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Lenovo ThinkPad W530


Installation of Xubuntu 12.04 seems functional, with a few extras missing.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad W530. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo ThinkPad W530 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad W530 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad W530
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3920XM (2.90 GHz, 8MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
Intel Core i7-3820QM (2.70 GHz, 8MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Intel Core i7-3720QM (2.60 GHz, 6MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Intel Core i7-3520M (2.90 GHz, 4MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Intel Core i5-3360M (2.80 GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Intel Core i5-3320M (2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.30 GHz, 6MB L3,1333MHz FSB)
Screen15.6“ 1366×768 Widescreen
15.6” 1600×900 Widescreen
15.6“ 1920×1080 Widescreen
RAMUp to 32GB
HDDUp to 1TB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro K2000
NVIDIA Quadro K1000
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
ThinkPad b/g/n Wireless (1×1)
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2×2 AGN)
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 3000 (3×3 AGN)

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveWorks
Graphics ChipIntel works. Nvidia works. Optimus function works with Blumblebee. (Works fine with nvidia-352 without need of Blumblebee)
VGA OutWorks - select output source manually with nvidia-config
Bulti-in MicrophoneWorks
Headphone JackWorks
Microphone JackWorks
ModemNot Tested
Card ReaderWorks
ExpressCard SlotWorks
Fingerprint ReaderWorks, a bit tricky
Smart Card ReaderNot Tested
Docking StationPartial
Touch PadWorks
Track PointWorks
Suspend/ResumeWorks in Ubuntu 11.04/12.04/12.10/14.04 and Fedora 17 and Archlinux
Hibernate In Ram Works!


Everything works, a bit configuration and you get a powerful system.
Auto Switch with Optimus works with Blumblebee
The Fingerprint also works, but a little tricky.
Hibernate, Suspend, Resume works really well with a 1 line addition to your Grub configuration to suspend / hibernate in ram ⇒ I used pm-utils
Some people get problem with brightness settings, i never got the problem. Everything worked the first time.

Finally, I'm really happy with this system, everything is working!


Out of the box most things seem to work using Xubuntu 11.04. The DisplayPort is working, but you need to be using the NVidia GPU.

To get the Nvidia chip to work I had to switch to 'Discrete' video in the BIOS before booting, and installing the closed source drivers. I did not get Optimus to work using the Bumblebee project - getting stuck on a 'device fell off bus' error. The device does work well with bbswitch though.

The fan is very quiet, even under load. Under heavy load it's running just a tad quieter than a MacBook Pro, but this is a 'by ear' judgement without any measurements.

For the dock the power supply is important. I'm using a 135W power supply. and while running a little warm it is getting the job done. The Lenovo store now has a dock with the 170W supply, so make sure you get that one.

Some references Ubuntu forums
Find a new driver from here Driver download

Ubuntu 14.04: it works like a charm. Installation of nvidia-352 drivers allow switching between graphic card.


Support is not as good as I expected, seeing that Lenovo told me the system supports Linux. The keyboard seems good enough, if a little lightweight/plasticky. I'm quite happy with it though, but have a look at photos of the key layout if you make constant use of home/end/insert/delete/pgup/pgdn to confirm that it matches what you are used to.

The screen is matte and does the job. I'm not a screen critic, apart from preferring a matte finish for glare, so your opinion might vary. The screen's backlight packs a wallop though, and it has the 'thinklight' built in, which would be very handy in the dark if you have no backlit keyboard. Just to mention that the 'thinklight' does work in Linux as it uses a fn+space combination to switch. I expect it uses a BIOS call directly.

I consider the fan to be very quiet, even under load. Using a SSD this system is quite speedy and responsive, and I would say much better value than the Dell XPS15.

I have to mention that the speakers are horrible. I rarely use them as I prefer earphones, but on the odd occasion I wanted to use the speakers I was very dissapointed. Very low volumes with poor quality sound.

I have 32GB of RAM in this machine and it runs wonderfully. Note that I'm almost permanently on an external screen as this is the way I prefer to work.

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(Edit dates: 2012/06, 2012/07, 2012/08, 2013/08, 2016/02)


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Fullmetal, 2014/07/09 14:35

Whenever the nvidia card is enabled and the nvidia drivers are installed, the microphone mute and thinkvantage button stop working.

index69, 2014/05/12 04:33

Centos 6 Smart Card Reader work

Ryan Nowakowski, 2014/01/01 14:24

To fix the “low volume” problem, this worked for me:

Mike H, 2013/11/27 05:44

On ubuntu 13.10, I had a problem where the backlight wasn't working when I updated to the Nvidia drivers. I found my solution here:

Xthought, 2013/11/07 01:29

Has anyone successfully installed a dual boot of Fedora 19 and Windows7 on their Lenovo W530? I would like to know how to get my Fedora installation DVD(containing .iso file) to boot. I am trying to select the correct boot device but I keep failing and Windows continues to boot. Thanks

Jon, 2013/08/30 12:49

I am running Fedora 18 on a W530 with 2 500GB SSD disks and 32GB RAM. Typically it is docked with two external monitors (both DVI). I always run with discrete graphics w/ latest nvidia drivers.

