Installing Fedora on an X200

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Functional Support Summary

Thinkpad X200 device and functional support by Fedora version
Feature or function Fedora 9 x86_64 Fedora 10 Preview/rawhide x86_64 notes
Install via USB CD/DVD image yes yes see network-install feature
Install via USB HDD yes yes must create disk yourself
Install via USB flash yes yes must create disk yourself
Intel 82567LM LAN yes yes was disabled temporarily in several kernel versions
Intel 5100AGN WLAN no yes only when using recent rawhide kernels in the 2.6.27 or later version sequence
Intel Cantiga Graphics with xorg "intel" driver yes sometimes did not work for some versions
Intel Cantiga Graphics 3D accel  ? partial reports of stability problems (must use "intel" driver)
Intel Cantiga Graphics with xorg "vesa" driver yes yes load i915 DRM module for power management
Trackpoint yes yes
Lenovo Chicony webcam yes yes uses uvcvideo USB driver
Bluetooth yes yes uses btusb driver, enable or disable via thinkpad-acpi module
Intel HD audio yes yes
ACPI hibernate with xorg "vesa" driver yes yes load i915 DRM module for power management
ACPI hibernate with xorg "intel" driver  ? sometimes works starting with kernel-2.6.27.5-101.fc10
ACPI suspend with xorg "vesa" driver yes yes load i915 DRM module for power management
ACPI suspend with xorg "intel" driver  ? sometimes works starting with kernel-2.6.27.5-101.fc10
ACPI hotkeys  ? partial multiple events being processed; use other GUI methods to avoid duplicate resume/suspend cycles
Fan control partial partial automatic control seems to ramp up and never slow down; use thinkpad-acpi to change speeds with a scripted controller
ACPI CPU frequency yes yes uses acpi_cpufreq driver
Thinklight yes yes

Installation

The X200 lacks an internal optical drive, unless you get the expansion base. However, USB devices are bootable so you can use an external USB CD/DVD drive. You can also use a USB hard-drive containing ISO images if you want to boot a small install image and not burn a full DVD or CD-ROM set. A full network install will be possible only when the installation kernel supports the network device (not a given with these newest chipsets).

The standard Fedora 9 i386 and x86_64 kernels do not yet support the network devices, so a network-based installation is impossible. I installed using a local USB disk containing a DVD ISO image as the source media, and then also used a USB disk containing a current updates.newkey repo mirror to do the first round of yum updates (modifying the /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-updates-newkey.repo file to point to a local file:/// URL.

The Fedora 10 Preview kernel does support the gigabit ethernet interface. Once installed, the wireless is also supported. With these latest installation kernels, a normal network install should be possible.

USB Boot

It seems as though I can only boot from an external USB CD/DVD drive when it is connected to one of the ports on the left-hand side of the machine, and not the port on the right-hand side. I do not know if this is expected or if it indicates a BIOS flaw.

SATA

The internal SATA hard disk is detected and supported during the Fedora 9 or 10 preview/rawhide x86_64 install.

Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN

The drivers in the Fedora 9 installation media do not detect the LAN controller. The latest kernel-2.6.26.3-29.fc9 supports the LAN controller (verified with i686 kernel).

There was a brief period where the e1000e driver was disabled, but it is working again in Fedora 10 (rawhide) as well.

Intel 5100AGN WLAN

The drivers in the Fedora 9 installation media do not detect the WLAN controller, nor do the latest 2.6.26.3-29 kernels with the iwl-5000 firmware. The first Fedora kernel that seems to support this controller, using the iwlagn module, is the 2.6.27.0 kernel from rawhide.

Graphics

The integrated graphics is detected and supported during the Fedora 9 install and with the latest updates as of 2008-09-23.

I've been using rawhide kernels to get wireless support, but had to fall back to the vesa driver to get X to work that way. I finally see e1000e, iwlagn, and the intel driver for xorg all working at once as of 2008-10-16 with 2.6.27-13.fc10.x86_64! I started with a Fedora 9 x86_64 install that is up to date, and then did "yum --enablerepo=rawhide update kernel-* xorg-x11-* libdrm-*"...

With Fedora 10 Preview, the intel driver works but causes hangs during resume from suspend or hibernate. I used the vesa driver in order to have suspend states working. Starting with kernel update kernel-2.6.27.5-101.fc10.x86_64, suspend and resume now seem to work with the intel driver. However, there are some other stability issues with 3D that seem to linger... heavy use of 3D apps or compiz seems to lead to system lockups.

[jos] Using Fedora 11 x86_64 (and probably F10 x86 as well), I had to add "nomodeset" to the kernel command line (edit /boot/grub/menu.lst) to be able to let all graphic modes / resolutions of the internal screen as well as beamers work. Without this option, you'll only be offered the native 1280x800 for LVDS and therefore never get proper cloned output on any non-wide-screen monitor/beamer.

Trackpoint

The integrated trackpoint pointing device (the "pointy-stick") is detected and supported during the Fedora 9 or 10 preview/rawhide x86_64 install.

Web Camera

The built-in webcam in the bezel is supported by the uvcvideo driver. It shows up as an attached USB device.

Bluetooth

The built-in bluetooth works with the btusb driver. It can be enabled and disabled via the thinkpad-acpi controls, which cause it to appear and disappear from the USB bus.

Sound

The integrated sound is detected and supported during the Fedora 9 or 10 preview/rawhide x86_64 install.

ACPI Power Management

The cpuspeed functionality and cooling seem to work properly.

The status of suspend and hibernate seems to be changing frequently with updates to the kernel and other packages. I have switched to Fedora 10 (rawhide) so I cannot report on the ongoing Fedora 9 status.

On Fedora 10 Preview installed and updated via yum, suspend and hibernate work with the vesa xorg driver and just recently, starting with kernel-2.6.27.5-101.fc10.x86_64, also work on resume with the intel xorg driver. Also, there seems to be a bug with the hotkeys, causing a "double suspend" or "double hibernate" effect: it sleeps or hibernates a second time immediately after resuming, and then stays awake the second time you wake it up. Lately, I have seen even more repeated resumes... three or four cycles before it stays awake. If you trigger the suspend or hibernate via another GUI method and not hotkeys, it works correctly the first time.