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  #1  
Old 24th January 2012, 07:30 PM
bastani Offline
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windows_7firefox
Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

Hi All,

I have recently tried to install and configure Fedora 16 on my Thinkpad T420 laptop and I have faced several difficulties. As I am not a professional, many of my question might be stupid, so I apologize in advance. I would appreciate if anyone can help me:

1- Power consumption is considerably high (compared to windows). With a fully charged battery (9 cell) I have around 6-7 hours in Windows 7 (I have all thinkpad drivers for windows) but in fedora I can never work for more than 3 hours.

2- It seems the machine is equipped with two graphic cards (aka nvidia optimus technology) but in fedora I'm not sure if both of them are configured properly and working fine.

3- I have problems with WiFi card at work. There are two networks, a public one (without any passwords) to which if I connect I then have to use the VPN, and the authenticated one to which I have to connect using WPA/Enterprise. I occasionally can connect to either of them but normally it says failed to connect to the network (or repeats asking me the username/password for the authenticated one). Someone told me it is because it tries to connect to APs with at 5GHz but I couldn't figure how I can avoid it from doing that.

4- This one might be so stupid, but recently the menus and buttons look very ugly in Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. But they look as nice as before in Terminal and other sort of built-in programs. I am using gnome3.

Thanks in advance.
Mani
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  #2  
Old 24th January 2012, 07:46 PM
nonamedotc Offline
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linuxchrome
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

Quote:
Originally Posted by bastani View Post

1- Power consumption is considerably high (compared to windows). With a fully charged battery (9 cell) I have around 6-7 hours in Windows 7 (I have all thinkpad drivers for windows) but in fedora I can never work for more than 3 hours.
As far as I know, this is a ever present problem. More so because of some recent kernel version power regression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bastani View Post

2- It seems the machine is equipped with two graphic cards (aka nvidia optimus technology) but in fedora I'm not sure if both of them are configured properly and working fine.
Execute this command as root and check the output.

Code:
 lspci -v
This should identify the graphics cards and inform what drivers they are using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bastani View Post
3- I have problems with WiFi card at work. There are two networks, a public one (without any passwords) to which if I connect I then have to use the VPN, and the authenticated one to which I have to connect using WPA/Enterprise. I occasionally can connect to either of them but normally it says failed to connect to the network (or repeats asking me the username/password for the authenticated one). Someone told me it is because it tries to connect to APs with at 5GHz but I couldn't figure how I can avoid it from doing that.
Sorry ! Can't help you with this. I would be interested in knowing the solution too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bastani View Post

4- This one might be so stupid, but recently the menus and buttons look very ugly in Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. But they look as nice as before in Terminal and other sort of built-in programs. I am using gnome3.
As far as I know, you can try changing the themes of firefox and thunderbird, i.e. customize it within the software. You can also install themes for both. I don't know if this answers your question though.

Last edited by nonamedotc; 24th January 2012 at 07:47 PM. Reason: formatting
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  #3  
Old 24th January 2012, 08:12 PM
marko Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

I think your main power problem is that both graphics cards are on. Windows has working "optimus" drivers so it turns off the idle card. So if you're playing a high end game, the fast card is used and the slow embedded on is off. Linux devs don't have the secret/proprietary info needed to resolve that (some company would have to pay and then sign a non-disclosure agreement -- note that some company like matrox could do that and produce a closed linux driver but lots of Linux users would shun it), they have to reverse engineer it.

The biggest project to work around this is Bumblebee, this recent update article has some good information:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTA0NTY
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  #4  
Old 24th January 2012, 11:22 PM
nonamedotc Offline
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Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

I believe it is not just the two graphics drivers running concurrently. I have two laptops - one with external graphics driver and another without. Both have lower battery times than windows.
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  #5  
Old 25th January 2012, 10:14 AM
TuxFriend Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

Hi,

sorry for my bad english, it's not my fitst language.

There are some easy steps to reduce the power consumption on a T420(s) running Fedora 16 to under 8 Watt with Wlan on and medium LCD brightness.


1. Enable ACPI:

Add to grub.cfg in the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= ""
Quote:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1"
And run
Quote:

sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
After rebooting your system the ACPI is active.



2. Enable Kernel powersaving features:

Make a executable file named rc.local in the directory /etc/rc.d/

---> /etc/rc.d/rc.local

On system start the scripts will be executed.

And add the following commands:

Quote:
#!/bin/bash

echo 1 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/sched_mc_power_savings

echo 1 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save

echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/nmi_watchdog

ethtool -s em1 wol d

for i in /sys/class/scsi_host/host[01234]/link_power_management_policy; do echo min_power > ${i}; done

iwconfig wlan0 power on

You can test this options first by installing powertop and change the tunables from "bad" to "good".


At last, I disabled all the stuff in the BIOS I don't really need (Fingerprintsensor, ect...) and I also disabled the Nvida graphics card (Enable integrated graphics).

I hope it helps you and feel free to ask questions.
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  #6  
Old 26th January 2012, 10:13 PM
bastani Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

Hello Again.
Thanks for all helps. I still have problems with the WiFi and interested to know the solutions.
About the rest, I downloaded and compiled the bumblebee. Now my problem is how to load it at startup time. I have copied the bumblebeed.service file to /etc/systemd/system/ but this does not help.
After reboot, when I try to run optirun it complains that bumblebee daemon is not loaded. Apparently the reason is that the kernel module bbswitch should be loaded prior to running the daemon. But I have no idea how to ask fedora to load it automatically at startup. Can anyone help me with this?
Nevertheless, even after manually starting the daemon, in the output of
Code:
lspci -v
I see both of the graphic cards. Does it mean something is wrong with the installation? How can I ensure only one of them is active at any time?

I also applied the methods suggested by TuxFriend. Strangely enough I cannot see the power consumption rate in powertop, it only gives me something like:
Code:
Summary: 390.4 wakeups/second,  0.0 GPU ops/second and 0.0 VFS ops/sec.
However, in Power Statistics I see the power consumption is around 17-18 Watts with wlan and medium LCD brightness.

Another stupid issue with my fedora is that Bluetooth is always on when the machine starts and I have to turn it off manually, does anyone know how shall I fix this?

So many thanks again!
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  #7  
Old 29th January 2012, 12:48 AM
bastani Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

I found a solution for automatically loading bbswitch/bumblebee at startup:
http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...89#post1543289

I am still wondering while even after running the bumblebee the output of lspci shows two graphic cards? Also, I don't know if the power consumption rate of around 18 watt is the optimal rate or there is something wrong with my installation/configurations?
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  #8  
Old 29th January 2012, 01:10 AM
nonamedotc Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

Power statistics in my laptop (two graphics cards without bumblebee) shows >25 watt. So, I suppose the power consumption values are reasonable ?
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  #9  
Old 29th January 2012, 11:17 AM
bastani Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora 16 on Thinkpad T420

Compared to your results the values can be reasonable. I am still wondering how I can ensure both graphic cards are not working at the same time while the output of lspci shows both of them.
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