Thinkpad T430/T440 with OpenSUSE

Hi all, After exclusively using OpenSUSE at work for past 8 months, im really considering dropping my personal Macbook pro and getting myself a Thinkpad. Probably the T430 line. Although I can see the new T440 coming out in the coming month so it would probably be that model (Understand nobody will have used the T440). Wondering if anyone has any first hand experience with the Thinkpad line and how they work with OpenSUSE. They are quite expensive so I am really hoping for the high “Thinkpad” build quality, as currently my Macbook Pro is a very good machine and has been very reliable to me. The other alternative i looked at was the system76 line of laptops which appear to ship with Ubuntu on them? But have noted some concerns on build quality from a few reviews. Just wondering if anybody has used either of these, and any opinions about either? Regards William

Welcome to the openSUSE Forums. The ThinkPads are generally well-built, solid units with good hardware inside. I still have an old Z60m model which served me well and was very compatible with openSUSE. (I don’t use it much now, but it runs with openSUSE 12.1 currently.) Google is your friend here.

Anyway, you might find these accounts meaningful

openSUSE 12.3 / Lenovo T430 | Ourobengr

Lenovo ThinkPad T430 [Linux Laptop Wiki]

A good resource for ThinkPad owners

ThinkWiki

Yes, had googled about and seemed to be pretty positive. It was more just curious to see if anyone used one of these on the forums :slight_smile:

Pretty much made my mind up on Thinkpad T440, but ill have a look about the wiki you linked me

Cheers
William

My wife has a Lenovo X220, where i believe Lenovo also produce the Think Pad line of portable computers. I blogged about my wife’s Lenovo here: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/oldcpu/opensuse-12-1-lenovo-x220-laptop-84/

In general, most PC literate people I know have good things to say about Thinkpads. They are nominally solid and dependable, albeit not as ‘sexy’ in design as some other PC brands.

I have a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 notebook equipped with an Intel HD4000 GPU.
Everything works perfectly right out of the box.
Very Linux friendly. :slight_smile:

I have an X200s running opensuse 12.3, and an X200T that I tested on opensuse 12.3 before making it my only physical Windows 7 machine. I was surprised (but maybe on reflection not so surprised) that on a vanilla installation opensuse 12.3 had better hardware support than Windows 7 (resume from sleep not working on Windows 7, fewer of the function keys and other keys working on Windows 7, real pain to get Windows 7 install to begin installation off USB pen). You will want to use the tp_smapi package for even better hardware support. So I’d vote yes for ThinkPads and opensuse, though whether a T430 is worth the price versus a T420 or T410 second hand (various options on eBay etc., including those still within IBM global 3 year warranty) is up to you. You could probably get three T410 machines for the price of a new T430.

Just wanted to say for future reference that OpenSUSE runs great on my Thinkpad T430.

I’ve just got around to installing openSUSE 13.1 on my old ThinkPad Z60m (with ATI MOBILITY RADEON X300 graphics). Runs KDE perfectly, even though it has only 1GB of system RAM. It needs a new battery, but I note there are many third-party suppliers of replacement batteries at cheap prices, so I may get around to replacing that later this year.

Recently my Thinkpad X220’s mother board fried on me, four months after the warranty expired. Upon googleing, it seems to be a common problem with that particular model. Good luck oldcpu, i hope your wife’s one, is one of the good ones. I enjoyed reading your blog entry too. Cheers.
Overall Gnu/Linux ran perfectly on my Thinkpad X220 from after kernel 2.6.36.
I decided to get a new laptop rather than a new mother board. I got the Thinkpad T430 only three weeks ago. I opted for the 430 rather than the 440 for the price cut. It is working very nice, just as well as my X220 did. The wireless is a little flaky, but since i don’t use wireless a lot i haven’t looked into that yet. Opensuse runs exquisite on it. It detects the TrackPoint, unlike other distros and configures X11 to use it automatically.

I should mention that there have been freeze issues with intel graphics, but these issues were cleared up on kernel 3.5< If you’re running Opensuse, you won’t have these issues on 11.4, 12.3, and 13.1. Don’t run 12.2, it will have the issue; it’s also almost past it’s life cycle anyway.

Here’s a website i’ve used on several occasions to help me with Thinkpads. ThinkWiki

Sorry to read about your Thinkpad’s X220 motherboard failure.

My wife’s X220 is still working great. She uses this more than her desktop PC, as she typically sits in the living room with her X220, surfing while she watches TV, … or relaxing on the couch with both the X220 used for surfing, and she uses her Samsung Note-8 tablet for Lime/chatting with friends, or when in the kitchen she has her X220 providing background music, or back ground videos. The X220 (and her Tablet) are her constant companions in our appartment.

Best wishes with your Thinkpad T430.

I have been running openSuse on my T400 for many years now with various versions of openSuse. I didn’t bother with trying to get the ATI card working, I just used the Intel card instead. Never had any issues, solid and dependable.

My 0.02 cents:

Have been using T430s with openSUSE 12.3/13.1 (before T420) and everything works out of box, and on latest 13.1 with 3.11 kernel battery performance has been very good, idling at about 7W, without the installation of laptop-mode or TLP. Just make sure you install Powertop from Yast repo. I did though still installed TLP for few extra juice and automation. Everything, except the fingerprint scanner for which you will need the latest fingerprint-gui app, though there are additional problems in the KDE environment, much better integrated/works on Gnome.

As per T440s, I was thinking of upgrading, but then decided to wait, as the current stable kernel shipped with openSUSE 13.1 is surely not Haswell 100% optimised and other newer tech used (not even planning on switching to other distro, or Stable kernel repo which at times does brake few things for notebook/laptop users). Same goes for the new fingerprint scanner by Validity. And then again, it is not a big jump from T430s, though the T440s battery combo is killer feature … will wait for T450s with openSUSE 13.3 or later featuring a kernel having all tweaks/drivers for the 5th-gen Broadwell intel CPU/chipset and hopefully the developers will come out with Validy scanner support by then under KDE environment.

I have a Thinkpad X220 laptop that I have been using for about 3 years with openSUSE, and it works great.

There have been only 2 problems:

  • I have not been able to access the WiMAX with KNetworkManager (still not solved), and
  • The fingerprint reader required manual configuration in openSUSE 13.1 due to the YaST Fingerprint module being dropped from the distribution.

What’s a WiMAX?
If that’s the wireless adapter, you should post the exact model to get help (“lspci -nnk”)
But I think a new thread in the Wireless forum would be even better… :wink:

  • The fingerprint reader required manual configuration in openSUSE 13.1 due to the YaST Fingerprint module being dropped from the distribution.

I have built the 12.3 fingerprint module for 13.1, but I have no idea whether it works (I don’t have a fingerprint reader).
You can find it here, if you want to try it:
http://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=home%3Awolfi323%3Abranches%3AopenSUSE%3A13.1%3AUpdate&package=yast2-fingerprint-reader

WiMAX is mobile broadband.

I’m not particularly concerned about getting WiMAX working on my Lenovo X220 now, as I am not currently paying for that service.

I used the YaST Fingerprint module in openSUSE 12.3 with my Lenovo X220, and it worked perfectly.

Ok.

I used the YaST Fingerprint module in openSUSE 12.3 with my Lenovo X220, and it worked perfectly.

Well, I would be interested to know whether it still works in 13.1.

If not, I could just delete this package again, and should not suggest people to try it… :wink:

Could anyone confirm if T410S is OpenSUSE friendly please?

Back to T430/T440.

There can be graphics issues. See this and references therein.

Best wishes,
Natalia