Kernel Configuration

Warning: This kernel configuration on this page is by no means meant to be a universal one, but has only all the Thinkpad-specific options selected plus the ones that I deem necessary. So please check at least that the filesystem types that you are using are included, and of course also select all drivers for things like USB peripherals, etc.

First I installed the necessary packages to build the kernel from source with

apt-get install gcc make ncurses-dev

Then I downloaded the source code from the Linux Kernel Archives.

Used Patches

After extracting the compressed tar archive and studying the ThinkWiki a bit, I also applied some patches:

Kernel 2.6.12.x:

Kernel 2.6.14:

The trackpoint patch has been merged into the official kernel source code, so a patch is no longer needed.

Note: I tried suspend2-rc9 for kernel 2.6.14, but it gave me rather unplesant kernel oopses, which might be related to using the patches described on the Suspend to RAM page. So better not try to run those alongside with suspend2 for now.

Configurating, Compiling and Installing the Kernel:

I used the menu configuration of the kernel via

make menuconfig

in the kernel source tree. Important settings to change are:

  • in "Processor type and features" select "Pentium M" for the processor familiy to optimize for the Pentium-M
  • in "Power management options (ACPI, APM)" enable ACPI (I don't use APM) and Software Suspend 2. Note: to use a newer version of the "IBM ThinkPad Laptop Extras" you have to compile it as module so it can be easily replaced later on.
  • enable CPU frequency scaling, select scaling governors ("ondemand" and "conservative" are the ones I use, but be sure to also select "userspace" if you want some external program like cpufreqd to do the frequency scaling) and enabe the processor driver for Centrino ("Intel Enhanced SpeedStep")
  • for the harddisk SCSI has to be enabled and in the low-level SCSI drivers section Serial ATA and "Intel PIIX/ICH SATA support" need to be selected
  • to get the kernel to recognize the CD-RW/DVD-RW I also needed to enable ACPI Plug'n'Play support (and of course the ATAPI/IDE CD-ROM driver)

My currently used kernel configuration (for each version of the kernel) is attached at the bottom of this page.

Afterwards I compilied the kernel by issuing


and after switching to the root account I installed the kernel modules, the file and the kernel image with

make modules_install
cp /boot/
cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-

Then I added a new entry in the GRUB menu file in /boot/grub/menu.lst:

title           Debian GNU/Linux, kernel
root (hd0,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/sda6 ro video=vesafb,nomtrr,ywrap vga=836 acpi_sleep=s3_bios resume2=swap:/dev/sda5 processor.max_cstate=2 elevator=cfq

Note: not all of the kernel parameters are necessary, video and vga give a higher resolution in the text consoles (if the vesa framebuffer driver is compiled into the kernel), resume2 is for Software Resume 2, elevator=cfq selects a different scheduling mechanism more suitable for desktop use, acpi_sleep is needed to circumvent a problem with suspend-to-ram.

Since switching to SCSI-SATA also meant that the harddisk would be called /dev/sda after the reboot, I also changed all occurences of "/dev/hda" to "/dev/sda" in /etc/fstab.


init 6

later and I was running the shiny new kernel.

Binary Data config- KB
Binary Data config-2.6.1441.76 KB



ZolnOtt's picture


I tested suspend-to-ram and suspend2 and after suspend-to-ram with my hibernate.conf i got a oops too. Your config do not work with my box.

I have a T43.


Wolfgang Karall-Ahlborn's picture

seems not possibly atm, at least not at the same time, I ponder doing one kernel patched with suspend2 and one with the suspend-to-ram patches applied, since I need both occasionally, although the later is more important to me.

But I'm sure that once the suspend-to-ram stuff enters the vanilla kernels (and that's just a matter of time) both will work happily in combination.

BTW, can you give me any hints what exactly doesn't work with the config? (you mean the hibernate.conf, right?)

b225ccc's picture

thanks for posting your config file(s)!

Esox's picture


thanks for you configs file. Just a note : You should say that they are written for ext3 FS, because I spent about 1 hour trying to understand why my system keeped on crashing, and it was because of my FS (Reiser) isn't included in the kernel in your conf file.

Wolfgang Karall-Ahlborn's picture

if I caused you troubles... it's just that my configs are just meant to be a help for getting the Thinkpad-specific stuff up and runniing, and things like filesystems and of course also all used peripherals etc. are different for everyone. But I'll put a note of warning above the text. Smile

Michael Ott's picture


Can you write the grub config for kernel 2.6.14. I want to know, which is different to my config, Maybe i find the reason why suspend-to-ram crashs.

Wolfgang Karall-Ahlborn's picture

the kernel line (which is probably the only interesting one) looks like:

kernel          /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/sda6 ro video=vesafb,nomtrr,ywrap vga=836 acpi_sleep=s3_bios resume2=swap:/dev/sda5 elevator=cfq ide1=noprobe libata.atapi_enabled=1
Riccardo's picture

Can you post a kernel config for 2.6.15?


Wolfgang Karall-Ahlborn's picture

just updated with "make oldconfig".

Marco's picture

Which patches are necessary for kernel 2.6.16?

Can you write your grub config for this kernel version?

Marco's picture

Any idea?