Linux on the ThinkPad 365XD DSTN (Trident tgui 9320 lcd chipset)

Last update: 7 december 1997
Author: David Mentré (

This page contains some usefull pointers and information about using Linux on the ThinkPad 365XD DSTN (Double SuperTwisted Nematic aka Dual Scan). If you want to correct or update some of the information on this page, send me an e-mail.

This page is yours. If you want to help our (very) small community of 365XD users, do not hesitate to send me information, tips and so on.

Last update :

You will find on this page :

How Linux works on my laptop

Linux works perfectly on my IBM ThinkPad 365XD. All the fancy features work (like hibernation mode, sleep mode, APM management). Here is the configuration file of my kernel (version 2.0.29).

How to run XFree86 on the 365XD DSTN

How to let XFree 3.2 works on some machines

Thanks to Kazuyoshi Harada ( <> ), XFree 3.2 works on my laptop, with a resolution of 800x600. You can have my XF86Config file.

As you will see in this XF86Config, you need a small program to restore properly the screen after leaving X. It's name is Xcyber. You can have :

To use Xcyber, you must type :

        startx ; Xcyber
Then press Fn-F7 to get X right. After leaving X, press Fn-F7 again to restore a full size text screen.

Note : It is impossible, while running X, to switch from/to a text console (See comment from Marc Merlin below).

Marc Merlin comments about such a config

Here is some details given by Marc Merlin about how to configure your laptop :
I found out that Xcyber.c only  compiles if you add optimization (-Ox). When
I discussed  this with Harada-San, he  found out that outb's  man page makes
mention of that
       You  compile  with -O or -O2 or similar. The functions are
       defined as inline macros, and will not be  substituted  in
       without  optimization  enabled,  causing unresolved refer-
       ences at link time.

I compiled my kernel with APM as such:

Console blanking does  work, but it has  a side effect: whenever  I launch a
graphics app (i.e. X or  SVGAlib), the console blanks and I  have to press a
key to get my display back.
There also is  the issue of one  or two intense orange lines  when you first
launch  X (before  pressing Fn-F7). With  apm  blanking, I  don't get  those
lines, so I think it's actually a good thing to use it.
Before I did  that, those lines actually  stayed on the screen  for a while,
but after several weeks they did disappear. Yet, I still don't feel too good
about them. I prefer not to get them in the first place.

As for the following sentence:
"Note  :  It is  impossible,  while  running X,  to  switch  from/to a  text
I'm afraid  I have to disagree  with it. Not only do  I do that, but  I even
manage to run SVGAlib apps.
What I do,  is first launch X  (launching an SVGA app first  prevents X from
working afterwards), and from there, I can switch to text mode.
I  first run  Xcyber which  switches from  a very  bright almost  unreadable
display to something  that's readable, but then  not only do I  still have a
display only  in the middle portion  of my screen,  but the VGA text  mem is
messed up, and  some characters are not displayed while  others are doubled.
>From here, I can type a quick command and switch back to X without problems,
or I  can type Fn-F7 and  get a normal text  console, and then have  to type
Fn-F7 again when I get back to X.
Note, when  switching back  and forth like  this, there seems  to be  a race
condition somewhere that causes the screen to become irreversibly messed up.
(maybe one time out of 10 or 15 for me). There is nothing I can do to get my
display back besides reboot.

As for which  X I can run, I  currently have Xfree 3.3 with the  XF 3.2 SVGA
server (that requires you to degzip the fonts and compress them since XF 3.2
doesn't support gzipped fonts.
Harada-San reported success with XF  3.3 by specifying Chipset "tgui9440agi"
in the config file,  but I had tried earlier, and tried  again with XF 3.3.1
without being able to duplicate that success.
I get a screen after Fn-F7, but the left half is on the right (with the blue
background displayed in  green), the right half on the  left, and the middle
is empty. It's close, but not close enough.
I'm  curious to  find  out what  other people  get. Please  send me  working
XF86Configs for XF 3.3 and XF 3.3.1

[New] Marc Merlin poll in order to indentify BIOS related problems

Marc Merlin as made poll to try to find why some ThinkPads work with XFree 3.2 and others with 3.3.1. I let Marc told us about the various issues:

Here are the results

Here's the results I [Marc] got (ordered by BIOS date):

