Ubuntu 10.10 on the Lenovo Thinkpad T410s

I recently got a new notebook for work. After virtually no deliberation, I knew I’d get a Thinkpad. I’ve always had Thinkpads and mostly loved them. While not cheap, they’re built like tanks, very well thought out, and often run Linux very well.

I’ve owned a 380D, 600E, T23, T43p, and a T61. I really wanted the X301, since a few coworkers have it and swear by it. But Lenovo stopped making it and I toyed with the idea of buying one from a retailer which still had some in stock. The “Edge” series was interesting but the 13″ model had one fatal flaw: the glossy screen. I can’t fathom why people want those, but to each his own. I’m a matte screen kind of guy.

After finding the T410s (the little brother of the T410) I was intrigued. I read a lot about compatibility with Linux and was thrilled to see that Ubuntu 10.10 should “just work” out of the box.

It did.

I wiped the drive (a 128GB SSD–I’m never getting a “normal” hard disk in a notebook again) and installed the 64bit Ubuntu 10.10 desktop. It all works: sound, wifi, video, webcam, trackpad, bluetooth, you name it!

So far I’m loving this little machine (and the nice touches in Ubuntu 10.10 as well). It’s just the right size, weight, and performs amazingly well.

About Jeremy Zawodny

I'm a software engineer and pilot. I work at craigslist by day, hacking on various bits of back-end software and data systems. As a pilot, I fly a Flight Design CTSW and high performance gliders in the northern California and Nevada area. I'm also the original author of "High Performance MySQL" published by O'Reilly Media. I still speak at conferences and user groups on occasion.
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25 Responses to Ubuntu 10.10 on the Lenovo Thinkpad T410s

  1. Chris S. says:

    I’m a first time Thinkpad owner of a T400s and I’ve been very happy with the build quality and Linux compatibility. I’m still running Kubuntu 10.04 and for the most part it has run great. The dock/undock events aren’t handled by stock *buntu, but those are a bit of an edge case. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned the SSD drive because the real bother for me is having spent the extra bucks on the fancy 128GB SSD only to find out that my system likes to become unresponsive should I be doing lots of reads/writes. I haven’t really looked into the issue in some time, so perhaps it has been remedied in 10.10.

  2. Soren says:

    I just got my T410s today and is currently downloading Xubuntu, so great timing with your post :-)

    I also have a dock, so I am curious how it will work re. the previous comment.

  3. kristina says:

    > It all works: sound, wifi, video, webcam, trackpad, bluetooth, you name it!

    Does hibernate/sleep work? I don’t think I’ve ever had a Linux box that handled that correctly (including the X40 ThinkPad, but that was years ago). I’d get a Thinkpad ASAP if it does.

    • I’ll give a try tonight when I have no data to lose an see what happens. :-)

      Jeremy

    • A says:

      I have a T510 running Ubuntu 10.04 and suspend/resume works for me.
      In fact, the Lenovo hot keys (e.g. Fn-F4 -> suspend) also work!

      Well, suspend/resume didn’t work out of the box, but after doing some searches on web, I got it working.

      There are still a few wrinkles to iron out. e.g. when I reboot, the screen is dim. I tried to adjust the brightness but it didn’t help. Guess what, just log-in, suspend and then resume. That’s it. The brightness is fixed till the next reboot. :) and suspend/resume works for days …

      • Katherine Fletcher says:

        I have the 410S with 10.04 and suspend/hibernate don’t work. Do you remember how you got it fixed? Everything else is working great.

  4. Denis says:

    Hello!

    Had T400s an now thinking about upgrading it to T410s with SSD drive. Have you done any research about whether it’s safe to use this kind of disk with EXT4 file system? Won’t it ‘kill’ the disk in a half a year?

  5. Chris S. says:

    @Dennis

    Boy I sure hope not, I’ve been running two ext4 partitions (/ and /home) off my 128GB SSD since March. The only time I see an issue in performance is when I’m hammering the drive (e.g. deleting snapshots from a virtual machine). Is the T410s really worth an upgrade?

