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BarbadosT540p
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-26-2014
Location: US
Views: 3,899
Message 1 of 8

Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

I just ordered a Thinkpad X1 Extreme (20MFX002US).  The exact configuration is listed below in this post.  I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has the latest Ubuntu or Mint 19 Cinnamon running on the X1 Extreme, and if so, then did you have any problems with the installation?  Thank you in advance for any feedback.

 

Configuration Details
●  Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-8850H Processor (9M Cache, up to 4.30 GHz)
●  Operating System: Windows 10 Professional 64 - English
●  Display Type: 15.6" HDR 4K (3840x2160) with Dolby Vision?, anti-glare, LED backlight, IPS, multi-touch, anti-reflection (AR) w/IR and HD720p Camera
●  Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666Mhz SoDIMM Memory
●  Hard Drive: 512GB Solid State Drive M.2
●  Warranty: 1 Year Standard Depot Warranty
●  Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics 630
●  Battery: Li-Ion Battery (80Wh)
●  Bluetooth: Bluetooth
●  Wireless: Intel Wireless-AC 9560, Wi-Fi 2x2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0, M.2 card
BarbadosT540p
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-26-2014
Location: US
Views: 3,735
Message 2 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

FWIW, after a few days surfing the Internet, it sounds like Mint/Ubuntu just bricks this computer. I did find this today that suggests another distro that does work out of the box with the Thinkpad X1 Extreme. I've used Mint for a lot of years now... I hate to leave it. But maybe this is the way to go. I don't want to brick a new (expensive) computer.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevang ... 56af366bb3
Here's The Best Linux Distro For Your Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

j1k2
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Registered: ‎12-22-2018
Location: US
Views: 3,662
Message 3 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

Yes, I have Ubuntu 18.10 running on a X1E with the 8750H CPU and 4K display.

I took a few days of reading posts and research and tweaking and frustration, but it's actually working quite well. There's one hitch that I'm hoping will be eventually solved: I cannot suspend and wake up; I have to reboot.

Some tips:

- Absolutely make sure that you have BIOS 1.17 because that's what avoids the infamous "bricking" issue when you switch to/from Hybrid and Discrete graphics and back -you will need to use Discrete graphics.

- If you use a 18.04 or 18.10 USB stick to boot, it's possible that after the first time you use it, it won't let you boot again, briefly flashing a message in tiny type: mmx64.efi not found. If that happens, not to worry: On another machine, mount your USB stick and move grubx64.efi to mmx64.efi. Or you might have to do the inverse. When I first encountered this I thought it was a showstopper, but it turned out to have an easy fix that took a LONG time to find.
BarbadosT540p
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Registered: ‎06-26-2014
Location: US
Views: 3,652
Message 4 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

Thanks, this is very helpful.  May I ask what graphics your computer has?  Mine just has the integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 630.  If that is the case, do I need to worry about changing to change the  BIOS to use "Descrete" graphics?

 

Also, I am kind of a novice with Linux Mint and I don't understand the "On another machine, mount your USB stick and move grubx64.efi to mmx64.efi. Or you might have to do the inverse" part that you mention.  Does this mean I need to locate the grubx64.efi file and rename it to mmx64.efi?  I'm not sure what I need to do here.  

j1k2
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Registered: ‎12-22-2018
Location: US
Views: 3,648
Message 5 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

I have the NVidia 1050 GPU. I don't know if you have to change the graphics.

Also, my advice about the USB may also not be pertinent to Mint; your question was about Ubuntu, not Mint.

With Mint, you may not run into the problem at all. But I know other people run Mint and they will have more relevant info.
BarbadosT540p
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Message 6 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

One last post, in case someone else has this computer and wants to know if Mint still bricks the Thinkpad X1 Extreme. I must have read hundreds of posts on the Internet from people who bricked their laptops with Ubuntu or Mint. It really frightened me to the point I was going to chuck it in on Mint. I didn't want to ruin a new computer. Frankly there is a lot of conflicting crap on the Internet that is so confusing. But this morning I took a chance and gave it a try installing Mint 19.

