Installing OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 on a ThinkPad T500
Lenovo Thinkpad T500 2081-CTO, BIOS 6FET76WW (3.23)
I installed OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 from DVD, selecting the default KDE desktop. Almost everything works as it should, but I did have some problems with the graphics.
As User:Johnny noted in Installing OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 on a ThinkPad T500 the fast GPU consumes too much power (about 7W) so I disabled Switchable Graphics in the BIOS many years ago and now use just the Intel i965 graphics.
I found that the screen would often stay black after bootup, sometimes with a mouse cursor. The first workaround that I found was to create /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/49-device-intel.conf containing this:
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "modesetting" Option "AccelMethod" "uxa" Option "DRI" "3" Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight" EndSection
The effect is to swap from the glamor accelerator to uxa - this makes the graphics usable, but I found that the bottom of the screen jumped occasionally (as if the screen has lost sync with the graphics chip). A better solution was to remove that file again and to install a much newer kernel. The reasoning here is that the modesetting driver got some important fixes upstream after Leap 42.3 was frozen for release. I chose to use the HEAD kernel. The process to do it is described here: https://doc.opensuse.org/documentation/leap/reference/html/book.opensuse.reference/cha.tuning.multikernel.html and it goes something like this:
zypper ar http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Kernel:/HEAD/standard/ kernel-repo zypper ref cd /; tar cf /root/boot-backup.tar boot zypper install kernel-default-4.14.2-2.1.g56423d9
That gave me kernel 4.14.2-2.g56423d9-default and the graphics has been stable ever since.
- Suspend to RAM works out of the box.
- WiFi is OK (though it helps to get a simple form of Kwallet to unlock at login time - see https://gist.github.com/Trucido/b788017a18e1189e6703e42315e8829c)
- Ethernet is OK
- Internal Graphics (Intel) is OK with the newer kernel
- USB is OK
- Bluetooth is OK
- Camera is OK
- Sound is OK
- Plays videos and DVDs if the relevant codecs are installed (See https://opensuse-community.org/)
- Touchpad is OK (though I always disable most of the features to avoid accidental actions)
- VMWare 12 runs OK though you will need the patches here: http://www.hendrik-woltersdorf.de/linux/vmware/vmware_player_12.5.7_patched_mods_for_os_42.3.zip
- VMWare Workstation 14.x will not work on this hardware. It needs a more recent CPU.