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Lenovo Thinkpad T500


This is a guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad T500 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 T500. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo Thinkpad T500 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad T500 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad T500
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo
Screen15.4“ WXGA or WSXGA+ Widescreen
HDD80GB to 320GB to 64GB SSD
Optical DriveCDRW/DVD-ROM combo, DVD+-RW or Blu-ray
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD and ATI Technologies Inc Mobility Radeon HD 3650
NetworkEthernet, Thinkpad 802.11bg or Intel 5100 802.11abgn or Intel 5300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorWorks with 2.6
ScreenWorks with kernel 2.6
HDDWorks correctly
Optical DriveWorks correctly
GraphicsMostly works in Ubuntu 8.10, suspend does notprorietary driver ati/amd fglrx version 10.1 works perfectly, even under dual-head mode, all suspend modes in ubuntu 9.10, version 10.2 of fglrx does not work (hangs at X startup), Ubuntu 9.10 radeon driver works, no 3d support, does not work properly in dual head mode, proprietary ati/amd fglrx version 10.4 works perfectly, even under dual-head mode
SoundWorks correctly
EthernetYesA user has reported that it does work, but it appears that in general it does.
WirelessWorksWorks with very recent ath5k or ndiswrapper for Thinkpad wireless controller. Requires kernel 2.6.27 or higher for the Intel 5100 controller to function.
Bluetooth Works file transfer with obexftp
USBWorksCan cause suspend issues
ModemWorksNeeds hsfmodem driver from linuxant
Card ReaderWorks
ExpressCard SlotWorks
Fingerprint ReaderWorks With Xubuntu 12.04 LTS and kernel 3.2.0-60-generic, the Fingerprint GUI from works AOK.
CameraWorks Correctly
UMTS Works Works with wvdial, after resume from suspend “echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/thinkpad_acpi/wwan_enable” has to be executed (kernel 2.6.31) in order to wake up the card, GPS function is not working correctly


You can enter any specific notes with running Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad T500 here.


As long as you use a Linux distributions with at least kernel 2.6.27 you shouldn't have any major issues with the Lenovo Thinkpad T500.


David, 2016/11/04 13:41

IBM T500 model without webcam, and finger print reader and bluetooth.

Linux Mint 18 Mate runs faster than cinnamon GUI but cinnamon can freeze up I think because one it is a due core and cinnamon it is based on gnome 3 not gnome 2. There have been user reports of freezing with the mint 18 desktop.

Nasri, 2015/09/30 16:02

I have a T500 every thing works.

fingerprint works as expected
sound with equalizer
hdd works perfect with Active Hard Drive Protection
optical drive with speed control
modem not tested
graphics boot on intel from bios. - no probleme- with ati the laptop gets hot
supsend and hibernate works good
cpu monitoring on demand ok with laptop mode config
volume & brightness display on screen work
fn key combination work except the fn+f12 which suspend instead of hibernate

very happy with it

my configuration
ubuntu 14.04.3

Laptop T500

Seraph, 2015/07/06 21:03

Lenovo T500, non-switchable graphics:

works fine with MINT 17.2
WLAN: works
Multimedia keys: work
Ethernet (cable): works

No problems so far

Installed via unetbootin using an USB-Stick

Dave, 2014/12/25 17:02

Using Kubuntu, Mint Linux 17, Ubuntu 14.04, Booting into the Live session the wireless drivers load than type in your password connect.

David, 2014/12/29 01:20

This was me above before I joined. i want to add as long as you try the live DVD before you install one of the Linux distributions above you will have no issues. if you install only the wireless drivers will for some reason be blocked and that can cause issues for getting the wireless to work. I know this cause I was testing which distribution I wanted to use. I decided it was kubuntu and I did not boot into the live and my wireless was not working so I had to reinstall. the driver is on the install dvd.

John Bartley, 2014/03/13 15:18

Fingerprint-gui from works just dandy on Xubuntu 12.04LTS w/ kernel 3.2.0-60 generic

zonker, 2010/06/25 00:06

Debian/ sidux

Free drivers works for both cards, but bear in mind that if the bios setting is switchable both cards are powered on and the laptop gets quite hot if u use the ati card. wireless wlan requires non-free firmware, but everything else (except fingerprint reader) works out of the box

zonker, 2010/12/24 13:43

using switcheroo, one can shut down the garphics-card not in use and save battery time as well as lower the temp considerably. Its easy to get to work if you have a kernel with switcheroo enabled, otherwise you have to compile youself.
If your kernel already supports switcheroo:

mount -t debugfs none /sys/kernel/debug
cd /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo
cat switch #will show status of the two cards
#it will look something like this
0:+:Pwr:0000:00:02.0 #card is on (Pwr) and currently in use (+)
1: :Off:0000:01:00.0 #card is off (and not used)

