Claudio Saavedra

claudio@codemonkey.cl

Go forward in time to May 2015.

Tue 2015/Apr/28

A follow up to my last post. As I was writing it, someone was packaging Linux 4.0 for Debian. I fetched it from the experimental distribution today and all what was broken with the X1 Carbon now works (that is, the bluetooth keyboard, trackpad button events, and 3G/4G USB modem networking). The WEP128 authentication still doesn't work but you shouldn't be using it anyway because aircrack and so on and so on.

So there you have it, just upgrade your kernel and enjoy a functional laptop. I will still take the opportunity to public shame Lenovo for the annoying noise coming out of the speakers every once in a while. Bad Lenovo, very bad.

Tue 2015/Apr/21

Igalia got me a Lenovo X1 Carbon, third generation. I decided to install Debian on it without really considering that the imminent release of Debian Jessie would get in the way. After a few weeks of tinkering, these are a few notes on what works (with a little help) and what doesn't (yet).

What works (with a little help):

  • Graphics acceleration: Initially X was using llvmpipe and software rasterization. This laptop has Intel Broadwell graphics and the support for it has not been without issues recently. I installed libdrm-intel1, xserver-xorg-video-intel, and the 3.19 kernel from experimental, and that fixed it.

  • I also got a OneLink Pro Dock, which I use to connect to two external displays to the laptop. For whatever reason, these were not detected properly with Jessie's 3.16 kernel. Upgrading to 3.19 fixed this too. I should have used the preinstalled Windows to upgrade its firmware, by the way, but by the time I realized, the Windows partitions were long gone.

  • But upgrading to 3.19 broke both wireless and bluetooth, as with this kernel version newer binary firmware blobs are needed. These are not yet packaged in Debian, but until then you can fetch them from the web. The files needed are ibt-hw-37.8.10-fw-1.10.3.11.e.bseq for bluetooth and iwlwifi-7265-12.ucode for the wireless. There is a bug about it in the Debian bugtracker somewhere.

  • Intel's Rapid Start Technology. Just follow Matthew Garrett's advice and create a large enough partition with the appropriate type.

What doesn't work yet:

  • My Bluetooth keyboard. There are disconnects at random intervals that make it pretty much useless. This is reported in the Debian bugtracker but there have not been any responses yet. I packaged the latest BlueZ release and installed it locally, but that didn't really help, so I'm guessing that the issue is in the kernel. It is possible that my package is broken, though, as I had to rebase some Debian patches and remove others. As a side note, I had forgotten how nice quilt can be for this.

  • The trackpad buttons. Some people suggest switching the driver but then Synaptics won't work. So there's that. I think that the 4.0 kernel has the fixes needed, but last I checked there was no package yet and I don't feel like compiling a kernel. Compiling browsers the whole day is already enough for me, so I'll wait.

  • Using a Nokia N9 as a USB mobile broadband modem or the integrated Sierra 4G modem. The former works in my Fedora laptop, and in Debian both seem to be detected correctly, but journalctl reports some oddities, like:

    Apr 20 21:27:11 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  ModemManager (version 1.4.4) starting in system bus...
    Apr 20 21:27:13 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <warn>  Couldn't find support for device at '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb3/3-3/3-3.1/3-3.1.3': not supported by any plugin
    Apr 20 21:27:13 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <warn>  Couldn't find support for device at '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:19.0': not supported by any plugin
    Apr 20 21:27:13 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <warn>  Couldn't find support for device at '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.1/0000:04:00.0': not supported by any plugin
    Apr 20 21:27:20 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  Creating modem with plugin 'Generic' and '2' ports
    Apr 20 21:27:20 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  Modem for device at '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-4' successfully created
    Apr 20 21:27:20 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <warn>  Modem couldn't be initialized: couldn't load current capabilities: Failed to determine modem capabilities.
    Apr 21 10:01:15 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  (net/usb0): released by modem /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-4
    Apr 21 10:01:15 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  (tty/ttyACM0): released by modem /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-4
    Apr 21 10:01:30 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  Creating modem with plugin 'Generic' and '2' ports
    Apr 21 10:01:30 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <info>  Modem for device at '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-4' successfully created
    Apr 21 10:01:30 patanjali ModemManager[560]: <warn>  Modem couldn't be initialized: couldn't load current capabilities: Failed to determine modem capabilities.

    I upgraded to experimental's ModemManager, without any improvement. Haven't yet figured out what could this be, although I only used NetworkManager to try to connect.

  • The (terrible) WEP128 authentication in the Nokia N9 wireless hotspot application. As neither the USB modem nor the 4G one are working yet, using the wireless hotspot is the only alternative for the afternoons outside my home office. Not sure why it won't connect (again, only tested with NetworkManager), but at this point I'm starting to be more pragmatic about being able to use this laptop at all. Leaving the hotspot open was the only alternative. I know.

I know I should be a good citizen and add at least some of this information to ThinkWiki, but hey, at least I wrote it down somewhere.

Go backwards in time to March 2015.

Tue 2015/Apr/21 10:25:05 +0300