Just moozing

Before you can check your notes, you must make them…

Thinkpad x230

with 8 comments

My new work PC is a Lenovo Thinkpad x230. It is a really nice machine(and very Linux compatible) and I’m sure it going to be my new best friend 🙂

Basic installation

Debian testing net installed from scratch using the current testing iso


wget http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/wheezy_di_beta2/amd64/iso-cd/debian-wheezy-DI-b2-amd64-netinst.iso

from the official debian installer page.

No fancy stuff during installation, just the basics. I played a bit with the partitions and ended up with LVM, but decided against encrypted LVM partitions.

Most things are working as intended except a couple of things:

  • wireless. This is a common Debian thing, since firmware is non-free
  • random (graphics related) machine lock-ups. This site gave me some hints. It is about the kernel version.
  • fingerprint reader. I haven’t looked into this yet.

Extra packages

In /etc/apt/sources.list I use

deb ftp://ftp.dk.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src ftp://ftp.dk.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/">http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main

and make it up-to.date

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

non-free is needed for firmware and flash.

Kernel upgrade

As always, kernel compilation involves downloading the kernel source, copying the old configuration, update the configuration, and build&install.

I tried using the latest kernel, being 3.6.1, but it failed with odd SCSI and keyboard file compilation errors, so I went the easy way and grabbed the latest 3.4 kernel.

  1. Download kernel from kernel.org
  2. Unpack:
    • tar -xjvf
  3. Install the build tools:
    • apt-get install build-essential libncurses5-dev
  4. copy config from /boot:
    • cp /boot/config-3.2.0-3-amd64 /.config
  5. Update config:
    • make oldconfig
    • type enter on all questions
  6. Build it (and take advantage of all the cores):
    • time make -j 5 deb-pkg
  7. Install the new kernel (as root):
    • dpkg -i linux-image-3.4.13_3.4.13-1_amd64.deb linux-firmware-image_3.4.13-1_amd64.deb
  8. Reboot

Building took 93 minutes, so the would be a good time to do something else 🙂

Wireless

To get the intel wireless running


apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi

and it should work, perhaps you need to do disable+enable wireless for the firmware to become active.

Some probing

PCI devices using lspci


$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:16.3 Serial controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family KT Controller (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation QM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
02:00.0 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd MMC/SD Host Controller (rev 07)
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (rev 34)

Nothing surprising, except perhaps that the card reader is PCI device and not a USB one.

USB devices using lsusb


$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bdb:1926 Ericsson Business Mobile Networks BV
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 147e:2020 Upek
Bus 003 Device 004: ID 0a5c:21e6 Broadcom Corp.
Bus 003 Device 005: ID 5986:02d2 Acer, Inc

There is a lot of devices. Root hubs, bluetooth, fingerprint reader, camera, 4G modem and more. I will dig into that when I get the need.

hard disk benchmarking


# hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads: 20560 MB in 2.00 seconds = 10290.62 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 1210 MB in 3.00 seconds = 402.84 MB/sec

I think this the fastest disks I have ever had. The values would be higher, if I shut down everything except the command line, but this is good enough for me. The SSD disk is getting better buffered speeds than I got from the Rackspace test last year.

I think I am going to like this machine.

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Written by moozing

October 15, 2012 at 09:00

Posted in Tech

Tagged with , ,

8 Responses

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  1. wow… which SSD did you get? I am still stuck with the HDD 500GB that came with my x230. thinking for an upgrade.

    # hdparm -Tt /dev/sda
    /dev/sda:
    Timing cached reads: 7368 MB in 2.00 seconds = 3686.60 MB/sec
    Timing buffered disk reads: 364 MB in 3.00 seconds = 121.22 MB/sec

    # uname -a
    Linux localhost 3.5.7-gentoo #12 SMP Mon Nov 19 00:49:32 EET 2012 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3520M CPU @ 2.90GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

    i think i might need to configure my hardisk with hdparm :s

    Christos

    December 1, 2012 at 20:34

  2. I have not done any non-default configuration with the disk – SSDs are just very fast compared to other types.

    Just an impression, but the cache read speed seems slow for kind of machine.
    Did you have the machine doing something else while doing the test?

