Debian GNU/Linux on the IBM Thinkpad R50


Since quite a while I own an IBM Thinkpad R50. I installed Debian Sarge (Testing) and consulted many homepages about Linux on Thinkpads.
Here I want to place some links and some information about what I did in difference to the sites I visited, because I had to configure some stuff that I did not find one any other site so far (which may of course be my fault ...).

But first, some references, you might want to visit first:


Installing Debian/Sid on a Thinkpad R50 - ThinkWiki
Linux on the IBM ThinkPad R50
Installation of SuSE 9.1 on IBM Thinkpad R50
Linux on an IBM r50p
Debian GNU/Linux on an IBM ThinkPad T40p
Linux on the IBM Thinkpad T40

ibm-acpi - IBM ThinkPad ACPI Extras Driver
IBM Personal computing support - Fan does not stop and blows out cold air - ThinkPad R50/p
Software Suspend 2 for Linux
SoftwareSuspend - HowTo install Software Suspend as Modules in Debian
How to get special keys to work - ThinkWiki

My configuration, installation and configuration instructions:

Currently, I am running Kernel 2.6.11 from kernel.org and installed the Software Suspend 2 for Linux-Kernel-Patch. Until now, no prepackaged 2.6.11-package for Debian is availabe (at least not via apt).

  1. Kernel-Configuration

  2. Loaded Modules

  3. Installation of Software Suspend 2:
    • Download Kernel-Sources
    • Download Software Suspend 2
    • Compile your kernel. (click for very good HowTo for make-kpkg)
    • Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:
      # Software Suspend 2 - Hibernate Script
      deb http://cp.yi.org/apt/hibernate ./
    • Now do apt-get update to update your package list
    • Install the package "hibernate" using: apt-get install hibernate
      Now, you have a script "/usr/sbin/hibernate" which can be configured with the Config-File "/etc/hibernate/hibernate.conf".
      Software Suspend 2 did hibernate and wake up fine in text mode, but when hibernating from X, waking up hung.
      You have to alter the configuration file:
      • Remove the comment "#" in this line: SwitchToTextMode yes
      • If you want KDE to lock screen before hibernate, also remove "#" in line LockKDE yes
      Here you can find my /etc/hibernate/hibernate.conf.
    • Follow the instructions here to offer hibernate to all users

  4. Using the lid to initiate Hibernate (hibernate on closing the lid):
    • You need the IBM_ACPI module compiled at least as module (since Kernel 2.6.10 included)
    • Enable hotkeys using:
      echo enable > /proc/acpi/ibm/hotkey
    • Register lid button:
      IBM_ACPI triggers events when buttons are pressed. The lid triggers such a button. Now we have to notify ACPI that we want to handle this event:
      • Create the file /etc/acpi/events/lid with content:
        event=button[ /]lid
      • Now create the file /etc/acpi/actions/lid.sh with content:
        sudo hibernate
      • Use "chmod a+x /etc/acpi/actions/lid.sh" to make the file executable.
      • Now restart acpid with: "/etc/init.d/acpid restart"
      • Should work now... you can monitor the actions of acpid with "tail -f /var/log/acpid".

  5. Load/Unload WLAN Driver using FN-F5
    Under Windows, the FN-F5 key combination triggers the WLAN. This behaviour is ok for Linux, too...
    • Create the file /etc/acpi/events/fnf5 with content:
      event=(button/sleep|ibm/hotkey HKEY 00000080 00001005)
    • Now create the file /etc/acpi/actions/fnf5.sh with content:
      # checks, if ipw2100 is loaded and loads/unloads it
      result=`lsmod | grep ipw2100`
      if test "$result" = "$empty"
      	# ipw2100 NOT loaded
      	modprobe ipw2100
      	#ipw2100 loaded
      	rmmod ipw2100
      If you use another driver for your WLAN than ipw2100 then replace string ipw2100 with your module name.
    • Use "chmod a+x /etc/acpi/actions/fnf5.sh" to make the file executable.
    • Now restart acpid with: "/etc/init.d/acpid restart"

Ok, this is it for now. I might update this soon with info about CPU_FREQ but the other sites should help you enough with this...

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this page last updated: 13.09.2021