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Thread: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    16

    Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Hello i just got a Thinkpad T420 and tested it today.
    The Machines are still pretty new and not a lot of users own one so i thought i gonna share me experiences with you and start a T420 Threat.

    So my model is the: T420 4180W1H with the following Configurations:

    Core i5-2520M (2.50GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HD, 14.0in HD+ LED BL 1600x900, 1GB nVidia NVS 4200M, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11bgn wireless, Bluetooth, 1GB Ethernet, UltraNav, Secure chip, Kamera, Fingerprint reader, 9 Cell Akku.

    Out of the Box works :


    Camera,SD Card Reader, external Monitor, Lan/Wlan, Sound, Microphone, Media Keys, CD/DVD Drive

    with a littel work:

    The Nividia Graficcard, Install the Drivers via the additional drivers tool and restart. unfortunatly it appears to be that the nvidia driver does not support hybrid graphics cards, or NVIDIA Optimus.
    So youll need to go into the bios and turn off Optimus and force the system to use the discrete graphics card.



    Doesent Work

    You cant Controle the Fan Via Thinkfan. And the Fan is running all the Time at least with 1800 rpm. Its not realy loud bit i prefer total silence.But i think in future this will be better cause this machine is pretty new. But if you have any tips and advices for me, how to controle the fan please let me know.

    As far iam real satisfied with the notebook, it runs natty pretty stabel and install is very easy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    24

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Awesome news. I'm glad to hear that overall it works well. I'm planning to get a T420 soon with almost the same setup as you. I definitely want the Nvidia graphics for the 1600x900 resolution alone!

    Optimus / Hybrid graphic support is improving a little bit (or I should say being worked on).

    Check out the Bumblebee project. No auto switching yet but it appears you can launch specific apps to use the Nvidia card. E.g. "ptirun64 <application>", etc.

    Project:
    https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee

    Brief Article:
    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/05/b...o-linux-users/

    Quick question. On the T420 can you swap the Fn and Control key in the BIOS? I know that's something they added a while back. I hope it's still there because Fn being on the outside drives me nuts!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    80
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    yes, it's possible to switch the fn and ctrl keys in bios on a t420.

    and about the fan control: i got thinkfan working on my t420:

    1. install thinkfan package
    2. add kernel module 'coretemp' to /etc/modules
    3. load kernel module 'coretemp'
    4. add the following three sensor entries to /etc/thinkfan.conf just before the temperature levels:

    sensor /sys/devices/platform/coretemp.0/temp1_input
    sensor /sys/devices/platform/coretemp.2/temp1_input
    sensor /sys/devices/virtual/hwmon/hwmon0/temp1_input

    5. add the following to /etc/modprobe.d/thinkfan.conf:

    options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1

    6. reload kernel module 'thinkpad_acpi'
    7. set START="yes" in /etc/default/thinkfan
    8. start thinkfan: /etc/init.d/thinkfan start

    9. check whether it works: cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan

    if level has a value between 0 and 7, and changes by times, your thinkfan daemon works.

    I found the solution in the thinkpad wiki (only german) at http://thinkpad-wiki.org/Thinkfan#Ke..._Kernel_2.6.38


    I didn't give bumblebee a try yet, though it looks promissing.

    other (minor) issues with t420 and ubuntu natty are:

    - Microphone mute key does not function (Bug #751471)
    - HDAPS not working by default
    - issues with graphics: sometimes freezes, sometimes login doesn't work. didn't discover these issues lateley, but at the beginning I had problems, and some bugreports do exist as well.

    greetings,
    jonas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    80
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Ah, I forgot something: did anyone get the docking station to work with ubuntu? I'm not sure whether the one they sent to me is broken, or whether it simply doesn't work with ubuntu.

    Whatever I connect to the Docking station (usb keyboard, mouse, dvi monitor, ...) ubuntu ignores it. only exception is the power connector.

    I hope to find a solution for that soon.

    Greetings,
    jonas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    24

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Which Intel WiFi card did you get?

    I was planning on going with the "Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205" WiFi card, but I'm leaning towards the "Ultimate-N 6300" instead just to max it out. Trying to figure out if it's worth the extra $20. :/

    According to ThinkWiki the N 6205 works with kernel 2.6.37 and newer and the N 6300 card with kernel 2.6.34 and newer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    80
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Hey, news about the docking station: my claims above are wrong. USB devices and power connector work with the 'mini dock series 3' docking station.

    Big problems on the other hand with external monitor: an external monitor connected to the docking station dvi slot is not detected by ubuntu at all. But that may be related to the bios setting to only use internal graphics (intel), and ignore the discrete graphics (nvidia). If I remember correctly, DVI and Display Port are only supported by the discrete nvidia graphics.

    But even with the VGA slot I ran into problems: ubuntu detects the external monitor, but the upper 1/5 of display are broken. Both on internal and external display.

    This sucks, as without external monitor, a docking station is rather useless.

    @bjordan1979: My T420 has a Ultimate-N 6300. It worked out of the box with Ubuntu Natty, and didn't make problems yet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    59

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Hi.

    I can't get my external monitor to work on my T420. It doesn't get detected.

    Seems like it's down to this but here, https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/na...rs/+bug/737349 .

    Anyone have a workaround?

    Cheers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Beans
    24

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Quote Originally Posted by mejo View Post
    @bjordan1979: My T420 has a Ultimate-N 6300. It worked out of the box with Ubuntu Natty, and didn't make problems yet.
    Thanks, I ordered a T420 last night and did get the N 6300 WiFi card. Now for the wait to get it! :/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    80
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Quote Originally Posted by Wlo View Post
    I can't get my external monitor to work on my T420. It doesn't get detected.

    Seems like it's down to this but here, https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/na...rs/+bug/737349 .

    Anyone have a workaround?
    To which slot did you connect the external monitor? To VGA, DVI or Display Port? Do you use a docking station, or is the monitor connected directly to the ThinkPad?

    And which graphic controller are you using? Does the ThinkPad have Nvidia Optimus support? Is it enabled? Or did you manually set either of integrated or discrete graphics?

    Greetings,
    jonas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    59

    Re: Ubuntu 11.04 on a Thinkpad T420

    Quote Originally Posted by mejo View Post
    To which slot did you connect the external monitor? To VGA, DVI or Display Port? Do you use a docking station, or is the monitor connected directly to the ThinkPad?
    Connected directly via VGA cable. Both with and without the "additional drivers" driver. Although oddly when I go into additional drivers now the driver is listed as just "nvidia_current" (I thought it said a version number last time I used one) and it says "This driver is activated but not in use".

    And which graphic controller are you using? Does the ThinkPad have Nvidia Optimus support? Is it enabled? Or did you manually set either of integrated or discrete graphics?
    I've disabled Optimus in the BIOS and am just using discrete. Had to do this previously on my T410/Maverick when it worked fine. This also worked with Windows so I know the cable and monitor are okay.

    Full spec of my machine is below. Please let me know if any more info is useful. Thanks.

    Wlo

    - Intel Core i7-2620M Processor (2.70GHz, 4MB L3)
    - Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64
    - Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64 US English
    - 14.0 HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
    - NVIDIA NVS 4200M Graphics with Optimus Technology, 1GB DDR3 Memory
    - 8 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM)
    - Keyboard UK English
    - 720p HD Camera
    - 500 GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
    - DVD recordable multiburner
    - Express Card Slot & 4 in 1 Card Reader
    - 6 cell Li-Ion Battery - 55+
    - Country Pack United Kingdom
    - Bluetooth 3.0
    - Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (3x3 AGN)
    - Integrated Wireless Wide Area Network upgradable
    - Language Pack UK English

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