HCL entry Lenovo P52 (20M9001NGE)

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Achim Patzner

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Oct 28, 2018, 12:05:42 PM10/28/18
to qubes-users
TL;DR: Don't bother buying one (or a similar machine from the other
series (T, X, P1)) yet.

Well...

I finally got my personal Lenovo P52 back (actually forced Lenovo into
late DOA as there are no spare parts for them right now).

[Side notes: If you have a current generation Lenovo (Px2, X/Tx80) DO
NOT actitvate Thunderbolt pre-boot support (recommended for Linux but
completely useless for current generation Linux kernels) as it will
immediately brick your mainboard. The same will happen if you do an ME
firmware upgrade and reboot into the setup menu immediately afterwards
instead of rebooting it into some OS. The same may happen if you turn
off Secure Boot and reset any secrets involved in it at the same time.
Yes, I caused 5 DOAs in one week by de-Windowing them (is someone from
Prague permitting me to call that "defenestration"?).]

1) Unlike former generation hardware I cannot get the CPU's GPU to work
with it; not even as EFI frame buffer (much less as i915). Thanks to
current kernels nouveau is able to bring it up at all but as soon as I
try changing resolution or terminate my session the display goes black
(even on the text consoles). The nVidia is a major annoyance but it is
at least working.

1a) Unlike Lenovo's compatibility chart claims the system none of the
Linux distributions I have been testing are working with this Intel GPU
ight now (https://certification.ubuntu.com/hardware/201806-26280/ is
probably plainly synthetic). As soon as you type lshw with the device
active (as in "enabled in the firmware setup") our P52 hang and have to
be powered off. I've heard that the latest kernel might be working...
But at least none of the others are crashing with the nVidia GPU.

2) If you boot the system set to external GPU you will get these PCI
devices

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Device 3ec4 (rev 07)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v5/E3-1500 v5/6th Gen
Core Processor PCIe Controller (x16) (rev 07)
00:04.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200
v5/E3-1500 v5/6th Gen Core Processor Thermal Subsystem (rev 07)
00:08.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v5/v6 /
E3-1500 v5 / 6th/7th Gen Core Processor Gaussian Mixture Model
00:12.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Device a379 (rev
10)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Device a36d (rev 10)
00:14.2 RAM memory: Intel Corporation Device a36f (rev 10)
00:14.3 Network controller: Intel Corporation Device a370 (rev 10)
00:15.0 Serial bus controller [0c80]: Intel Corporation Device a368 (rev
10)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Device a360 (rev 10)
00:16.3 Serial controller: Intel Corporation Device a363 (rev 10)
00:17.0 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Device a353 (rev 10)
00:1b.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device a340 (rev f0)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device a338 (rev f0)
00:1c.7 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device a33f (rev f0)
00:1d.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device a330 (rev f0)
00:1e.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Device a328 (rev 10)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Device a30e (rev 10)
00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Device a348 (rev 10)
00:1f.4 SMBus: Intel Corporation Device a323 (rev 10)
00:1f.5 Serial bus controller [0c80]: Intel Corporation Device a324 (rev
10)
00:1f.6 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection (7)
I219-LM (rev 10)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 1bbb (rev
a1)
02:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
Device a808
70:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTS525A
PCI Express Card Reader (rev 01)
71:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
Device a808

(02:00.0 and 71:00.0 depend on NVMe devices being installed; the
firmware is hiding them if they are empty).

If you connect something to the USB-C ports before booting Qubes (which
is ignoring devices coming up after booting now) you will get additional
devices like

04:00.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 15ea (rev 06)
05:00.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 15ea (rev 06)
05:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 15ea (rev 06)
05:02.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 15ea (rev 06)
05:04.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 15ea (rev 06)
06:00.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Device 15eb (rev 06)
3a:00.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Device 15ec (rev 06)

(06:00.0 being a Thunderbolt controller -- the device on the other end
of the line, a TEKQ SSD "drive" doesn't show up and is not usable on
Qubes but bloody fast on Windows and can keep your coffee hot)

Turning on the Intel GPU would add a

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 3e9b

(but as soon as it is on, Qubes (better: Xen) is not showing more than 5
lines of messages before the fan goes to high speed and the system
freezes).

3) The Intel NIC needs the usual tweaks for being attached to sys-net.

4) The system is as annoying as all HiDPI devices with Qubes. Only more
so as it is a 15.6" display at 286 DPI.

Some people claim that a kernel built from last week's bleeding edge
resources and Intel DRM do at least not crash when lshw is touching it
and it might even run X. So there is some hope for it. I need the nVidia
as coprocessor to hand off to some hard number crunching off to it so I
intend to have the GUI on the Intel GPU. I could use the efifb driver
but I would have to spend days on the X configuration and on 3840*2160
it would be slow as hell.


Unrelated to the system itself: The Qubes setup part of the installer
should be less rigid if something fails during its run. It is assigning
all network interfaces it can put its hands on to sys-net and then fails
on bringing it up because of the usual PCI resetting problem with the
Intel NIC in current Lenovo notebooks (my solution was going to a
terminal and write an endless loop of "qvm-pci detach sys-net
<offender>" running in the background during the installation). It fails
with sys-usb if there is a second (or third) USB controller present
during installation. If you're stupid enough to have it restart the
setup part it is missing the image files of the template VMs during VM
setup AND erases them from the Qubes installation (which means your
template VMs will consist of empty directories).

Oh and should you dare to want to do your own partitioning (I'm using
btrfs for /), have multiple disks and need to modify the /boot/efi
partition (i. e. because you do not want to put it on the sda the
installer chose when you created it) the installation will not continue.
Using pre-made partitions didn't work either (Fix: Let the installer
force a /boot/efi on you and move the contents to the intended location
later.)


Achim
Qubes-HCL-LENOVO-20M9001NGE-20181028-160022.yml
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