2014-05-29 18:59

Here are the steps I used to upgrade the BIOS of my Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 2.
You have to download the bootable ISO file from Lenovo support site, convert it and copy it to a usb flash drive.

You will need a USB key you can erase.

First Get the bootable ISO file from Lenovo support website. To get your product number:

sudo dmidecode -t system | grep Product

To check your BIOS version: sudo dmidecode -t bios

Get the geteltorito program from your packages or download it:

cd /tmp/
wget http://userpages.uni-koblenz.de/~krienke/ftp/noarch/geteltorito/geteltorito
chmod +x geteltorito

Extract the img from the ISO:

./geteltorito -o bios.img gruj09us.iso

Copy the img to the USB key (make sure sdb is you USB key!!):

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb #at least check that device size is right
sudo dd if=bios.img of=/dev/sdb

That’s it. Boot on USB stick and follow the instructions to update your BIOS.

2014-05-29 18:59 · Tags: , , , , ,
2010-01-03 21:28

Here is how to configure easily your Thinkpad fingerprint reader under Ubuntu Karmic, using ThinkFinger.

Install the thinkfinger-tools (for acquiring/verifying) and libpam-thinkfinger (for PAM integration):

sudo aptitude install thinkfinger-tools libpam-thinkfinger

Then you can test acquisition/verification. As a user, issue the commands:

tf-tool --acquire
# swipe 3 times your finger
tf-tool --verify
# swipe your finger, then another finger...

Note: tf-tools should work without being root if the user belongs to the plugdev group.

Then plug the reader to PAM as explained in /usr/share/doc/libpam-thinkfinger/README.Debian:

sudo /usr/lib/pam-thinkfinger/pam-thinkfinger-enable

Now restart your system and try swiping your finger in place of typing the password. A “Password or swipe finger:” prompt displays to authenticate you at GDM login and when you type “sudo”.


  • Test several programs in the Administration menu. “swipe finger” is not always showed but should work though.
  • To my knowing, it doesn’t work when locking screen (gnome-screensaver).

References :

2010-01-03 21:28 · Tags: , , , ,
2009-12-03 22:42

Some Thinkpads, like the T43, have several heat and fan problems.

On a default Linux installation, my T43 processor is at about 46°C, and the GPU at about 49°C, for an external temperature of 19°C.

The BIOS fan management algorithm is very bad. After a cold boot, the fan starts running non stop after a few minutes of use.

Fortunately, it is possible to use programs to take control of the fan in place of the BIOS.

To start, the thinkpad_acpi module must allows us to change the fan speed:

# vi /etc/modprobe.d/thinkpad.conf
options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1 experimental=1

Your choice to reload the module or reboot your system.

# rmmod thinkpad_acpi
# modprobe thinkpad_acpi

Now you can take control of your fan:

# cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
# echo level 0 > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
# echo level 7 > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan # full speed !!
# echo level auto > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan # back to normal, BIOS management

Now go here and copy the content of the script in /usr/local/bin/tp-fancontrol.

# mv index.php /usr/local/bin/tp-fancontrol
# chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/tp-fancontrol

Then, test the script:

# tp-fancontrol
# tp-fancontrol -s 5 # for a fan that starts later

In order to start the script at boot, we also fetch the tp-fancontrol.init.debian script on the same page. We add it at the system boot.

# mv index.php /etc/init.d/tp-fancontrol
# chmod a+x /etc/init.d/tp-fancontrol
# vi /etc/init.d/tp-fancontrol
# /etc/init.d/tp-fancontrol start
# /etc/init.d/tp-fancontrol stop
# update-rc.d tp-fancontrol defaults # note: only adding "start" scripts is also possible

The final touch is to edit the script to change the minimum fan triggering tresholds, so that the fan starts later when the system begins to heat:

# vi /usr/local/bin/tp-fancontrol
INTERVAL=10 # you can also increase the speed update interval

A 5 seconds increase allows the fan to become quiet again when the computer activity is low.


2009-12-03 22:42 · Tags: , ,