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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:21 AM   #1
16pide
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Question 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 would mainly use it to run KVM machines in it.

Thanks
 
Old 05-12-2011, 04:42 AM   #2
Thor_2.0
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Hi,

Depends on your knowledge. Fedora has the "cutting edge" - but not everything works, due to this "spearheading" nature.

Does it HAVE to be RedHat based? I use Arch Linux, but, again, that depends on your understanding of Linux in general. I had a look at the specs just now, wow, you scored this time! You boss likes you

Basically, I'd run anything more "seasoned" on it. F15 is still somewhat beta, perhaps the 14? With a full update...

By the way, with Fedora (not a rolling release) you'll be confronted with a re-install every six-odd months. If that's okay, go for Fedora. Otherwise, choose one from a questionaire...

Thor
 
Old 05-12-2011, 05:18 AM   #3
0men
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Go for debian. Unreal system when u really grt into it. I asked a similar question not that long ago and
got recommended debian
 
Old 05-12-2011, 06:19 AM   #4
16pide
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I tried the questionnaire, it says OpenSuse, Mandriva, Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu are a 100% match for me.

So I'd really like to hear from a satisfied W520 user on Linux.

One last thing, I just disabled this morning the Optimus graphic mode in the Bios, now using the integrated graphic. So maybe it won't crash anymore
 
Old 05-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
Thor_2.0
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Hi,

Quote:
So I'd really like to hear from a satisfied W520 user on Linux
If you can find that, you're in luck...

Quote:
One last thing, I just disabled this morning the Optimus graphic mode in the Bios, now using the integrated graphic. So maybe it won't crash anymore
Good idea. Monitor closely, I'm curious.

By the way, you are aware that you're using a beta? Beta's have wrinkles...maybe this IS one.

A beta is NOT the best vehicle to convey the full experience of Linux. You risk getting a tainted/flawed picture on Linux...

Thor
 
Old 05-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
liucougar
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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

Last edited by liucougar; 05-13-2011 at 06:47 PM.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #7
jefro
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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.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
liucougar
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my gentoo linux works quite well for me (no crash what so ever under linux so far).

it has more crashes in the windows 7 installation I reinstalled...
 
Old 06-01-2011, 09:38 PM   #9
eerok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16pide View Post
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.
 
Old 06-29-2011, 04:25 PM   #10
dimm0k
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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.
 
Old 07-01-2011, 09:09 AM   #11
eerok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimm0k View Post
Supposedly one is able to read every temp off each core, but under BIOS 1.22 I have not been able to.
What software reads each core? This is what I get from lmsensors:

Code:
$ sensors
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +35.0C  (crit = +99.0C)

thinkpad-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
fan1:        3023 RPM
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 ...

Last edited by eerok; 07-01-2011 at 09:15 AM.
 
Old 07-01-2011, 10:25 AM   #12
dimm0k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eerok View Post
What software reads each core? This is what I get from lmsensors:

Code:
$ sensors
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +35.0C  (crit = +99.0C)

thinkpad-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
fan1:        3023 RPM
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.
 
Old 07-18-2011, 02:48 PM   #13
moonwalker
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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.
 
Old 07-19-2011, 10:30 PM   #14
chenxiaolong
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How did you manage to install Debian in UEFI mode?
 
Old 07-19-2011, 10:53 PM   #15
moonwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenxiaolong View Post
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 10:54 PM.
 
  


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