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What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-13-2013
Location: Sweden
Views: 12,316
Message 11 of 39

Re: Linux on ThinkPad Helix

Come'on! We are millions of trillions of users here wanting to know if we can run Linux on the Helix! Seems like some of you got the machine, so how is it working?

What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-13-2013
Location: Sweden
Views: 12,315
Message 12 of 39

Re: Linux on the Helix?

It doesn't say anything more than that the helix can boot up ubuntu. That's not much information...

Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-04-2013
Location: Slovenia
Views: 12,291
Message 13 of 39

Re: Linux on the Helix?

What specifically do you want to know? I've been using Linux on Helix since that post any following works:


- wifi

- sound

- media buttons

- touchpad

- suspend


I haven't tested GSM/UMTS/LTE modules.

What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-13-2013
Location: Sweden
Views: 12,240
Message 14 of 39

Re: Linux on the Helix?

Hi, thanks for you reply. I have no idea how my two posts ended up in the same thread, i just posted one here. Anyhow.


How is it to use the helix with linux in general? Does the touchscreen work, is it practical? Undock/redock to the keyboard is flawless? Can you say anything about battery time? Do you dual boot, or do you find the helix suitable for only linux. Usually a machine like this as many issues when running linux, so there must be something you can say no?


Thanks for your info.



What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-16-2013
Location: Spain
Views: 12,138
Message 15 of 39

Re: Linux on the Helix?

How is that not the hottest question of the year?


I just signed up to the forum to say, I want to know all of those things too!

Battery life (both tablet and laptop mode), Wireless,  problem-free tablet-laptop conversion mode,

Do any drivers not work? Can you deactivate the touchscreen in laptop mode for longer battery life? brightness control?

Do you run 32 or 64 bit linux?


btw I found this page, though I'm not sure what it is telling us..

"Linux certification"


hmm, a little more search: the helix is certified for RedHat linux


but doesn't yet show up on the Ubuntu Page


although that page is not updated for 13.04 yet, which is also the tablet-friendlier one.


Looks overall like there shouldnt be many problems; no I just gotta scratch together some money!


Thanks for putting up the info =)   m_ _m

Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-04-2013
Location: Slovenia
Views: 12,130
Message 16 of 39

Re: Linux on the Helix?

- battery life: about 7h (but with maximum brightness and probably not all optimizations that could be there)

- tablet detaching works perfectly (it recognises second battery is missing)

- I'm running 64bit NixOS

- I don't have enabled multitouch support, so can't say anything about that

- I haven't found a way to deactivate the tablet touch support, but it should be something like uninstalling wacom drivers (not really relevant to hardware, but not sure if that saves any energy)

- sound/brightness buttons work


Things that bother me:


- weak wifi network card (even my nexus 4 catches better signal) -> this might be a software issue

- sometimes attaching the tablet back doesn't "click" and the tablet could fall out of the deck

Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-22-2013
Location: Finland
Views: 11,975
Message 17 of 39

Re: Linux on ThinkPad Helix

Did you boot it in UEFI orr legacy? It doesn't work at all for me. I get to choose "try" "install" but after that the screen goes blank and stays blank (black with a dim backgroung light).
And I'm talking aboout Ubuntu 13.04...
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-04-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 11,722
Message 18 of 39

Re: Linux on ThinkPad Helix

I can confirm that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS boots fine on the Lenovo Helix when you boot in legacy mode and disable the OS specific settings. Could not identify problems while using it. However, I just took a quick look at it and booted via an usb stick.
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-26-2013
Location: United States
Views: 11,649
Message 19 of 39

Re: Linux on ThinkPad Helix

Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 would not boot under UEFI.

However, 13.04 is booting with UEFI:


+ Device stays much cooler than win7 or 8. I haven't heard the fans turn on in hours of moderate browsing.


- Brightness controls do not work  ( see this fix. Brightess will adjust, but brightness indicator does not update)


- Total battery life is not displayed as the sum of both tablet and dock batteries. 

The main battery status indicator (top right of desktop) displays stats only from the least charged battery.

For example, if the dock battery is empty and the tablet battery is full, the battery status indicator will show empty. Clicking on the battery status indicator exapnds the view to show both batteries statuses separately displayed.


- Weak wifi signal


- Pinch-to-zoom and Horizontal scrolling  do not work


- Cannot right click on touch screen. Neither tap-and-hold or double-tap induce right click.


- On screen keyboard does not automatically open when a text field is tapped


- Dock/undocking from the base mostly works. On occassion, the trackpad/keyboard would fail to work and a reboot would be required.

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-12-2013
Location: Basel
Views: 11,506
Message 20 of 39

Re: Linux on ThinkPad Helix

I would be very interested in the "special hardware" configuration that comes with the detachable keyboard:

- is the usage of the second displayport (on the dock) possible?

- is the first DP  usable?

- Is the pen working properly? (If someone could test if pressure entry works, this would be very nice to know)

- is the trackpad on the keyboard working properly? Is there a problem with attaching / detaching it?

- Is multitouch on the touchscreen (with fingers) possible?


Thanks for your answers.




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