[en] Notes on Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2017 + Arch Linux


Quick Summary

I’m running Arch Linux (kernel 4.14) on a Thinkpad X1 Carbon 5th Gen (X1C5).

Most stuff works out of box,

Things not working,

I haven’t tried,



ALPS or Elantech?

X1C5 comes with two versionshttps://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/9768231/

of TrackPoint: ALPS and Elantech. I confirmed mine has an Elantech one using TrackPointDetect.exe.

TouchPad-Flash Utility
2017-06-08 20:42:27
Command Line: "C:\Users\alexlu\Desktop\FW_Updater_1.0.0.9\TrackPointDetect.exe"
OS: 64-bit
Pst Vendor : Elan
[ERROR]: This TrackPoint is Elan (ID:03)

Cursor Speed & TrackPoint Cap

I took a plastic adapterThe plastic adapter from previous Thinkpad

from my previous laptop - a Thinkpad E130 and trimmed a Soft Rim Cap to fit “Super Low Profile”. The cursor speed and acceleration gets much better.

IMHO, a soft rim is much better than a soft dome.
IMHO, a soft rim is much better than a soft dome.


It works with libinput and pressure-based palm detection are functional. But it is still unresponsive to small movements for current release. https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=98839

There is a different device according to this thread.

dmesg output:

rmi4_smbus 0-002c: registering SMbus-connected sensor
rmi4_f01 rmi4-00.fn01: found RMI device, manufacturer: Synaptics, product: TM3289-002, fw id: 2492434

Fingerprint Reader

X1C5 have a Validity Sensor 138a:0097. There is no driver for it.

There is an open source reverse engineered driver working in progresshttps://github.com/nmikhailov/Validity90




X1C5 (WWAN) comes with a Sierra EM7455 LTE Modem (1199:9079).

It works out of box using latest ModemManager.


I’m using i3-gaps without a desktop environment.

Hardware Video Acceleration

It is possible to use the integrated graphic card to decode/encode videos, and this helps power-saving a lot.

See this article on ArchWiki for more info.

There are two spec/implement/API: VAAPI (by Intel) and VDPAU (by Nvidia). Since most software supports VAAPI, I just need to install libva-intel-driver pacakge.


Current release version has a bughttps://github.com/01org/intel-vaapi-driver/issues/297

when decoding VP9 videos, libva-intel-driver-git package should fixes that.


There is a VAAPI implementation for Chromium OS, and there is also a patchhttps://chromium-review.googlesource.com/c/chromium/src/+/532294

to enable that on Linux. The chromium-vaapi-bin package on AUR provides prebuilt binary, or you can build chromium-vaapi by yourself (It takes about 6 hrs first time, you can use ccache to speed up if you want to build it more than one time).



These issues/tricks/workarounds are mostly outdated(linux kernel ≤ 4.12). Maybe I should just remove this section someday…



  • Recognized as a “PS/2 Generic Mouse”
    ⇒ No palm-detection during trackpoint use

  • Since kernel driver doesn’t support the new trackpoint, both of sensitivity and speed aren’t adjustable.
    ⇒ The default speed/sensitivity is too slow to use.

Mark it as a pointing stick

I found I can making libinput treat the “PS/2 Generic Mouse” as a trackpoint using a custom udev hwdb entry.

Note: this should not be used anymore once trackpoint gets kernel driver supports

evdev:name:PS/2 Generic Mouse:dmi:*svnLENOVO*:pvrThinkPadX1Carbon5th*

Better TrackPoint Acceleration

There is a patch which solves speed issue.

I get my trackpoint much usable by setting up:

  • xinput set-prop "PS/2 Generic Mouse" "libinput Accel Speed" -0.25 in my .xinitrc


The trackpad is able to use rmi4 over smbus for now(4.12).

Turn it on by creating a psmouse.conf in /etc/modprobe.d/

options psmouse synaptics_intertouch=1

Palm Detection

  • pressure-based palm-detection works great (libinput ≥ 1.8)
  • palm-detection during trackpoint use requires mark it as a pointing stick.

New Hotkeys

Before linux-4.12, You needs these patches to get these buttons works.