Installing Ubuntu on a ThinkPad X31

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Revision as of 21:38, 21 August 2006 by Matt (Talk | contribs) (Installing without cdrom or floppy: fixed broken urls)

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The content of this page was originally geared toward Hoary (Ubuntu 5.04), but nearly everything here applies just as well to the Warty (4.10) and Breezy (5.10) releases.

See Henrik Brix Andersens page for a lot of useful background information.

Installing without cdrom or floppy

Look here or follow the Netboot remarks instructions at Ubuntu Wiki.

Enabling the Access IBM Button and on-screen display for volume buttons

Install the tpb package (use Synaptic or $sudo apt-get install tpb), then use the Users and Groups Administration tool to add your user account to the 'nvram' group. Now see Access IBM Button for configuration details.

Choosing between APM and ACPI for power management

I tested both, APM and ACPI but settled with ACPI which now works like a charm.

Ubuntu ships with ACPI enabled, but without ACPI suspend-to-disk being configured. Since ACPI suspend to ram does not switch off the LCD backlight neither suspend mode is working out of the box. See below how to configure ACPI.

On the other hand: having ACPI disabled will make your system use about 10% more power which reduces my battery runtime from ~4:00h to 3:40h.

Please read "How to make use of Power Management features" for more in depth information.

Disabling ACPI and using APM

Simply disabling ACPI at boottime activates APM which works fine with suspend to ram and suspend to disk.

To disable ACPI boot your kernel with acpi=off

...describe how to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst...

APM based suspend to disk needs a save2disk.img hibernation file on FAT16. Use the tphdisk utility to create this file.

Use FnF4 to suspend-to-ram and FnF12 to suspend-to-disk.

Using ACPI

Get ubuntulinux, radeontool and this script (which goes in /etc/acpi), nothing more!

This procedure is not necessary with the Breezy Badger release, which already knows how to blank the radeon video. Just be sure you have the radeontool package installed.

$ cat


. /usr/share/acpi-support/power-funcs


grep -q closed /proc/acpi/button/lid/*/state
if [ $? = 0 ]
        . /usr/share/acpi-support/screenblank
        echo `fgconsole` > $LIDSTATE
        chvt 12

        # Unmount any NFS or SMB filesystems:
        echo "unmounting NFS and SMB filesystems"
        umount -a -r -t nfs,smbfs

        # remove modules
        echo "remove modules"
        #rmmod ipw2100    ## WLAN
        rmmod ehci-hcd   ## USB module
        rmmod uhci-hcd   ##  -||-

        # update the disk super block
        echo "sync"

        # wait a second
        sleep 1

        # turn the LCD off
        echo "backlight off"
        radeontool light off

        # suspend to ram
        echo "suspend to ram"
        echo -n mem > /sys/power/state

        # load modules
        modprobe ehci-hcd
        modprobe uhci-hcd

        # turn the LCD on
        echo "turn the LCD on"
        radeontool light on

        # go back to VT7 (X)
        echo "back to VT7"
        chvt 7

        grep -q off-line /proc/acpi/ac_adapter/*/state
        #if [ $? = 1 ]
                #su - $user -c "xscreensaver-command -unthrottle"
        chvt `cat $LIDSTATE`