How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
18% (6)
Good
 
58% (19)
Fair
0% (0)
Poor
 
6% (2)
Unusable
 
18% (6)

IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T40

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T40 laptop.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

Editing This Page

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Specifications

NameIBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T40
ProcessorIntel Pentium-M 1.6GHz
Screen14.1“ SXGA+
RAM512MB-2000MB
HDD60GB
Optical DriveDVD-ROM/CD-RW
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon 9000
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, IBM 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other2 x USB2.0

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYeswith forcepae flag
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYes
EthernetYes
WirelessYes
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemYes
USBYes
PCMCIAYes

Notes

There is a hardware bug in the CPU that will prevent a recent kernel from booting out of the box. The CPU incorrectly informs the kernel that it can't use pae. At the bootloader menu, edit the boot options by adding “forcepae” before the ”–“. It should look like this ”… forcepae –“. Old kernels should work out of the box.

For current distributions, you need to use the open source drivers for the graphics chip, they include 3D support. Support was dropped from the proprietary ATI/AMD fglrx module. For old distributions. you can use the open source radeon module or ATI/AMD's proprietary fglrx module. For 3D support, you will need the proprietary module.

For installation instructions, you can view our Configuring an ATI graphics chip guide.

The modem works using the slmodem driver. Not all Linux distributions include this so you may need to install it manually.

Like the modem, many Linux distributions don't include the Madwifi module required for the Atheros based wireless controller found in the T40. Check our guides section for details.

If you get the following error at boot

Unauthorized network card is plugged in - Power off and remove the miniPCI network card

It's the bios that doesn't permit non IBM network cards. It can be circumvented with an a special live linux CD. Instructions here http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_error_01C9_-_More_than_one_Ethernet_devices#Solution . The instructions also include a solution for the error 01C9, not relevant here. The CD will not flash the BIOS, only modify the CMOS memory. For more general description of the problem see here http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_unauthorized_MiniPCI_network_card . For more convinience, you can use Unetbootin https://unetbootin.github.io/ to force the iso in a flash drive (normally, CD/DVD iso images can't be booted from a flash drive, they need special files, most modern Linux isos are just compatible with both for convenience).

In general thinkwiki http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki is a good resource for thinkpad laptops.

Sound requires the snd-intel8x0 module. Most likely, will work out of the box. Just make sure you didn't mute the sound with the hardware buttons.

Some versions of the T40 include the Intel 2100 wireless controller. This works with the ipw2100 driver.

Summary

There were almost no problems in getting this laptop working when used with an up to date Linux distribution. It worked with Linux Mint 17.3 (2016). The small boot issue was the only problem.

For old distributions, it is recommended to use a distribution with kernel version 2.6.16 or greater, such as Fedora Core 5 or Ubuntu 6.06.

Bare in mind that this is an old Laptop. It will not be able to decode HEVC/H.625, and will barely make it with HD content.


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they come out. F10 and Slack will do 24bit depth out of the box as some deb derivatives do 16bit sudo and need tweaking afterwords. Be careful unless you are comfortable with editing your xorg/x11.conf files to get a proper x.

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paolo del bene, 2010/08/03 23:44

test with ath5k, mad-wifi is not anymore supported,

Anon, 2010/02/12 02:40

The T40 works almost perfect with kubuntu 8.10 unfortunately the battery life suffers dramatically. With winxp i was getting 3 hours. With Kubuntu an hour and a half. Not sure whats going on.

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atjehcyber, 2009/11/15 15:07

Wireless Yes Use the Madwifi module < not support for t40, Cisco Aironet, you all can used kernel 2.4.6.31.15-18 ist's bether for it, am have do it but still down l:))


Now am will try fc11

Jim_e, 2009/04/05 16:35

Installing Fedora 10 as I write, to a T-40. Past experience has shown that You can get much faster results with fedora if you shut down “ALLOT” of services that fedora runs at start and after. I also add WindowMaker or fluxbox and use it as a default WM, which helps on memory issues. Trading out big apps., like OpenOffice for Abiword/Gnumeric ect. As far as video, the card is a little lacking and most development is geared towards making newer card work as they come out. F10 and Slack will do 24bit depth out of the box as some deb derivatives do 16bit sudo and need tweaking afterwords. Be careful unless you are comfortable with editing your xorg/x11.conf files to get a proper x.

Peter Winstedt, 2009/03/05 21:04

Just installed Fedora 10. Almost everything works, even my pcmcia wireless card.
The one thing that does not work properly from scratch seems to be the middle mouse button (the one used for scrolling along with the “finger”). I found a fix for that when i ran Ubuntu on this machine, so the same fix ought to work now also.

Overall I feel that Fedora is much more sluggish than Ubuntu, maybe I need to work on the graphics driver.

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The Chuck Machine, 2008/06/27 10:28

I have installed Ubuntu Linux 7:10 Gutsy on this machine. Everything works out of the box, except the advanced video settings. Wireless works out of the box. There doesn't seem to be a “good” ATI driver for this machine, so all you will get is the standard video resolution, with no Compiz effects.

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ibm-lenovo_thinkpad_t40.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/16 16:49 by 94.111.44.196
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