Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ubuntu 10.10 on Lenovo ThinkPad T410

Just bought a laptop for my new job. Due to requirements of the job, Linux and Mac OS were the two top options. I went with Linux and, as hardware compatibility might get tricky, chose Lenovo as I've always had good experience with ThinkPad Linux compatibility.

The model is T410 with discrete Nvidia graphics and fingerprint reader. So what I had to do to get everything working?

  1. Installed Ubuntu 10.10 x64 and all updates.
  2. Enabled proprietary drivers.
  3. Brightness controls (Fn+Home/End) did not work out of the box. Followed this to fix them.
  4. Fingerprint reader required additional setup, followed instructions over there.
  5. Hard drive shock protection: sudo apt-get install hdapsd. Instructions here.
As you can see, not that many steps by Linux standards.

Update 2011-03-29: hibernate broke with various ACPI errors in the logs. Fixed by sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates and then updating the system. This upgraded Nvidia drivers from 269.04 to 270.29 (beta!). As a bonus, it also made to disappear zillions of NVRAM invalid context switch messages from the logs.

Update 2011-05-04: the battery indicator sometimes loses its mind (shows 0% and 5 hours remaining battery, disappears completely, etc.) Besides not knowing how much battery left when it disappears, this is mostly harmless.

Ubuntu 11.04: I'm not upgrading just yet because of this, this, and also because I have not reviewed the additional PPAs I use for 11.04 binaries. Also please review the other bugs in release notes to see if they apply to you.

Update 2011-07-18: the X started to crash at every startup with the nvidia driver being the culprit. The workaround is sudo apt-get remove binutils-gold; sudo dpkg-reconfigure nvidia-current. And no, I don't think that it is the gold linker that is faulty here...

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