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Arch Linux on ThinkPad T440s

Sep
12
2014

Linux

Arch-linux-on-thinkpad-t440s I recently got the opportunity to choose a new laptop and after some intensive research I choosed a ThinkPad T440s, mainly due to the combination of a strong i7 CPU, 12 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD and 1.6 kg weight. It might not be as pretty as a ZenBook, but it's looks way better than the old IBM ThinkPads anyhow.

Of course I wanted to run Arch Linux on this baby so after some dribbling with Windows 8 freeing up enough space to install Linux I gave it a shot.
As always stuff changes and things like BIOS and MBR have been replaced by UEFI and GPT which made me spend more time than I expected on the initial steps of the installation process.

After having that sorted out the next hurdle to overcome was to successfully install dm-crypt + LUKS. That also required a bit of head banging until I stumble upon this great guide.

After that installing the rest of the software, including the best desktop environment out there: Cinnamon, went pretty smoothly. Much thanks to the fact that I'm having all my essential config files on Dropbox, which just meant creating a bunch of symlinks.

Another big issue was that the WiFi connection dropped every now and then. After talking to a friend with the same model he recommended disabling the n band, which made the connection much more stable.

A final issue was the notorious ClickPad which's kind of useless out of the box in Arch Linux. This nice blog post have a good Xorg config to make it a whole lot better.

I must admit that there was a weak moment during the installation process where I jealously glanced over at the people around me running OS X triumphing that everything "just worked". However, I know that this was an investment I will get back many times over now that I'm running a kick ass configuration that will take my productivity to even higher levels. I just hope I don't have to install a new Linux machine any time soon ;)