Lenovo X200

does anyone have experience with Suse on the new lenovo X200?
I plan in buying one but I would like to see first how much effort will eventually be needed to get suse to run properly.

thanks a lot in advance,

Guess you will have looked here
HCL/Laptops/IBM - openSUSE

Compare hardware with those listed above to your proposed purchase.

It runs like a champ. I’m a bit inexperienced with OpenSuse, only about 2 months of experience under my belt, and I think that’s the biggest problem, not the hardware.

You’ll need to play with the kernel a bit to get the max out of the system, and to get wireless working, but it’s very straightforward. I haven’t bothered with the webcam yet, but there’s other folks who claim they’ve got it working without any problem.

Overall it’s fairly painless. Currently the ONLY thing frustrating me is that I’m trying to configure my X11 to use separate and unique screens in X11. (I hate how the Intel driver FORCES the external display to be primary), but I think that problem isn’t so much a problem with OpenSuse, or the hardware, but more with my lack of understanding about how to wrestle with X11.

Everything else is slick. It’s a good enough experience that I’m ready to make the leap from Windows -> Linux.

Hi riddil,

Thanks a lot for the info!
COuld you tell me the partnumber of your X200? Then, I can check out which hardware you have.

There is lots of the latest hardware in the X200 and I am curious to see which of it actually runs with linux.

Another question: How long does your battery last under normal use? What battery do you have?

BTW: I have used suse for many years on my laptops, and I think that it is probably the best choice at least on thinkpads.

Here’s my system: (edit, link removed) Yikes! I accidentally put in my model # for my X61. My X200 isn’t listed on the Lenovo site. (Long story). Anyhow, here’s a quick summary:
Intel P8600 2.4GHz dual-core, 2GB ram, X4500 HD graphics, 160GB hdd (not SSD), Intel 5300, BT, webcam, FPR.

I’ve got the Intel 5300 for wifi, and it works fantastically, even on 802.11n. (Although I do miss Access Connections. There’s no Linux connection manager anywhere close to AC). I’ve already pulled the latest intel xorg drivers from the xorg repository, and the graphics work terrific, but as I mentioned before, I need to get past my own personal learning curve to figure out how to hack together an xorg.conf to create two independent screens for the LVDS and VGA. (But if you prefer for the external display to be primary, it’s a breeze to get the virtual space set up and manage it with xrandr).

To be honest I don’t care about bluetooth, modem, or the webcam, so I haven’t touched that hardware yet. Audio is fine, and the overall system performance is grand, with the kernel recompiled to support the dual-core.

I haven’t really exercised the battery much yet. I probably won’t get a decent test until I switch to this rig completely, which I won’t do until I have it completely set and reliable to be my work computer. I’m still happy with my X61 while I tinker with the X200. That said, the built in battery tool in Gnome reports ~3 hours battery life on a full charge, but I think it’s actually much longer. This afternoon I was running on battery for about 1.5 hours, browsing the web while downloading several beefy updates through Yast, and the system was still reporting over 2.3 hours of battery life remaining.

I’m hopeful that opensuse will be a good laptop OS. The biggest concern I have in that regards is I still need to get around to getting the accelerometer set up to protect the HDD. Also, it seems there’s no native support to configure a HDD spin-down timer. I understand why you wouldn’t want spin-down on a server, or even a desktop, but on a laptop (which is designed to allow for over 50K spin up/down cycles) having a spin-down timer can greatly extend the life of the HDD.

I’ll keep on tinkering!

I do recommend the X200. Especially if you’re already experienced with suse, I don’t think you’ll have any problems at all.

HI riddil,

thanks a lot for the info!! :slight_smile:

HI again: concerning battery time, 3 h sounds indeed a bit low…

concerning spin down of the hard drive: according to Stefan Seyfried (he is working with the power management @suse.de), a spindown does not give much powersaving.
But I am not so sure about it, so I installed "laptop-mode-tools"and “powertop”.
In the directory /etc/laptop-mode, you can find a number of config files. The config files do not touch by default the original power settings, except for the HD spin-down.
I am not sure if one should mess with the config files because then there would be two powermanagement packages working at the same time, and I am not sure what the effect might be :slight_smile:

Concerning the accelerometer: I gave up on that one: The accelerometer seems to work fine, but I have not been able to get any decent program that can control and spin-down the HD. According to Stefan Seyfried, the commitment of Lenovo for optimizing Suse for lenovo laptops was limited.

Have you seen the following?
LessWatts.org - Saving Power on Intel systems with Linux
Pm-utils - openSUSE

good run, i like lenovo x200

riddil, out of curiousity, what kernel do you have running. I’ve read one needs the 2.6.27 kernel (which means openSUSE-11.1 beta) to get this running. Did you manage this with a 2.6.26 kernel ?

Yes I have. I have been running open suse on x200 for about 3 months. So far is good, I had to update kernel to 2.6.27 to make my wireless run and that is it. The only one think that does not work or I have problems with is fingerprint reader and sleep feature. Everything else works perfect… The whole system is very fast… I would say 4x faster than windows vista.

Thanks. My new laptop arrived today (a Dell Studio 15, with an Intel WiFi Link 5300) and after my wife played with Vista (which crashed 30 seconds after the 3rd reboot after setup) I got to boot the new laptop to KDE-4.1.2 onopenSUSE-11.1 beta 5 live CD (with 2.6.27 kernel). While I did not configure the wireless Intel WiFi Link 5300, I kept getting (annoying) popups about all the networks that the Intel wireless had found. So I think it works ! :slight_smile: … (which is more than my wife can say for her Visa experience with the wireless) I don’t think I will install KDE-4.1.2 as my main desktop thou. I’m still not ready for its culture shock on my spoiled KDE-3.5 psychic. :slight_smile:

I may install openSUSE on this laptop later this week (I have some technical things to sort/prepare first).

Wow. Heavenly.
I wonder which comes first, the Laptop or the Wife?

You’ll be dreaming about it all soon. Sounds great. I hear you on the Vista thing. It was my first experience with it on this Lenovo, and Oh Boy does it Suck. I can’t for the life of me understand how M$ managed to put out something SO Bad. I deleted it installed XP and then decided to put Vista back simply because I realized I really need to have at least one system of Vista that I can boot, I at least need to know some basics.

When someone using Vista phones me up and Say’s: ‘Help. How do I do this?’ - I need to have some idea or must be able to boot it up and see.

Anyway, enjoy the new Laptop. It will be good to know what does and doesn’t work when the dust has settled.