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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.
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|Name||IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T40|
|Processor||Intel Pentium-M 1.6GHz|
|Graphics||ATI Mobility Radeon 9000|
|Network||10/100/1000 Ethernet, IBM 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth|
|Other||2 x USB2.0|
|Processor||Yes||with forcepae flag|
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.
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.