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83% (146)
12% (21)
2% (3)
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2% (3)

Lenovo ThinkPad X201


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad X201. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad X201
Processor2.66 GHz Intel® CoreTM i7-620M
2.53 GHz Intel® CoreTM i5-540M
2.40 GHz Intel® CoreTM i5-520M
Screen12.1“ WXGA Widescreen
RAMUp to 8GB
HDD250GB to 320GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator HD
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
ThinkPad Wireless BGN
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000 BGN
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6200 AGN
Intel® Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 AGN

Linux Compatibility

WirelessWorksrequires non-free firmware (or replaced wireless adapter and modified bios)
ModemNot Tested
Card ReaderWorks
ExpressCard SlotWorks
Fingerprint ReaderWorks

Problems and Solutions

Debian Lenny (date at which point last updated provided with

  • Problem (at 2010.12.25): Crash if you switch to fullscreen flashplayer. Not fullscreen seems to work fine.
  • Solution: [please add]
  • Problem (at 2010.12.25): root terminal sometimes persistantly disappears after having provided password
  • Solution: [please add]


You can enter any specific notes with running Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 here.


You can enter a summary of how well the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 works with Linux here.


Chris Rodliffe, 2019/09/27 10:19

X201 works fine with Debian 9.4.0. Installed using 'netinst' off a USB stick. (Only way to do it since it doesn't have a DVD drive).

Michael Lowe, 2017/04/15 12:23

Hi all, after having bought this sweet laptop about a year ago (2.53 GHz Intel® CoreTM i5-540M variant) with upgraded 16GB RAM (it apparently can support up to 32gB but Ive never tried as bought a brand new laptop Spectre x360 15“ for work and will be dabbling with x201 now for personal use or pass on to kids?!) currently have win 10 pro x64 installed and everything was running brilliantly for about a year but with latest few win updates and security releases etc it seems to either be clogging the system or I'm infected which I highly doubt as I have Avast Internet Security running and ASC Pro 10.3 bundled together with most of the pro versions of all of the other Iobit products which pretty much keep things running very nicely for windoze that is?! Sadly I think Windows is becoming a lot like Apple now and although originally Windows 10 was purported to support older hardware I think this is slowly being pushed aside much like iOs and Osx and if you dont have the latest machine you will be left behind to choke on the dust of your counterparts speeding ahead on their new fandangled hardware! whatever the case it seems to consistently be running slowly so I think it is probably about time to consign this beauty of a machine to linux which generally seems to be more lenient and so much more efficient at running on older hardware?!!?

Amazon Virus???? pray tell what an earth is this? i am intrigued as first Ive heard of it???

Can someone shed some light on dual booting linux mint 17.1 or whichever flavour of it is compatible for dual booting with windows 10 pro x64? I might add that the machine intended for the delivery of said distro is used as more of a desktop as it is permanently jacked into its ultrabase and I leave the battery out and the base is connected to exterior monitor via VGA. Also support for external keyboard and mouse via dongle, Havent had driver issues with mint 17.1 Mate in the past on my ancient Toshiba X300M but that was used standalone with no docking station so just wanting to know a bit more about whether mint is still the best linux flavour to put on my x201 or is there something else that is more efficcient and faster and more suited to the hardware and dual booting?

Thanks in advance


Michael, 2016/10/29 19:56

Just installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from a bootable USB ISO and EVERYTHING works out of the box. Sweeeet!

Shame about the limited maximum 1280×800 screen resolution…

mikall, 2016/11/23 21:08

Hi Michael,
I have altered the BIOS settings to USB-FDD, USB-CDRom, then OnBoard HD. Yet whenever I try to start my X201 with either a USB stick, or external CD-Rom, the computer just boots from the HD into windows! Any advice would be great please. Thanks

Einar, 2015/10/03 21:24

Just installed Ubuntu 14.04.3 on an 2, 53 GHz X201 today. Everything works out of the box with no additional drivers. Thanks to Intel for their open source drivers! :-)

The keyboard is stellar, the battery life excellent with the 9 cell battery, the machine is faster than my other laptops, the trackpad works great, the trackpoint works well (although I am not yet used to it) and the machine just feels really high-end. Especially after wiping away the clumsily designed, UI-challenged OS it came with.

