Lenovo Thinkpad E530 and Ubuntu

1 minute read
June 06, 2013

I just installed and configured Ubuntu 13.04 on Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 laptop. It is certified Ubuntu laptop so I was hoping that everything “just works”. Well, not quite everything. There are a couple of tricks that are good to know, in order to make the laptop work properly.

Adjusting screen brightness

Screen brightness adjustment buttons (Fn + F7/F8) do not work. AS soon as you push those, screen brightness is set to minimum and cannot be increased. I’ve had no time to track or fix this bug, but here is a workaround:

echo VALUE > /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness

Here VALUE is a numeric value between 10 and 100 representing the brightness.

Touchpad

Touchpad generally works, but there is a single irritating problem. When you raise your finger off the touchpad, cursor may jump around 10 pixels up or down. This is really irritating especially when you try to “tap click” and the cursor jumps off the target and you click wrong button/link.

A brief googling revealed that I am not the only one with this problem. Here is a thread from Lenovo forums:

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Linux-Discussion/lenovo-e330-touchpad-problem-on-ubuntu-12-04-LTS-32-bit/m-p/1053541#U1053541

And here’s is a workaround (Xorg.conf needs to be tweaked)

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-input-synaptics/+bug/1042069/comments/5

And that’s it. After this, you probably need to adjust the touchpad acceleration/speed, which can be done usually from desktop environment settings.

Battery life and GPU

Initially battery life seems to be roughly 2 hours. This can be improved by disabling discrete graphics card by installing Bumblebee. Bumblebee is a software that is able to enable/disable nVidia GPU when needed, and use only integrated card in order to save energy.

I do not usually need high-performance graphics card for anything, thus I disabled GPU from BIOS. After this, battery seems to last around 4 hours of normal web browsing / lightweight usage, which is acceptable but still less that “5-6 hours” that was promised.

Summary

Overall Ubuntu works on the laptop pretty well. There was no need to make any other special configurations or anything else. On first boot, WiFi, audio, screen resolution, etc. just work.

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