Lenovo ThinkPad T430 / Nitrokey NitroPad T430

ThinkPad T430 NitroPad T430
Recommended CPU i7-3840QM i7-3840QM
i5-3320M i5-3320M
Max. memory 16GB (2 slots) 16GB (2 slots)
USB controllers 3 3
Coreboot possible yes
Heads possible yes
ME_cleaner possible yes
Qubes OS pre-installed no yes
Developer tested no[1] yes
Certified no yes

  1. the ThinkPad T430 is the base for the certified NitroPad T430 which is regularly tested by the Qubes OS developers. ↩︎

I have a T430 that dual-boots R4.0 and R4.1 using current-testing.

Attached is the HCL for R4.1, though R4.0 works fine as well - just different kernel and Xen version.

Remarks

Hardware info of note:

  • 4GB of RAM
  • Wifi chip removed on purpose, so wifi is untested
  • Runs coreboot payload with SeaBIOS
  • Flash has been ME-cleaned
  • External displays not tested

Setup:

  • Dual-booting R4.0 and R4.1, shares LUKS-encrypted BTRFS filesystem, file-reflink pools
    • R4.1 GRUB gets the MBR
    • I added a new partition and installed GRUB to it to to chainload R4.0 from the R4.1 GRUB
  • R4.1 self-built ISO as of June 11 2021 installed without issue, BIOS mode
  • Initial qubes-dom0-update performed after install, then switched to current-testing and fully updated
  • Fedora 33 template fully updated, then switched to current-testing and fully updated
  • “Youtube” test passes:
    • Fully updated fedora-33 template
    • Firefox 89 in a dispvm → sys-firewall → sys-net [ethernet]
    • random video: plays and hear sound. 1080p quality plays
  • sys-usb webcam and mic passthrough to a dispvm running cheese worked AFTER assigning 500MB to sys-usb
  • Suspend/resume works

Software customization notes:

  • i3 instead of xfce4 window manager
  • current-testing repos in dom0 and fedora-33 templates
  • No debian or whonix
  • dom0_mem=1024M added to Xen options to restrict dom0 to 1G of memory
  • All other memory-balanced VMs have max memory set to 1.5G
  • This is not a primary machine, just one to hack with

In other words, Qubes R4.1 works on this laptop. I didn’t submit the R4.0 HCL as it’s redundant but R4.0 and R4.1 work perfectly (albeit with limited RAM).

Attachments

Qubes-HCL-LENOVO-23445HU-20210614-124026.yml (913 Bytes)

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Thank you @icequbes1 for your HCL report (and editing it yourself
already in a way that left very little for me to do)! It is now part of this pull request and will be available on the website soon!

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Initial reactions after a bit of usage:

  1. In R4.1, X was automatically using the modesetting driver and I observed some visual artifacts when dragging window or scrolling through Qubes Manager VMs.

    I forced it to use the intel driver and those artifacts went away. Even with X using the modesetting driver, 1080p Youtube videos still played fine (though high CPU) and the artifacts were not observed in playback.

  2. Improving battery life, frequency scaling, and power management will take some investigation. I’ll have to do more R4.0 vs R4.1 back-to-back investigation, but it appears under R4.1 battery drains a little faster when idle.

  3. With sys-firewall, sys-net, sys-usb running, I can use 2-3 other qubes comfortably with 4G of RAM (but see the memory limiting stuff I mentioned above in the first post).

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I have repeatedly seen now that the manufacturer reported max memory is not actually the maximum.

Has anyone succeeded in putting more than 16 GB into the T430?

Regrettably not - like the x230 the maximum really is 16GB

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In my experience the only places where you get a “win” on being able to add more RAM to a laptop than the laptop specs state is when a) the CPU supports larger RAM than is currently available on the market or for manufacturer certification and b) the manufacturer writes support for the RAM size into the BIOS (but, again, cannot test it to certify it).

The x230 has only a pair of RAM slots, and the CPU only supports 8GB per.

This is one reason that the era’s W-series are so useful w/ Qubes: they have four slots to support the era’s quad-core CPUs and therefore can support 32GB. Note there are a few W-series that are dual core an that are also limited to 16GB.

