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Lenovo Thinkpad SL300

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 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 SL300. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo Thinkpad SL300 page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad SL300
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo
Screen13.3” WXGA Widescreen
RAM1GB to 4GB
HDD80GB to 320GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW or Blu-ray
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 or NVIDIA 9300M
NetworkEthernet, Thinkpad 802.11abg or Intel 5100 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
ScreenTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
HDDTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
Optical DriveTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
GraphicsTestedThe NVIDIA 9300 was tested with NVIDIA-Linux-x86-177.80-pkg1.run in Ubuntu 8.04.1 and the Intel 4500M with the included driver in Ubuntu 8.10 & 9.04. Not tested with external monitor.
SoundTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
EthernetTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
WirelessTestedIntel PRO/Wireless 5100AGN needs kernel version > 2.6.27; e.g. Fedora 10 preview (Cambridge) or Ubuntu >= 8.10
BluetoothTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
56K ModemNot Tested
USBTestedUbuntu 8.04.1, 8.10, 9.04
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderTestedWorking in Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04; not working in 8.04.1 (Hardy Heron)
ExpressCard SlotTestedWorking with a Sony cardreader in Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04
PCMCIANot available
Fingerprint ReaderNot working out of the boxThe USB device ID is 147e:1000 and it should work with FingerprintGUI, but the first test was not successful.
CameraTestedWorking in Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 (e.g. with luvcview); not working in 8.04.1
ACPIWorking with patchThe hotkeys for screen brightness work in reversed order (Ubuntu 8.04.1 and 8.10) or don't work at all (Ubuntu 9.04). The audio hotkeys don't work either. After installing lenovo-sl-laptop (detailed instructions available here), everything works fine.

Notes

See also the ThinkWiki.

Summary

Most features are working out of the box.


Discussion

eazy, 2011/06/05 20:18

I have cpu cooler control issues. It looks like cpu cooler never stop and that annoy me all the time. I think sl300 is inappropriate with linux.

Maarten Bodewes, 2011/06/05 21:20

But I think it is always on when running XP as well, haven't tried anything above. I've added an SSD (replaced my DVD drive) and it is now starting in 7s flat as well (latest LTS version of Ubuntu). The fan is fortunately very quiet on my laptop (but it may get louder when it will gather dust).

Maarten Bodewes, 2010/01/10 00:25

Can't get the blue-tooth to work on Karmic Koala (9.10). The icon on the front of the SL300 never lights up. WiFi is fine, as is all the USB and the USB devices that *are* picked up (camera, external keyboard, mouse, hub). Android phone (HTC Hero) over USB works like a charm (tethered connection/modem functionality as well as working as external hard drive). External screen over digital connection works fine as well.

Now for the &&*)(UKLJ*&*^(*^* bluetooth module. If anyone knows how to wake it up…

chris, 2009/05/07 17:52

short version: fresh 9.04 Ubuntu installation = great wireless on SL300!

details:
Since I posted some stuff about 8.10 wireless troubles here, I thought I'd follow up, in case it helps someone else.

I updated my SL300 from 8.10 to 9.04, and the wireless problems got worse. I often couldn't connect at all; if I watched /var/log/syslog and /var/log/wpa_supplicant.log, I saw handshakes happen again and again. Meanwhile, Vista worked great. So Ubuntu + ndiswrapper + XP wireless driver was basically unusable under a 9.04 upgrade from 8.10.

So today I wiped Ubuntu off my machine with gparted and reinstalled 9.04 fresh. Wireless installed automatically and works like a charm.

(Heads up – gparted is a partition editor; if you use it, be careful not to wipe out Windows or grub if you have a dual-boot machine. I managed to wipe out grub, so Windows wouldn't boot until my 9.04 installation process reinstalled grub.)

chris, 2009/04/07 18:08

Also, if you use ndiswrapper + XP wireless driver, you need the whole archive from Lenovo, not just the .inf files (which are just text). The Ubunutu docs were a little unclear on this.

So download XP wireless driver .exe file from Lenovo, extract on a Windows machine to c:/tmp or wherever, then copy the whole directory (called DRIVERS) over to your Linux machine. Install ndisgtk and use it to load the driver. The driver file you want is netathw.inf. Opening another one hung my machine.

HTH.

chris, 2009/04/07 18:04

OK, got the SL300 wireless working. Turns out that
1. the “unsupported” driver that shows up at installation does nothing
2. the recommended solution is to use ndiswrapper + WinXP wireless driver (available from Lenovo) works, but only on 32-bit Ubuntu
3. so don't use 64-bit Ubuntu with an SL300.

Or if you do, post a solution for getting wireless working to this page, so others can benefit. It would have saved me a few hours.

chris, 2009/04/06 20:49

Found the .inf file inside the .exe, no problem. But surely there must be some way to tell Ubuntu to use this wireless driver it claims to have installed?

chris, 2009/04/06 20:32

Wireless driver shows up as installed, but don't see any wireless networks. Ubuntu documentation suggests installing ndis wrapper to use Windows XP driver .inf file. But Lenovo site only distributes drivers in .exe format. Not sure how to tell the machine to use the driver it says it has.

Bill Giannikos, 2009/04/06 23:37

You shouldn't need ndiswrapper for this laptop. Which version of Ubuntu are you running, it should work just fine in Ubuntu 8.10.

martin, 2009/04/02 15:08

Except for the fingerprint sensor (which imo is just a toy anyway) everything is working fine! I've started Ubuntu 8.10 from USB stick and will install it right now.

kreapr, 2009/03/10 01:07

xubuntu 8.10 with nvidia driver v177. Running well. Screen brightness control is strange. Seems the Fn key combinations are backwards. Still trying to figure out how to get wireless working.

macalga, 2009/02/22 22:16

OpenSuse 11.1 with KDE installed on (modified) Lenovo ThinkPad SL300.
Good performance but KDEbluetooth4 crash immediatly when it start.
It's not allowed to adjust the screen intensity, perhaps other Fn combinations are not in use too ! To be tested

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lenovo_thinkpad_sl300.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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