ThinkPad X40 with Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

I’m writing this from Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) on my “travel” laptop, a venerable ThinkPad X40. There were two things I needed to fix to make it work:

The Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device [PCI 8086:3582] needed Workaround A: Re-enable KMS found on Lucidi8xxFreezes to start X.

My Huawei E620 USB Modem [USB 12d1:1446/12d1:1001] for mobile broadband worked after removing the /etc/udev/rules.d/15-huawei-e1551.rules file I used to get the same device working in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).


  1. I am trying (failing…) to install Ubuntu 10.04 on my ThinkPad x40. Currently has Ubuntu 9.10. Tried using a USB pen drive (no CD drive), but after an initial screen the pen drive stopped working and blank screen left no options. No ideas how you managed to enable ‘workaround A: Re-enable KMS’ if you could not see the screen.

    Now trying an internet upgrade, (taking many hours), worried that it may also fail once rebooting at the end … in 4 hours time.

    Any advice gratefully received …

  2. Well, at boot I press Esc to get to the GRUB boot menu, then select the latest “Recovery mode” kernel. (Always the second in the kernel list for me, IIRC.)

    After some booting I get a menu with options including boot to command line, fail-safe X, etc.

  3. Thank you so much for responding.

    Pressing Esc never brought up anything – screen blank. Eventually managed to boot to an external USB Ubuntu alternate CD from where I could seelect a recovery option and access a terminal prompt. Here I could type in the line of code from your link above and reboot into a visible Lucid Lynx.

    What a waste of many hours of time and effort. It is this sort of thing that drives normal users away from Linux when they try it for the first time.

    Thank you again for your assistance. Bye.

    1. Yes, this must waste a lot of people’s time and turn away many users.

      I’m going to write about another issue with Lucid, but it does not affect my Thinkpad X40. The touch screen driver “evtouch” for X is terribly broken in Lucid. This makes me very unhappy.

  4. thanks for the info. I had to download the alternate installation cd (which is text based) to get 10.04 LTS installed on my thinkpad x40. after installation i booted in recovery mode then performed the reenable KMS workaround, rebooted and i’m up and running! cheers,

  5. I had a similar issue, Luckily found another forum suggested Left Shift instead of ESC to bring up the GRUB menu on boot (which saved me finding/burning an alternate install disc!). Chose previous kernel from menu, and added Workaround:A (above). All now working. cheers

  6. I had to do one more thing before my X40 booted successfully, but that was probably because I tried messing around with resetting the xorg.conf settings. Before I found your instructions.

    So my nonfunctioning xorg.conf looked like this:

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Configured Screen Device”
    Device “Configured Video Device”
    SubSection “Display”
    Virtual 2464 900

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”

    I removed the Display Subsection (you enter an editor by typing “sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf”), so in the end it looked like this:

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Configured Screen Device”
    Device “Configured Video Device”

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”

    Now it works great! I’m even able to turn on desktop effects, which broke in some update last winter.

    Hope this helps someone.

  7. @Heikki

    I run without any xorg.conf at all! This is apparantly standard these days. It feels weird, but works! 🙂

  8. you can also try updating the kernal as Catharsis mentions here. re-enabling KMS worked to get my display back, however I could not play movie files (divx/xvid). updating the kernal resolved this problem. (Note I have the Ubuntu Restricted Extras from the Ubuntu Software Centre installed to enable flash + divx/xvid etc)

    see catharsis post here about updating the kernal:

  9. How can any of this work if you’re doing a fresh install of 10.04 on a Thinkpad X40? There’s nothing to modify if you’re booting off the CD. It just boots up to a black screen, end of story.

    Is there ANY way around this?

  10. @Ryan:

    I could not even start X at boot without Workaround A, and resume from Hibernation works fine. I don’t remember about about Suspend right now.

  11. I tried booting with a 10.04 CD, using the tips in Workaround A and was never able to get past the Black Screen. Odd…

  12. Face it folks. Canonical screwed up. Lucid (Long Term Suck?) does not work on the Thinkpad X40. It also isn’t reliable on some of my Dell Servers. Both are rock solid with Karmic.

    However, Nobody uses these type of systems, riiiiiiight?

  13. I’ll try the workaround seeing as I have the same problem (blank screen prior to installation from USB flash drive) and see how it goes.

  14. Hi

    i also had some problems installing 10.04 and had the same black screen. as wasn’t able to enter the grub boot menu, i made it like this :
    once the ubuntu screen (with install, test,…) was there, i pressed on Esc (i think – maybe Tab if Esc doesn’t work) – there i was asked something where i clicked on OK – then i was finally able to press Tab and to edit the boot – so i typed “i915.modeset=1” after “quiet splash” leaving the — after “i915.modeset=1” (“other text” quiet splash i915.modeset=1 –)
    i hope that will help others 🙂

  15. Hi again

    after having made the change permanent, i noticed that my x40 was still slow under 10.04. At first, i thought that it was my laptop that was slower than i would have expected. But then, i gave a try to a 9.10 Xubuntu installation. And that one worked out of the box!! My laptop was fast, working really nicely. Now, i run a 9.10 Lubuntu on it, and that’s really the best i ever had! So, if you have an X40, i recommend that you put a 9.10 on it! 🙂

  16. Hi there,

    Your page and Workaround A really helped me to get to a “running” Lucid.
    However, I still have an issue with videos…
    Do you know of any solution to that or should I downgrade to Karmic ?


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