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Thread: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

  1. #1
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    Default OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    I've been relatively displeased with 11.0 for some time on the thinkpad X30 laptop. Too many items just don't work correctly. Now that there is no pressing need for the laptop to be usable, I've updated from 11.0 -> 11.1 using zypper.

    Turns out that matters have gotten worse in many ways. Let's start with the worst. Support for intel i830 graphics is terrible. The keyboard becomes disabled after you type 'sax2 -r -m 0=intel' or any other combination of sax2 and xorg that includes intel. An external keyboard may have allowed me to not use the poweroff button, but I did not test that. The prior working xorg.conf works only when the 'vesa' driver is used. Perhaps the 2.6.30 kernel will provide some relief here, 2.6.29 does not. Not a major regression from 11.0 as I had to disable all desktop effects and disable DRI to use the 'intel' driver there. Just seriously annoying.

    KDE4.1, a wonderful desktop environment if you enjoy hard locks and random crashes. Fortunately, there is a KDE4.2 repo as there was for 11.0 and that is soon fixed.

    The thinkpad_acpi module, which once allowed control of the fan, no longer works for that. I haven't been able to find if there is a new manual control structure. The only setting is auto, which typically doesn't start the fan until somewhat higher than I would wish and cannot anticipate when I will be doing something cpu intensive. Unfortunately that means the temperature is 10C higher on average than it would be were the fan at it's lowest setting. Still, the auto setting works slightly better in 11.1 than 11.0.

    The network manager applet for KDE4 is unusable for encrypted wireless networks, though it may be usable for unencrypted ones. Unfortunately, it looks like the same bug is afflicting the kde3 network manager applet. That was not the case in 11.0. Perhaps I will test nm-applet from gnome or discover that the problem is with networkmanager itself.

    Certain keys still generate no events and suspend-to-ram fails on resume with the same black screen and frozen keyboard as faced me in 11.0 and was one of the major annoyances there.

    Now for the good. Just as in 11.0 there has been a lot of attention to appearance. Essentially everything looks great. Subjectively, many fonts seems crisper than 11.0.

    There seems to have been some speed improvements in terms of startup and shutdown times. In 11.0, kdm would not start until after all the init scripts had finished. Not so in 11.1. I flipped to the first tty after kdm started and noticed a significant number of services that were still finishing up. Looks like the graphical login manager is started in parallel with other init scripts.

    The yast network controller appears to have gotten enough improvements that I don't mind networkmanager not working properly. In fact, I may simply forget about networkmanager entirely. When using networkmanager in 11.0, there was always a delay while the interface got an ip. Now the interface gets the ip in parallel with kdm and is ready by the time kde4 starts.

    On a side note most yast modules seem faster. I wonder if the speed improvement is one reason that sax2 was unable to generate an appropriate xorg.conf.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    It's disappointing isn't it. You would think that Lenovo would have their act together. My Laptop is of meager specification by today's standards, but it was purchased with considerable forethought. I can't really offer any advice as a solution, though if it were me I would try some of the very latest distro's out there, just to see. Or, if as you say
    there is no pressing need for the laptop to be usable
    Why not use the laptop as a Sandbox for 11.2 see here: openSUSE-11.2 - CALL FOR TESTERS - openSUSE Forums
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    I'm fairly sure Lenovo is not at fault here. The X30 was produced by IBM before Lenovo bought the division. Nor do I think IBM is at fault. I do not blame Intel nor the developers of thinkpad_acpi.

    In fact, Intel deserves some praise here. They are working hard on writing a driver that is as good or better on Linux than on Windows. That is very difficult with the moving target that the kernel developers provide and made more difficult with the massive recent changes happening in Xorg.

    The thinkpad_acpi developers are trying to make things easier for others by finishing the move to sysfs from proc. I just don't know how to adjust the fan with the new interface.

    Now suspend/resume is a problem and one that affects every machine I have installed a newer kernel on. All can hibernate or suspend and none can resume. That affects openSUSE 11.0 & 11.1 along with Ubuntu Jaunty. Debian Lenny still suspends & resumes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    I have to agree with caf4926....
    My son and I both have an Acer On. He has a A150Bb, Atom 270, 1.6Mhz, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD, 8.9" screen and I have the D1501Bk, Atom 280, 1.66Mhz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 10.1" screen.

    Both came with XP pre-installed. After a first boot, I immediately put openSuSE 11.0 on the A150 and 11.1 on the D150. The only thing that did not work OOB was wifi icw 11.0 ! Apart from that everything works as it should, including desktop effects, BT mouse, etc. even Moonlight/Moonshine !

    As I hadn't used any M$ product since 2001, I had some 'getting used to' with XP. On the other it gave me a way to compare.
    One of the positive things is that the fonts in openSuSE look better ! RAM use is about 1/3rd and stand-by uses less juice.

    I find that people who have problems like you describe just happen to have hardware issues or are upgrading, while a clean install is always much better.
    Why not try that first: a clean install of openSuSE 11.1 with KDE 4.2.2 ?
    OpenSuSE Leap 42.3 / KDE 5.8 | Intel i7 3770 | 16GBRam | 120 + 80GB SSD's | Benq 27" | DVD | PhilipsToUcam 740 | HPpsc2355p | Logitech KB & mouse | 320 +160 + 80 + 80 GB USB HDD's | Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7360 | (V)DSL 12 MB/s | SuSE since 2001

  5. #5
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    I've managed to get the intel driver to work. Needs either "NoAccel" "true", or use UXA with Tiling off. Both require manually editing xorg.conf as Sax2 always crashes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    I made twice a clean install on my X30 ! I only got it working with the "X11 failsafe" parameter on the boot command line, and had to unmark the option "Use automatic configuration" during installation to avoid the endless loop when sax2 is testing the intel graphics.

    I'll try both the Noaccel true or use UXA with Tilling off
    Box: i7-2700K CPU@3.50GHz | 32GbRAM | 14Tb HDD | nVidia GTX 690 | openSuSE 12.2-64 | KDE 4.8.5
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    The problems with the intel driver seem to have been fixed with a recent update in Factory.

    Kernel 2.6.30-rc6-git3-2-default combined with xorg 7.4 using server 1.6.1 and matching Mesa seem to have fixed the issues. OpenGL works again.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 11.1 on thinkpad x30

    The only accellmethod option that has not crashed is NoAccel. All others have. I think the problem is related to opengl somehow. When using the software rasterizer as the renderer simple opengl programs that use glut fail. If using the other methods opengl starts and randomly hard locks the laptop.

    Still can't suspend and resume, though I have managed to get back to a working keyboard with a black screen by 'init 3' to remove the drm module from the loaded modules. When the drm module is present the laptop simply hard locks on resume.

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