[GTALUG] Lenovo Thinkpad T410

Blaise Alleyne email+libre at blaise.ca
Mon Jan 26 04:53:06 UTC 2015

On 25/01/15 05:21 PM, John Moniz wrote:
> I need to get a computer for a project that requires a program that is only
> available for windows. However, I intend to dual boot with Linux and want to
> make sure that I buy something that is nicely compatible. And I'm looking for
> the portability of a laptop.
> There seems to be a general appreciation of Thinkpads on this list. I have my
> eye on a Thinkpad T410 and was wondering if anyone has reason to suggest that I
> should stay away from that particular model. The store will be installing
> Windows 7 and they apparently have enough Linux knowledge to install a dual boot
> system. [...]

Unfortunately, the model number isn't enough to go on by itself. While ThinkPads
tend to be pretty good in general, it depends on some specific hardware inside
it (and even the same model can come with slight variations).

Does it have a standard Intel onboard graphics card, or does it have a Nvidia
graphics? There are only proprietary Nvidia drivers available for GNU/Linux,
whereas I think Intel graphics are usually good for free software drivers.

The other tricky this is wireless, and going with Intel isn't enough... I have
Intel wireless adapters for my ThinkPad X60 and T61, both of which do *not* work
with free software and require proprietary drivers in GNU/Linux. I thought I was
okay because the wireless cards were "intel" when making the purchase, but I was
wrong about the particular type of Intel wireless adapter.

(My workaround has been to buy a USB wireless adapter from ThinkPenguin for ~$25.)

In my (limited) experience, it's the graphics and wireless cards that you need
to watch out for. Some may not work with free software drivers in GNU/Linux.

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