ThinkPad X1 Carbon 5th Gen

I chose between this machine, a Txxx and Dell. I went the easy route this time. Not much research, just needed a replacement. The rest is going to be about using the machine with GNU/Linux Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 17.04

General and summary

Out of the box, I actually ran the Windows installer, used Windows for a few hours, getting Ubuntu Desktop 17.04 ISO and put it on a USB stick. Rebooted, pressed enter to abort normal boot, selected USB device (it said multicard reader), worked as expected from that point - except for the pointing device(s).


  • All works out of the box (that I’ve tried), except for the trackpad - ie the touchpad and trackpoint (red dot thing between keys G, H and B). This device doesn’t show up under either fresh 16.04 LTS, nor 17.04.
  • My best current setup uses linux boot parameter i8042.reset i8042.nomux psmouse.proto=imps

Hardware Support and Features Tested

All of these are tested and works as expected:

  • wifi
  • monitor
  • USB-C multi-adapter with HDMI
  • USB-B ports
  • built-in speakers, but position has changed so sound is muffled when laptop is put in your lap (as in laptop)
  • webcam - takes 7 seconds to start though

Not yet tested:

  • wan, gsm
  • bluetooth
  • hdmi
  • headphone jack


Added a line to 70-pointingstick.hwdb (after reading some thread on reddit, but it made no difference. xinput still doesn’t list the device:

ceda@lx1carbon5:~$ xinput
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad                id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                 id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                              id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Integrated Camera                         id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=10   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ ThinkPad Extra Buttons                    id=12   [slave  keyboard (3)]

Changed BIOS to:

  • disable Security » Secure Boot » Secure Boot
  • enable Security » Virtualization » Intel (R) Virtualization Technology
  • enable Security » Virtualization » Intel (R) VT-d Feature
  • enable Config » USB » Always on USB » Charge in Battery Mode
  • disable Config » Beep and Alarm » Keyboard Beep

Three ideas where posted on Launchpad a long time ago.

a) Tried modprobe psmouse resetafter=0 - just got worse.

b) Tried i8042.nomux=1 in /etd/default/grub setting GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT, and then running update-grub2. Reboot. This made it a little better, ie it works more often but still completely unusable and unreliable.

b, then a) xinput now shows the device as PS/2 Generic Mouse.

c) Kernel boot argument acpi_osi=Linux - no improvement over any of options above.

Another idea to try out was found on i8042.reset i8042.nomux as boot parameters to Linux kernel. This had the best result, where the mouse was useable every 5-6 seconds, for a duration of less than a second.

Someone else had issues and tried different protocols: modprobe psmouse proto=imps and the imps protocol works for simple things, but scrolling seems to not be supported - or at least working - using this protocol.


apt install openssh-server

ssh -X ‘x2x -east -to :0’

This work by Fredrik Wendt is licensed under CC by-sa.