Following switcheroo commands are available:
echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
#Turns on the unused graphics card.

echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
#Turns off the unused graphics card.

echo DIGD > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
#Switches to integrated graphics (make sure to turn it ON first)

echo DDIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
#Switches to dedicated graphics (make sure to turn it ON first)

You have to turn on (if its not allready on), and then switch to the other card, then kill x and restart for it to take effect

Kerry Cox, 2010/06/09 21:42

I have a T500 but have had no luck getting the wireless to work under Fedora 13. Same experience with Fedora 12. According to “lspci -vv” output it is either a Realtek RTL8192SE Wireless LAN Controller. But I have had no success getting this to work under Fedora 13. Any guides for getting ndiswrapper to run or performing some kludge? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Mena, 2009/11/04 16:18

i have the lenovo t500 with ubuntu and work just perfect
i have ubuntu 9.10

all i dont need to install drivers when i install the OS.

Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4
4 GB Ram
250 GB HD
integrated camera: works fine
bluetooth: working
Intel PRO/Wireless 5100 A-G-N

all works fine.

Zebro, 2009/10/15 14:34

Neither the integrated Intel graphics chip, nor the discrete ati chip with the fglrx drivers work. Can't start my Ubuntu 9.04 with them.

web, 2009/10/19 05:28

go in bios and try to disable the “auto” settings at the discrete/build in video card, and also put the discrete.

dave, 2009/11/21 19:34

Whoever you are, I owe you so huge. fglrx has had me crashed on my t500 until this bios change.. works great.

Zebro, 2010/08/04 10:58

I switched to discrete graphics a long time ago. With Ubuntu 10.4 and after a complete new install the notebook works. However, still can not get the proprietary fglrx drivers to work (at all). The radeon and mesa drivers work tough.

Steffen Kristiansen, 2009/10/05 22:59

I am using x64 Arch Linux and everything seems to work just fine. I haven't noticed any problems. The only thing I haven't tried is the fingerprint reader, but I have a friend with a T61p and that is working perfectly.
I have also tried with x86 Arch Linux with same result. ;-)

Note: The mute button don't send any code, but I have read it should be fixed in the next kernel upgrade. (2.6.31)


Venkat, 2009/08/13 20:35

Hi All,

Please let me know if any one installed RHEL4 or 5/Oracle Enterpriselinux4,5 version on Lenovo Thinkpad T500


Daniel Kiracofe, 2009/05/05 02:23

Another note: Debian Lenny has outdated X drivers. Had to upgrade to more recent video drivers in order to get the VGA (projector) output to work.

Daniel Kiracofe, 2009/05/04 02:09

Debian Lenny ships with an outdated kernel. Had to upgrade to the kernel to get the wireless to work. Suspend/Resume wouldn't work even with the newer kernel. Had to add these tweaks to /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/20-video-quirk-pm-lenovo.fdi to get it to work (”/etc/init.d/hal restart” afterwards)

  <!-- T500 -->
    <match key="system.hardware.product" string ="2242CTO">
      <match key="system.hardware.version" string = "ThinkPad T500">
        <merge key="power_management.quirk.vbe_post" type="bool">true</merge>
        <merge key="power_management.quirk.vbestate_restore" type="bool">true</merge>
Olen, 2009/03/27 07:26

ubuntu 8.04 all works fine, right after installing,except fingerprint reader. No driver issues, no weird behavior so far.
Some problems with graphics under wine, but from my experience thats pretty normal :D

Jaury, 2009/03/21 02:31

All NIC do not work.

Alfred, 2008/12/24 03:21

I am using Ubuntu 8.10. Everything (such as USB, internet, DVD, bluetooth) works fine except I am not sure how to enable the built-in camera. Would someone shed some light?


regelatwork, 2008/11/28 09:40

Suspen fails due to Intel Video driver in Ubuntu 8.10

See ThinkWiki entry for a solution:

X, 2008/11/22 09:20

Unstable e1000e

I've experienced very unstable behavior of the Ethernet card with 2.6.27 kernel. After a couple of minutes of downloads the interface would stop working and only reboot would help (removing and reinserting the module didn't help). In dmesg the following error was displayed:
Detected Tx Unit Hang
and a little earlier:
DMAR:fault reason 06
To solve this issue kernel parameter
was needed - it would be equivalent to disabling Intel IOMMU in kernel config.

markezz, 2008/11/05 05:13

Slightly different experience

Ethernet - Works. Even worked with ubuntu 8.04 (as it does with 8.10) out of the box
Wireless - Works. Driver available in kernel from 2.6.26 (ubuntu 8.10 stock: 2.6.27)
Fingerprint Reader - Does not work. None of the fingerprint reader projects is yet talking about adding support for this one, as far as i know. (AES2810)

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lenovo_thinkpad_t500.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/13 15:44 by k7aay
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