Gentoo on the IBM ThinkPad X40

This is about installing Gentoo on my shining new ThinkPad X40 - US0H9GE Its a little brief... but was requested many times. So here it is.

Version history

2005/Oct/09: Rickard Lundin from Sweden suggested to add cdroot to the append parameters, to get aware of the 2005.1 "give-root-pass" dialog. Thanks for the feedback!
2005/Apr/03: Initial Version for Gentoo 2005.0

Hardware Configuration

In order to make sure, what model of the X40 I got - here it is...
CPU Low Voltage Intel Pentium M 738 1,4 GHz
RAM 512 MB DDR-RAM 333 MHz ( onboard ) (but I upgraded to 1GB)
Disk 40,0 GB ATA-100 (Enhanced IDE)
Display 12,1" XGA TFT (1024x768)
Graphic Card Intel Extreme Graphics 2, 2D/3D (i855GM)
Interfaces PC Card, RJ-11, RJ-45, USB 2.0 (1 powered), 2 Universal Serial Bus (USB), Infrarot, Headphone/Line out, AC adapter, Expansion bus (for X4 Ultrabase Dock), External microphone, External Display
Slots 1x PCMCIA Slot, Typ II
1x CompactFlash Slot
Connectivity 56K V.92 Modem, Integrated Intel PRO/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, IBM 11a/b/g Wi-Fi Wireless (Atheros!) und Bluetooth
Battery 8 Cell Lithium-Ion, 7.5 Hrs
Weight 1.47Kg

Getting started - PXE Booting

Cause I have no USB CD-ROM drive, I needed to boot Gentoo via PXE - Thank god, we have an Intel E1000! The idea is: PXE Booting, getting PXELINUX loaded, loading the kernel via TFTP, getting an initrd and have a ready-to-shoot Gentoo LiveCD.
So here is the setup:

Base Installation of Gentoo

Just follow the regular guide available at I usally start at stage3 to save some time. But this is up to you.

Custom Kernel

Now its your time. Choosing the right config is not so easy if you want to maximize usability. Here are some points that are special: So my config.gz migth be a good start.

Powersaving - ACPI, Suspend to Disk, Suspend to RAM

In order to get all features running I did the following: After rebooting, FN-F12 should put your X40 into suspend-to-disk. FN-F4 into suspend-to-ram. FN-F9 should display current CPU-Speed and remaining battery time. FN-F8 cycles the ath_hal driver, FN-F5 starts bluetooth and all the required deamons.
So, have fun.

The integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 (i855GM) is pretty good supported via the i810 in I tried three different setups:
  1. TFT only (1024x768) - xorg.single.conf
  2. Presentation Mode: TFT cloned to VGA (both 1024x768) - xorg.clone.conf
  3. Dual View - Having external Screen extending your integrated TFT - xorg.xinerama.conf
To swith to another "profile" just change a symlink to the desired config.

Open Tasks