I have a 2007 MacBook with the same screen resolution running Ubuntu 14.04.3 as well, but I love the smaller form factor, faster processor, much longer battery life, better keyboard, better lapability and better trackpad on the Thinkpad. And the no-hassle experience with not dealing with Apple's EFI was a nice bonus when installing Ubuntu.

James, 2015/09/17 06:59

Installed Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon from a live distro on a bootable usb stick to a refurbed Thinkpad X201 i5 2.4Ghz. A couple of long pauses during the initial stages with no progress indicators but otherwise an uneventful process.
Initially dual boot with Win7 but then reformatted the Win partitions as ext4 for data storage. Everything seems to work just fine, including graphic display and WiFi. Copied *.default files for Firefox and Thunderbird from old box and was back in business. Dumped the included Libreoffice 4 and loaded the DEB packaged Libreoffice 5 using the bundled command line instructions. The included 6 cell battery gives about four hours. All perfect.

enderbyfx, 2015/09/12 12:35

Using mint 17.1 KDE. has worked well since version 15 with the exception of waking from sleep. X201 i7, 8G, 500G Samsung SSD. Docked to X200 with 1TB HDD, using Displayport. Dual boot with seldom used Win10. Paging off for the SSD.
Sleep is less of an issue with 17.1, but the Displayport still takes a long time (>30 sec)to wake after sleep. Sometimes while waking, the laptop lid must be opened and closed to recycle the display before it will display correctly.
Latest Mint 17.1 was built:
1.) boot (USB) with the great “System rescue disk,” then partitioned and formatted an ext4 (100GB) for Linux, NTFS (100GB) for Win10. Created the remainder 300GB as two data drives (300GB total). Sidenote – this usb can be used to easily change admin passwords in Win. It even worked for my Win10 pro although this was not documented.
2.) Installed Win in its partition. This can be a restore or install, and the Win10 upgrade can be done here if needed. The point is to finish the stupid Win installation first because it does not really understand dual boot. I needed an external DVD for this lovely activity as I could not seem to create a good Win10 USB.
3.) copied a Linux backup to its partition. This was a DD (command) created copy and restore, but could just as easily been a new install from a Linux USB.
4.) booted (USB) with the great “boot-repair-disk,” and made both OSs bootable.
This is the third time I've used this method on the X201 to replace a SSD for more space. The worst and longest part of this process is installing (or restoring) Windows, and for me Win may not really be needed anymore. Had to use experimental driver for my Cisco AE6000 wireless dongle which seems to work, although it is not a Linux certified device. Do not buy one.

Bribri, 2015/06/06 15:59

Opensuse tumbleweed, Solydk, LMDE, Ubuntu,

Works like a dream.

muslim, 2014/08/16 19:53

such an amazing laptop to buy ! i bought this one month ago and till now i dont have any even comment on it <3

muslim, 2014/08/05 14:40

ubutnu 14.04 and everything works pretty fine you dont need anything else just this single laptop ! i LOV3 IT !

khrogos, 2013/06/02 13:40

just installed archlinux, works perfectly on it !

ghostrider, 2013/02/12 15:22

I use Kubuntu 12.10 (was using 12.04 before) and it works like a dream.
Couldn't be any happier.

Albert, 2011/05/17 06:23

Ubuntu 11.04 worked fine on first installation on a x201 3680-HPG.
Everyting seems to work perfectly except for the fingerprint reader.
No problems with WiFi, HDSPA WLAN, audio, video or even bluetooth.

