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Linux on the IBM ThinkPad A31 Laptop



Note: After selling this machine I got a note from the customer, that APM causes severe problems with X and NIC interface. We updated to Linux Kernel 2.4.19 this made APM work a little better, but problems (like a severely broken display after resuming) still remain. Currently I'm working on a solution (maybe disabling framebuffer for text-mode, or shutting down X before suspending).

The machine is an IBM ThinkPad A31 TV1DWGE. Note: This model number is important, because there seem to be different models on the market, which behave different with Linux. They feature different modems and/or graphics chipsets (e.g. A31p has ATI FireGL, A31 has ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB DDR).

From Kristian Marthinussen: "The difference that can occure between the same series of ThinkPad's are modem/network, i.e the A31 series all have the same MB and graphics. Since this model contains onboard and no-optionale modem/network is also the same. ( I'm pretty shure :) ) All A31p's has the same MB and graphics, but can differ on stuff like BlueTooth and 802.11b. Helpful tip: I saw on the A31 article the model number TV1DWGE. This can be a bit difficult to find out more about. A person trying to find this in Norwegian would have problems, but could find the Norwagian model TV1DWNO. I recomend using the type number insted. 2652-DXG The model number is country specific, but the type number is hardware specific. (except for keyboard layout of course) Then one can go to IBM and use "Quick path to a product" with the type number and get details on the hardware in the machine."

Installation

I have started the installation of Debian GNU/Linux - Woody via CD. I updated to Kernel 2.4.18 and XFree86 4.2 from the original sources.

Devices

X

I couldn't get XFree86 4.1 to work, not even in framebuffer mode! So I changed to XFree86 4.2. Since there have not been Debian packages available, I took the binaries from XFree86. See my Debian-XFree86 4.2 HOWTO (mini). Manufacturer information about the graphics chip (including Linux infos) are provided by ATI .

Resolutions work up to 1400x1050@24, but I couldn't switch between them with xvidtune, the program didn't start.

Console

To get a better resolution (1024x768) I use Framebuffer mode, but there are some minor glitches. Highlighted text isn't visible and the cursor is barely visible.

NIC

The network interface works with the eepro100 kernel driver. Also the e100 (third party) driver works.

Sound

Sound works with ALSA driver snd-intel8x0

SMBus

As far as I can see from the output of lspci (see below), there is a SMBus device, which probably means Smart Battery System. The Linux-SBS Project was started to add SBS (Smart Battery System) support to Linux. A Smart Battery can tell more about its status than via APM. but I couldn't find any source code there.

Recently I have seen that LM-Sensors uses SMBus, but I don't have this machine anymore and therefore couldn't check it. Please note: IBM ThinkPads have a severely broken i2c/SMBus implementation, never use the LM-Sensors programm on this machines!

General Hardware Data

CPU

processor	: 0
vendor_id	: GenuineIntel
cpu family	: 15
model		: 2
model name	: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Mobile CPU 1.60GHz
stepping	: 4
cpu MHz		: 1199.015
cache size	: 512 KB
fdiv_bug	: no
hlt_bug		: no
f00f_bug	: no
coma_bug	: no
fpu		: yes
fpu_exception	: yes
cpuid level	: 2
wp		: yes
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge  \
.		  mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse \
.		  sse2 ss ht tm
bogomips	: 2392.06
    

Hard Disk


/dev/hda:

 Model=IC25N040ATCS04-0, FwRev=CA4OA71A, SerialNo=CSH401D4L9W44B
 Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4
 BuffType=DualPortCache, BuffSize=1768kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
 CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=78140160
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4 
 DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5 
 AdvancedPM=yes: mode=0x80 (128) WriteCache=enabled
 Drive Supports : ATA/ATAPI-5 T13 1321D revision 3 : ATA-2 ATA-3 ATA-4 ATA-5 
    

Survey PCI Devices

Output from lspci:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge [..]
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge [..]
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2482 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2484 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2487 (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82820 820 (Camino 2) Chipset PCI (-M) [..]
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 248c (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 248a (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2483 (rev 02)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. AC'97 Audio Controller [..]
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp.: Unknown device 2486 (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M6 LW
02:00.0 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev 80)
02:00.1 CardBus bridge: Ricoh Co Ltd RL5c476 II (rev 80)
02:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corp. 82801CAM (ICH3) Chipset Ethernet Cont [..]
    

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© Werner Heuser 1997-2013 · http://tuxmobil.org/ibm_a31_e.html · last change Mon Aug 31 2009