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28% (24)
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Lenovo ThinkPad W510


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad W510. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad W510
ProcessorIntel® Quad Core i7-720QM (1.6GHz, 6MB L3, 1066MHz FSB, 45W)
Intel® Quad Core i7-820QM (1.73GHz, 8MB L3, 1066MHz FSB, 45W)
Intel® Quad Core i7-920XM (2.0GHz, 8MB L3, 1066MHz FSB, 55W)
Screen15.6“ (1366×768)
15.6” (1600×900)
15.6“ (1920×1080)
RAMUp to 16GB
HDD250GB to 500GB or 128GB SSD
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator 5700MHD
NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
Intel® WifiLink 6300 3×3
Intel® 2×2 6250 with WiMax
ThinkPad WLAN Realtek 1×2

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveOK
Graphics with NVIDIA proprietary driverOKUbuntu 14.04 LTS - Works fine, but brightness keys do not work (workaround: switch to a TTY (CTRL-F1) to change brightness). Suspend to ram works. NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M is not supported anymore by most recent NVIDIA drivers; you must stick to version 340.76 or below.
ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderOK
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderOK


The fingerprint reader has USB ID 147e:2016 and is named Upek Biometric Touchchip/Touchstrip Fingerprint Sensor. The sensor is properly recognized under Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (2.6.32 kernel). Fprint-demo requires driver 'upeksonly', the version of fprint-demo containing this driver is currently not yet implemented in any major distribution. You can however manually compile a newer version of fprint which should support this module.


You can enter a summary of how well the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 works with Linux here.


alvaedison, 2016/10/04 18:06

How install linux redhat 5.6 on windows 7 step by step? 1 have installed windows 7 firts and then linux..after finish, there is no choice to booting between them, just direct booting on windows 7..please give me advice

Fabian, 2013/07/18 21:20

I am running Arch Linux 2013.06+ and Fedora 17 on my W510.

So far I have not experienced any bigger problems. FireWire works without any problems (you can record videos from your DV-cam, e.g.).

The only problem I am currently facing is, that the GPU locks up sometimes (reports as “GPU Lockup - switching to software fbcon”) when you have the nouveau and VirtualBox installed and running at the same time. This occurs randomly and I have not been able to recover this problem by 100% yet.

Installing the proprietary nVidia driver seems to solve the problem for now (4 weeks without any GPU lockup).

Don, 2011/03/10 01:50

I just installed openSUSE 11.3/KDE on a new W510 in a dual-boot configuration with Windows 7 64-bit. Windows was installed first, and I used the Windows 7 partition manager to shrink the main partition to make room for Linux. Installing went smoothly, using five partitions:
/boot (100 MB)
/swap (8 GB)
/ (20 GB)
/opt (20 GB)
/home (109 GB)

The openSUSE grub bootloader executes automatically, providing the choice of booting openSUSE or Windows. I ran into several difficulties though:
- knetworkmanager did not work well, it failed to start networking properly and would not connect to my WiFi network; I replaced it with the GNOME version, using nm-applet, which worked well
- external monitor did not work well (I haven't tried the NVidia driver, see below)
- trying to switch to runlevel 3 hung the machine
- sleep function hangs the machine

So far I'm not impressed. My old T60p was much more compatible.

r. meis, 2011/02/26 00:00

I set up my fingerprint reader. It seems to work fine but only for getting into the fingerprint reader button from the lenovo page. I cannot figure out to make it do anything useful–like allowing me to log in to the laptop instead of using the alt-ctl-del sequence and entering my password.

I also seem to have a secondary problem. Any of the other lenovo functions seem to require a login/password. However, my login/password is not working. I cannot figure out what is going on. Even though when setting up my fingerprint support lenovo asked and accepted the login/password.

Any help with these two issues would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan, 2011/02/27 07:56

Hi I am also trying to set up fingerprint reader, can you tell what you mean by “It seems to work fine but only for getting into the fingerprint reader button from the lenovo page.”?

Dan, 2011/01/23 20:43

Running Fedora 14. Kept locking up until I disabled nouveau video drivers and replaced with Nvidia drivers. Since then has not locked up (6 hours). Wireless is not perfect, drops randomly. This is a known problem with Intel uCode.

Vikram Mullachery, 2010/11/03 21:16

Running Fedora 13 64-bit on my Thinkpad W510 and it is horrible -
My system freezes up in the middle of work - eight (8) times just today

I am searching for alternative options
USB (unreliably works - freezes up my laptop)

ChriS, 2010/09/16 08:12

The laptop runs well under GNU/Linux, with the exception of some problems with suspend (currently tackled by the kernel developers). More informations on the page:

bob, 2010/09/14 18:00

Running Mandriva 2010.1

Audio, webcam, wired ethernet, usb, pad working by default (some after selecting the right settings in config/apps)
Debugging suspend/resume
Looking at wireless…

Jean Nouzeilles, 2010/10/29 01:14

You can install the ilwifi 6000 ucode. Honestly my Wi.Fi and Eth became rockets with Linux

Don, 2010/09/07 06:19

Mostly working with openSUSE 11.3 (gnome)

Not working by default:
Fingerprint reader, SD Card Reader, multi-touch pad functionality not multi, suspend/hibernate not working properly.

Everything else seems to work fine, haven't tested webcam
I did install proprietary Nvidia driver but because I wanted full functionality/benefits of having it…the display does work out-of-box.

I tried openSUSE 11.1 and did not have working network card drivers by default…didn't test any further.

Richard, 2010/08/11 20:37

USB didn't work until I unloaded xhci module.
Freezes regularly; happens more often after testing USB devices.
No audio.

Richard, 2010/08/11 19:06

Running Kubuntu Lucid 10.04
Wireless: had to install linux-backports-modules-wireless
Nvidia: installed nvidia-current, detects wrong DPI so had to force it in KDE's font settings.
Webcam: works out of the box

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lenovo_thinkpad_w510.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/14 13:13 by deragon
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