  6. jbmorse says:

    I just got my new $550 Windows 7 Toshiba laptop with the LED Glossy Screen, and the screen’s usability is fine 95% of the time. When the light is just wrong I need to tilt the screen a bit. It seems like many of the LED screens are glossy (and very pretty most of the time). The LED should be giving me a bit better power efficiency for a given level of brightness. I tried to avoid this as well after playing with a Dell with a glossy screen but am fine with it now. Perhaps it will be more 2-year old resistant as well.

  7. Pingback: Ubuntu 10.10 on the Lenovo Thinkpad T410s | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu

  8. How’s the battery life?

  9. Kevan Emmott says:

    Nice – I just put 10.10 on our corporate standard (and quite mediocre) Dell Latitude E6410. Pretty much everything working out of the box here too, once you enable the new style third party driver stuff in Synaptic.

  10. lml says:

    Is it true that the fan runs constantly on a T410s with ubuntu? Could you comment on the battery time? I’m just about to buy that machine, but I’m looking for a notebook that really works with linux. Thanks!

  11. takaya says:

    Hi,
    I’m running debian sid on thinkpad t410s.
    Almost all function good work.
    But, VGA output is not working.
    The output screen is blurred.
    Can your t410s work VGA output?

    My thinkpad’s vga is intel. Not Nvidia.

  12. Pingback: Linux on Laptops: FAIL | Jeremy Zawodny's blog

  13. Max Garmash says:

    I’m running Ubuntu 10.10 on my t410s and have same problem with intel VGA output.

  14. Max Garmash says:

    Will try to boot in other distro or in windows and see is it a hardware problem.

  15. feng shen says:

    I’ am running ubuntu 10.10 64bit, with Intel VGA, blurred too.
    when I switch from intel to Nvida from bios, boot into ubuntu, the screen is very dard, and fn+home fail to make it lighter. Any solution?

    Btw, when switch to Nvida from bios, and boot into the live ubuntu, VGA works fine.

  16. Oded Blayer says:

    How about the touch screen? any luck getting it to work?
    And the fingerprint reader?

    Oded

  17. LML says:

    Hi.
    For me video output with intel works fine (also on docking station).
    Fingerprinter works nice and is easy to setup with fingerprint-gui. Just follow the instructions here:

    <a href="https://launchpad.net/~fingerprint/+archive/fingerprint-gui&quot;

    For me this only works with ubuntu 10.10, not with 11.04 so far.

    • Oded Blayer says:

      I am talking about the touch screen, it does not work for me.
      It doesn’t work although it does recognize the screen as a pointing device

      $ xinput list
      ⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)]
      ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)]
      ⎜ ↳ N-Trig Touchscreen id=11 [slave pointer (2)]
      ⎜ ↳ N-Trig Touchscreen id=15 [slave pointer (2)]
      ⎜ ↳ TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint id=16 [slave pointer (2)]
      ⎜ ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad id=13 [slave pointer (2)]
      ⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)]
      ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ Power Button id=6 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ Video Bus id=7 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ Video Bus id=8 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ Sleep Button id=9 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ Integrated Camera id=10 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard id=12 [slave keyboard (3)]
      ↳ ThinkPad Extra Buttons id=14 [slave keyboard (3)]

  18. MK says:

    As an update, for the T410s with Intel graphics (only; NO nvidia here), VGA out still is broken (tested with Debian 6.0.3 and Knoppix 6.7.1/Linux kernel 3.0.x). There’s a lot of jitter in horizontal pixel alignment so vertical lines are not stable. This happens both for projectors and normal displays connected via VGA. It is *not* a hardware defect on my machine as in Windows and in the BIOS everything is okay using VGA. Playing with modelines and resolution didn’t help in my case. I’ll try an active DisplayPort=>VGA converter in a while but of course a software fix would be better.
    Apart from this, everything seems to work fine in Debian 6.0.3.

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