FreeBSD on ThinkPad W530

vermaden vermaden at
Tue Aug 13 22:41:02 UTC 2013


I have just tried FreeBSD on ThinkPad W530 and I must say that its very disapointing experience ...

The FreeBSD 9.2-RC1 and PC-BSD 9.2-BETA2 does not even boot from the USB drive - instant kernel panic and reboot.

The FreeBSD 10.0-CURRENT was able to boot successfully and I could install FreeBSD onto the drive with 'ZFS Madnss' style.

After installation with extended battery charged to 100% I have about 3 hours of work ... while having about 10 hours on Windows (haven't tried Linux yet). I disabled discrete graphics (Nvidia) in the BIOS and also added set hw.pci.do_power_nodriver to 3, but that also did not solved the 'battery' problem. The powerd daemon was of course running and worked ok.

After compiling new x11/xorg (with WITH_NEW_XORG in /etc/make.conf) along with x11-wm/openbox I was able to get X11 working, but I can not go back to console as its not implemented yet.

The screen is 100% bright all the time because acpi_ibm module probably does not support this model yet (changing the dev.acpi_ibm.0.lcd_brightness is pointless, no effects).

Suspend and resume works very poor, after resume the resolution is 640x640 with all colors broken, requires restarting X11 in 'blind mode' (not implemented console switching).

Of course as all of the above is not possible, using the Nvidia Optimus technology (graphics card switching) is probably also not possible, which is possible with Bumblebee on Linux, any plans on merging that functionality into FreeBSD?

At least WiFi and LAN worked out of the box ...

Now ... how can I help, what information can I provide to help resolve these issues:
1. disable power for discrete graphics card
2. have working screen brightness changing and working other Fn + X shotrcuts
3. I guess I will have to 'just wait' for the console switching implementation?

... or maybe I am doing it 'wrong' someone have W530 there and uses FreeBSD with any more degree of success then I?


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