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Kernel 2.6.27, which most of the new distributions are using, works very well for Lenovo ThinkPad w500 laptops. Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex was installed successfully from the Beta live CD with most features enabled by default. Just install and update to the latest packages to get most things functional.
This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad W500. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo Thinkpad W500 page on LapWik.
For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad W500 specifications page.
|Name||Lenovo ThinkPad W500|
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 @ 2.53GHz|
|Screen||15.4“ WSXGA+ Widescreen|
|Switchable Graphics||ATI FireGL V5700 500MB & Mobile Intel® GM45 Express|
|Network||Intel 82567LM Gigabit Ethernet, Intel w5300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth|
|56K Modem||Not Tested|
|ExpressCard Slot||Not Tested|
|Fingerprint Reader||Not Tested|
Do not install any 2.6.27 kernel less than 126.96.36.199 or you may risk disabling your ethernet adapter due to a bug in the kernel that overwrites the eeprom of the adapter with bogus values. Kernel 188.8.131.52 with the Ubuntu 8.10 beta installer blacklists the module. Later kernels are fixed.
This system did not boot with AHCI enabled. In the BIOS config, switching SATA mode from AHCI to compatible fixes this issue.
The Intel wireless cards work without any further configuration with the 2.6.27 kernel.
Intel GM45 Express works without any further configuration. The ATI Mobility FireGL v5700 needs a binary driver from ATI.
Xorg does not yet support switchable graphics. There may be workarounds via a script such as the one used for this Sony laptop.
The other option is to change the BIOS display config to either Integrated or Discrete. Integrated enables Intel's GM45 hardware, which is fully supported out of the box and has the best power-efficiency. Discrete enables the ATI Mobility FireGL v5700, which is basically an ATI Radeon HD3650. I have not tested this out yet, but this card would required installing the AMD binary driver for the most functionality.
Freshly installed, the trackpoint acts as a standard 3-button mouse. To enable the verticle scrolling UltraNav feature, follow these steps:
look for something similar to:
input: TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint as /class/input/input10
Using your favorite editor in root, make an .fdi file in /etc/hal/fdi/policy:
sudo vim /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mouse-wheel.fdi
and paste the following into that document, replacing TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint with the name of your pointing device from dmesg:
<match key="info.product" string="TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint"> <merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheel" type="string">true</merge> <merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheelButton" type="string">2</merge> <merge key="input.x11_options.ZAxsisMapping" type="string">4 5</merge> <merge key="input.x11_options.Emulate3Buttons" type="string">true</merge> </match>
Suspend works if you set suspend on lid close or if you use the suspend function key (Fn-F4), but resume fails if you close the lid during the suspend process.
Hibernate appears to work, but does not resume properly.
The latest kernel is very friendly towards the Thinkpad w500. Switchable graphics is non-functioning and hibernate needs work. Everything else works without configuration.