Recently purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad P1 (Gen4) after much research and internal debate. Based on my research, I specifically hunted out the model with no dGPU and only the Intel iGPU. That way all my video outputs such via HDMI and ThunderBolt (DP AltMode via USB-C) are pinned to the iGPU and I don’t have to mess around with nVidia or AMD crap in Dom0, I get better battery life and it’s just less of a pain in the ass when running Qubes or any *nix based distribution.
I should mention that at present I’m using the P1 with a Dell WD19TB dock (and 4 x monitors) and it’s working quite well for the most part in terms of video outputs and downstream USB. Based on another member’s thread on the forums, I actually created an additional sys-usb-dock DispVM to which I’ve assigned the dock’s USB controller to. Note that I’m just using the Dell dock at the moment as it’s all I’ve got. It’s not the best option as it doesn’t provide enough juice to properly charge the P1. The Lenovo Thunderbolt 4 Workstation (not Universal) appears to be the better choice if you’re considering a new one.
Overall I’m quite happy, but naturally there are a few issues and I’m just working through them as best as I can.
So far, I’ve encountered the following issues and workarounds. I’ll circle back and go through them in more detail once I’ve finished with other setup tasks:
To install Qubes 4.1.0-RC2, I had to disable SecureBoot in the BIOS/UEFI. Installation was pretty smooth and as expected after that.
The Bluetooth adapter was continuously flapping (based on dmesg logs) in sys-usb so for now I’ve just disabled the Bluetooth module from within the BIOS.
I disabled hyper-threading in the BIOS as well.
I still need to check whether turbo boost is working properly or if it stays stuck on and around the base clock. I remember having to do some hackery on my prior QubesOS machine for this.
Simple file transfers via USB (both direct and via dock) seem to be very slow (both read/write). I’ve got to do a bit more investigation to understand where the slow down is; I am using good quality flash drives and get much better performance on other *nix based systems.
The wired ethernet LAN port on the dock does technically work (it’s a Realtek, not Intel), but I’m getting terrible transfer performance via speedtest and iPerf (~320Mbps). Plugging in one of my own USB to Ethernet adapters (based on the ASIX AX88179) and I get much better performance, i.e. ~880Mbps. Need to investigate further.
Had some issues with getting QWT installed in a Windows 10 LTSC 2021 installation so I’m building a Windows 7 SP1 Template to get up and running and then I’ll revisit the Win10 install.
This is my first Lenovo machine. As a general bit of guidance to anyone who’s purchasing Lenovo, don’t fall for their ridiculous marked up prices (and discounts) that they list on their website. Spend some time in the Thinkpad reddit and you’ll learn the ways to get the “right” price for your new Thinkpad. =)
It varies from country to country and time to time. I was lucky enough to get a pre-built model with the specs I wanted, but if not, you can choose the customize option (on either the X1E4 or the P1G4; they are for all intents and purposes the same). In the customise option, if you choose the i7-11850H processor, it should give you an option to select the iGPU only:
“The i7-11850H processor is available with Intel Integrated UHD, NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050 Ti and 3070 graphics cards.”
Hey, i had similar experience with P15 Gen 2 as you did with the WLAN and bluetooth adapter. Both very minor issues.
Everything else appears to work out the box. Not sure what issues you are having with USB. I did a quick test using fedora gnome disk utility benchmark feature on a USB3.0 drive and I was getting I think 100read and i think about 20 write. Not sure if that is good or not.
I am having this issue right now testing a P15 Gen 2 that has both iGPU and dGPU. The same external display works on a Thinkpad P51 (iGPU+dGPU) running Q4.0. It also works via HDMI to a Librem 14 running Q4.1rc3. On the P15Gen2 the display does not work (hdmi or usb-c).
You mention here messing around in dom0 to fix that and I was wondering what that fix is?
This issue is occurring because some vendors/models have the external display ports hardwired to the dGPU (if present) and there may not be BIOS options available to change this behavior. My previous workstation was a Dell Precision 7520 and although it had a nVidia M2200, the display outputs weren’t hard-wired to it so I could run external monitors off the iGPU which meant it worked well with QubesOS. Lenovo with their most recent gen of Thinkpads have made the decision to hard-wire external displays to the dGPU from what I’ve been able to determine.
From what I understand, “messing around in Dom0” would involve working through getting Dom0 to support graphics output via the nVidia GPU. This can be achieved via “nouveau”, a project orientated around open-source drivers for nVidia cards, but to be honest from what I’ve seen, it’s a bit of painful experience. I’ve always done what I can to avoid having to deal with it on a QubesOS machine; hence why I was only interested in the iGPU only models.
Another option could be by using DisplayLink (not DisplayPort) based adapters or hubs/docks. This involves installing DisplayLink software in Dom0 and thus you may be able to drive external monitors. DisplayLink may be OK for productivity type workloads.
Neither are ideal as you’re putting software in Dom0; which ideally you really want to keep as clean as possible. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, I’ve always tried to shy away from dGPUs for my QubesOS workstation.