Here is my laptop config:

System: Host: ThinkPad-X1-Extreme Kernel: 4.18.0-13-generic x86_64
bits: 64
Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.9 Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara
Machine: Device: laptop System: LENOVO product: 20MF000CUS v: ThinkPad X1 Extreme serial: N/A
Mobo: LENOVO model: 20MF000CUS v: SDK0J40697 WIN serial: N/A
UEFI: LENOVO v: N2EET35W (1.17 ) date: 12/21/2018
Battery BAT0: charge: 77.0 Wh 99.9% condition: 77.0/80.4 Wh (96%)
CPU: 6 core Intel Core i7-8850H (-MT-MCP-) cache: 9216 KB
clock speeds: max: 4300 MHz 1: 1392 MHz 2: 4003 MHz 3: 3699 MHz
4: 3822 MHz 5: 4007 MHz 6: 3832 MHz 7: 3795 MHz 8: 3941 MHz
9: 3910 MHz 10: 3875 MHz 11: 3921 MHz 12: 3779 MHz
Graphics: Card: NVIDIA GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile]
Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 )
drivers: nouveau (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
Resolution: 3840x2160@60.00hz
OpenGL: renderer: NV137 version: 4.3 Mesa 18.0.5
Audio: Card-1 Intel Device a348 driver: snd_hda_intel
Card-2 NVIDIA GP107GL High Def. Audio Controller
driver: snd_hda_intel
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.18.0-13-generic
Network: Card-1: Intel Device a370 driver: iwlwifi
IF: wlp0s20f3 state: up speed: N/A duplex: N/A
mac: 34:e1:2d:e8:2c:63
Card-2: Intel Ethernet Connection (7) I219-LM driver: e1000e
IF: enp0s31f6 state: down mac: 48:2a:e3:0d:48:54
Drives: HDD Total Size: 1024.2GB (1.5% used)
ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 model: Samsung_SSD_970_PRO_1TB size: 1024.2GB
ID-2: /dev/nvme1n1 model: SAMSUNG_MZVLB512HAJQ size: 512.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 720G used: 15G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/nvme0n1p1
RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 74.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 54.0
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 2300
Info: Processes: 289 Uptime: 50 min Memory: 1722.2/31659.1MB
Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.3.56

I did not order this machine with the nVidia graphics card, but it arrived with one. The #1 key to having success is to update the BIOS to the current 1.17 that came out on Christmas Eve. This fixed the bricking problem. There was so much information (often conflicting) about everything else involved in getting Mint 19 to work on this particular laptop. I don't know if I did it "right" but this is what I did, and my computer works great so far. 

I ran all the Windows 10 updates, including the BIOS update. In BIOS I disabled secure boot. I turned on discrete graphics (for the nVidia graphics) rather than the integrated graphics. I've heard this cuts down battery life, but honestly I can't tell much of a difference from my older Thinkpad that this is replacing. With the 4k screen it's not going to be great on battery life anyway. I then did the usual Mint install, but chose the "something else" option and installed Mint 19 on its own SSD, and left Windows 10 on the OEM drive (I added the Samsung 970 Pro drive before I powered up the laptop for the first time). During the install I did NOT have Internet connection (one of the posts I read advised this... I have no idea if it helped me or not). I also did not check the box to allow 3rd party software to be downloaded at this time... again, I don't know if this helped, but I did it due to another post on a messageboard. After the Mint install, I rebooted. The dual boot worked but the initial screen has really tiny print (I'll need to fix this I guess), but I could read it well enough to boot into Mint. I updated everything with Update Manager, including updating to the latest kernel 4.18. I rebooted and everything seems to work fine, except that tiny print is a bit annoying for the dual boot menu.

I'm just a novice so I don't know if this will help anyone in my boat. All I know is that my computer works fine now and I didn't brick the computer. LOL, I was so worried after reading days and days of posts from people who had screwed up their X1's. But I do like Mint a lot so I rolled the dice. Hope someone else can benefit from this.

j1k2
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Registered: ‎12-22-2018
Location: US
Views: 3,571
Message 7 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

Can you sleep and wakeup successfully by closing and opening the lid?

I too have the 4K screen but IMHO it's pointless to have 4K on a tiny (15") screen. Your eyes can't possibly resolve 288 DPI.

I used the NVidia XServer Settings to set my laptop screen to HD or maybe 2560x1440 so that it's usable.
Tereole
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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-13-2019
Location: UA
Views: 634
Message 8 of 8

Re: Feedback from anyone running Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme?

To be able to switch between discrete and integrated GPU try system76-power package:

https://support.system76.com/articles/graphics-switch-ubuntu/

 

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