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Lenovo ThinkPad T420


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 laptop. If you have the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad T420. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad T420
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2520M processor (dual-core, 2.50GHz, 3MB Cache)
Intel Core i5-2540M processor (dual-core, 2.60GHz, 3MB Cache)
Screen14“ 1366×768 Widescreen
14” 1600×900 Widescreen
RAMUp to 8GB
HDDUp to 750GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 3000
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205, 2×2
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300, 3×3

Linux Compatibility

Optical Driveok
Graphics Chipok Tested on Intel HD3000
VGA Outok
Bulti-in Microphoneok
Headphone Jackok
Microphone Jackok
WirelessokTested on Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205
WWANNot Tested
Card Readerok
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested
Touch Padok
Track Pointok
HDD Protection System HDAPSok


If you' using a Debian-derived distribution like Ubuntu or Mint look for “linrunner” PPAs to get dedicated Thinkpad packages (HDAPS and others)

To have a gui to enable trackpoint press function and trackpad scroll, install configure-trackpoint from the repository mentioned above.

To enable fan speed control, install Thinkfan package ( It might require little edits on configuration files to work, and if you edit, be extra careful!)

If you are using a RPM-based distro like Fedora (I don't tested in SuSe, by the way), you can install tp_smapi to control the battery charging thresholds and control the APS module. For it compile, you need to install some packages, as described here.

Fn Functions

2Lock Works
3Power Statistics Works
5Radio Devices On/OffWorks Tested only Wi-Fi
6?( Seems something related to Camera looking the icon on the button ) Does not work Nothing Happens
7Change DisplayWorksTested with VGA exit connected to Integrated GPU, with discrete GPU disabled
8Touch Pad/TrackPoint Switch Works with some bugs Sometimes does not reactivate Touch Pad
Home Brightness up Works
End Brightness downWorks
PgUpThinklight SwitchWorks
Arrows Music Play-Pause/Next/Previous/Stop ButtonsWorks Tested With Banshee Media Player



Bas Otten, 2014/05/07 10:20

What I found on my T420 is that the mousepad indeed works, except for ticking on the pad as a way to press the left mouse button. On the same machine this does work with Win7, but not on Linux (SystemrescueCD & SolydXK). I hope this feature will be added in the future. Regards, Bas.

Bas Otten, 2014/07/13 11:58

My previous statement is not correct!! I discovered that this is a configuration option in the KDE System Settings, which is *disabled* by default. But after enabling this setting, it works like a charm! Excuse me for the incorrect info. Regards, Bas.

Bas Otten, 2014/07/24 09:35

This requires the package: kde-config-touchpad

Claudio, 2012/10/16 10:17

On my the mic is not working I've tried under gentoo 3.6.2 3.5.7 3.4.9 and 3.3.8, fedora 17, ubuntu 11.04 and 12.04, the only input I get is if I tap on the right lid and sometimes some other random garbage that if recorded sounds all distorted. I've read around some people got it to work, others have the same poblem, the audio card is a conextan 20590.
If anyone has can provide any info/help it would be greatly appreciated.

Eduardo Luann, 2013/07/04 12:06

Claudio, I don't know why your mic is not working well. Do you tested it under Window$? The mic on my T420 works perfectly and right out-of-the-box in Fedora 17, Fedora 18, Window$ 7, Window$ 8 and other distros I boot live.

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lenovo_thinkpad_t420.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/14 15:44 by
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