Linux on ThinkPad X13s Gen 1

ThinkPad X13s Gen 1 running Debian 11, Regolith-Desktop w/ Dracula look and neofetch

This is to document my ordeal #EmbraceTheSuck journey and work-in-progress of daily driving a Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Gen 1.

Actually, it's more a loose, semi-structured link collection w/ pointers to all the various efforts that I'm aware of or stumbled upon to make Linux a thing on the ThinkPad X13s.

Windows 11

  • Install BIOS Updates (via Windows App Lenovo Commercial Vantage)
  • Install Windows 11 Updates, incl. Windows 11, version 22H2
  • Activated Windows Feature Hyper-V, installed WSL2 and distros Debian and Ubuntu.
  • Installed Visual Studio Code along w/ some other native-arm Windows Apps, just to see…

Linux

The state of Linux on the X13s is still pretty much WIP (work-in-progress), but NO it has not stopped a few month ago.

The community is eagerly awaiting the latest kernel works to arrive in distros.

Camera

Maybe, just maybe we'll get the camera working, to some degree? 🤯

"Switch on CONFIG_SC_CAMCC_8280XP" — on custom 6.5 kernel

Lenovo BIOS/ Firmware

BIOS Update Utility for Windows 11 ARM - ThinkPad X13s Gen 1 (Type 21BX, 21BY)

There is a new BETA Linux option in the ThinkPad X13s BIOS/ firmware version 1.49, which says:

Turn this switch on to boot Linux. Turn this switch off to boot Windows.

Likely linux friendly ACPI tables 🤔

In my testing—though for now only w/ i) Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) Daily Build and ii) Fedora 38 Beta arm64 ISOs—I didn't manage to boot, as of yet…

But promising as hell!! 🤩

Debian—WIP

I installed Debian by following along the instructions for flashing and installing Debian (Installer for Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 laptops) compiled by Linaro (link posted by Lenovo's Mark Pearson on Lenovo Community Forum Post "Re:Does anybody know if there is work being done to integrate X13s (ARM-processor) with linux?").

Linaro's team also contributes here: aarch64-laptops, e.g. aarch64-laptops/linux/tree/lenovo-x13s.

Debian Testing (a.k.a. Trixie Bookworm)

Notes:


A loose collection of links to public web resources about various attempts of making Linux on X13s a thing:

"NVMe, SDX55 (5G) and WiFi enabled on the Lenovo Thinkpad X13s and Compute Reference Device. ADCs and thermal zones are introduced for the same. Lenovo Thinkpad X13s gains LID switch support."
(src ref: cnx-software.com: Linux 6.2 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures)

Fedora—WIP

Results of Matthew Miller's poll What do you think about Fedora Workstation on an ARM-based Lenovo laptop?

Fedora developers are aiming for it being supportable/usable in time for Fedora 38, at some point before that, some consumable images will be released for testing.
src refs: fedoraproject.org/wiki. Fedora Linux ARM mailing list

Kernel and other necessary bits for Fedora on the Lenovo x13s.

You can download Fedora for ARM prerelease builds—as of writing of Fedora 38—from here. Alternatively the ongoing development builds from here.

Arch—WIP

Ubuntu—WIP

Installer for Lenovo X13s
work started (src ref: discourse.ubuntu.com)

As of late February I guess I totally share the assessment of user ravenpi in the Manjaro forum:

"I’m gonna guess the X13s is a viable platform come Ubuntu 23.10 – since they’ve already chosen kernel 6.2 for 23.04, and the bulk of the important changes are in 6.3, I just don’t see it happening by April release. However, if the installer works, perhaps an update to 6.3 would be feasible before 23.10."
(src ref: forum.manjaro.org)

# https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-concept/+archive/ubuntu/x13s
=== Quick Start Guide ===

* Shrink the Windows partition using Windows Disk Management
* On boot hit Enter, enter BIOS settings to disable SecureBoot
* Boot Windows again, and do BitLocker recovery
* Power off
* Insert Ubuntu Concept X13s USB stick
* Hit Enter, then F12 and select USB stick to boot from
* Complete the side-by-side installation (if you want to keep Windows)

* To recover windows EFI variable & Bitlocker:

boot into windows entry in grub, if bitlocker present it will trigger bitlocker recovery. This also restores Windows EFI boot entry. After this step use Enter then F12 to select OS to boot (windows or ubuntu)

* Install all updates to activate all the latest hardware improvements:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt full-upgrade
$ sudo apt full-upgrade

(Due to preference files shipped, duplicate full-upgrade is required, and a reboot)
New installer requires to have BitLocker turned for side by side installation: https://help.ubuntu.com/wip/bitlocker/

Armbian—WIP

openSUSE—WIP

NixOS—WIP

Gentoo

postmarketOS


BIOS/ Firmware Update

Collection of information meant to help updating the BIOS firmware of aarch64 ThinkPad X13s Gen 1


usermode x86 and x86-64 emulation for arm64/ aarch64

FEX—WIP

FEX allows you to run x86 and x86-64 binaries on an AArch64 host, similar to qemu-user and box86.

The GPU has finally come alive on the Lenovo X13s!
(src ref: Tweet)

FEX: Lenovo X13s Linux (Ubuntu) installation—AWESOME write-down of install process 🤩


Asahi


BSDs

OpenBSD


General Resources on Lenovo, ThinkPad, Microsoft Dev Kit 2023, … & ARM