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FreeBSD on a ThinkPad W540 ?

sk8harddiefast

Daemon

Thanks: 197
Messages: 2,157

#2
Ι am trying to setup a Lenovo Ideapad p400. I made it before but not to the end. Lenovo can be workable as hardware.
The big problem is battery. Dies almost after 30 minutes in idle state!
 

IssaG

New Member


Messages: 3

#3
I own a W540 and am trying to setup FreeBSD 10.1 on it. As I'm a regular Linux user (OpenSuse), I'm struggling for now. I am also discovering that this W540 keyboard is missing keys like ScroolLock, Pause, break, sys rq... The keyboard of HP EliteBooks are way better on completeness, or maybe I just don't understand the Lenovo way yet?

Also, it seems the W540 trackpad is only having 2 buttons. Am I wrong assuming the 3rd buttons is useful under FreeBSD as it is under Linux? If yes, then this W540 will probably be the 1st and last Lenovo gear I bought.

Can you point me to documents/books which help understand the tools available to administer a FreeBSD system (equivalent of /proc; lsub; lspci; lsmod; on Linux) ?
And how to determine if drivers exists for a particular device ?

Under Linux, for a USB ID, I would grep the Linux source or google for it. How is this done on FreeBSD?

Thanks for the pointers.
 

ANOKNUSA

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 366
Messages: 675

#4
Can you point me to documents/books which help understand the tools available to administer a FreeBSD system (equivalent of /proc; lsub; lspci; lsmod; on Linux) ?
Read the sysctl(8), kldload(8) and kldstat(8) man pages. The FreeBSD Handbook is also required reading for anyone new to FreeBSD.

Under Linux, for a USB ID, I would grep the Linux source or google for it. How is this done on FreeBSD?
The exact same way. With the source code, though, you only need to check two files: /usr/src/sys/<system architecture>/conf/NOTES and /usr/src/sys/<system architecture>/conf/GENERIC. The first is a text file that contains a fairly descriptive rundown of drivers available in the kernel, while the second is the default kernel configuration, including comments on which hardware each driver is for.

Am I wrong assuming the 3rd buttons is useful under FreeBSD as it is under Linux?
If you're talking about pasting from primary selection, that's neither a Linux nor FreeBSD feature, it's a Xorg feature. The middle-click can be emulated by hitting both the left and right buttons simultaneously. I myself use the Trackpoint on my T520, so I don't know what the "touchpad user experience" is like.

A good way to test the potential of your laptop under FreeBSD is to download one of the FreeBSD-CURRENT snapshots and run a few tests to see how it might do. There are other oddities to consider: My T520 runs perfectly, but only with an installation using UEFI and GPT. Various issues crop up with any other settings and that means, for example, that I can't have a ZFS-on-root installation.
 

IssaG

New Member


Messages: 3

#5
OK, thanks.

It is weird, I could not manage to boot my W540 after I installed FreeBSD 10.1 from the UEFI DVD ISO with UEFI enable in BIOS. But when I disable the SecureBoot in the BIOS, then it boots up fine... The partitioning was the default proposed by the installer.

I will try your suggestion. Thanks for the pointer.
 
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IssaG

New Member


Messages: 3

#6
Basicaly, Lenovo removed the Scroll lock, Break, Pause, Sys rq and replaced them by shortcuts like Fn + K (scroll lock), Fn + B, Fn + P, Fn + S. I did not read the manual, hence my ignorance on this matter! Also the trackpad "buttons" are software defined. My opinion is that this is a inferior design compared to having the buttons separated from the trackpad.

I have to abandon trying to run FreeBSD on the Lenovo W540 as a working mobile computer. The Wifi module is not enabled plus other hardware modules on this workstation. I will try back in a few years. I will continue with GNU/Linux openSuse but I dislike systemd way being "forced" into the majors distributions. Anyone knows of a Unix OS friendly to mobile workstations ? (Or a mobile workstation fully supported under FreeBSD ?)

With the W540 running on the Lenovo Docking station attached, I have run the commands listed on https://wiki.freebsd.org/Laptops but I could not create an account on the Wiki. I attached them to this post; if they can be useful to anyone...

Thanks for your support anyway.
 

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