Tweaks for your Thinkpad with Linux

Dec 4, 2011 · 3 minute read · Comments

I got a thinkpad T520 recently which i would say really cool due to its form factor and also due to some “serious” configuration it had out of box :) .But if you happened to install a Linux distro things would not be smooth.There are less problems if you use a recent distro which has the knowledge of what “Sandybridge” is capable of [1].I am using LinuxMint 12 so these tweaks valid for Ubuntu 11.10 as well (and 11.04 too.)
 Reducing the power consumption
There has been a problem with the excess power usage which resulted eating the juice in your battery hungrily.
Following steps were referred from the links [2][3] and tested successfully in my laptop.
Install powertop to view how much power your laptop consume.It will show the power consumption when you are running on battery.
sudo apt-get install powertop
1. Open GRUB configuration file:
gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub
(usually looks like this: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash”)
3. Change that line into
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash pcie_aspm=force pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.i915_enable_fbc=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1″
(details about every option can be found on mentioned link)
4. run command to update GRUB configuration:
sudo update-grub
5. restart computer
Now if you check with powertop you can see the reduced power consumption. (According to my results it get reduced from 33W to around 19W.
Next  headache you might have with bluetooth.Since it consumes power you may need to turn it off whenever you do not want it.But it is painful to have it on by default at every startup. You can have it turned off by adding the following entry to .profile file in home folder.
rfkill block bluetooth
To fix the fan problem.
You do not have a dynamic fan configured which speed scale up or down according to the heat and has fixed RPM.It may have noise and also may result in some unwanted power consumption if you in idle or temperature is not high.You can refer this thread where i extracted information for more details.[4].
1. install thinkfan package:
sudo apt-get install thinkfan
2. add kernel module ‘coretemp’ to /etc/modules
sudo sh -c ‘echo coretemp >> /etc/modules’
3. load kernel module ‘coretemp’
sudo modprobe coretemp
4. add the following three sensor entries to /etc/thinkfan.conf just before the temperature levels:
sensor /sys/devices/platform/coretemp.0/temp1_input
sensor /sys/devices/platform/coretemp.0/temp2_input
sensor /sys/devices/platform/coretemp.0/temp3_input
sensor /sys/devices/virtual/hwmon/hwmon0/temp1_input
[ edit the file /etc/thinkfan.conf with your favourite editor, e.g. 'sudo gedit /etc/thinkfan.conf' ]
5. add the following to /etc/modprobe.d/thinkfan.conf: ‘options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1′
sudo sh -c ‘echo “options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1″ >> /etc/modprobe.d/thinkfan.conf’
6. reload kernel module ‘thinkpad_acpi’
sudo modprobe -r thinkpad_acpi
sudo modprobe thinkpad_acpi
7. set START=”yes” in /etc/default/thinkfan
[ edit the file /etc/default/thinkfan with your favourite editor, e.g. 'sudo gedit /etc/default/thinkfan' ]
8. start thinkfan:
sudo /etc/init.d/thinkfan start
9. check whether it works
sudo cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
if level has a value between 0 and 7, and changes by times, your thinkfan daemon works.

Finger Print Reader.

if you have a fingerprint reader in your T520 you can enable its functionality using fprint. Here is a great tutorial. (I am not a great fan of it.I prefer typing my password than swapping the index finger ;) which is bit productive for me. )


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