Installing OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 on a ThinkPad T500

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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"

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: and it goes something like this:

zypper ar 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.

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