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Lenovo ThinkPad Twist


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

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad Twist
ProcessorIntel Core i7 – 3517U (3.0 GHz, 4MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)
Intel Core i5 – 3317U (2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)
Intel Core i3 – 3217U (1.8 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)
Screen12.5“ 1366×768 Widescreen
RAMUp to 8GB
HDDUp to 500GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet

Linux Compatibility

Touch ScreenOKDidn't work on 3.2 kernel, worked in 3.8
Graphics ChipOK
DisplayPortOKTested with a Club3D mDP to VGA active cable, kernel 3.11.7
Bulti-in MicrophoneOK
Headphone JackOK
Microphone JackNot Tested
WirelessOKNon-free firmware needed
WWANNot Tested
Card ReaderOKDidn't work in 3.2 kernel, worked in 3.8
Touch PadOK
Track PointOK


Above points (*) tested with Debian Unstable, first with the default 3.2 kernel, then with a 3.8 from experimental. The 3.8 experimental one worked like a charm.
* mPD port and Ethernet port were tested on Fedora 19 with Linux 3.11.7-200.fc19.x86_64 kernel, on the i7 version of the notebook. Everything else noted OK in this table was also tested on that Fedora, except the Card Reader. Works like a charm.


If you choose a distribution with a 3.8 kernel (I suspect 3.4 will also work), you will have no issues at all with this laptop.


Akın, 2015/06/30 20:30

Clas hile en iyi

John, 2015/01/30 03:22

I've been trying to make this work for about a year now. I just wanted an operating system that would work without so much hassle. What I got was borderline unusable for someone who has never touched a linux machine before. I've been trying this whole time to make the keyboard, a mouse, the touchscreen, and the speakers work, but I just don't know what anybody is saying on the forums. I just wish there was a way for noob like me to hop into the operating system and work without troubleshooting and getting frustrated.

Pablo, 2015/02/13 07:40

It's not Linux, it's the TWIST. I've installed Linux on many machines, many different versions and never had as much trouble as with the TWIST. UEFI seems to be a big issue, and it seems like people that have gotten Linux working are running an old BIOS version. I haven't been able to find out how to downgrade the BIOS, but I'm guessing that might help. Also, Lenovo says Ubuntu 12.04 is supported so I'm trying the LTE version and that's my last go round with this disappointing hardware.

syberghost, 2014/08/21 12:55

Recent BIOS updates have rendered the keyboard and mouse non-functional in Linux. Touchscreen works.

wolfkabal, 2013/12/11 17:28

I couldn't for the life of me get the Synaptics TouchPad to be recognized without reverting back to BIOS v1.52, anything higher and the Synaptics TouchPad refused to be recognized. Tested with Kali 1.0.5.

Sven, 2014/01/06 14:52

I have detected, that acpid works good on the Twist, if you edit the file /etc/default/acpid and uncomment the line “MODULES=“battery ac processor button fan thermal video” ”. After this change, the Trackpoint and the Touchpad worked after every boot.

Phil, 2013/07/23 16:26

A few things I've done to make the twist a little cooler.

This is all on Fedora 19.

Wireless needs kmod-wl. Kind of annoying as that isn't a standard package. Grab from the rpmfusion nonfree repo.

For the touchscreen to work right if you want rotation and all the cool extra functions like scrolling, copy /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-wacom.conf to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-wacom.conf, and add Atmel to the Match Product line at the top.

Section “InputClass”

Identifier "Wacom class"
MatchProduct "Wacom|WACOM|Hanwang|PTK-540WL|Atmel"
MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
Driver "wacom"


To help make the clickpad work a little better and not be so jerky…
Copy /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf and change the end to look like so…

Section “InputClass”

      Identifier "touchpad button overlap"
      MatchIsTouchpad "on"
      MatchProduct "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"
      Option "AreaBottomEdge" "4000"
      Option "SHMConfig" "on"
Option "HorizHysteresis" "16"
Option "VertHysteresis" "16"


Just helps a bit with the clicking on the bottom edge and reduces some of the clickpads jitter. Not all. But it helps some. I hate clickpads.

Some cool ACPI stuff I put in. In tablet mode the clickpad is all jumpy and crazy when the back of the lid is touching it. So this disables the clickpad in tablet mode automatically. You can do the same manually in gnome settings.


