardware)
  • ACPId gets events from the lid, power button and Fn+F[1-12], some of which you can assign to suspend, poweroff etc. in the yast power management configurator (I set mine to suspend-to-disk upon lid close)
  • Battery and AC status
  • Bluetooth (haven't tested anything real yet, but I can browse other people's cell phones in the subway :)
  • WLAN
  • Audio playback/recording.

The following things don't work yet:

  • suspend to RAM. In order to play with it, Google told me I have to add a kernel parameter "acpi_sleep=s3_bios" (cf. this debian posting (in German)), otherwise my display would stay black after resume. It does work ok when I'm on the text console, but it sometimes crashes the machine when I invoke suspend while in X.
  • NumLock.

Not tested yet:

  • 3D graphics acceleration
  • modem
  • serious bluetooth usage
  • VGA out
  • Docking station (I don't have one)


  • In order to get into the BIOS, you have to press the weird blue "Access IBM" (or whatever they're naming it this week) button, and the choose "BIOS" in IBM's pre-boot environment.