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what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

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ijunsung
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what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

#1 Post by ijunsung » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:22 am

Hi,

I am a beginner in linux and am interested in installing linux into my old thinkpad x41 tablet.

* Mint 18.3 xfce

I installed this linux distro into my x41t but rotation function does not work and tablet buttons do, neither. due to previous article, I got some help to assign commands into thinkpad tablet buttons. but can't find how to fix screen rotation function. and it is a little bit slow.

*Lubuntu 17.10
with lubuntu, it runs much faster than one with Mint but tablet functions do not work at all. at least it recognizes tablet pen with mint.

my ideal goal is to use it with tablet mode like this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C74Rhx0eY6s

is there anyone who tried to install linux into the x41 tablet and made a success?

I appreciate you in advance.

Dekks
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Re: what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

#2 Post by Dekks » Sat May 05, 2018 3:08 am

Did you install the Wacom driver package and libinput? I'm assuming Xorg and not Wayland.
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Re: what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat May 05, 2018 5:17 am

If you don't need to go online, the official Windows XP for tablet still works fine.
I have that on my X41t (that is just gathering dust nowadays).
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Re: what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

#4 Post by Monkeyfume » Tue May 08, 2018 10:41 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 5:17 am
If you don't need to go online, the official Windows XP for tablet still works fine.
I have that on my X41t (that is just gathering dust nowadays).
I lost my original installation of XP Tablet PC Edition and, despite trying many options, couldn't ever find a copy for download online. This is probably because this version of XP was distributed to OEMs only. On the Linux side of things, I haven't found any distro that works out of the box with full functionality. I am currently have Ubuntu MATE installed, which had pen support without any alterations. It took some effort to get the around-screen hardware buttons to work, but I was able to do it with the help of the Thinkwiki page on tablet hardware buttons.

I don't use the machine for anything these days, though. It's just too slow, and the penabled screen is outdated anyways.
IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet ... formerly: T23, T43
lenovo ThinkPads X200, X300, X300, X301, W520, X230 FHD Classic ... formerly: X220, T420, T430
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Toshiba Portégé R930
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ijunsung
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Re: what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

#5 Post by ijunsung » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:13 pm

Monkeyfume wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 10:41 am
RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 5:17 am
If you don't need to go online, the official Windows XP for tablet still works fine.
I have that on my X41t (that is just gathering dust nowadays).
I lost my original installation of XP Tablet PC Edition and, despite trying many options, couldn't ever find a copy for download online. This is probably because this version of XP was distributed to OEMs only. On the Linux side of things, I haven't found any distro that works out of the box with full functionality. I am currently have Ubuntu MATE installed, which had pen support without any alterations. It took some effort to get the around-screen hardware buttons to work, but I was able to do it with the help of the Thinkwiki page on tablet hardware buttons.

I don't use the machine for anything these days, though. It's just too slow, and the penabled screen is outdated anyways.
Sorry for late reply. Thanks for all of you.

I also picked up Ubuntu Mate for same reason you mentioned. as you say exactly, the machine is outdated so I do not use it even for only tablet function such as writing and reading pdf.

Arc
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Re: what is the best linux distro for thinkpad x41 tablet?

#6 Post by Arc » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:30 pm

I just loaded Xubuntu on my X41t just to have a workable machine. On most distros I use the tablet buttons on any of my ThinkPad tablets don't work by default. They send scancodes, but they aren't mapped to a keycode. The send the signal but the OS doesn't know what to do with it, basically. This is why you can't, for example, just map the buttons to something in your basic desktop environment settings in some distros.

There is a temporary solution for this, if you want to fix this on distros that don't have them working. The two commands "showkey" and "setkeycodes" will help. You can't run showkey from X so you have to go to a tty (hit Ctrl + Alt + a function key F1 through F6) and run them from there. Running showkey in the tty will show you what keycode is set to the key you press, or if a key is not set to a keycode, what the scancode is. For example, on the Devuan distro, Esc returns keycode 1. The tablet button labeled Esc, which doesn't work, on my X60t is scancode 6b.

Using this knowledge I can run

Code: Select all

# setkeycodes 6b 1
and the button will now work as the Esc key. Unfortunately, at least in my distro, this is only fleeting - every time I restart it goes back to being a blank unassigned key. I suppose you could run a script to do this every time you log in, but there must be a more permanent solution. I will have to fix that some other time.

As for general slowness, unfortunately a 10+ year old single-core is getting pretty old. My X41t chugs on videos in a browser. I use youtube-dl + mpv to watch watch YouTube videos without the weight of the site and browser behind them, but 720p will stutter on an X41t if the video's bitrate is too high.

Also, with regards to Windows XP Tablet Edition, looks like there is a seller selling disks for it for cheap on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/SEALED-Windows ... 515945631? You will need the COA code on your computer's bottom to activate it, of course.
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