Greg Wilkins, 2011/04/26 12:18

I did get 10.04 to run on this little beast… but it was a hard task to get the video to work at full resolution. Now trying 10.10 and 11.04b2 and both are worse. Install works OK, but the system never boots :(

cisco, 2010/12/04 00:29

Installed Ubuntu 10.10 (x64) on my x201 perfectly. No extra parameters needed for booting, just put the cd in my usb drive and installed it. The installer even resized my existing Windows 7 partition to make more room for Linux without messing anything up. Can't really think of anything that doesn't work except maybe the fingerprint reader, but then I haven't looked for any apps either. The built-in video camera works, I tested it out with Google/gmail video chat and it worked great. Only thing extra I had to do for the video chat was install flash, but that's just a simple download from Adobe's website.

anthony, 2011/01/26 01:02

Hi there,

I am thinking in purchasing a lenovo thinkpad x201 but I do not how which Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters I may choose.
When you installed Ubuntu 10.10, what type of wireless adapters did you have? Does it work well?


Sofia, 2011/02/06 17:06

Go for the Intel ones and NOT the Thinkpad wireless card, I'm told. The Intel Centrino Wireless-N worked perfectly for me. Even loaded up while I was using the Ubuntu installer.

ItWorked, 2010/11/08 19:30

After fighting for 1 day with the installation, I managed to install openSUSE 11.3 KDE4 from Windows 7 using a USB install. The steps are super-easy…. once you find out what they were.

The steps that worked:

1.- Downloaded the SUSE Studio ImageWriter for Microsoft Windows (
2.- Downloaded the openSUSE-11.3-KDE4-LiveCD-x86_64.iso image onto my Windows 7 hard disk.
3.- I had to reformat with the Windows 7 my 4GB USB key to be able to perform the next step. I chose FAT32 format. It would not work when formatting out of the DOS command terminal.
4.- Started the ImageWriter, pressed “Select” on the menu that appeared. Selected the downloaded image by putting a *.iso (return) in the box for file types. Pressed on the “Copy” button.
5.- Restarted my Lenovo X201 tablet out of the W7 menu options.
6.- Pressed F12 before the Windows fireballs show up in the booting procedure.
7.- Selected “Boot from USB”
8.- The openSUSE installer menu appeared and I typed into options: boot=/dev/sdb/boot/x86_64/vmlinuz-xen

Then the YAST installation window appeared and I was able to install openSUSE. Cooool !!!

For those interested in what did not work for me: (why it took me one day)

1.- Following the steps in:
2.- Trying the NET installation. My USB would not boot:

a) After having downloaded dd.exe as explained in, my X201 would only boot into W7.
b) After having downloaded syslinux.exe to make the USB bootable, and booting out of the USB (by pressing F12) I would get a boot prompt but could not figure out how to boot into the openSUSE installer.

3.- Following steps 1-7 of those that worked above, without the Boot options, I tried noapci, acpi=off, …. I got an error saying that MBR (Master Boot Records) were not found. No matter how many combinations I used of the openSUSE installer window (install, boot from HD, safe install, no ACPI,…)

My major complaint: I could not find information anywhere of what are the boot options for the openSUSE installer window, nor anyone who had gone through the same. I used Linux on PCs and Mac PPCs before OS/X was even a rumor. After that I moved to Macs for its easy integration between computer and SW until they started getting monopolistic and worse machines than the PCs of the same price. The problems with installing Linux on a W7 are a major disadvantage of Linux. Pretty much like 10 years ago.

I hope this helps. I was getting really frustrated. Enjoy!

GMZ, 2010/09/17 19:48

Works on Fedora 13 Gnome x64. Most things work out of the box except for HDAPS since the tp_smapi kernel module is not shipped in the repos.

hkironmike, 2010/05/20 11:22

Parted Magic boots from USB with the VESA graphics option to create root, swap and home partitions.

Installed Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit version using the Alternate Install ISO on a bootable USB drive. Had to use the “xforcevesa i915.modeset=0” option as recommended here: No 3D / Compiz operation for now, but Suspend, WLAN, etc working - OK until Intel Linux drivers catch up.

arrow, 2010/04/30 05:45

does ubuntu support x201?

GR, 2017/01/18 08:30

yes it does, purrs like a kitten. Not happy about the Amazon virus so am moving to another distro.

Greg Norcie, 2010/04/27 22:43

Hey whoever updated this, care to share what distro you used? Thanks a ton!

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lenovo_thinkpad_x201.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/02 18:26 by
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