Installing Linux Mint 13 Xfce on a ThinkPad X200
This guide will help you to install and configure Linux Mint 13 Xfce on a ThinkPad X200. Please note that many of the steps described here may be applied to other Linux distributions and ThinkPads alike.
The Xfce edition chosen here is recommended for users who wish to have a clean, simple and productive desktop environment rather than an graphical playground. If your system comes with more than 4GB RAM, then it is advised to download the 64Bit version. With less than 4GB RAM it is sufficient to use the 32Bit version. I will not describe the installation steps of Mint itself at this stage since there is an excellent official documentation available. To achieve best results during the installation you will need an internet connection. By default your wireless connection will successfully connect to a network but you will get timeouts when accessing a page. Hence, either use an ethernet cable or go to the wireless section to fix the problem.
After the installation
After the installation most parts of your system will work by default. The following steps will take care of the rest.
As mentioned above your wireless cart will be able to connect to a network but produces timeouts when accessing a page. The solution is to start the responsible iwlwifi module with the
11n_disable=1 option. This can be either done temporarily (such as required during installation) with the following commands:
sudo rmmod iwlwifi sudo modprobe iwlwifi 11n_disable=1
The permanent fix requires to open the file /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi-disable11n.conf with superuser rights by running gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi-disable11n.conf in the terminal. Once open add the following line to the file, save it and reboot your system:
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=1
The first thing you might notice is bad font rendering and the screen to be blurry. To do
Custom kernel and energy saving options
An X200 is a pretty efficient notebook when used with Windows. But almost the same consumption can be achieved with small adjustment with Linux. All required packages have to be added to the system first:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/thinkpad-extras sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp sudo apt-get update
Then install the following packages and reboot your system:
sudo apt-get install linux-image-generic-tp linux-headers-generic-tp sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends tlp tlp-rdw tp-smapi-dkms smartmontools ethtool sudo tlp start
Power saving tools should now be started together with the custom kernel that comes with improvements compared to the default kernel.
You might have noticed that your mute button on the keyboard will mute the sound but not unmute it correctly. The is directly related to Xfce since it takes the wrong sound card as the active one. Run the following command in the terminal and your mute button should work correctly:
xfconf-query -c xfce4-mixer -p /active-card -s PlaybackBuiltinAudioAnalogStereoPulseAudioMixer
To be honest, the default Xscreensaver lock screen does not look very appealing. Fortunately it can be customised to achieve better results that are closer to the Linux Mint theme. Create the file ~./Xresources and add the following lines to it:
xscreensaver.splash: false !font settings xscreensaver.Dialog.headingFont: -*-dina-bold-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xscreensaver.Dialog.bodyFont: -*-dina-medium-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xscreensaver.Dialog.labelFont: -*-dina-medium-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xscreensaver.Dialog.unameFont: -*-dina-medium-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xscreensaver.Dialog.buttonFont: -*-dina-bold-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xscreensaver.Dialog.dateFont: -*-dina-medium-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xscreensaver.passwd.passwdFont: -*-dina-bold-r-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* !general dialog box (affects main hostname, username, password text) xscreensaver.Dialog.foreground: #111111 xscreensaver.Dialog.background: #F0F7E7 xscreensaver.Dialog.topShadowColor: #111111 xscreensaver.Dialog.bottomShadowColor: #111111 xscreensaver.Dialog.Button.foreground: #ffffff xscreensaver.Dialog.Button.background: #666666 !username/password input box and date text colour xscreensaver.Dialog.text.foreground: #F0F7E7 xscreensaver.Dialog.text.background: #666666 xscreensaver.Dialog.internalBorderWidth:24 xscreensaver.Dialog.borderWidth: 1 xscreensaver.Dialog.shadowThickness: 2 !timeout bar (background is actually determined by Dialog.text.background) xscreensaver.passwd.thermometer.foreground: #E4FF73 xscreensaver.passwd.thermometer.background: #000000 xscreensaver.passwd.thermometer.width: 8 !datestamp format--see the strftime(3) manual page for details xscreensaver.dateFormat: %I:%M%P %b %d