  DISP BIOS               MOD/SUB/REV BIOS APM  Video Setup Slvctl 3.2 3.3 3.3.1
0 DSTN 91G1787 (05/15/96) FC/01/00    1.05 1.08 1.00  1.02  1.09   yes  ?   ?
1 DSTN 91G1796 (07/03/96) FC/01/00    1.11 1.08 1.00  1.02  1.09   yes  ?   ?
2 DSTN 91G1978 (08/14/96) FC/01/00    1.17 1.13 1.00  2.00  1.09   yes  ?  yes
3 DSTN 91G1994 (09/17/96) FC/01/00    1.18 1.13 1.00  2.00  1.10   yes no  no
4 DSTN 91G2001 (10/23/96) FC/01/00    1.20 1.15 1.00  2.00  1.10   yes no  no
5 DSTN 91G2001 (10/23/96) FC/01/00    1.20 1.15 1.00  2.00  1.10   yes no   ?
6 TFT  91G1999 (12/04/96) FC/01/00    1.23 1.17 1.00  2.00  1.10   yes no* [a]
7 ?    11J9094 (01/30/97) FC/01/00    1.24 1.18 1.00  2.00  1.10    ?  no  yes
8 DSTN 11J9094 (01/30/97) FC/01/00    1.24 1.18 1.00  2.00  1.09   yes yes yes

[a] Kevin doesn't remember whether he tried 3.3 or 3.3.1

0 Jose Negreira Lopez  
1 Raymond Lambe 
2 Albert School 
3 Marc Merlin 
4 David Mentre 
5 Clarence Wilkerson 
6 Kevin W. Rudd 
7 Linn H. Stanton 
8 Kazuyoshi Harada 

Comment for Harada-San: XF86-3.2, 3.3 and 3.3.1 works, but after suspend/hibernation the screen blacks out. As Marc said, it may be a bug of the kernel 2.0.30. I haven't tried 2.0.32 yet.


I have little data to draw exact conclusions, but my guess is that the BIOS update from 1.23 to 1.24 lets XF 3.3.x work, and that at the same time, the APM upgrade form 1.17 to 1.18 breaks hibernation recovery. By having more reports between BIOS 1.20 and 1.24, we may be able to find a version that supports XF 3.3.x without breaking APM (maybe linux 2.0.32 helps with that respect also, who knows).

Misc info

It seems that linux 2.0.32 fixes an the APM bug where the screen blanks as soon as you launch XF, SVGAlib, or any other graphics app (that's when you have APM fully enabled). I haven't had the chance to try it on my laptop yet, did anyone?

Xi Graphics (Xinside) has a laptop program. They'll write drivers for any laptop if anyone can send them a laptop for up to a month. They'll pay for the shipping and insurance, and you'll get Xinside for free in return. See for more info.

I talked to the Metrolink (MetroX) guys at Comdex, and they're offering something similar. It's not advertised on their web page, but if you Email them, mention my name and Comdex, they should do the same. MetroX costs $100 (like Xinside), except that you can get MetroX in any $50 RedHat distribution.

Marc Merlin <>

How to synchronize directories between a laptop and a desktop machine

It is usually usefull to work at home (on a laptop) and at work (on a desktop station) on the same files. The problem is: how to synchronize the two copies of those files ?

A solution: rsync. It's a program which can be used to copy directories between to machines (like rcp, but using less bandwidth). You can find this program at the address (european mirror:

Here is a small shell script to synchronize directories :


RSYNC_OPT="-z -v"
DIRS="these 365xd"

for i in $DIRS; do
        echo "  -- Synchonization of $i --";
        CMD="rsync $RSYNC_OPT -u -a -c $HOME/$i $REMOTE_LOGIN@$REMOTE_HOST:~"
        echo "Exec: $CMD"; $CMD;
        CMD="rsync $RSYNC_OPT -u -a -c $REMOTE_LOGIN@$REMOTE_HOST:~/$i $HOME"
        echo "Exec: $CMD"; $CMD;

List of pointers

Pointers about ThinkPads

Linux on a ThinkPad (USA?)
A usefull page made by somebody of IBM, look specifically at
Linux on Thinkpads (USA?)
List of people having a specific model of ThinkPad.
Linux on the IBM ThinkPad (UK)
Some information about ThinkPads. Nothing special for the 365XD DSTN.
IBM ThinkPad Files (USA)
The official IBM site with ThinkPad drivers for DOS and Windows. Unfortunatly, nothing for Linux. ;)

Pointers to configure XFree86

How to over 800x600 dots on LCD with X window system.
Latest information to configure properly X on the TP365XD. (Japan) (USA)
Linux and X-Windows on Notebook Computers (??)
List of 800x600 XF86Configs

Various pointers

The Linux Laptop Home Page (France)
Linux PCMCIA Information (USA)

List of mailing lists of interest a 365XD and Linux user

linux-laptop list
Mailing list for Linux users on laptops.

To subscribe, send a message at with subscribe linux-laptop in the body of the message.

thinkpad list
Mailing list for ThinkPad users.

To subscribe, send a message at It is human being who manages this list.

People having Linux on a ThinkPad 365XD DSTN

Personal Web page of David Mentré (

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