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Lenovo P53 with Ubuntu 19.10 and Thunderbolt 3 docking station

I recently bought Lenovo P53 with Windows 10 Pro. Specs:

Model: Lenovo ThinkPad P53 20QN0005PB
i7-9850H/15,6" Full HD IPS HDR / RAM 32GB / SSD 1TB / NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 / Windows 10 Pro

Dock: Lenovo 40AN0170EU ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock 170W

I added second drive: Samsung evo 970 plus 1TB to install only Ubuntu there. I was really happy to see that I have three M2 slots, I read on Reddit that P53 have only two. I think there are two M2 slots and one ssd on all configuration without RTX and three M2 with RTX.

First try - Ubuntu 19.04

In a short - it didn't work. WIFI was not recognized, touchpad didn't work too. I found information that WIFI driver for Intel AX200 works only with newer kernel. So I updated distro to 19.10 and then everything was fine, but not Nvidia drivers.

I spent may hours to fix Nvidia drivers, but after all I downloaded Ubuntu 19.10 beta iso (it was 28.09.2019) and reinstalled Ubuntu.

Second try - Ubuntu 19.10 reinstall

In a short - just do it. Before reinstall I turned off secure boot in BIOS setup and chose to automatically download third party drivers during installation. WIFI works fine, touchpad and Nvidia drivers too. There is no problem with Thunderbolt 3 docking station. It's recognized even in Ubuntu settings:

(Polish language on the screen)

So what I had to do after install? Nothing! And Lenovo P53 is still amazing laptop for me, with Ubuntu :)

For now I have connected ethernet and 4K monitor through the thunderbolt docking station and all usb devices like mouse, keyboard etc.

Screen from Nvidia sever settings:

Summary

Installing Ubuntu 19.10 beta on Lenovo P53 was best solution and everything works fine, even with Thunderbolt dock.

Updating Ubuntu 19.04 to 19.10 was fine too, but installing nvidia drivers from ppa didn't work for me even with secure boot off. I had to remove them from recovery mode to run Ubuntu.

One little detail - fingerprint don't work, and I will update if something will change. I tried with fprintd libpam-fprintd.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions about P53 on Ubuntu!

Known problems [update]

Touchpad stopped working

After few days, my touchpad stopped working. Fix:

sudo sh -c 'echo -n "elantech"> /sys/bus/serio/devices/serio1/protocol'

It is a temporary solution, to make it pernament, edit: /etc/default/grub

Find line:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

And add psmouse.elantech_smbus=0, so it should look like:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash psmouse.elantech_smbus=0"

After that, update grub:

sudo update-grub

Now touchpad works fine event after reboot

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Comments

Sujesh (not verified)

Thanks for sharing your experience.
I have ordered same configuration p53 & definitely will try ubuntu.

juan (not verified)

Hi, thanks for sharing your experience. I have the same laptop.

I tried fedora 30 with a lot of issue. then installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, everything work perfectly, I solve the wifi issue installing iwlwifi backport driver (backport-iwlwifi-dkms).

But the fingerprint reader isn't detected. Did you found a solution for that, is working on Ubuntu 9.10?

Thanks.

juan (not verified)

Thanks for sharing.

I have the same laptop but I'm using Ubuntu 18.04.

Is the fingerprint reader detected and working on Ubuntu 19.10?

Scriptun

Not out of the box. I will try to install some drivers maybe this week and I let you know.

--- update

No luck for now, it's not even visible on lsusb listing.

juan (not verified)

Thanks,

I posted a question on lenovo forum and this was the response:

"Just heard today that Ubuntu does not plan to support libfprint 2.0 that this machine will need until 20.04 release. It will also require a firmware update if you download that library from the git hub project"
- https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Ubuntu/P53-fingerprint-on-linux/td-p/45559…

I found a work in progress banch with the feature we need: https://github.com/freedesktop/libfprint-fprintd/tree/wip/benzea/v2

Scriptun

Thanks for info. So Ubuntu 20.04 maybe will support it. Is planned to release on April 2020, so I can wait :)

it's sad, Lenovo says that support Ubuntu, and even they planned make P53 dev edition with it preinstalled Ubuntu, and they don't care about drivers.

Sam (not verified)

I have a P53 with i9-9880H, RTX 4000 and installed Pop OS 18.04, Kernel 5.3 and everything works out of the box. I didn't try the fingerprint reader though. And in the beginning I had to install the backport WIFI driver from Intel.

Philipp Kondratenko (not verified)

I have only one problem. after getting out of sleep, the touchpad does not work :( and of course the fingerprint scanner does not work, what to do, we are waiting for 20.04 ))

Scriptun

Have you modified grub? Described at the end of the article

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash psmouse.elantech_smbus=0"

 

Maciej (not verified)

Are you able to use external monitors over the dock when using intel graphics?

Scriptun

I turned off intel graphics from bios. I will check it later but if I remember good there was no problems

AdamPL (not verified)

Hi! I followed your steps, with no success, sadly. The only thing working for me on the dock is charging. I am using the same Ubuntu version, virtually the same p53, the same bios setup and (most probably) the same dock.
I see no devices in thunderbolt section in Ubuntu devices settings.

Do you have any suggestions on how to diagnose the issue? Would be extremally grateful for your suggestions.

Scriptun

Hi

"(most probably) the same dock" - most probably? Maybe you need additional drivers? You can also check bios configuration and thunderbolt settings.

PJ (not verified)

Hi
How is prime working on the laptop?

Scriptun

Hi

I had disabled intel in bios settings. But there was no problems. Do you need any test or something specific?

Pan (not verified)

I‘m buying that same workstation (16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - RTX 3000), and I will only use Linux on it. Will I create problems if I remove Windows entirely and replace it with Ubuntu 19.10? Not keen to use memory for an OS which I would not use, but I don’t have the technical background to forecast the issues which I may face if I remove it. Any feedback is welcome!

Scriptun

I dont think there can be any problem with that. I think I removed windows at begining. To be sure create recovery drive and you will be fine.

Ivan (not verified)

Hi, I did the same after I have bought my workstation. Ubuntu works great with only couple of issues so far (like non working cardrider or touch sensor). Can't wait for Ubuntu 20.04 to test it.

Jatala (not verified)

" I turned off secure boot in BIOS setup": did you turn it on after the Ubuntu installation?

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