Lenovo thinkapds(LibreBoot )buying guide

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8bitDev
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Joined: 09/27/2015

Hi

I am interested to buy one of the Lenovo laptops that are LibreBoot compatible.I can not afford pre loaded laptops as they are usually more expensive and due to such large price import taxes are in mind.Just paying for taxes would cost me like the laptop itself purchased from amazon.com

Now since i am gonna do the procedure on my own(install LibreBoot and Trisquel) and upgrades later on(RAM,SSD,CPU maybe later on)which Laptop should i buy.

Lenovo ThinkPad X60/X60s
Lenovo ThinkPad X60 Tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad T60
Lenovo ThinkPad X200
Lenovo ThinkPad R400
Lenovo ThinkPad T400
Lenovo ThinkPad T500

Keep in mind that i am not interested in display size,as i am gonna use external monitor display,docking station may be useful(just interested if port is open/libre and functional).
Also i seen express card slots and since they are old interested to know if they are also compatible and usable at this time?
I am interested to use the machine for 2D game development (Javascript)and in general for HTML5,CSS3,JS.
Also for regular media use etc etc.

What would be the easiest way to set up,which laptops from the above and why?

Thank you in advance guys,you helped a lot already,this is the final step for me to officially join the community.

Regards

Gnu
Gnu
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Joined: 03/08/2012

X200 is the best!

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

In which sense? Objectively or subjectively?

Gnu
Gnu
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Joined: 03/08/2012

It's only my personal opinion.

catfishes

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Joined: 07/24/2013

If you get an x60 or x60s it must have the right lcd screen. https://libreboot.org/docs/hcl/

Pretty hard to find out before you get it.

aloniv

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Joined: 01/11/2011

For the X60s it seems all panels are compatible (at least according to the Libreboot link provided). The T60 however has incompatible panels.

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

Aloniv earlier directed me to this nice trick that should work on many but not all machines

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/t60-libreboot-replace-display#comment-109962

It worked for me on a T500

aloniv

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Joined: 01/11/2011

Sadly, this method (extracting EDID) failed on one incompatible T60 panel I tried (the panel did not produce valid EDID data even when using non-free VGA option ROM). Connecting an external monitor when using that panel didn't work reliably (graphics wasn't reliable), so I cannot recommend a T60 for use with an external monitor unless you have access to multiple panels (e.g. if you buy from a repair shop which has spare parts).

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

I'm unsure from your question, 8bitDev, if you are able to flash by hardware method - I can't talk about that.

I have flashed a T60 being absolutely not very hackerish. The guides are at some points a bit confusing, but with patience and help (e.g. here), it's really easy.

Remember that for each model you have to check the configuration, in your case probably processor power is most important. From this site you can check out possible configurations for each model: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:Models

8bitDev
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Joined: 09/27/2015

I don't have raspberry pi or beagleboard at the moment.
I don't think that procedure itself would be too hard,and yes power is crucial for the device(CPU on board and RAM/SSD which i would upgrade later.)

willhill
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Joined: 02/15/2017

The X60 is one of the few models that can be flashed without external hardware and most people would say that's easier than a hardware flash. Other models must be taken apart and flashed with another computer like a Beagle Bone. The Libreboot install page explains this in gruesome detail that's beyond me,

https://libreboot.org/docs/install/

I have some pictures of what a hardware install looks like here,

http://tacoma/photo_album/chron/2016/2016_03_19-libraplanet/

If you have mastered the art of flashing by hardware, you should try a newer and more powerful models you list. The X60 works very well with its own screen but is a little slow with a 1200x1600 external monitor. The X200, for example, is excellent with that external monitor. The list of supported hardware is here,

https://libreboot.org/docs/hcl/

I've written a little about my X60 and X200 use here,

http://50.81.205.197/photo_album/chron/desktop/thinkpad/x60.html
http://50.81.205.197/photo_album/chron/desktop/thinkpad/x200.html

This thread has given me an idea ... Minifree sells USB with GNU/Linux install media on it to raise funds. Why don't you email them and Libiquity to ask if they might sell a USB stick that can be used to install an OS that will flash an X60?

tdlnx

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Joined: 04/09/2014

I have a X200 that I found on eBay pre-installed with Libreboot. I also purchased an extended battery and it gives me the best battery life of any laptop I've ever owned!

It's really plenty fast for daily usage. Compiling sometimes bogs it down but that is true of most computers in my personal experience. It's a great rugged laptop that's small enough to take really anywhere.

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

Can you help me to find a reliable extended battery? Which brand, model etc. did you buy?

tct
tct

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Joined: 10/23/2011

Don't forget about the 4 laptop models with free BIOS here: https://tehnoetic.com/laptops

tdlnx

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Joined: 04/09/2014

I really hate how so many of these shops drive up the price of their equipment. I know it takes time and effort to install these operating systems, but the price they're asking for a Galazy S2 is insane when you can buy them for almost 1/4 of the price elsewhere and install the OS yourself.

Same with the X200 libreboot laptops. In 2017 there's no reason to purchase a dual core machine for upwards of $400 USD. I believe this turns people OFF of using free software because the machines are not on par with other cheaper technology and (as far as the phones go) they are missing features believed to be standard such as wifi.

I understand that these are mostly small shops, and I also understand that using free software isn't about convenience it's about freedom, but how can we expect to bring free software to the public eye when the recommended equipment is outlandishly expensive?

willhill
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Joined: 02/15/2017

I was happy to pay more than $500 for my X200, and the bar has been set very low. $500 is not much more than I'd pay for a similar laptop at Walmart. Yes, the system at Walmart may have a snappier CPU, but it's going to come with Windows 10 which will only work for twelve hours a day. That's not battery life, it's Microsoft's "Active Hours" program wich deactivates your computer after 12 or 18 hours of use, unless you pay Microsoft more money. Respects Your Freedom devices should be attractive to people who are interested in computers. Nasty non free firmware has created a unique oportunity for mom and pop computer stores. The worse software owners become, the more attractive free software is.

