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Suspend/resume broken on ThinkPad X32 [SOLVED]

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:08 am
by runbei
My ThinkPad X32 doesn't shut off the backlight when I suspend it. It also doesn't resume properly. Shutdown works normally.

Had the same issue with an install of LMDE. It is a well-known Debian issue that has evidently trickled down through Ubuntu to Mint. It is a problem not just with this model of laptop but others as well.

Tried various solutions (adjusting quirks settings, etc.), but nothing has worked. As I search this forum I find that suspend/resume has caused some very serious problems on certain laptops, including disabling the startup button, thus preventing the machine from starting at all. That's pretty bad.

The solutions on Launchpad pinpoint HAL settings, and the fixes do work for some users, but not all. I hate to abandon Mint, as I've used it for three years, but this is just annoying.

Followup: In search of a distro that would handle suspend/resume without problems, I first tried Scientific Linux. Suspend/resume worked flawlessly, but I was not happy with the package manager in SL, which leaves it to the user to resolve dependency issues that are automatically handled by Synaptic in Mint and Yast in OpenSuse. [Edit: Those dependency issues are specific to installing the VLC media player. For instructions on installing multimedia support in SL or CentOS, see here.]

I next tried OpenSuse 11.3 Gnome. OpenSuse had the same problem - the backlight remained on upon suspend, and resume didn't work at all.

I solved this issue by making a simple change in a start-up file in OpenSuse. I'm hoping the solution will work in Mint as well, as it is my favorite distro which I have used for three years.

The solution:

1. With OpenSuse (please feel free to provide translation for Mint - thanks!): open a terminal and type gnomesu gedit /etc/grub/menu.lst. In Mint, the command would be sudo gedit followed by the file location which I do not know.

2. Gedit opens with the menu.lst file displayed. Down the page a bit, you'll see several sections that begin with "###Don't change this comment"

3. The first section gives details for the default boot operating system. Somewhere in this long spec, you'll find "vga=0x314" or vga=(something different for your system).

4. Just before or after this part, type "nomodeset" separated from the vga spec by a space.

5. Save the file and reboot. In OpenSuse, suspend/resume now works normally.

Again, I would appreciate it if someone could let future readers know where the menu.lst file is located under Linux Mint. In the past, I've found it frustrating to try to edit the menu spec with Mint 10 versions, which use Grub2. Anyway, thanks.

LATE THOUGHTS: A scan of available Grub 2 commands showed "nomodeset" is apparently not available. (?) However, the Ubuntu Grub 2 community documentation gives instructions for downgrading Grub 2 to Grub legacy. See here. Given that Grub legacy is thoroughly respectable (RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 will use it until 2017), I wonder if there are any points in favor of not downgrading, in order to be able to use nomodeset.

Re: Suspend/resume broken on ThinkPad X32

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:00 pm
by runbei
I found a couple of sources with information that might solve this issue. I'll post the links here, in case others can actually follow what's said.

1. About the middle of this thread, there's promising info on tweaking settings in a quirks file. Didn't work for me, but it did for the guy who had the problem with his X31, and subsequent posts indicate it might work for users of other laptop models as well.

2. Thinkwiki has a guide to installing Debian 5.0 Lenny on a ThinkPad X32. The procedures may help owners of other laptops experiencing the sleep/restore problem.

I "solved" the issue by removing Mint Julia and installing Scientific Linux 5 (Redhat Enterprise Linux compiled by CERN scientists from source). Suspend/resume works beautifully. I would, of course, love to return to Mint, which has been a joy for more than three years of often full-time use. But this is a deal-breaker for me, so I'll just watch the progress of LMDE and see what happens.

I Will Now Vent. [beginrant] I wish that people who post solutions on Linux forums would describe every step, from scratch. There is a common tendency to toss off high-level answers while ignoring the needs of less-experienced users. The assumption that "everyone knows" the missing steps is arrogant and egotistical. Case in point: the suspend-to-ram solution offered on Thinkwiki, which is no doubt helpful but does not include any guidance on where to enter the fixes. Obviously, it goes in a text file that runs when the user invokes a suspend. But where is that file? What is its name? Sheesh! [/endrant]