I installed openSUSE-12.1 on my wife’s Lenovo X220 laptop. Overall, the installation went well.
I had previously blogged about the selection of this laptop to attempt to ensure GNU/Linux compatibility.
The same blog entry described my wife’s procurement of this laptop (with her a Thai native speaker and me a native English speaker, both of us being Expatriates living in Germany), and I blogged about the tests I had conducted with the openSUSE-12.1 release candidate liveCD.
In addition, others had posted about their experiences with this Lenovo X220, so I was anticipating it should work reasonably well. In particular this thread: [size=2]Lenovo X220 on openSUSE-11.4
My wife decided to go for the X220 with the “premium IPS display” which we both believe was a ‘smart move’ as the visual quality of this display’s output is very very good.
The only areas of possible concern based on some (but not all) users who had problems were:
- Intel sandybridge graphic hardware has caused users problems with GNU/Linux on other manufacturer’s laptops, and
- [Internal mic caused an openSUSE user some hiccups](http://forums.opensuse.org/forums/english/get-technical-help-here/la ptop/469598-opensuse-12-1-amd64-x220-sound-after-suspend-white-noise-over-mi crophone.html), and
- Intel wireless caused on openSUSE user to express major disappointment because they could not get it to work well.
… although for all that functionality noted above, I managed to get it to work well with a liveCD RC version of openSUSE-12.1, and also in all cases of the above, I had read posts of users who noted it worked well. So I was left with a suspicion that those who had problems did not configure the settings properly.
The Lenovo X220 does not have an integrated CD/DVD reader/writer, so in all cases I used a Samsung External USB CD/DVD reader/writer to both test from the liveCDs, and also to install openSUSE-12.1.
Hard drive Preparation:
This Lenovo X220 came with an English language version of Windows7 Premium installed, with its 250 GB Toshiba hard driver carved up originally into 3 partitions: a small Windows7 boot partition (~ 1.17 GB), a somewhat larger Lenovo recovery partition for Windows7 (~11.72 GB), and finally the remaining very large Windows7 main partition taking up the remainder of the hard drive.
Now a couple of months back, in preparation for placing GNU/Linux on this laptop, my wife defragged the Windows7 hard drive and then using a Windows7 tool (I don’t know which) she reduced the main Windows7 partition in size, creating 50 GBytes of unallocated hard drive space. Then she booted to either a gparted or a Parted-Magic live CD, and she turned that 50 GBytes into an extended partition, and formatted it as one 50 GByte EXT3 partition. The idea being GNU/Linux would eventually go in that 50 GBytes.
**Backup Preparation **
Before installing GNU/Linux my wife assured me she had her data all backed up. I then booted to an openSUSE-12.1 liveCD and I backed up the Master Boot Record of her Lenovo X220’s hard drive from a terminal with root permissions with something like the command:
dd if=/dev/sda of=lenovo-x220-windows7-mbr-440 bs=440 count=1
and I copied that to a USB memory stick. Of course the idea here is I could then always restore her MBR if for some reason the openSUSE-12.1 boot manager had a problem with its MBR install.
I then removed the memory stick, rebooted and removed the openSUSE-12.1 liveCD and replaced it with a 64-bit openSUSE-12.1 DVD, and booted to that DVD. My wife chose the KDE desktop. Install was fairly straight forward.
The openSUSE installer identified the empty 50 GByte extended partition (that my wife and previously made available), and used that /dev/sda4 extended partition, carving it up in a ~2 GByte swap (/dev/sda5), a ~19 GByte / (/dev/sda6) and a 28 GB /home (/dev/sda7) partition.
**Boot Loader Configuration **
When reviewing the boot loader settings BEFORE the installation to the hard drive, I noted “Grub” selected as ‘Boot Loader’ and only ‘Boot from Extended Partition selected’. Note neither ‘Boot from Master Boot Record’, NOR ‘Boot from Root Partition’, NOR ‘Boot from Boot Partition’, NOR ‘Custom Boot Partition’ were selected. This made sense as GNU/Linux was ONLY on this drive’s extended partition.
I then went to the Boot Loader Options and in the Boot Menu I noted “Set Active Flag in Partition Table for Boot Partition” was selected. I wanted that, as that would result in the ‘Extended’ partition being marked as active, and would point the PC to go to the Extended partition to boot. But I also noted the ‘Write generic Boot code to MBR’ was selected and I did NOT want that, so I deselected that. I decided if I could get that to work, I did not want the Windows7 boot code in the MBR replaced by generic boot code. This approach has worked for me in the past.
I then selected OK for the settings, and started the installation.
**Time-out during installation **
The installation went smooth, until the 1st reboot, when the PC appeared to hang with a black screen and a lot of text after these lines:
mount -o rw,acl,user_xattr -t ext4 /dev/disk/by-id/ata-HITACHI_HT3543225A384_E00G4243ELASSF-part6 /root systemd-fsck: /dev/sda7: clean, 11/1835008 files, 15185/7330048 blocks
There was no disk activity. The black full screen with text appeared frozen. But rather than rush to judgment, I went for a coffee, and came back and pondered this. As I was taking my first coffee sip, a time-out text appeared below the above line, and then the install continued !
**Hiccup in Network configuration **
The install then proceeded fairly painless until the network settings. The openSUSE installer identified both the wired and the wireless. The wireless was not (yet) configured and I left the default settings in place, so that that wired ethernet (which was plugged in) would function. However when ‘Saving Network Configuration’ the YaST2 dialog box "Error - No Network Running’ appeared where pressing ‘OK’ was the only option. After that, none of the Installation network functionality worked.
After which the install completed, and I noted at that point, with a completed installation, that I had Internet via the wired connection. I thus launched YaST > Software > Software Management and installed all the waiting updates for 12.1.
**Successful reboot **
Then I rebooted, as I was curious if the reboot would work given I had changed the default ‘boot settings’. Reboot worked fine, with openSUSE-12.1 nominal and failsafe boot settings in grub, along with 3 MS-Windows boot selection options (which I later edited/reduced down to two MS-Window boot options).
… continued …