    Hard disk info

    $ hdparm -i /dev/sda

    /dev/sda:
    Model=INTEL SSDSC2BW180A3L, FwRev=LE1i, SerialNo=xxx
    Config={ Fixed }
    RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=0
    BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=unknown, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
    CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=351651888
    IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
    PIO modes: pio0 pio3 pio4
    DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
    UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
    AdvancedPM=yes: unknown setting WriteCache=enabled
    Drive conforms to: unknown: ATA/ATAPI-2,3,4,5,6,7

    * signifies the current active mode

    moozing

    December 2, 2012 at 11:58

    • as i couldn’t find the reason myself, i upgraded to SSD 😀

      hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

      /dev/sda:
      Timing cached reads: 7866 MB in 2.00 seconds = 3936.31 MB/sec
      Timing buffered disk reads: 1582 MB in 3.00 seconds = 526.78 MB/sec
      /dev/sda:

      Info:
      Model=Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series, FwRev=DXM03B0Q, SerialNo=xxx
      Config={ Fixed }
      RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=0
      BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=unknown, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=off
      CurCHS=65520/1/63, CurSects=4127760, LBA=yes, LBAsects=500118192
      IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
      PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
      DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
      UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
      AdvancedPM=no WriteCache=enabled
      Drive conforms to: unknown: ATA/ATAPI-2,3,4,5,6,7

      * signifies the current active mode

      ——-
      but enough with showing off ( SSD was already in the mail when I wrote my first comment).. my problem now is getting the two USB-3 slots on the left hand side to work.. they don’t respond at all.. nothing on “udevadm monitor –udev” not even for usb2 devices.. hmm.. I give it a week.. then I am following your notes moving to debian

      Christos

      December 9, 2012 at 01:21

      • Nice read speeds 🙂
        One of the really good things about it, is the restore time from hibernation. On my old laptop, it felt like you were waiting and waiting, and that, just maybe, cold booting would have been faster.

        About the USBs: I have had no issues at all with either of the USB port – they just work with USB2 and USB1.1. I don’t have any USB3 devices yet, so that part is not tested.

        moozing

        December 9, 2012 at 19:51

  3. […] suggestion is to reinstall to latest kernel 3.9,4 as describe in my post about the x230. Hopefully some issue has been solved and skge just works out of the […]

  4. […] are known to play nicely with Linux, because they’re used by the kinds of awe­some geeks who fig­ure that shit out (and wouldn’t put up with a jet engine lap­top). It runs Debian Jessie […]

  5. Hi, I;ve bought this laptop with the same SSD as yours, but I’m experiencing a quite worrying issue with it. When it’s performing a quite loaded task (like indexing my Dropbox folder) it eventually (5 minutes?) freezes, and enters a read-only state, where I can’t do nothing but hard reset the laptop. There’s a lot of people having this issue, this is the first place I find someone that doesn’t claim to have it. Maybe you hadn’t experienced yet when you wrote this post…?

    josepe

    December 13, 2013 at 04:23

    • I have made an post about it on forums.debian.net.
      http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=107445

      The intel 530 SSD vith lenovo firmware has an issue that shows itself only on Linux and high loads. Lenovo exchanged my disk, and it was better for a couple of weeks, and then we were back at not being able to run windows in a virtual machine.

      The only solution for new x230 customers is to wait for lenovo to ship the x230 with a different disc, or to buy a different harddisk. I really like my x230 – the hardware is good, but this disk issue ought to have been resolved by lenovo.

      Come to think of it, I have not tried to use Intels default firmware. That might be an idea also.

      moozing

      December 13, 2013 at 08:01


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