The public, by and large, moved to Chromebooks and Android phones. Liberating those is a GNU high priority task.

Businesses, post Snowden, should be scrambling for Respects Your Freedom devices. If enough of them get a clue, they will price the rest of us out of the market until Intel and AMD give up and cooperate. Revenue is already down for PRISM partners. They have been laying off employees and open washing like crazy, but still want power over everyone. Hold on to your old devices, demand freedom, and let the PRISM partners eat it.

Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

Supply and demand: not many businesses propose that service. Fell free to enter the market!

pjhanzlik
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Joined: 01/30/2016

I am ordering a lot of stuff from Tehnoetic right now. While I agree the price is pretty high, I think many people in this thread neglect how valuable service, bug help and return policies can be. Before ordering from Tehnoetic I bought a BBB, a Samsung S2 and an Asus C201 which, while interesting projects, took a lot of my time to free up and even more to get working. On the flip side, Tehnoetic seems really happy to install, advise and support many libre options I wouldn't be able to handle in my personal time. For instance, they offered to install external WiFi drivers and Replicant 6.0 on an S3 for free and soldered/removed many components from my Think Pad.

In contrast, the S2 I bought used had a flakey USB port which was unreturnable/flashable a predictably bad Replicant install given the devices flaw (how does one write data without a port?), I accidentally broke the internal drive on my C201 flashing parabola to it (always back up your GPT tables before gdisking kids), and it turns out setting up a Parabola BBB server just isn't my cup of tea. :-] I love tinkering, but since I have a bit of money now I figure it's high time I let others do that work for me so I can do more enjoyable tasks like learning to code and make libre video games.

(That said, I haven't asked ThinkPenguin how to update my LibreCMC router for about three years now. I have no idea if ThinkPenguin, Minfree or Libiquity would be nearly as accommodating as Tehnoetic has been that far in a products life, but I don't think it's fair to critique the quality of their service without shooting them a quick email at least)

P.S. please pardon grammatical errors / obscurity of this email. It's written with a Nexus 5 with a broken screen on a late night city bus WiFi. =]

On February 22, 2017 4:17:37 PM CST, name at domain wrote:
>I really hate how so many of these shops drive up the price of their
>equipment. I know it takes time and effort to install these operating
>systems, but the price they're asking for a Galazy S2 is insane when
>you can
>buy them for almost 1/4 of the price elsewhere and install the OS
>yourself.
>
>Same with the X200 libreboot laptops. In 2017 there's no reason to
>purchase a
>dual core machine for upwards of $400 USD. I believe this turns people
>OFF of
>using free software because the machines are not on par with other
>cheaper
>technology and (as far as the phones go) they are missing features
>believed
>to be standard such as wifi.
>
>I understand that these are mostly small shops, and I also understand
>that
>using free software isn't about convenience it's about freedom, but how
>can
>we expect to bring free software to the public eye when the recommended
>
>equipment is outlandishly expensive?

--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

8bitDev
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Joined: 09/27/2015

Let me explain about the pricing :

I am not within the states or the EU zone,so for example if Laptop with LibreBoot cost 500$add extra 50$ for shipping,40$ taxes(in case of DHL for customs)590$ total and on top of that 30% for import taxes to the country.Just on taxes alone i would have to pay almost 200$.On amazon.com most of the models mentioned can be purchased for average price of 120$,on amazon.com i can use P.O box for shipping,and i can hire company within the states to lend the P.O box where they can ship device to me via UPS which is cheaper variant.So in total it would be 120$+25 for UPS =145$ and 30% on top of it is almost 200$.So the amount for whole device on amazon would be just paying for taxes if i would purchase device from technoetic or minifree.

willhill
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Joined: 02/15/2017

Hopefully, someone in your country will translate that potential difference into a profit. I'm sorry to hear about all of those barriers. I have to wonder how much a new computer costs there.

8bitDev
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Joined: 09/27/2015

Guys,i was just browsing on MiniFree website and i seen that they have device on pre order

https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-x220/

Price is over the top on my opinion,but i can not see the guide if i have x220 on my own.Can someone explain me what is this all about,how can we find out which devices will be covered by LibreBoot in the future,were there any announcements and how do they communicate with their users?

Regards

Geshmy
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Joined: 04/23/2015

So ThinkPads only work? A local PC recycling outfit has a bunch of impressive looking ThinkCentre units with i5 cpus and something like 3.2 GHz for $169. - Not librebootable?

Magic Banana

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GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

Doesn't that information contradict with the option to install libreboot on an quad-core Core i5-2410M CPU? Wasn't that released in 2011? The LB faq says: "It is extremely unlikely that any post-2008 Intel hardware will ever be supported in libreboot"

Geshmy
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Joined: 04/23/2015

https://libreboot.org/faq/#intel kind of ruined my day.

Maybe my January 2010 desktop may not be too bad as it seems not to have the ME installed at least. Probably one of the last to not get that technology. MSI and Intel H57 Express Chipset.

gderok
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Joined: 08/07/2016

New shop which selling X200 with LibreBoot. https://store.vikings.net/libre-friendly-hardware/x200-ryf-certfied

Megver83
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Joined: 12/21/2015

don't you care if it requires an external flashing? because if you will flash libreboot by yourself, you have to be aware that some machines require external hardware that you may not have.

Джордж
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Joined: 11/28/2015

Did you manage to flash your T400 yet?