[sf-lug] laptop thoughts...

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Dec 13 11:53:14 PST 2007

Quoting Blake Haggerty (Blake.Haggerty at Sapphire.com):

> I saw a lot of recommendations for the IBM Thinkpad which is now
> essentially a Lenovo Laptop. From my experience in the past Thinkpads
> are superior laptops and it looks as though (from what I have read)
> that Lenovo is doing a great job keeping that going. The majority of
> their sales are in Taiwan and they have a huge Linux following there
> so Lenovo has worked hard to make their laptops compatible with Linux.

I think you'll find that the rumours of their assistance have been
exaggerated.  For example, I'll bet that if you try with any T4x (T42p
or above) or T6x series models with ATI video chips getting video
switching (internal only, external only, both) to work using the Fn F7
key under Linux, you'll find that that functionality isn't supported
with any Linux kernel on any Linux distribution.[1]  If you dig deeply,
I'm betting you'll find that the programming interface for that and
other Fn keys is unknown to the kernel coders and simply not available
from the manufacturer, which is why, after some years, Linux kernels
still don't support it even with the ibm-acpi kernel patches.

There are a variety of gotchas with most manufacturers' laptops of that
sort -- support for mutant, manufacturer-proprietary ACPI features being
only one example.  Lenovo isn't actually any better than the rest, in my
own experience.

[1] More at:

More information about the sf-lug mailing list