Installing Kubuntu 17.10 on a Thinkpad Helix 2nd generation

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preliminary information


Recent versions of Kubuntu provide ever improving support for this device. Most hardware devices are now supported by the linux kernel, and the KDE developers are working on the technologies required to fully support use as a tablet.

Although KDE on the Helix works fine when used in laptop mode with an attached keyboard, currently it's usability in tablet mode is limited. The QT5 virtual keyboard is only supported in an experimental Wayland session.
  • Kernel version
  • KDE Plasma
  • KDE Applications


ThinkPad Helix 2nd Generation Convertible Laptop (Type 20CG) with:

  • Intel Core M-5Y71 Processor (4M Cache, 1.2GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.9GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 5300 in processor
  • USB 3.0 Ethernet Adaptor
  • Wireless LAN Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
  • Bluetooth® 4.0
  • Intel Smart Sound HD Audio, Realtek® ALC286-VC codec
  • Sierra EM7345 LTE/HSPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Mobile Broadband Module with GPS
  • Ports
    • USB 3.0 (AlwaysOn)
    • Micro HDMI
    • combo audio/microphone jack
    • Micro-SIM card tray (for 3G/4G configured model)
    • Dock Connector
  • Optional keyboard unit ThinkPad Ultrabook Pro Keyboard (Part Number:4X30G93893):
    • Multitouch click pad with 3+2 buttons
    • TrackPoint® pointing device
    • USB 3.0 Port
    • Mini DisplayPort
    • Integrated 4-cell battery (26Wh)

Installing Kubuntu


Additional Configuration

Power Management

Be sure to install tlp or powertop.


Mostly works (using ???)


Open lid doesn't work

Battery management

The life of Lithium ion batteries can be improved by not fully charging the battery and especially by not fully discharging the battery. The Helix is capable of manipulating the battery manager.

Required packages:

  • tlp
  • acpi-call-dkms


  • [Owlman] investigate ACPI events for hotkeys
  • [Owlman] Move working hardware to ThinkPad Helix hardware specifications and create device pages where necessary
  • Virtual keyboard for Qt/KDE (qtvirtual-keyboard)
  • Xorg/libinput integration
    • package xserver-xorg-input-libinput now in artful
    • system settings modules for libinput currently work in progess