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Bazinger
SCSI Port
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎09-24-2016
Location: CL
Views: 1,642
Message 1 of 3

Linux support of P70

I'm leaning toward buying a P70, and I need to know how well it supports Linux. Anyone have experience with this?

 

Thanks in advance!

KayMW
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-25-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,576
Message 2 of 3

Re: Linux support of P70

I'm a Gentoo Linux user and I'm using P50 (Not P70, sorry)

 

And Linux works well on it.

 

I think P70 won't be worse.

 

Screenshot_20160925_160745.png

 

What's up?
Bazinger
SCSI Port
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎09-24-2016
Location: CL
Views: 1,157
Message 3 of 3

Re: Linux support of P70

I've been using my new P70 with KDE Neon for about two weeks now, and it's been an excellent experience! I'm using a very recent kernel, as everyone with a Skylake processor needs to do -- in fact, if you're anything below 4.8.n, you shouldn't even bother reporting problems until you update your kernel. Support and fixes for so many things are in these latest versions that most or all of your problems are most likely already solved, and you just have to apply the solution. I'm also using the v16 Thunderbolt drivers, which I updated in Windows 7.

 

Here are a few random observations that I've made:

 

  • Using hybrid (Intel+Nvidia) graphics, I had some wonkiness using a second display. This was almost completely solved by switching to dedicated Nvidia graphics in the BIOS. The only problem that persists is that the P70 cannot adjust the brightness of external displays.
  • Also, for the record, I'm using the latest proprietary Nvidia drivers. 
    • What works:
      • Connecting a second display to the HDMI port with an HDMI cable.
      • Connecting a second display to the USB-C/Thunderbolt port through an HDMI adapter.
      • Connecting a second display to the USB-C/Thunderbolt port through a VGA adapter.
      • Connecting a second display to the Mini DP output through a VGA adapter.
      • Connecting a second display to the HDMI port with an HDMI cable and a third display to the Mini DP output through a VGA adapter!
    • What does not work:
      • Connecting a second display to the USB port using a USB to VGA adapter.
      • Using both the HDMI and  USB-C/Thunderbolt ports simultaneously results in neither external monitor working.

Some of these problems, like the USB video not working, could be because this is still unsupported, but it could also be because the adapter is not working well or is not properly designed. After all, these things are almost invariably cheap Chinese stuff.

 

Other things that work:

  • The webcam works perfectly.
  • The keyboard has three levels of backlighting -- high, low and off. It responds to both the keyboard (FN+Spacebar) or the OS power management settings.
  • Audio is flawless.
  • The mic works fine.
  • Wifi and Ethernet work perfectly.
  • Bluetooth works perfectly. In Windows 7, on the other hand, while it can pair with devices it can't receive audio or send/receive files, meaning Bluetooth is useless there. A big win for Linux!
  • The ExpressCard interface works perfectly with the one card I have, which provides 2 USB 3.0 ports. Note that in Windows 7, the ExpressCard is not even recognized and even with the manufacturer's drives it doesn't work there.
  • The multimedia keys work fine, though a couple (like the magnifying glass on F10) need to be custom set to do something.
  • The card reader works perfectly with SD and SDHC cards. I haven't tried anything else in it.
  • I replaced the ODD with a 2 TB HD using a third-party HD adapter, and it works perfectly.
  • I have a 2 TB Crucial SSD drive in the internal hard drive bay. Flawless.
  • Also, though I've read in many places that the NVMe cards on the P70 can only be up to 512 GB, this is false -- I have two 1 TB NVMe units installed and working perfectly.
  • The track point device works, but there's no way to configure it that I can see.
  • The track pad works very nicely.

 Things that do not work:

  • Fingerprint reader in Linux. Aparently this sends an encrypted datastream that no one has been able to reverse engineer. HOWEVER, you can indeed use the fingerprint reader for pre-boot authentication once you've enrolled your prints through Windows and have configured the BIOS appropriately. I don't know if this would survive uninstalling Windows, though -- that would depend on where the fingerprint enrollment data is stored.
  • Color calibrator. I can find no way to use it. On the other hand, it doesn't work under Windows 7 either, so this isn't a Linux issue.

Unknowns:

  • 3G/4G modem. Haven't tested it, nor do I have the SIM or data plan to do so.
  • SmartCard. I have nothing to test this with. 

Random comments:

  • Battery life is what I'd expect with so many drives and such a big screen and Nvidia card always on -- I'm getting 2.5 to 3 hours on a charge, doing normal office stuff and streaming video about half the time. That's with the dedicated Nvidia card! The only tweaking I've done is to install TLP.
  • The P70 has the best keyboard I have ever used! Absolutely stunning.
  • It is back-breakingly heavy, but anyone who wants this level of performance knows what they're getting into and accepts that, I think.
  • It's also quite huge -- it barely fits in a laptop backpack I bought that is for 17.3" devices.
  • The screen (I got the 1920x1080 non-touch model) is good. Bright enough for any indoor conditions. It's the first matte screen I've had and while the colors are less brilliant than on a glossy screen, they're quite good all in all.
  • The speakers are actually fairly decent for a laptop. Music still doesn't sound very good (little bass, excessive mid frequencies), but watching movies is no problem.
  • This is a very quiet machine. Even when gaming, with the Nvidia GPU at or close to 100% (a mere M600M), the fan is barely noticeable, and the temperature stays low.
  • I wish the front edge and corners were a bit rounder -- they're actually quite sharp, with the corners feeling like they've been sharpened. 
  • The bottom access hatch is very convenient, with just 5 screws needed to open it. 
  • The screen hinges could be tighter. It's not a problem now, but I worry that with time it will become one.

All in all, I'm enormously pleased with the P70 and using Linux on it.

 

Below is my system info...

 

System:    Host: mybox Kernel: 4.8.6-040806-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 6.2.0)
           Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.8.3 (Qt 5.7.0) dm: sddm,sddm Distro: neon 16.04 xenial
Machine:   System: LENOVO (portable) product: 20ER002KUS v: ThinkPad P70 Chassis: type: 10
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 20ER002KUS v: SDK0J40705 WIN Bios: LENOVO v: N1DET80W (2.11 ) date: 10/17/2016
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i7-6700HQ (-HT-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 20736
           clock speeds: min/max: 800/3500 MHz 1: 2699 MHz 2: 2353 MHz 3: 2682 MHz 4: 2699 MHz 5: 2533 MHz
           6: 2295 MHz 7: 856 MHz 8: 2691 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GM107GLM [Quadro M600M] bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:13b2
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: nvidia (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz, 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Quadro M600M/PCIe/SSE2 GLX Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 367.57 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA Device 0fbc driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1 chip-ID: 10de:0fbc
           Card-2 Intel Sunrise Point-H HD Audio driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1f.3 chip-ID: 8086:a170
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.8.6-040806-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel Ethernet Connection (2) I219-V
           driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k bus-ID: 00:1f.6 chip-ID: 8086:15b8
           IF: enp0s31f6 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Wireless 8260 driver: iwlwifi bus-ID: 04:00.0 chip-ID: 8086:24f3
           IF: wlp4s0 state: up mac: <filter>
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 47.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 0.0:54C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 1909

 

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