Linux laptop tips (Lenovo T420)

This a set of random tips, suggested settings and programs I've collected during the setup of Fedora on a Lenovo T420 notebook.


  • Btrfs has many advantages over ext4 but it is not quite stable yet.

  • Turning on compression (lzo or snappy) is a good way to increase performance. See this post if you've already installed your system.
    use the following mount options: noatime,compress=lzo.
    Warning: do not turn on compression on the /boot partition. Grub2 currently can not read compressed files. Quickfix if you've already compressed grub2 files: run chattr -R +C /boot to enable nocow (which disables compression) on the entire boot tree then btrfs fi defrag <file> to uncompress the file. (This is untested but should work. See this thread.)


Post installation tasks

Install additional repositories

Install additional software

  • Fedora Utils is a great tool to install additional programs and do some tweaking
    Similar programs are and EasyLife.
    Update: Since I've dropped Fedora and switched to Ubuntu Gnome Remix, this became obsolete.
  • PowerTOP is a must for all laptop users.
  • Closed-source video drivers can enhance your desktop experience (video, browsing, etc.) and lower CPU usage in general.
    Frequent kernel upgrades can cause problems though. Use akmod package instead of kmod to avoid this.
    Don't forget to generate your xorg.conf after installing the drivers. E.g. for AMD run aticonfig --initial -f
  • BleachBit is a nice cleanup tool for UNIX


Check my Gnome3 tweaks page for more tips and tricks regarding the GUI.

Other places to check