Arch Linux on ThinkPad T440s



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As always stuff changes and things like BIOS and MBR have been replaced by UEFI and GPT which made me spend more time than I expected on the initial steps of the installation process.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 ;)

Hi, Erik :-) I'm just about to buy the T440s and I'm pleased that someone have installed GNU/Linux in this model before. I'm wondering... is it much different from installing GNU/Linux in the Lenovo B590, like the following post explains? http://zameer.nl/blog/?p=1794 Thanks!

DavidGNavas - 2014-09-25 11:00:34 UTC

Hi David! It looks pretty similar to T440s, but I think the big difference is which Linux distribution you decide to go with. In the article you refereed to they are installing Linux Mint, which should be much easier than Arch Linux. Good luck!

Erik - 2014-09-26 08:21:57 UTC

Thank you very much :-) Are you happy with it?

DavidGNavas - 2014-09-28 14:15:03 UTC

"512 MB SSD" I understand you had to clean up windows to make space for linux :)

Max Mannen - 2015-02-09 19:27:10 UTC

@Max, GB of course :)

Erik - 2015-07-30 10:31:59 UTC