Thinkpad x240

Hello everyone!

I am new to linux, although I did dabble with ubuntu and freespire a bit many years ago. When my old laptop died on me recently, I got a second hand thinkpad x240 (120 GB ssd, 8GB RAM, everything else factory standard), as I was told that they tend to have the best linux support to give linux another go. My experience with the gnome deskptop flavour of opensuse 42.1 has been excellent so far (the kde version gave a blank screen at boot). I have a had few minor problems though, I can live with them but I guess trying to fix them would help me better understand the OS:

  1. mouse pointer randomly moves position (jumps from one point to a distant point). it does not happen very often, but in a setup that configured every other piece of hardware very well this is odd.

  2. while booting up, after selecting the opensuse option on the bootup menu and before the splash screen, there is flash of white band (in the lower right hand corner) on the screen. It flashes for a very small moment and does not cause any problems, but I was wondering what could be causing it.

  3. I have been unable to locate this package: acpi-call-kmp (needed for battery charge thresholds on Sandy Bridge and newer models). The second hand laptop i got is great, but the battery needs to be preserved to longer life. Need the package to control amount of charge via tlp

  4. everytime i try to install something (zypper or yast), I get a warning ‘packagekit is busy, ask to quit?’. Again this does not cause any troubles as the process continues once I ask it to quit.

  5. the fan seems to rev up randomly sometimes for short durations without any strenuous activity (for instance while typing this post).

Beside these minor issues, everything worked like a charm (even the brightness and sound buttons). Thanks

Welcome to OpenSUSE man!
Re the minor problems you experienced, I don’t know much about Thinkpads but here are some hints.

  1. Your Thinkpad has the “joystick-like” pointing device in the middle of the keyboard: chances are that it is not recognized or configured properly and interferes with mouse position; also check if there are accelerometers or the like being recognized as joysticks.
  2. During the boot phase there are a few framebuffer / display switches / Xorg setup etc. during which flashes may be visible; I would disregard them unless you find that something is not working once things have settled.
    3)Check the tlp package in Yast-Software manager or directly here
  3. Packagekit is an update daemon, an annoying sort of IMHO; I just disinstalled it from my system. When it is running it prevents other management software to act on the system to avoid inconsistencies. But it does no harm either.
    5)Maybe there are some acpi options to try to tune temperature thresholds triggering the fan; or there are background tasks you are not aware of that are warming up the CPU from time to time…

Hope this Helps

Thank you very much! The joystick seems to work well, but I am not used to it and will try to disable it in the BIOS. I will check the one click install of tlp too. I guess I should leave Packagekit as it is for now. Could also tell me how to check (and identify) useless background tasks?

Thanks again :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, the link to tlp doesnt have the package I need. Apparently its available as a separate package in some other distros, but this is what linrunner says about opensuse:

ThinkPads only

  • tp-smapi-kmp – needed for battery charge thresholds and ThinkPad specific status output of tlp-stat; download packages here.
  • acpi-call-kmp – needed for battery charge thresholds on Sandy Bridge and newer models (X220/T420, X230/T430 et al.); there is no sustained package source at the moment, please restrain from opening issues for this.

Is anyone aware of the current (even if not sustained) package source?

I see your point re tlp now: tlp “suggests” a non-existing package (acpi-call-kmp) :open_mouth:

You can easily view running processes in System Monitor (in Gnome, click the “Windows” key then type “Monitor”…) in the “Processes” tab.
If you prefer the command line, open a terminal and try “top”: by default it lists processes ordered by cpu consumption.
A likely background process is “tracker-extract”, which allows you to find documents in your folders by simply typing a few words that might be in their contents. Wether it is useful or not is up to you of course…

I guess I will have to live without specific battery controls (although I did find the package for Opensuse 12.2)

Checked the processes and now that I know I will turn off a few of them when I short on battery.

Thank you very much.