B

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4.1 HCL - Lenovo Thinkpad T430

Installed Qubes 4.1.0 on Lenovo Thinkpad T430

  • Flashed BIOS to latest 2.82 (21 Aug 2019) before install
  • Qubes settings: default OS changed to Debian, all other defaults kept
  • installation successful, no problems, everything tested works normally

Tested and verified, works normal, no fix needed:
graphics
keyboard
track point mouse
touch pad
wired ethernet
wireless ethernet
usb port (connected mouse)
usb port (connected external SSD)
audio + audio control buttons

Not tested:
wimax
bluetooth
expresscard slot
memory card slot
camera
mic
fingerprint reader

[user@dom0 ~]$ qubes-hcl-report untrusted -s
Qubes release 4.1 (R4.1)

Brand: LENOVO
Model: 2347G2U
BIOS: G1ETC2WW (2.82 )

Xen: 4.14.3
Kernel: 5.10.96-1

RAM: 16081 Mb

CPU:
Intel(R) Core™ i5-3320M CPU @ 2.60GHz
Chipset:
Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller [8086:0154] (rev 09)
VGA:
Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0166] (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])

Net:
Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (Lewisville) (rev 04)
Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] (rev 34)

SCSI:
WDC WDS500G2B0A Rev: 00WD

HVM: Active
I/O MMU: Active
HAP/SLAT: Yes
TPM: Device present
Remapping: yes

Qubes HCL Files are copied to: ‘untrusted’
Qubes-HCL-LENOVO-2347G2U-20220220-124431.yml - HCL Info
Qubes-HCL-LENOVO-2347G2U-20220220-124431.cpio.gz - HCL Support Files

Qubes-HCL-LENOVO-2347G2U-20220220-124431.yml (910 Bytes)

Qubes-HCL-LENOVO-2347G2U-20220220-124431.cpiogz (9.4 KB)

Additional detailed installation notes to follow in follow-up posts to forum thread

2 Likes

Thank you for the report! Did you also test the suspend?

Yes suspend works normally, wired/wireless ethernet reconnects, vpn (adv conf) reconnects, no problems.

1 Like

Thank you @oldschool for your HCL report, which is online now.

I also moved your thread here to have all reports about the T430 in one place.

I was extremely lucky and got a “new” (aka unused) T430 that spend the last 10 years in original packaging at an IT warehouse. After upgrading it to make it identical to the one I already have, I installed R4.1 on both of them.

HCL reports:

This machine is the best and it certainly works flawlessly without any workarounds or troubleshooting with R4.1. This being said I have a couple of notes I want to share:

  1. If you use Coreboot/Heads make sure you upgraded to the current version Heads-v0.2.0-1150 or the install won’t work.

  2. dom0 needs zenity installed for things like qvm-move-to-vm to work. Also in case you want to use Whiskermenu one now has to install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin which was included by default previously.

  3. Most of the Qubes OS UI in dom0 is now Qt5 based and doesn’t by default adhere to the selected theme, which is especially annoying when using a dark theme. Luckily this can easily be remedied by installing qt5-qtstyleplugins and exporting QT_QPA_PLATFORMTHEME=gtk2 (e.g. in /etc/environment).

  4. I get a very noticeable performance bump when using Btrfs as opposed to whatever is the default. I don’t have the technical understanding to explain this but I have done repeated A-B-A experiments on two identical computers and at least with my exact hardware (see above HCLs) the difference is very noticeable. This was the case with R4.0.4 and subjectively is even bigger with R4.1 (e.g. due to the current world situation I have a qube permanently streaming CNN in a window on my screen… this was not fluid and somewhat bumpy in the default install but runs smooth as butter now with Btrfs – I know that doesn’t make sense on the face of it, but it is what I see; also general qube startup times are several seconds shorter) … so I continue to strongly recommend this for this machine.

3 Likes

Hi,

I’m looking to get a T430 (from Nitrokey) and I can see quite a few here have experience with a T430. I’m not well versed in laptop hardware, but does the Atheros AR9462 work alright with the T430 and with QubesOS? I’ve got the option to choose between the Intel 802.11b/g/n 2200N and the Atheros AR9462 (for a small additional price), but I’m not aware of the differences between them.

The AR9462 is popular with folks doing monitoring and injecting on WiFi networks (aka spying and hacking). In other words: if you have to ask, you don’t need it.

The Intel option is perfectly fine for most users.

I have only a few weeks of experience with Nitropad T430 so far, but yes, Atheros AR9462 (ath9k) wifi works perfectly.

Edit: Someone on Nitrokey’s support forum has various experiences with ath11k driver. Qubes 4.1 installer doesn’t work because the driver is not compiled in the kernel, it seems.

I believe the max memory stated on the Lenovo website was 8GB, but the actual max is 16GB. so you are half right, the stated maximum isn’t the maximum