# /etc/acpi/events/twist-tablet-disabled
# This is called when the lid is placed in normal position on
# Lenovo Twist ThinkPads

event=video/tabletmode TBLT 0000008A 00000000
action=/etc/acpi/actions/ 0


# /etc/acpi/events/twist-tablet-enabled
# This is called when the lid is placed in tablet position on
# Lenovo Twist ThinkPads

event=video/tabletmode TBLT 0000008A 00000001
action=/etc/acpi/actions/ 1


#user=`w|grep ' :0 ' |awk '{print $1}'`
# For now, hardcoded to phil

# Tablet mode disabled
if [ “$1” == “0” ]

 su - $user -c "

. /home/$user/.xauthdbusenvs
/bin/gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.touchpad touchpad-enabled true

# Tablet mode enabled
if [ “$1” == “1” ]

       su - $user -c "

. /home/$user/.xauthdbusenvs
/bin/gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.touchpad touchpad-enabled false


gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.touchpad touchpad-enabled true

For the script to work right, obviously I hard-coded the user to “phil” (my user), but you can see how you can easily get the currently logged in user on :0. I also have a simple autostart script for when I log into X for that user so I export all the needed env variables for xauth/dbus session info to properly use gsettings…

So make an autostart script that runs…

env|grep -E “XAUTHORITY|DISPLAY|DBUS_SESSION_BUS”|awk '{print “export”,$1}' > /home/phil/.xauthdbusenvs

A bit hackish, but it works just fine. That way the ACPI scripts can source that file and use gsettings properly to modify stuff for the current logged in X user.

Also, another cool ACPI event is for screen rotation. I use the rotation lock button to rotate the screen and xsetwacom to rotate the touch screen. The only annoyance here is that the resume from sleep event sends a keypress event. So you have to ignore it. For some reason, it still rotates sometimes, and I have to rotate after resume anyway. Kind of annoying, but not so bad that I've fixed it entirely yet.
Anyway, this allows each button press of that rotation lock button to rotate screen and touchscreen 90 degrees.


# /etc/acpi/events/twist-tablet-disabled
# This is called when the lock rotation button is pressed
# Lenovo Twist ThinkPads

event=ibm/hotkey LEN0068:00 00000080 00006020



# Don't rotate during sleep/resume
if [ -f /tmp/norotate ] ; then exit ; fi

# Get user logged into X
# user=`w |awk '{if(substr($2,1,1)==”:”){print $1}}'`

. /home/$user/.xauthdbusenvs

currot=`xrandr -q |grep LVDS1|awk '{print $5}'`

if [ “$currot” == “left” ]

xrandr -o inverted
xsetwacom --set "Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer touch" rotate half

elif [ “$currot” == “inverted” ]

xrandr -o right
xsetwacom --set "Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer touch" rotate cw

elif [ “$currot” == “right” ]

xrandr -o normal
xsetwacom --set "Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer touch" rotate none


xrandr -o left
xsetwacom --set "Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer touch" rotate ccw


Again, obviously hardcoded to user phil, uses that same xauth/dbus export from the tabletmode disable touchpad acpi stuff.

To help avoid rotation on sleep resume, I have that /tmp/norotate file created on sleep and deleted on resume. Again, this whole thing isn't working perfect. It still rotates sometimes and the touchscreen might be rotated even if the display isn't. But it's not a huge deal, hitting the rotate lock button to get to normal rotation again fixes it. Just a minor annoyance. I imagine if I put in a background script call that does a sleep for a few moments on resume before deleting that file, it would work better. Just doesn't annoy me enough to even bother fixing.

Just create…


case $1 in

touch /tmp/norotate
rm -f /tmp/norotate


Major annoyances with the twist…

The clickpad. Wow, I hate clickpads. Touchpads are great with real buttons. Clickpads are annoying. I'm always moving the mouse and scrolling when I shouldn't be. So I need to play more with the synaptics settings to see what I can do. Biggest issue is that disabling the bottom edge doesn't disable two-finger-scrolling… which I love. But if you don't two-finger scroll it'll be fine. This is just a preference for me.

Multiple workplace switching in Gnome3 with the hotkey combo ctrl+alt+up/down. For some reason, when you do the Fn and Ctrl key swap in the bios, then left ctrl + left alt + up doesn't work like it should. Use either of the right ctrl/alt buttons and it works fine. Press all three down and release alt and it sends one up event once. It doesn't even send an input event otherwise. Something flaky in the bios I suppose. I'm on the newest bios version, too. I've reported it to Lenovo.

