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23% (5)
55% (12)
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5% (1)
18% (4)

IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T40


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

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
SoundYesUse the snd-intel8x0 module
WirelessYesUse the Madwifi module
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemYes


For the graphics chip you can use either the open source radeon module or ATI's proprietary fglrx module. For installation instructions, you can view our Configuring an ATI graphics chip guide. For 3D support, you will need the proprietary module.

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.

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


There were no problems in getting this laptop working when used with an up to date Linux distribution. It is recommended to use a Linux distribution with kernel version 2.6.16 or greater, such as Fedora Core 5 or Ubuntu 6.06.


paolo_del_bene, 2012/04/13 02:26

i am using an IBM Thinkpad T23, and i installed GNU/linux gNewSense.
GNU/linux gNewSense is a distribution supported by Free Software Foundation, with the result that is 100% Free Software.

there are not restricted packages such as flash….. so you can't install them, you can use the GNU/linux gNewSense 2.3 or GNU/linux gNewSense 3.0 acutally i am using
GNU/linux gNewSense 2.3 i have not the necessity of a desktop similar to mac os x, like me the old libraries 2.8 of GNOME and these does of GNOME a desktop similar to the old style
Sun Solaris with the Common Desktop Environment, Desktop has not many stupid things, and works fine.

other distribution supported by Free Software Foundation is GNU/linux Ututo !

there are too others distribution 100% Free Software, such as GNU/linux Blag,
GNU/linux Dragora, GNU/linux Dynebolic, GNU/linux Musix, GNU/linux Parabola,
GNU/linux Trisquel, GNU/linux Venenux but these ones are not supported by Free Software Foundation, because it has much job to do, and two such as GNU/linux gNewSense and GNU/linux Ututo is a big job for them, so they can't satisfy too the other distributions GNU/linux.

You can download from:

it's specified why Free Software Foundation says that the other distirbutions are not Free Software. read:

Deabian is working to GNU/HURD and GNU/KFreeBSD, with the little difference that KFreeBSD uses ZFS rather than AdvFS or LVM.

They say why ZFS works, but ZFS could violates the GPL License.

So could be more interesting to work to AdvFS or LVM, they are GPL'd licenses.

charey, 2011/03/03 04:55

very good site

World Stem Cell Institute, 2014/04/15 14:21

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

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

Jack, 2010/07/28 07:56

Thanks you for adding the details on how to actually install and configure the required modules. You were very helpful for me.
While searching for this information, I came across one nice source of info - . It's worth visiting.

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.

mega cat, 2009/12/24 19:19

Big problems with newest fedora stability. Sometimes it won't even start the system. I've heard, that the ati radeon graphic card might be the source of the problem, but I don't know any details. I'd be really grateful for any clues on repairing the problem.

atjehcyber, 2009/11/15 15:07

Wireless Yes Use the Madwifi module < not support for t40, Cisco Aironet, you all can used kernel 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.

Daud Ali, 2009/01/07 12:59

Installed kubuntu 8.10.. everything worked out of the box . i love mobility computing now ..

i dont have to use 10 percent of my battery power for just booting up into windows now

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: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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