Looking to switch to a ThinkPad from a Librem14 Suggestions welcome

Hello Qubes community,

I have had my Librem 14 for under a year and have had it replaced 3 times due to a power failure issue on the motherboard. The laptop works great with Qubes, when it has power. Current specs on my L14:

  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB NVMe SSD

I am debating on switching to a ThinkPad. Based on the HCL and other discussions I’ve seen https://forum.qubes-os.org/t/community-recommended-computers/5560 I have narrowed it down to a few models: T430, X230, or P51. Based on past forum/reddit posts, https://www.reddit.com/r/Qubes/comments/eoiea2/16gb_ram_and_qubes_is_it_even_worth_trying/ running Qubes with 16GB of RAM doesn’t seem to be an issue (please correct me if I am wrong). However my biggest concern would be the performance with older 3rd gen CPUs. Does anyone have insight on how the performance is on R4.1 with these older CPUs/hardware in general? Thanks in advance.

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If you don’t need coreboot you can get the T480, it supports nvme and up to 64GB memory, and they are really cheap.

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I have two Librem 14. Both are dead and headed for repair for two different issues. I have switched back to my Thinkpad P50.

I have ordered a Thinkpad P1 Gen 5 and Thinkpad P16 Gen 1.

I have built them with integrated intel graphics only and non-vPro CPU.

I am confident both will work fine. I have seen reports on P1 Gen 5 and those issues I think have been worked out.

The models you listed are old and outdated not sure why you want to go for them. Using community recommends thread is not really a good place to go unless you are trying to be cheap and save money and don’t mind super old tech.

I looked into the 2 laptops that you recommended @thinkpadp1. I suppose it would help to mention more of what I am looking for. My only issue with the 2 laptops you suggested would be the lack of an Ethernet port. If there is a decently priced computer that can handle Qubes, has an Ethernet port, with a <=14" form factor, and that’s reliable and hopefully won’t brick on me, that’d be golden. I understand the models I mentioned are ancient.

Do you consider Lenovo ThinkPad W530?
Really wonder not suggesting. Do not own w530 - only interested.
My $0.02



  • Concern with older 3rd gen CPUs (e.g. microcode, no fix vulns)

Hey roaming mind me asking what is issue with using usbc to Ethernet adapter?

In this case you have to combine sys-net with sys-usb. The latter is not offline anymore (at least one USB controller). Less compartmentalization.

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Oh is any workaround to this scenario on laptops with one usb controller?

What about using a thunderbolt dock then assigning that usb controller of the dock to sys net leaving the system one compartmentalized and isolated as per default ?

Damn I wish I thought about this before buying two lol I also use Ethernet mostly rarely use Wi-Fi

The framework laptop meets your specs has allegedly two usb controllers so you can can compartmentalize one Ethernet?

Does anyone know if the when using framework laptop, would Qubes read the modules as USB attached devices? Or would it read the Ethernet as an integrated device on install?

Kinda debating between the framework and the ThinkPad T480 at the moment. Thank you guys for the input by the way.

Same situation.
Except … I’m looking elsewhere (over than Librem) Before purchasing it. There is something about it that … IDK, doesn’t sound quite right.
The Librem I would go for total about $4800, which is quite a lot for the screen and processor they provide.
I’ve been a decades long user of ThinkPad, from T22 till my current T440p. (T22; T41; T60; W700DS; T61p; and T440p) The only reason for upgrading is the RAM limit. Currently stuck to 16G, I would need at least 64, even more … 128GB because of my (verrrrry) heavy use of browser tabs … which is a big problem inside Qubes, as each tab is a new window/qube.

I think I’m going to save up some more and go for a P16 with 128GB RAM. Unfortunately, these doesn’t come with Rysen but only i9, so I’ll need to tweak some; like removing the Intel Management, and install Coreboot. Also, the Librem Key that unlocks the LUKS !
But be honest: These mods are totally out of my knowledge reach … That’s why I’m still debating.

Why would you specifically want a non V-pro proc ? Isn’t that the very core needed to run (xen) Qube ? I’m confused …

Hey, I focused on non-VPRO processors to avoid Intel Management (i.e. AMT) which is basically a backdoor (or front). Why you think VPRO is a requirement for Qubes I hope I have not made a mistake?? The only CPU requirements are a 64-bit Intel (or AMD) processor with vt-d and vt-x (which non-vpro CPU have).

The only other potential issue I see is if you use anti-evil maid it requires Intel TXT. But when i last looked at that it seems difficult to setup since it requires TPM 1.2 and does not support UEFI. I did not think many people use it because of the limitations?

oh !! hum … looks like I’ve been mixing/confusing vPro and vt-…
I thought vPro was the virtualization thing, hence me focusing on getting such proc (for Xen)
According to your statement, I will now look for non vPro as well ! (or get someone to disable it)

Looking through … I see that the 3yo P53 with 128GB RAM is not that bad either ! And so is the P15g also with 128G ram

@thinkpadp1 @Erica.vH Understand you may want Thinkpad
Sorry if off topic but have you looked at Novacustom?

airelemental very helpful post? →


Service manual here and Overview - Dasharo Universe

Just idea. hth

Not off-topic at all ! :slight_smile:
Thks for adding these …
Librem 13 and Librem 15 are not (no longer?) available.
Librem 14 seems to have many problems, have a cheap screen, and is “limited” to 64G
NS51 Series 15.6 inch coreboot ultrabook - NovaCustom seems nice too, I remember checking it out some times ago, but didn’t move forward. It’s also “limited” to 64G. Same for https://system76.com/laptops/darter and Same goes with StarBook Starfighter.
All in all, what I’m after is a sturdy and tough yet portable workstation with max ram (128) size 14’’
Since there is NO 128G RAM in 14’ format, I had to move up 1-2 inches
That’s how I came up with P53, P15 (NOT P15s, nor P15v) or P16, as they all three have 4x 32GB slots
I think I’m going to get a P53, as it allows for a 2,5’’ drive along with an NVMe one … and will find someone to install coreboot and disable AMT/ Intel ME for me

Quick search lead to Lenovo’s Linux-Powered ThinkPad P53 Has Utterly Spoiled Me | by Jason Evangelho | Linux For Everyone | Medium

“There’s no denying this laptop is a workhorse.”
“The entire base of the P53 is built like a tank and you better believe the weight reflects that.”
“… monster 230W power adapter …”

:heavy_check_mark: tough and “powerful”

If coreboot and ME disable important to you might need more research. Hope wrong but do not know.

Also saw some 2+ year old /r/qubes posts and 4/20 https://groups.google.com/g/qubes-users/c/HhEidcYIGrU/m/gJdduedsCQAJ talk of NVIDIA and wireless challenges. Nothing more recent may be positive but thought should say. Think wifi resolved.

128GB ECC RAM would be awesome. Love to see HCL report if buy. Bonne chance!

You don’t have to max the RAM and SSD, you can buy them elsewhere and install yourself.


Never heard any complaints about its screen. You mean, not 4k? It’s definitely better than on Librem 13.