Rotation lock button doesn't seem to work quite right in tablet mode. You have to long-press and hold the button for a moment or slightly open the display a bit for the lock rotation button to work. Not sure what the deal is here, not a big enough annoyance to really dig into. Yet.

And this is more of a gripe with gnome3, but the on-screen keyboard is really a pain to use right. It disappears, it's heck to bring back up without losing your cursor position, so basically in tablet mode I just don't type. Hopefully gnome3's on screen keyboard will get better as time goes on.

Beyond all that, I dig this thing. Certainly more work to get customized and working how I like it than with other laptops. I hate not having an nvidia card, the clickpad sucks, the tiny SSD that isn't easily user-upgradable is a bummer. And of course the battery life isn't all that great. But I do dig kicking back on the couch and using it as a tablet while watching videos and such.

Aspetos, 2014/03/01 23:26

Wow,excellent work!Thank you very much!
Just a stupid question,can you clarify how you created the autostart script at .xauthdbusenvs?
I'm trying your hacks and the scripts have problem linking to it correctly.

Aspetos, 2014/03/03 14:51

OK,I tried to run the env|grep…. command in a terminal to see what it will do and it says:

awk: cmd. line:1: {print “export”,$1}
awk: cmd. line:1: ^ invalid char '�' in expression
awk: cmd. line:1: {print “export”,$1}
awk: cmd. line:1: ^ syntax error
DISPLAY: command not found
DBUS_SESSION_BUS”: command not found

So,what might be wrong?Any idea?

Gerry, 2013/06/21 07:45

Linux Mint 15 runs perfectly on the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist N3C26GE. There is no further configuration necessary after installation, also the touchscreen works fine. For the installation, a few tricks are very helpful:

* If you want to create a recovery disk of Windows8 before you install Linux Mint, please be aware of following: (1) DVDs are not working anymore as recovery disk, just UBS flash disks, (2) The USB disk needs to be empty and have more than 8GB free space literally. This means that an empty 8GB flash disk is too small !!!

* You can start/install alternative operating systems only if Windows8 is completely shut down, which it doesn't do when you click on shutdown. It is hibernation then. You need to hold the shift key while clicking on shutdown in Windows8.

* Before you can install/run Linux Mint you need to enter the bios (with F1 or F12 directly after switching on the computer) and enable the Legacy boot option in the BIOS.

* Installation: Within the installation wizard of Linux Mint you have to choose altenative partitioning, because Linux Mint will not boot with the standard setting on the Lenovo Twist. In this tool you can create a new partition table and choose “msdos” mode. See here for details:

* Since the Twist has two hard disks, you need to make sure that the first disk (the large HDD) is the place where the Master Boot Record (MBR) is installed. Choose the whole disk (e.g. /dev/hda) and not just a partition for this.

* Since the Twist has a 500GB hard disk and a 24GB SSD, one needs to have some thougths in partitioning. Following partition scheme worked fine for me:

Small SSD disk: Use all space for ”/” (the system)

Large HDD: 1st partition = 100 GB for /home, 2nd partition = 315 GB for /data (if want to use a separate partition for data), 3rd partition for /tmp = 25 GB, 4th partition for /opt = 55 GB, 5th partition for SWAP = 8,4 GB. (If you do not install many third party software or you do not work with large data files, /opt and /tmp can be much smaller, too).

* By the way: I didn't find the default on scren keyboard very nice, so I installed onboard: “sudo apt-get install onboard” You can configure this keyboard in so many ways that it absolutely fulfills your needs.

That's it. Linux Mint will rund just perfectly.

Vivia, 2013/04/15 17:32

Used a 3.2 kernel, touchscreen and card reader were not working. (Debian Unstable default kernel). Upgraded to 3.8 from experimental and everything works. Wireless needs a non-free firmware but it really works out of the box otherwise.

Untested: Ethernet (but the OS recognizes it so it should work), DisplayPort. The rest from this list works.

Jeff, 2013/04/01 00:05

Works with a LiveUSB after disabling Secure boot, Wireless was not working but Bluetooth was fine. Touchscreen worked right out of the box and the hotkeys worked fine.

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lenovo_thinkpad_twist.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/09 22:36 by
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