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Thread: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    FYI and in case you are interested in the device; this is actually hard to believe but Ubuntu 16.04 runs perfectly with almost all features out of the box on the new Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet.

    Tested and works:
    • Plug-able keyboard
    • Pen
    • Touchscreen
    • Sound and display brightness buttons
    • Suspend (no kidding!)
    • Detaching or attaching the keyboard
    • Speakers and mic
    • External screen (also via external battery module)

    Tested and does not work (out of the box):
    • Webcam
    • Rotating the screen without breaking touch (this should be easy to fix)

    Not tested:
    • ...

    The performance of my i5, 8GB, 256 GB SSD version seems to be good so far. Battery seems good for about 5-6 hours.

    I hope this is helpful. I will update the posting as I learn more about the device. Please feel free to ask questions. I will also test other Linux distributions like Arch Linux later.
    Last edited by kjano; May 31st, 2016 at 05:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    Hi kjano!

    Nice to read this! I am interested in the X1 Tablet, too, and going to install ubuntu on it once i have it
    Some questions / comments:
    1) in the title u say "May 2016 Edition". Are there other Editions on the X1 Tablet available for purchase which might cause problems regarding ubuntu installation?
    2) Regarding the issue: "Rotation the screen without breaking touch". If you know the "easy to fix"-solution, please let us know!
    3) What is your experience with battery runtimes when using Linux Ubuntu compared to using Windows 10?

    Thanks a lot!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    Hi nex2,

    I have never used Windows 10 before and my X1 Tablet is only running Linux so I cannot comment on that part of your posting -- sorry for that.

    The battery is indeed not the strongest aspect of the X1. I have to use it a bit more to give you a useful estimate. So far I can get about 5-6 hours of runtime with 70% display brightness while running a tex editor and compiling medium-sized PDFs from time to time, browsing with about 20 open Firefox tabs, and using Java/Eclipse. I also have the external battery module but have not used it so far.

    Wrt the screen rotation, I tried this one but it did not work: . Of course, you can easily do this manually by running randr and a script every time but this is not fun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    Hi kjano,

    thanks for the response.
    Meanwhile, i got my X1, too
    I have installed ubuntu next to windows 10, so, lets see how ubuntu works in comparison on the x1.

    I have not yet done more than just installing ubuntu so far.

    However, so far, i have discovered the following issues already:

    1) The keyboard's trackpoint does not work out-of-the box but only the trackpad. Any clue on how to configure that? And is it possible to disable the trackpad instead? I tend to accidentally touch the trackpad which results in unexpected actions
    2) On ubuntu, it seems that the X1 cannot be used without a keyboard attached. Is there a way to configure a onscreen keyboard?
    3) Usually, i am a fan of xfce but i expect more issues with a touchscreen device than with unity. Any experiences with in this regard?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)


    I am about to order mine, I have been encouraged by you and kjano reporting it works fairly well. Couple comments on your questions:

    1) Trackpoint: As is often the case, Arch Linux documentation has some info on Thinkpad Trackpoints:
    So it looks like there is hope that it can be done.

    2) Install/configure Onboard for your screen keyboard. It is quite good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)


    Thanks for the hints!

    I tested a bit installation / performance of Android Emulators / OSes on my X1 with m7 CPU. I did that because I have one Android App (LectureNotes) which i really would miss if i couldn't use it anymore. (LectureNotes is an notebook app for taking notes with a pen. The best I have seen so far ) So, I tested BlueStacks (perfermance ok, freezes too often) for Windows and Andy (perfomance ok & stable) for Windows AND Linux. Unfortunately, i couldn't yet test Andy on ubuntu but it runs pretty stable on windows and in a decent performance -- though, for using LectureNotes it is not ideal (-- not necessarily due to the performance. If someone wants to know more, ask me in private. I am not sure if people are happy in an ubuntu forum when I am talking about android emulation advantages and disadvantages). The best I can recommend, however, is RemixOS. When installed on an own partition, extremely fast on the X1 and rock stable.

    So, all in all, I am pleased with the performance when running ubuntu, too, although, I have not yet done anything that is really CPU hungry. I just observed that the tablet gets very, very hot when used it a lot. How and if that influences CPU performance, I don't know yet. I mainly installed, removed, restarted, copied from USB to SSD, restarted OS, etc but almost constantly for about 4-5h. By doing that, the battery lasted not very long at most those 4-5h. On the surprising side, the battery charging is extremely quick! I haven't measured the time but it felt like back to 90% in 30 minutes or even faster .

    I couldn't test yet the included WiGig-Dock with ubuntu. My guess is, that it won't work on ubuntu because even on windows u need to start a dedicated program for establishing the connection -- and it didn't even work on windows for me. I have not invested too much time on that, though.

    What really is a big fail: My screen shows color errors on bright backgrounds. The X1 comes with a black windows desktop background, so I didn't realized that immediately. However, when using something with a white background (like LectureNotes ) the edges and especially the corners of the display are yellow instead. Hence, i removed everything from my X1 tablet again (sigh ) and sent it back. So, watch your display corners . Nevertheless, I will buy another one when I get back my money because I enjoyed using it and having a system capable of running windows 10 pro, (x)ubuntu and android is pretty cool


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)


    I can confirm that there is only a few problems with Ubuntu 16.04 on the Lenovo X1 Tablet.

    I have the LTE version and I don't know if it's possible but it would be great if one could install Ubuntu Touch on it ; the modem is a Sierra EM7455.

    As said before, Cameras and Trackpoint don't work out of the box, and it's the same for the Fingerprint Scanner. Also, the three buttons located between the Space key and the Touchpad are not mapped correctly.

