Which Linux for thinkpad W520 (hangs sometimes with Fedora 15 beta)
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Which Linux for thinkpad W520 (hangs sometimes with Fedora 15 beta)
I just got a thinkpad W520 for my work, it's got 12GB of ram (I know, got lucky this week!!!)
I installed Fedora 15 beta on it in the hope that it would have all the latest drivers for that hardware, plus my company's software runs on RedHat).
But since it hangs about once a day (can't even ping it or anything), I think I'd like to hear from others how they are using it under Linux.
Which distro do you use on a W520? how reliable is it, etc ...?
I am writing this message from a Gentoo install on my new thinkpad w520
in order to drive an external monitor, I have to enable optimus (if only enabling discrete nvidia, my w520 won't resume successfully from suspend, while integrated option would not drive external monitors at all)
everything works fine, driver wise (haven't got around to test the bluetooth/finger print, but the former is recognized at least)
KVM should run perfectly fine, although currently I am still using virtualbox (don't want to reinstall all windows VMs)
you can use gentoo as your host, and redhat in VMs
The problem is that almost no system is tested at the factory with linux.
When systems "hang" it make me wonder if some firmware chip or clock circuit is off more than any bug with the OS.
Everyday suppliers change products ever so slightly from batch to batch. It is almost a nightmare to try to keep a few thousand parts working on MS systems to some stable degree. Anytime you put a different OS on it, the entire paths of logic and timings are off.
It may never work correctly no matter how "good" you think it is.
Unless you buy a laptop that comes with linux on it there would be no way to know really.
So I'd really like to hear from a satisfied W520 user on Linux.
I just got a W520 today and I'm using Xubuntu 11.04 on it. Everything seems to work with no additional effort so far. The only thing is that I opted for the 1920x1080 FHD and I found it hard to read text -- what can I say, I'm old. I cranked up the DPI, raised the font-sizes here and there, and zoomed some apps where I share documents (like LibreOffice), and it all worked out.
Next I'll try Arch, which is my more usual distro. I always like more than one Linux flavor on my machines.
The W520 is a nice machine if anyone is looking for a high-end laptop. Some of the tech is wasted (ie, intended for Windows only), but it's still fast and well-designed.
Just wondering what everyone's BIOS version is that's got a W520? I'm running 1.22 and everything is smooth under Slackware Linux except for the ability to read the CPU's temperature. Supposedly one is able to read every temp off each core, but under BIOS 1.22 I have not been able to.
What else do you want? If you're running hot or cool overall, who cares about the details?
ETA: I also have BIOS version 1.22 ...
Since you're running Ubuntu, you should be able to get the GNOME sensors-applet with ease at http://sensors-applet.sourceforge.net/. I used the Live CD of Ubuntu just to get that applet to see what it would report, as I know of someone who is able to read the temps off all the cores, as well as the temp on the motherboard. Apparently this only works while on an older BIOS version, version 1.06. Any other BIOS and these readings are either gone or incomplete like what we have with BIOS 1.22.
I have ThinkPad W520 with UEFI v1.25, running Debian Sid x64 in UEFI mode with Linux 3.0 rc6 from experimental. Haven't figured out how to get nouveau with external monitor to work, otherwise everything else works nicely.
How did you manage to install Debian in UEFI mode?
First, I had to use weekly d-i snapshot because in stable installer e1000 driver doesn't support network in W520. Second, I booted d-i still in BIOS mode, started expert install. During partitioning I created 128MiB (less is enough) FAT32 partition with UEFI boot flag and set it to be mounted at /boot/efi. Right after partitioning but before installing base system removed /var/lock, /var/run, /lib/init/rw and /dev/shm directories replacing them with symlinks to /run/lock, /run, /run and /run/shm respectively, removed /run symlink and instead created /run directory - that is a workaround of the bug of d-i snapshot I used, it creates old directory structure while running system expects new. See http://wiki.debian.org/ReleaseGoals/RunDirectory for more info. Newer installer may create proper directories and symlinks, you'll need to check it yourself. After installing base system and setting up apt (I never install software in d-i, I use aptitude later after disabling recommends) I skipped bootloader installation and right before finishing installation chrooted in /target, installed linux-image-3.0.0-rc3 from experimental (at the time, right now rc6 is available), installed grub-efi-amd64 and copied /boot/efi/EFI/debian/grubx64.efi to /boot/efi/EFI/boot/bootx64.efi (since efibootmfr cannot register bootloader in BIOS mode because UEFI runtime services are unavailable). As a finishing touch I added line GRUB_PRELOAD_MODULES="efi_gop" and added reboot=a,w to kernel parameters in /etc/default/grub, then run update-grub. After all that I exited chroot, finished installation and on first reboot disabled BIOS mode in firmware.
Last edited by moonwalker; 07-19-2011 at 11:54 PM.