openSUSE 12.3 / Lenovo T430

My new Lenovo T430 arrived last week. After delighting in that satisfying new laptop smell, I made recovery DVDs I will presumably never need, then blew away Windows 7 and installed openSUSE 12.3 (full disclosure: I work for SUSE, so my choice of distro may not be entirely unbiased).

Some niceties:

  • The textured touchpad is lovely. Much better feel than a pure flat surface.
  • As I’d expect, the keyboard is excellent (even if PGUP/PGDN aren’t where I’m used to).
  • The openSUSE installer is quick and easy. I’m pretty sure there’s less steps than last time I did a regular openSUSE install from scratch a couple of years ago.
  • No problem setting up encrypted LVM, although on my ~500GB drive it defaults to a 20GB root and 25GB /home, with a whole lotta free space left over in the encrypted partition, so that might want some tweaking.
  • Entering the passphrase on boot happens on a pretty graphical screen, you don’t get thrown back to a terminal window where random junk is appearing over the passphrase entry prompt.
  • Moving my mail over from my old laptop was pretty much just an rsync of the Thunderbird profile directory (and maybe a tweak to ~/.thunderbird/profiles.ini)

Some oddities:

  • The Novell GroupWise 8.0.2 client had a couple of problems:
    • It claims to need libXm.so.3 (listed in RPM Requires), but works fine without it. This is fortunate, because openSUSE 12.3 doesn’t ship openmotif22-libs-32bit anymore.
    • Unless you’ve installed libpangox-1_0-0-32bit, the GroupWise client will segfault somewhere in libwebrenderer.so. This is less than obvious.
  • The YaST disk partitioner seems slightly confused adding new LVs inside my encrypted VG later on (it either locked up or crashed). I haven’t had time to investigate this properly, so I’ve ignored it for the moment and used lvcreate and mkfs in a terminal instead.
  • You do need to reboot at least once after initial install for NetworkManager to work properly (this is mentioned in the release notes).
  • I’m running GNOME 3.6, and I tried using the tweak tool to have it just blank the screen – not suspend – when closing the laptop lid. Turns out systemd is being too clever for me, so I had to fiddle with that a bit (set HandleLidSwitch=ignore in /etc/systemd/logind.conf, then run sudo systemctl restart systemd-logind).

Very little else to report so far. Aside from the oddities above everything else seems to Just WorkTM. OTOH, all I’ve really done is web browsing, email and assorted fiddling around in terminals. Maybe listened to a bit of music (the inbuilt speakers are well and truly loud enough, but a bit tinnier than real speakers – can’t say I’m terribly surprised by that though).

5 thoughts on “openSUSE 12.3 / Lenovo T430

  1. Thank you very much for the HandleLidSwitch=ignore tip. I wish I could make it lock on AC instead of just blank but this will do fine for now.

  2. Pingback: lenovo T430 - Lenovo Laptops

  3. What screen do you have? 1600 x 900? Do you like its color depth and general display quality? I hesitate buying it because I am concerned of its display quality.

    • Yup, 1600 x 900. It’s fine – looks nice and crisp. Do bear in mind that I’m not a high quality display aficionado though, so YMMV… I’m happy if my mail client, some web browsers, some terminals and some text editors look good.

      One thing to watch out for – it’s one of those magic allegedly auto-switching Intel/NVIDIA things, which AFAIK just isn’t supported on Linux. i.e. I’m effectively running in Intel mode all the time. This is fine for the sorts of things I usually do (including watching an occasional video), but if I wanted to do fancy 3D graphics (like, say, the time I tried and failed to make Second Life run on this Laptop), I’d probably have to force it to NVIDIA mode in the BIOS, then reconfigure X to use the NVIDIA drivers, which would be irritating. I guess I could force it to NVIDIA always, but TBH I’m more interested in lower power consumption than super fast graphics.

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