    Right now I'm trying to get the Trackpoint working, but no success so far...

    Here is what I found :
    - Both the Touchpad and Trackpoint are detected by the BIOS. There is no option to activate/deactivate them.
    - The Touchpad works in Ubuntu 16.04 but doesn't appear in the "Mouse & Touchpad" settings.
    - The xinput command gives me the following output :
    ⎡ Virtual core pointer                        id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
    ⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                  id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ PRIMAX ThinkPad X1 Tablet Thin Keyboard     id=11    [slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Wacom HID 5077 Pen stylus                   id=12    [slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Wacom HID 5077 Finger touch                 id=13    [slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Wacom HID 5077 Pen eraser                   id=16    [slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎣ Virtual core keyboard                       id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
        ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard                 id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ Video Bus                                   id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ Power Button                                id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ Sleep Button                                id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ PRIMAX ThinkPad X1 Tablet Thin Keyboard     id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ PRIMAX ThinkPad X1 Tablet Thin Keyboard     id=10    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard                id=14    [slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ ThinkPad Extra Buttons                      id=15    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    The Trackpoint doesn't seem to be listed, but when the slave pointer 11 is disabled, the Trackpad and the buttons associated with the Trackpoint are deactivated.
    - The sudo dmidecode -t 21 command gives me this output :
    # dmidecode 3.0
    Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.
    SMBIOS 2.8 present.
    Handle 0x0034, DMI type 21, 7 bytes
    Built-in Pointing Device
        Type: Track Point
        Interface: PS/2
        Buttons: 3
    Handle 0x0035, DMI type 21, 7 bytes
    Built-in Pointing Device
        Type: Touch Pad
        Interface: PS/2
        Buttons: 2
    Last edited by ahmed-guellil; June 8th, 2016 at 03:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    I think I made some progress for the Trackpoint.

    The xinput --list-props 11 command gives me :
    Device 'PRIMAX ThinkPad X1 Tablet Thin Keyboard':
        Device Enabled (137):    1
        Coordinate Transformation Matrix (139):    1.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000
        Device Accel Profile (262):    0
        Device Accel Constant Deceleration (263):    1.000000
        Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration (264):    1.000000
        Device Accel Velocity Scaling (265):    10.000000
        Device Product ID (257):    6127, 24709
        Device Node (258):    "/dev/input/event9"
        Evdev Axis Inversion (266):    0, 0
        Evdev Axes Swap (268):    0
        Axis Labels (269):    "Rel X" (147), "Rel Y" (148), "Rel Z" (274), "Rel Rotary X" (275)
        Button Labels (276):    "Button Left" (140), "Button Middle" (141), "Button Right" (142), "Button Wheel Up" (143), "Button Wheel Down" (144), "Button Horiz Wheel Left" (145), "Button Horiz Wheel Right" (146), "Button Side" (272), "Button Extra" (273)
        Evdev Scrolling Distance (270):    0, 0, 0
        Evdev Middle Button Emulation (277):    0
        Evdev Middle Button Timeout (278):    50
        Evdev Third Button Emulation (279):    0
        Evdev Third Button Emulation Timeout (280):    1000
        Evdev Third Button Emulation Button (281):    3
        Evdev Third Button Emulation Threshold (282):    20
        Evdev Wheel Emulation (283):    0
        Evdev Wheel Emulation Axes (284):    0, 0, 4, 5
        Evdev Wheel Emulation Inertia (285):    10
        Evdev Wheel Emulation Timeout (286):    200
        Evdev Wheel Emulation Button (287):    4
        Evdev Drag Lock Buttons (288):    0
    As you can see, the slave pointer 11 is associated with the node /dev/input/event9.

    I typed sudo cat /dev/input/event9 to monitor the input devices and it displays characters when I use the Trackpoint, the Trackpoint-related buttons, the Touchpad, and the Touchpad embedded buttons.

    Then I typed sudo cat /dev/input/mice and it would display characters only for the Touchpad and its embedded buttons.

    So, I think that the Touchpad, the Trackpoint and their buttons are all linked to the same device node, but for some reason only the Touchpad and its buttons are taken into account.

    I'm not a Linux expert so it would be great if someone could help me understand this.
    Last edited by ahmed-guellil; June 9th, 2016 at 12:45 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    Hi, thank you very much for sharing your experiences with the X1 tablet.

    I'm very interested in the tablet for replace mi old but very trusty ThinkPad X60 that has 10 years old now. I'm a Debian user since 2002 and ThinkPad user from a long time ago. My question is if any of you can test the displayport on a external monitor, for me is very very important, I read that in the Surface Pro 4 the displayport doesn't work in Ubuntu out of the box, and otherwise crashes X server ramdom. If any of you have the time for test the displayport on Linux I would be very grateful.

    I'm not a native english speaker, so, sorry if any of my words aren't correct
    Last edited by leanux7; June 19th, 2016 at 11:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet (May 2016 Edition)

    Same issue with Trackpoint here, basically the trackpoint movements are mapped to "Rel Z" and "Rel Rotary X" instead of "Rel X" and "Rel Y", you can confirm this by running evtest /dev/input/event9.

    And I found the solution here, it's a different device but exactly the same problem and the solution works here as well: add this to kernel boot param "usbhid.quirks=0x17ef:0x6085:0x40" (or at module loading time "modprobe usbhid quirks=0x17ef:0x6085:0x40")
    0x17ef is vender id of LENOVO
    0x6085 is product id of PRIMAX ThinkPad X1 Tablet Thin Keyboard

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