[qubes-users] [HCL] ThinkPad T430

A dream has come true!

* ThinkPad T430
* Coreboot/Heads with TOTP & HOTP (Nitrokey)
* ME cleaned & disabled
* Qubes OS R4.0.4 all debian-minimal, memory optimized

Upgrades:

* i7-3740QM
* 16 GB RAM
* 2 TB SSD
* Intel Wireless 7260
* 1080p display

I'll be using this machine for a long long time. :slight_smile:

/Sven

Lenovo-ThinkPad_T430-23497W9-20210603-181256.yml (973 Bytes)

3 Likes

A dream has come true!

* ThinkPad T430
* Coreboot/Heads with TOTP & HOTP (Nitrokey)
* ME cleaned & disabled
* Qubes OS R4.0.4 all debian-minimal, memory optimized

Upgrades:

* i7-3740QM
* 16 GB RAM
* 2 TB SSD
* Intel Wireless 7260
* 1080p display

Hmm...: How many $$$ (€)?

Laptop:

   $244.46 ThinkPad T430
   $237.62 i7-3740QM 2.70 GHz
    $39.75 CPU Cooling Fan Heatsink (04W3269 0B41088 04X3788)
    $84.32 Crucial RAM 16GB Kit (2x8GB) DDR3
   $219.99 870 QVO 2TB SSD
   $115.50 B140HAN01.3 FHD 1920x1080 High Gamut IPS LCD LED Display Panel
    $43.99 1080p IPS FHD Upgrade Kit
    $23.47 7260ac Wireless LAN PCIe

2 Likes

I forgot to mention the Nitrokey. But a Libremkey or Yubikey will do the same job. Whatever you already have or suits your wallet / location etc.

/Sven

1 Like

I see that on the Nitrokey site that they say the i7 73740 is NOT QUBES compatible? Did I get that right?

There are three chips we should talk about to clarify this:

i7-3632QM (listed by Nitrokey, not compatible with Qubes OS)
i7-3740QM (the one I used, NOT listed by Nitrokey)
i7-3840QM (listed by Nitrokey)

The i7-3632QM is that fastest 4 core 35 watt chip Intel makes and the socket 2 version of it, which you would need for the T430 does not have Vt-d. Although there is a i7-3632QM version that has it, but that one can't be used with the T430.

I originally ordered a i7-3632QM because I wanted to stay within the 35 watt design of the T430 and then found out that it lacks Vt-d when I tried to install Qubes OS. I asked Nitrokey about it and they continued to tell me that their i7-3632QM would have Vt-d. Then @Plexus made a post on the Qubes OS Forum regarding this and alerted the Qubes OS Team and that's when Nitrokey added the warning you saw.

You can however also use 45 watt chips with the T430 if you mod the cooling (like I've done). In that case the fastest chip is the i7-3840QM as offered by Nitrokey.

The one I've used is the i7-3740QM which was recommended by @Plexus. It's a tiny bit less powerful than the i7-3840QM but about half the price (if you shop right and not just go for the first listing on Amazon as I did).

Bottom-line: the i7-3740QM has Vt-d and works perfectly with Qubes OS!

/Sven

2 Likes

Awesome work Sven and thank you for being the “one hard t430” guide collaborator and alpha tester. I have so many permutations of T430 in my home right now its hard to keep track of them all.

I will get the guide finished soon and change the repo to public so the community can benefit.,

Cheers,
Plexus.

2 Likes

Actually at least in the US the price difference is basically non-existent and I can't stand the fact that I *could* have a faster CPU. So I ordered the i7-3840QM and will pop it in / resubmit the HCL when it arrives.

/Sven

I have to compliment your taste in hardware, I’m building almost exactly the same machine as we speak except for the SSD, I’m using a 1TB 870 Pro.

Although, I’m entirely new to coreboot and am trying to gather as much info as possible, I’m at the last stage before flashing but I am struggling to understand some of the config options.

If at all possible, could I have a look at your config file Sven as our builds are almost identical.

Also did you flash Coreboot with seabios and then internally flash heads?

Thanks,

Stacey

Coreboot comes as part of heads - so you just build heads and flash that to the 4mb and 8mb chips inside.

Oh I see, okay that’s a key piece of info, thank you.

I am not aversed to research but Heads is seeming enigmatic, do you have any suggestions for guides etc. any advice you could give me would be much appreciated.

Will I have to add my FHD 1080p screen to the build?

Thanks,

Stacey

Hi Will,

I basically used whatever was the HEAD revision of the Heads project at that time. That worked reasonably well, but a few issues remained:

-> A weird seemingly random data corruption issue when restoring backups [1], which I cannot reproduce any longer. I suspect either the VRAM change (see below) or the switch to the 4.19 kernel (see below) or maybe a combination of both fixed it.

-> Distorted graphics (looked like random data in the video buffer) for the first 1-2 seconds when booting. This went away after setting 'gfx_uma_size=224M' in cmos.default and 'select USE_OPTION_TABLE' and 'select STATIC_OPTION_TABLE' in Kconfig. I use an external 4K screen and never checked if this is also an issue without it being connected. You might not need to do this.

-> Random freezes of the system ... this is clearly connected to the 5.4 kernel and never happens when using the 4.19 kernel. As long as the 4.19 kernel is supported I feel no pressure to do anything about it and hope that when the day comes, the newer kernel at that time will not have this issue anymore. There is some talk about this being connected to the i915 driver.

-> Some warnings about the CPU having issues when booting... that's a bug in Coreboot you can simply ignore. If you however want to fix it, just apply this fix [2] manually.

Good luck and let us know how it went!

/Sven

[1] https://github.com/QubesOS/qubes-issues/issues/6227
[2] https://review.coreboot.org/28443

Hi Sven,

That’s great info, thank you!

Other than these issues mentioned above, your fhd mod worked smoothly? As in, no need to add change anything during the heads build process?

I will certainly let you know how it went although, I will probably be back asking more stupid questions in the future before it’s finished lol

Thanks,
Stacey

Smoother than any other computer I ever used with Qubes OS. You will love it!