This message details my experience installing TW on a 4K / Optimus laptop,
namely a Lenovo ThinkPad P72 with Intel UHD 630 / Quadro P600.
I'd like to hopefully spark a discussion on how to possibly make it
better from the POV
of a proverbial "new Linux user" that would want to install TW on such
I used the current TW net-install image as of today written on a USB drive.
There are 2 separate pain points here: 4K and Optimus.
The issue is text too small and really hard to read. It is even more
problematic on a laptop due to the
very high pixel density.
a. the installer first starts GRUB in native 4K, thus with super small text.
This is only (somewhat) problematic if you have to edit the config.
To address small text, would it not be better for configure GRUB to
always start in a sane resolution
such as 800x600 ?
There is another (smaller) issue: key presses are very delayed (like 2s
b. after GRUB and before the installer switches to Xorg, the linux
console takes over, again in 4K with a super hard to read font.
This transfers over to ncurses (which asks for the WiFi SSID and
password). If you need to spend some time in the various ncurses
installer options (for example to start a shell)
or switch to a virtual console (to check installer / kernel logs), it is
super painful to read. And I'm not even talking about doing a text only
install which is almost impossible to do.
Not sure how this can fixed.
Bonus: it would be nice to have mouse support in ncurses, with the
installer loading gpm. Mostly useful for full text install though.
Assuming, laptop boots into Optimus mode (that is, with 2 graphic
cards), Xorg will start with a blackscreen. The reason is that nouveau does
not work at all in an Optimus setup. Booting with the nouveau module
blacklisted results in Xorg failing to start and the installer falling back
to text installation, but then you have the 4K issue and if you are
brave enough to go for that text install, Xorg will still not start
properly as well on reboot.
The only way to have the graphical installer starting is by enabling
"Discrete only" in BIOS to have a single video card, the NVIDIA card.
This make nouveau not explode.
It would be very nice to have the installer 'just work' in Optimus mode,
although this is tricky.
The installer would have to detect that situation (Optimus) and:
- unload the nouveau module
- make sure Xorg does not try to load the nouveau driver
- start Xorg with the proper BusID for the Device associated to the
Intel card. Xorg is unable to determine it by itself and will fail to
start if the proper BusID is not specified.
=> That way Xorg will start properly using the modesetting driver.
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