Set up tripple-headed, but this is a sore point. Every time I dock and undock Gnome3/Xorg does a horrible job managing the displays. So I created a couple scripts to set them up and assigned key combinations to trigger them - Ctrl+Alt+Shift+L = Laptop config, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+D = Desktop.

A big problem has been plaguing me.. Every once in a while I can no longer interact with Xorg. The mouse moves, the apps are still running, but I can't click on anything or use the keyboard. When it happens I have to Ctrl+Alt+F2, log in text console, pause any VM's if I am running any, and reboot. This seemed to happen as soon as Gnome3 implemented the slide-a-grey-screen-up-to-wake-up-the-display-after-inactivity. This happens rarely, but it is bad enough I'm going to switch to Arch this weekend and away from Gnome.

Jon, 2014/01/02 14:56

After struggling with Fedora on this laptop I switched to Ubuntu. I have been so much happier. Everything just works now. Of course there were issues during setup with the graphics card and lcd dimming, but the tripple monitor setup works perfectly with docking/undocking and no more suspend/resume issues.

Johan Teekens, 2013/06/22 11:25

I'm running it on Linux Mint 14 no special instructions, just put the cd in. It goes super fast and I got everything going except the special keys. I have not tested the miniDP and the color sensor which I'm not planning to use anyway.

eero, 2013/06/05 09:43

some usb port power problems on my laptop, still unresolved.

nvidia works 13.04 with some minor tweaks:

Togald, 2013/06/03 11:05

Running Arch Linux, and I have the Display port as well as the docking port's DVI working, though it is tricky. The VGA is not working though, neither on the laptop nor the dock.

Kevin, 2013/05/04 17:27

Tried to install openSUSE 12.3, but was unable to get by the disk partitioning step. openSUSE installer insisted on deleting the installed Win7 partitions.

Any one with experience in dealing with it, please post (here or in the openSUSE wiki).


Grant, 2013/04/05 09:44

17ef:1003 Lenovo Integrated Smart Card Reader

The above smart card reader works fine just using the standard pcscd in Fedora 18 (only tested to the point of reading smartcards with pcsc_scan)

Anders, 2013/02/23 07:40

If you get the card falls off the bus error you might want to checkout this thread :

Mohnish, 2013/01/01 06:30

Is the mini disply port sending audio as well when using Nvidia GPU?

Romje, 2012/11/20 09:53

Hi all,
I am using LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) and almost everything works….
The only point is the sound card , despite all my efforts no sound comes out of the speakers ….I ve checked the mixer settings , aplay -l shows the expected cards but no sound….lsmod show the snd-hda-intel…


Jamin Collins, 2012/11/07 20:52

Discrete GPU works, may need to add nox2apic to your kernel in grub. Otherwise the system appeared to hang on boot with discrete graphics enabled.

Backlight works with discrete GPU, you need to enable it by adding this to your video device settings in xorg.conf:
Option “RegistryDwords” “EnableBrightnessControl=1”

AppeloND, 2012/11/07 19:20

That Fingerprint workaround where can I find it ?

Best regards

EorlBrother, 2012/10/30 18:17

Has anyone got the screen backlight adjust working under Archlinux?

Erowlin, 2012/10/24 13:23

NVidia Optimus work perfectly for me, i just used Blumblebee and default configuration found over Google =)

Jamin Collins, 2012/09/20 03:46

Haven't tried using forcing the discrete graphics on all the time on this W530, but I do have Optimus working just fine using bumblebee. I did have to switch to the xorg-edgers PPA for updated nvidia drivers.

opn, 2012/09/08 18:43

I can't get discrete mode to work. Maybe anyone else had / has the same problem. I described my everything in detail over at the gentoo forums ( as I'm using gentoo! Any suggestions welcome : )

Alex, 2012/07/08 12:00

Has anyone been able to get the miniDP working on any linux distro?

Fred, 2012/07/11 22:42

The mini display port is working, but you have to be using the Nvidia GPU. I'm using Xfce. I plug in the adapter, switch the external display on in menu>settings>settings manager>display and then use xrandr to set my second screen as a second desktop.

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lenovo_thinkpad_w530.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/14 14:32 by
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