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Excellent
 
25% (4)
Good
 
63% (10)
Fair
 
6% (1)
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0% (0)
Unusable
 
6% (1)

Lenovo Thinkpad R400

Introduction

This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad R400 laptop.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad R400. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo Thinkpad R400 page on LapWik.

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Specifications

NameLenovo ThinkPad R400
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo or Intel Celeron
Screen14.1“ WXGA or WXGA+ Widescreen
RAM2GB to 8GB
HDD80GB to 320GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW or Blu-ray
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500
NetworkEthernet, Thinkpad 802.11abg or Intel 5100 802.11abgn or Intel 5300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorksOut of the box, including frequency scaling
ScreenWorksOut of the box
HDDWorksActive protection not tested
Optical DriveWorksOut of the box
GraphicsWorksOut of the box
SoundWorksOut of the box
EthernetWorksOut of the box
WirelessWorksOut of the box excluding WPA2 (see below)
BluetoothWorksOut of the box
56K ModemNot Tested
USBWokrs
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderWorksTested with SD cards
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot supported

Notes

The only thing which doesn't work for me is the fingerprint reader.

Wireless LAN

The wireless card works, but not with WPA2 (and maybe WPA) networks. Connecting to such network causes disconnecting of all the other clients including this laptop. The log looks like this:

[ 191.113747] wlan0 direct probe responded
[ 191.113754] wlan0: authenticate with AP 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c
[ 191.122377] wlan0: authenticated
[ 191.122385] wlan0: associate with AP 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c
[ 191.127283] wlan0: RX ReassocResp from 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c (capab=0x411 status=12 aid=3)
[ 191.127290] wlan0: AP denied association (code=12)
[ 191.320121] wlan0: associate with AP 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c
[ 191.322394] wlan0: RX AssocResp from 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c (capab=0x411 status=12 aid=3)
[ 191.322401] wlan0: AP denied association (code=12)
[ 191.520120] wlan0: associate with AP 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c
[ 191.523376] wlan0: RX AssocResp from 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c (capab=0x411 status=12 aid=3)
[ 191.523384] wlan0: AP denied association (code=12)
[ 191.720069] wlan0: association with AP 00:1f:1f:35:3a:0c timed out

It seems there is a bug in NetworkManager and the only solution I have found is to replace NetworkManager by wicd which works well for me:

sudo apt-get install wicd

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorksOut of the box, including frequency scaling
ScreenWorksDefault resolution is not good, but can be changed via GUI
HDDWorksActive protection not tested
Optical DriveWorksOut of the box
GraphicsWorksOut of the box, including 3D
SoundWorksOut of the box
EthernetWorksOut of the box
WirelessWorksOut of the box
BluetoothWorksOut of the box
56K ModemNot Tested
USBWokrs
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderWorksTested with SD cards
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot supported

Notes

The only thing which doesn't work for me is the fingerprint reader.

Graphic card

The problem of the graphic adapter is that the external monitor is enabled by default even it is not connected. In addition the screen is mirrored and the external monitor is supposed to be a standard 4:3 monitor. That's why the resolution of internal LCD panel is also 4:3 which is not too good.

The solution is easy: run gnome-display-properties (in system - settings - screen resolution menu), disable screen mirroring, select the external monitor in the picture and change its resolution to “off”. This should correct the problem.

This advice does not affect GDM login screen. I have found the following solution: Just edit /etc/gdm/Init/Default and add the following lines:

xrandr –output HDMI-1 –off
xrandr –output LVDS –mode 1280×800

after these lines:

PATH=/usr/bin/X11:/usr/X11R6/bin:/opt/X11R6/bin:$PATH
OLD_IFS=$IFS

This will set proper resolution for GDM and disable external monitor.

Suspending

The neither suspend to disk nor suspend to ram works by default, but it is easy to correct the problem - use the instructions for ThinkPad T400:

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Install_Ubuntu_8.10_(Intrepid_Ibex)_on_a_Thinkpad_T400#Suspend.2FHibernate

Scrolling with Trackpoint

Create a new file called /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mouse-wheel.fdi typing:

$ sudo gedit /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mouse-wheel.fdi

And fill it with this code:

<match key=“info.product” string=“TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint”>
<merge key=“input.x11_options.EmulateWheel” type=“string”>true</merge>
<merge key=“input.x11_options.EmulateWheelButton” type=“string”>2</merge>
<merge key=“input.x11_options.XAxisMapping” type=“string”>6 7</merge>
<merge key=“input.x11_options.YAxisMapping” type=“string”>4 5</merge>
<merge key=“input.x11_options.ZAxisMapping” type=“string”>4 5</merge>
<merge key=“input.x11_options.Emulate3Buttons” type=“string”>true</merge>
</match>

(copied from http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Install_Ubuntu_8.10_(Intrepid_Ibex)_on_a_Thinkpad_T400)

Summary

I think Lenovo Thinkpad R400 is a linux friendly laptop and I can recommend it.

Summary

I think Lenovo Thinkpad R400 is a linux friendly laptop and I can recommend it.


Discussion

MAZHAR, 2014/11/02 11:10

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R, 2013/10/23 10:37

Installed Linux Mint 13 (Maya) with Cinnamon, worked out of the box. Only issue was locating the switch to turn wifi on - in addition to the Fn-F5 key, the R400 has a switch on the left side of the front edge of the keyboard.

burn, 2011/09/24 00:08

Installed Fedora 15.

It's not “working” because the laptop temperature idles at 70C, or so the system statistics says.

I put my hand under the laptop and I gather it's more like 100C. Actually, my primal instincts had to take control to jerk away my hand before it would be damaged. A slight moment after that I felt a pain similar to scorching your hand on the owen.

The laptop is running cold in Windows XP.

burn, 2011/10/22 12:25

Fixed partially by disabling switchable grafics in BIOS, runs cooler but still a touch hot.

haiweia, 2010/08/19 09:08

Installed Archlinux on R400 ;everything is ok.

saadaoui abdelkader, 2010/07/19 08:59

i tried to install fedora 10 or 9, but failed .However installation is successfully with fedora 7,8,11 and 12.

Water, 2010/06/13 13:34

I'm working on Thinkpad R400 with Fedora 13, everything is good!

Miguel Poduje, 2009/11/18 12:05

Intalled Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, the wireless network not work with wpa2 in enterprise mode or hidden ssid mode. i didnt try to install the fingerprint reader.

nitin, 2009/07/23 04:51

Hello Friends,
I installed Debian Lenny 5 on R400. System seems to be working fine( though some rigrous tests need to be done). i am facng 2 acute problems
a. Battery life- gets drained in 3 hrs. I have 9 cell battery which lasts around 5 hrs in Vista (i have dual-boot).
b. Frames drops when playing mkv files( sounds like more of vlc issue).

I also didn't tried to install finger print reader.

rgds
nitin

Ranjith, 2008/12/16 18:12

I tried to install Suse 10.0, but couldnt. I also tried to run off Knoppix, again it failed.
On analysing (in compatibility modes), it seems there is some issue with the DVD-RW from which it is unable to access the media.
(Ironically attempt to install WinXp also resulted in a BSOD)

Thanks.

Andreas, 2009/01/22 15:56

Installed Suse 11.1 on the Thinkpad R400; everything works without problems (didnt try to install the fingerprint reader).

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lenovo_thinkpad_r400.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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