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Lenovo ThinkPad X230t


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad x230t convertible tablet laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad X230t. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo ThinkPad X230t page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad X230t specifications page.

NameLenovo ThinkPad X230t
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3520M (2.90 GHz, 4MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
Intel Core i5-3320M (2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
Screen12.5“ 1366×768 Widescreen IPS
RAMUp to 16GB
HDDUp to 500GB (7mm height limit)
Optical DriveNone. The optional Ultrabase 3 contains an empty optical drive bay.
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
ThinkPad b/g/n Wireless (1×1 BGN)
Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2200 (2×2 BGN)
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2×2 AGN)

Linux Compatibility

Touch ScreenYes Pen and touch work out of the box
Graphics ChipYesRequires Linux 3.4 kernel or newer. Hard freezes on 3.3 or earlier.
VGA OutYes
Built-in MicrophoneYes
Headphone/Microphone JackYes/No Headphones auto-detect, and headphones with mic auto-detected but no audio picked up despite fiddling with alsamixer, gnome-alsamixer, and qasmixer for a while.
Mic mute buttonNo No output detected with xev, known issue, bugs filed, workaround here:
“Black” Lenovo button No No output detected with xev (this is a regression; it worked with earlier distributions)
mSATAYesDifficult to install: must open up keyboard and palm rest.
WWANYesUses same slot as mSATA, and so WWAN and mSATA are mutually exclusive.
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotYes
Smart Card ReaderYes
Docking StationYes
Touch PadYes
Track PointYes
Tablet modeYES Needs MagickRotation or comparable package/app/scripts to accomplish proper rotation
Keyboard lightNo
Fingerprint ScannerYes Requires additional packages, but supported
Powered USB portYes Works as expected (suspend laptop → device charges via usb)


Known Issues

  • With external monitor plugged in, touch and pen do not work [general issue, not machine-specific]
  • Magick-Rotation 1.62 installer fails on Ubuntu 13.04+ (and on distros based upon it), manual installation works [general issue, not machine-specific]
  • On-screen Keyboards do not work with GNOME3 search function in menu [general issue, not machine-specific]
  • On-screen Keyboards do not work with Cinnamon (all versions) search function in menu [general issue, not machine specific]
  • On-screen keyboards do not work with password or run dialogs in Cinnamon (all versions) [general issue, not machine-specific]
  • On-screen keyboards do not work with run dialog and some password dialogs in GNOME3 [general issue, not machine-specific]
  • No onscreen keyboard in LightDM (Unity) or MDM Greeters [general issue, not machine-specific]

Special Keys

Some of the fn-special buttons work out of the box and Xorg recognizes them. Screen brightness adjustments using these keys worked out of the box. [Tested on ubuntu 13.04 based distro, all fn-specials work out of the box]

Other special buttons (such as the screen rotation buttons on the screen) can be configured using programs like gizmod or other similar utilities. [Tested bezel buttons in Ubuntu 13.04 based distro, middle button rotates screen following install of magickrotation]

Touch Screen

Touch screen (with fingers) worked out of box for me, getting the Pen to work required installing the xf86-input-wacom drivers. [Tested w/Ubuntu 13.04 based distro and both pen and touch work out of the box, no patching/installing of xf86-input-wacom required - that issues has been solved, rotates fine with magick-roation]

Installation / black screen with framebuffer

This is likely a driver issue that wont affect all distributions, but I had to add “ro nomodeset” to the kernel boot line from grub, otherwise I'd just get a black screen when the my installer tried to switch to framebuffer.

Once linux was installed however (with up to date drivers), framebuffer worked perfectly fine, so I imagine it was simply the driver that was shipped with my year-old install disk that was the problem.


All the core things, and a number of “fun” things, work great and out of the box on this laptop/tablet. Additionally, with a little configuration and elbow grease, it's been possible to get some more of the frills working too (exceptions include the keyboard light, which may be considered core feature or a frill).


Johannes, 2014/03/25 14:33

Actually the pen and the touchscreen work under Arch Linux with an external screen connected via VGA or Displayport.

Steffen, 2015/02/24 11:02

i am a teacher and i need to get the pen calibration to work with an external screen… i usually have a beamer and want to use xournal etc.

with my old lenovo x60t, this was working. now with x230t and ubuntu 12.04, it is not…

if anybody has a solution?

omc, 2013/11/21 19:50

Is it possible to take notes with this touch input. As in Samsung Note2 ??
Where in Note2 If we write with pen, the text will be entered in corresponding space later it should be saved as file. Is that possible ? which application supports in linux OS ??

Rob Brawders, 2013/11/07 23:07

Needed some updating, added some info and updates above. More or less works out of the box with Ubuntu-based distros at this point, and the tweaks required are not really more or less than other Tablets. :thumbup:

metageek, 2013/04/18 19:44

Actually I've now seen the freezes, but it took a week of usage. I suspect this has to do with virtual machines, since this is the first time I have been running VirtualBox for a length of time.

Going to install a kernel higher than 3.4 now.

metgeek, 2013/04/11 22:05

I've installed Slackware 14.0 vanilla on my x230t, this comes with kernel 3.2.29, and I have not seen yet the screen freezes mentioned here (2 days running already).

Jim Parks, 2013/03/19 17:54

Thanks for the “ro nomodeset” tip! Saved my day.

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lenovo_thinkpad_x230t.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/19 14:24 by ceebeelee
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