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Lenovo Thinkpad R500


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad R500 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 R500. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo Thinkpad R500 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad R500 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad R500
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo or Intel Celeron
Screen15.4“ WXGA or WSXGA+ Widescreen
HDD80GB to 320GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW or Blu-ray
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 or ATI Radeon HD 3470
NetworkEthernet, Thinkpad 802.11abg or Intel 5100 802.11abgn or Intel 5300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

ScreenYestested WSXGA+ AND WSXGA
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYestested radeon hd3470 ati/fglrx AND intel X4500
56K ModemNot Tested
Card ReaderYestested SDHC
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNo Tested AuthenTec, Inc. AES2810


For ATI model, fglrx is more energy efficient at the time.

Annoying sound (power related, possibly quite common for lenovo) solved by disabling cpu power saving feature in bios.

No major problems with Ubuntu 8.10. No problems at all with Ubuntu 9.04 and integrated Intel graphics.

Advanced minidock is working (occasionally problems with resuming after undocking (wrong resolution)).

You can enter any other specific notes with running Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad R500 here.


I have a ThinkPad R500, and it works great with Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit. Just grabbed the Flash 10 Beta for 64-bit and installed it. Everything just worked. No fun for a tinkerer like me ;-0)

Lenovo R500 wireless problems

However, see this Ubuntu forum for a discussion of wireless problems with the Lenovo R500. Perhaps the difference is if you have the newer Realtek chip with 802.11abgn . I have this problem in installing 64-bit Ubuntu 9.04. Later, I will try the ndiswrapper solution suggested in that forum.


Matt, 2011/07/05 19:22

Ubuntu 11.04 works out of the box almost perfectly for me, including the integrated camera, bluetooth and wireless. There were however a few things that I haven't managed to get working. These are:

My model comes with a AuthenTec AES2810 fingerprint reader. This doesn't appear to have any linux drivers at the moment.

Mute button doesn't work (although the other volume buttons do).

Occasionally it won't come out of hibernate/suspend - although I haven't seen that for a while so perhaps that has been fixed.

* I also use a docking station - this doesn't seem to cause any problems.

JZd, 2011/03/20 11:10

This magic 'Camera: Yes' statement in the table above is in fact:
EHCI USB device using ehci_hcd module,
USB idVendor=17ef, idProduct=1004, Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd.
V4L2 drivers: UVC
uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device Integrated Camera (17ef:1004)
(Tested on: Linux 2.6.34-gentoo-r12 #0 Sun Mar 20 10:49:14 GMT 2011)

pdx, 2009/09/24 15:45

resuming from hibernation takes forever on r500 ubuntu 9.04. Also less than impressed with battery life.

pieter, 2009/09/17 15:55

I have also a new Lenovo Thinkpad R500. One of the first things i did when the vista finished booting, was doing all updates. This included a bios update.

After that i installed ubuntu 9.04. I cannot find any trace of the integrated camera, not with lspic, not with lsusb, nothing in /var/log/messages…

I thought: back to vista and check how it's called, what manufacturer etc…

It seems Vista doesn't detect it either. I don't know if it was detectable before the bios update. Installing the driver from the lenovo site, complained that it could not find the integrated camera! So i think it is broken, even if the laptop is brand new.

There is not much to find on the internet about this, I hope this is just a bios problem and can be solved with a new update…

any further hints are most welcome (preferably for ubuntu)


steve , 2009/10/18 23:07

I have the same problem … It's like the integrated camera on the R500 isn't there.

Did you manage to find out what the problem is?


pieter, 2011/03/20 19:17

no, I guess it's a hardware issue, maybe the connector is not connected or something, but our IT dept didn't want to send it back during the warranty period. The cam is not a necessity for the job.

Brandon, 2009/07/29 04:08

How can you tell if you have blue-ray or not without buying a blue-ray DVD

mindless, 2009/07/08 10:37

I didn't manage to enable scrolling with middle button on trackpoint. I've read all online material with no avail :-(((((((((((((

Boris, 2009/06/04 18:13

I have the same problem as Ben, after installing fglrx package on Ubuntu 9.04 the screen is garbled. Only solution is to remove the package from rescue console via aptitude

Ben, 2009/05/19 11:42

I tried to install the fglrx driver for Ubuntu 9.04 and after a reboot, the screen is garbled. Do I need to change the xorg.conf as well?



Ivan, 2009/03/31 13:12

Hi to all,

I am one new user of Linux software, Ubuntu 8.10 OS, and I have to say I am delightful with simplicity and stability of OS.
Regarding Think pad R500.I have installed, like I said Ubuntu 8.10, and everything is functioning pretty nicely ,it is fast and I am using also XP on it via Virtual Box without problems.My wireless connection is perfect and it recognize most of external hardware without no problem.
I have problem just with Think vantage button.It does not work, but I would not use it anyway.
It is fast,good build and Ubuntu work perfect.Now I preferred it more then Xp.
I would recommended to anyone.

dw, 2009/03/06 16:23

can anybody clarify which module is needed for the integrated webcam? lsusb doesn't show anything and loading uvcvideo didn't work out as well (at least on archlinux).

mazdac, 2011/01/31 17:18


hans, 2009/02/04 16:29

wireless does not work with ubuntu 8.4 on lenovo R500

Martin, 2009/02/03 21:04

I have a problem with FingerprintReader on R500 (Ubuntu 8.10) - it doesn't work. Solution anyone?

hpavc, 2009/05/14 23:56

What hardware is your finger print reader?

hpavc, 2009/05/15 00:02

Authentec is the answer

Tom, 2009/01/10 14:52

Didn't have anybody problems with resuming on this laptop?

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lenovo_thinkpad_r500.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/05 19:35 by
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