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Ubuntu 16.04 on ThinkPad T470s

This is a document describing how to install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on ThinkPad T470s.

My Hardware

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7600U (2.80GHz, 4MB cache)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Display: 14” WQHD (2560 X 1440) IPS Non-Touch Anti-Glare
  • Memory: 24GB DDR4 2133 MHz (8GB Onboard + 16GB)
  • SSD: PCIe-NVMe 256G OPAL 2.0
  • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC (2x2) 8265 Bluetooth 4.1
  • Fingerprint Reader
  • No Smartcard Reader


Canonical says the pre-installed version of Ubuntu 16.04 works on T470s.

Kernel issues

I recommend using Ubuntu 16.04.3 or later to avoid most of the following issues.

If you try using 16.04.1 or earlier, you should use the following command to install the HWE kernel after installation (see this document for more details):

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-16.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04

下記の問題が起きる可能性があるので、基本的には公式の 16.04.3 を使ったほうがよい。Ubuntu Japanese Team が提供する日本語 Remix リリースは無印の 16.04 であることに注意。特にイーサネットが使えない問題が面倒だが、このページを参考に4.4 より新しいバージョンのカーネルを USB メモリなどで用意しておくことでも対処できる。

Wifi and Eithernet problem

Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux kernel 4.4 can't recognize wifi and ethernet device on T470s. We can manually install a more recent kernel (such as 4.8) after installation (via USB drive) to solve the issue.

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-4.8*.deb linux-image-4.8*.deb

NVMe support

The Linux kernel earlier than 4.11 can't handle power saving of NVMe devices properly. Andy Lutomirski's patch to solve the issue is mereged in 4.10.0-14.16 in Ubuntu and available in the latest HWE Stack for 16.04.


It is also resolved in the latest HWE kernel.

Fan controll

thinkfan can mitigate the problem.

Issues during installation

Disable Secure Boot

Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware, Flash, MP3 and other media

Summary: The following message displayed at startup is unavoidable if you want to use third-party driver, such as NVIDIA graphics driver and VirtualBox driver, and NOT a major issue in most cases.

Booting in insecure mode

Can't unlock LUKS encrypted drive

Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security

Summary: Configure the kernel parameter to change from splash to nosplash when starting the kernel.

Battery Life


Add a custom screen resolution

touch $HOME/.xprofile
chmod +x $HOME/.xprofile



xrandr --newmode "1440x900_60.00"  106.50  1440 1528 1672 1904  900 903 909 934 -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode VGA1 1440x900_60.00
xrandr --output VGA1 --mode 1440x900_60.00

Thunderbolt 3 Dock

BIOS setting

If ThinkPad doesn't recognize your mouse and keyboard connected to the dock when reconnect the Thunderbolt 3 cable, changing Security Level of the Thunderbolt 3 setting to No Security would help.


Unplug USB-C cable before suspending ThinkPad is recommended because it, unfortunatelly, sometimes crash in resuming.

Ethernet on the dock

4.10 kernel doesn't support ethernet on the dock. You must use 4.13 instead.

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rjw commented Dec 22, 2017

Thanks for the detail, I'm thinking of buying one and this is extremely useful information.

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maxjerin commented Jan 5, 2018

Extremely helpful, thank you for this. Have you tried Ubuntu 17.10 yet? I was wondering if it had better support out of the box considering it has the 4.13 kernel.

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okapies commented Jan 9, 2018

@maxjerin I think basically newer kernel is better and using 17.10 is recommended. I'm using 16.04 with HWE (equivalent to 17.04 in Jan 2018) kernel because it has LTE support.

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Very useful - thank you for the write-up. I ended up going with a T470p instead. Thunderbolt isn't really important to me, but having an Nvidia card is (even though it's only a 940MX). I also decided to go for the more powerful H-series CPU (with 4 cores, and 4 virtual cores), rather than the U-series (with 2 cores, and 2 virtual cores). I installed Kubuntu 17.10, and it runs flawlessly (well, almost flawlessly - sometimes shutting down takes about 2 minutes, not sure what's causing the delay, and it only happens intermittently).

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enyone commented Feb 17, 2018

I just wrote this blog posting and it describes how to gain all the features of your Thunderbolt 3 dock without disabling Thunderbolt security features from bios.

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atomota commented Feb 18, 2018

Thank you, that was very helpful. I ordered a ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock and connected it to my T470s. After deactivating Thunderbold security, with Ubuntu 17.10 (kernel 4.13) everything worked out of the box (2 external screens plus 1 internal, sound, network, USB, charging, hot-pluggable). Next step would be to run it with appropriate Thunderbold security. Thanks to @enyone, I have to try out.

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Hi! I found this very helpful, right now I have one and I've installed Fedora 27 on it, but the desktop graphics are too "choppy" and I was thinking on trying an older distro to se if it improves (I know it sounds crazy) What's your desktop experience on Ubuntu 16.04, graphics wise (btw, I don't mean gme graphics or video editing, just plain gnome desktop). Thanks in advanced!

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Great stuff! It helped me with my new laptop. Thanks!

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Do you have problems with different dpi on external monitor than the internal one and scaling?

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@enyone Are you able to get USB ports working with Thunderbolt security mode set to "USB and DisplayPort", which is required for enabling 512 MB (rather than 256 MB) of video ram.

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Thanks for the help. I'm trying to figure out how to extend my battery life. Do you think you will have details on that anytime soon?

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