This is the model with NVIDIA® Quadro® T1200 GPU. Qubes OS used 4.1.1 with Fedora 36 templates.
– Forced to turn off bluetooth in the Bios, as it flickers in the SYS-USB vm and drives you nuts.
– WIFI doesn’t work. ( There was a workaround somewhere to delete some files in the sys-net template and it started working on Fedora 35, when upgraded to fedora 36 the work-around did not work anymore )
– The same problem exists with any other USB-WIFI dongle I tested. Nothing works.
– Using external display is a major pain. Was forced to turn on NVIDIA card permanently through BIOS, and even then it works only with one of the USB-C ports and as soon as you touch display arrangement in the settings everything goes bananas. There is no way to turn off the NVIDIA card in the BIOS unfortunately, only hybrid and NVIDIA only settings.
– There is a Window management issue when I switched to fedora 35 and 36, some apps window crashes but they are still running in the tasks. The same programs work in Fedora 34 and Debian 11 templates.
Sorry, no attachment file as “new users can’t attach files” apparently.
These are really major problems and are interfering with daily work. I think we really need to think about embedding NVIDIA binaries or some open-source binaries at least in DOM0 from the top.
Qubes is a very resource hungry OS if you want to use it as a daily driver. There are almost no top tear laptops sold with no discrete GPU and as soon as you have discrete GPUs all sorts of problems comes to light. This is really making major issues and will be hampering Qubes adaptation going forward. ( i.e. I tries to buy the non-NVIDIA, Intel only version but with these supply issues you can’t get one )
I am very well aware of those hardware recommendations. They are all 3-4 years old computers and not available to be bought new. Also their performance mostly suck, they don’t have a modern SSD, etc. and if you have a large number of VMs open ( as you must for daily usage ) everything becomes a pain.
I coudn’t even have 5-6 spreadsheets open at the same time on my 4 years old Thinkpad. Boot took forever with a SATA SSD, etc.
If the solution is to buy a 4 years old computer ( or older in many cases in that list), this OS is unusable. And I have to say it’s a number of years I am using Qubes, so I am very familiar with VM optimization, resource allocation, etc.
I also considered buying a Librum with per-installed. But apparently they can’t deliver anything. Just search reddit.
r/purism is exceptionally hateful to Purism. I would not rely on it to reflect the public opinion. There are quite a few trolls trying to harm Purism as much as possible. By the way, AFAIK similar thing happened to Pine64 until they created their own “official” subreddit.
Purism can’t deliver the phones indeed and have a huge problem with refunds, but the laptop delivery looks reliable from many posts.
Yes I agree with you on this one, but not all of us live in easy geographical locations. There are added variables for a lot of us, delivery issues, customs issues, etc. which adds to all other risks of buying from a small, relatively unproven vendor.
And, that’s the single laptop in that list which has a gen 10 CPU. Others are all Gen 3 or so. The former laptop I used Qubes on for a number of years, actually was way faster than all of the others in community recommended list, but still was dog slow for using Qubes as daily driver.
That’s the reason for switching to a more modern hardware to begin with. This OS needs to get adapted to the modern hardware realities. We can’t expect people to use a 10 years old hardware (as suggested in some of the community list items) to run such a sophisticated, multi-vm resource hungry operating system.
For a test or university paper maybe. For real world use-case, users need modern CPUs, modern IO and modern connectivity. Otherwise not only people won’t adapt it more, current users will leave.
The problem is not CPUs. I had a 7th gen CPU on former laptop. Memory also can be increased which I did to 32GB on former laptop.
The Problem is IO. SATA SSD is DOG slow. You understand you open a new VM, a whole template is being replicated, right? Depending on your work you have various templates, different APP VMs, etc. That needs a fast IO otherwise you are just sitting there. Boot takes forever. Backup took 1 day on external storage. One can have 10-12 open VMs at a time for daily use.
For modern IO ( i.e. NVMe gen 4 SSDs or at least gen 3 ) you need new hardware.
Yes you can wait long times. But you shouldn’t. That is unacceptable for a “production” desktop environment in 2022.
Thank you. I really like qubes and it’s philosophy. I am a user since version 3. My former hardware HCL also could be seen here. I probably installed qubes on 7-8 different hardware, using it on daily basis. But it seems the more modern the hardware gets more problematic it becomes.
I would happily pay more to buy a qubes certified modern thinkpad workstation. As some of larger manufacturers started shipping Linux OS, maybe talking to Lenovo is not a bad idea, given that Thinkpads are the first choice for many people like us.
I think it’s less the “modern” (unless you talk about ME) but the “new/fresh”. The laptops released in 2022 will mostly work just fine with Qubes OS … in 2025
As @adw mentioned in another thread, sometimes it feels like one should by a laptop and then just store it in the closet for 2-3 years before attempting to install Qubes OS. I get that that’s not a message most like to hear and it’s probably also not the developer’s favorite comment. … but it does ring somewhat true.