Fedora Linux on ThinkPad T440s
First of all, go read Havoc Pennington's
on putting Fedora 20 on a ThinkPad T440s. Good stuff,
and a big reason I bought this machine in the first
The main problems with the T440s from my point of a
view as a long-time Linux/ThinkPad user are...
New power connector again. Just when I got rid of
my last 16V, and had a decent collection of round
20V ones, too. (But the new rectangular connector
is also 20V. Maybe there's a source of just the
connectors and I can break out the soldering iron
and convert a couple of old ones.)
No more hard-wired mouse buttons below the
space bar. More on this below.
Yes, this is the kind of little stuff that Linux
laptop users are down to complaining about, now.
When I was starting out we had to recompile the kernel
just to get PCMCIA working. (What's PCMCIA? Get off
The Fedora 20 install was easy, as usual. Since I
now have several Fedora, RHEL, and CentOS machines
kicking around at work, I wrote an RPM spec to
depend on or conflict with all the stuff I like to
have or not have, so that I don't have to do as many
"I thought that was already on here, oh well, yum
On previous ThinkPads, I only had to use the
"synclient" command once to turn off the TouchPad.
Now, with no hardware mouse buttons, there's some more
tweaking required. Fortunately, people had already
hashed it out in the comments on that Havoc's
Blog piece (you did read it, right?) so
all I had to do was stick the right commands into a
Since I will never remember how to make a .desktop
file, the script will take care of that, too.
So now I have a Synaptics TouchPad that's set up for
just three mouse buttons and for two-finger scroll.
One-finger motion or accidental palm contact does
nothing. Anyone who has claimed that
is dead is clearly Wrong.
Nice screen. The speakers have always been a
weak point for ThinkPads compared to other laptop
brands IMHO, but the T440s is a refreshing change.
Not hi-fi, but not pathetic either. Still needs
headphones for extended listening.
The keyboard is similar to the one on the T430,
with island-style keys. At first glance you might
think, oh, crap, another laptop vendor hired an Apple
fanboy as a product manager. But somehow Lenovo
managed to make this keyboard much more usable than
the Apple version. Not sure why, possibly because
the keys each have a slight depression instead of
being pure minimalist RoundRects. Anyway, good
keyboard, and the IBM TrackPoint is unchanged.
Everything just works
Yawn. Have not tried the Ethernet or VGA ports, but
no surprises so far. Let's put it this way: you're
not going to learn anything about reverse engineering,
driver development, or hardware vendor politics here.
It's open box, click buttons, watch cat video time.
Time for another round of license poker?
The mid-range ThinkPads have been stealth Linux boxes
for a long time, so it's not a surprise that this one
is, too. Built from well-supported Intel components,
and there's little if any drama getting the pre-loaded
MS-Windows off, and Linux on.
Speaking of pre-loaded
MS-Windows, well, that's a tough business these
PCs are getting cheaper. But they're not making
much money for their makers. Welcome to the value
trap, writes The Guardian.'s Charles
Arthur. Time for another round of preloaded Linux
laptops, to get a better license deal from Microsoft?
Any time Lenovo needs to do that, this hardware is
ready for it.
Syndicated 2014-01-20 01:28:53 from Don Marti