Lenovo Thinkpad w540 Ubuntu Tweaks & Tips

Here is a brief outline of (non-optional) modifications to ubuntu that I’ve done on my w540.  Considering that w540 is “Ubuntu Certified” this list should have been much shorter.

SSD Configuration



Wifi was very unstable dropping connection frequently; updating the firmware for Intel-N-7260 seems to partially alleviate the problem (just copying the firmware to the proper direction indicated by readme; seems to work; other steps are not needed).  Also it provides a significant speed boost.

Once in a while connecting gets droped; but could be “fixed” through “dis/enable wifi” icon.

Power saving

With as is configuration a 6-cell battery lasts barely 2 hours; with some modifications you can improve the life of the battery by about 50%.

After doing quite a bit of tweaks; I probably have overdone it; now my bluetooth mouse and keyboard keep getting disconnected; so I crossed many of the non-major tweaks.


For more details see (ref):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
sudo apt-get install tp-smapi-dkms acpi-call-dkms

sudo tlp start

# to make sure that it is working
sudo tlp-stat

HDD in Ultrabay

If you are not using hdd you can power it off (ref):

 sudo hdparm -y /dev/sdb


You can put cpu in powersaving mode by installing this app (ref):

sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq


Traditionally bumblebee was the way to tweak GPU power setting; but recent nvidia drivers already include everything; just type nvidia in the dashboard; and go to prime setting (and choose Intel power saving mode).

Don’t need anymore:

You can switch to motherboard’s low-power gpu (ref):

sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install prime-indicator


Network Card (WiFi) is not working

Often after restarting wifi doesn’t work (shows that is connected to the internet/router but doesn’t work); could be fixed by:

sudo service network-manager restart


Mouse & Touchpad

* soft nofile 4096
* hard nofile 4096

Chromium (Chrome) “AW snap” crashes

After a week of usage chrome keeps crashing with the “aw snap” message.  Solution is to increase the ulimit (ref):

sudo vi /etc/security/limits.conf

add the following:

* soft nofile 4096
* hard nofile 4096







Searched for ulimit 7:41am
ulimit Man Page | Bash | SS64.com – ss64.com 7:41am

About Neil Rubens

see http://ActiveIntelligence.org
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