Thinkpad X220T/X230T Manjaro Linux & Krita guide

So these laptops are powerful enough to run Windows 10 without issue, and have drivers available on the Lenovo website. The Waicom drviers that are available on the website don't work with pen pressure. Heading to Reddit I found that there are specific versions of the Waicom driver that are supposed to work better but I always ran into issues.

The issues might be related to Windows, Windows Ink or Waicom I dislike all of these and was able to get Krita working with pen pressure much easier under Linux.

I chose to write this guide since I believe that Manjaro Linux can offer a great user experience with this device, specifically for drawing in Krita

If you would like the install Manjaro alongside Windows 10, resize the Windows 10's partition in Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management.

Download & Boot the Manjaro live USB

  1. Download the latest version of Manjaro Linux from their website.
  2. Write the iso to a USB, Etcher (balenaEtcher) is my recommended tool for Windows & MacOS.
  3. Eject the USB from your PC, plug it into the Thinkpad
  4. Power on the Thinkpad, pressing F12 repetitively until the device boot menu shows up
  5. Navigate to your USB and press Enter to boot from it.

If your boot device doesn't show up, you will need to disable secure boot from the BIOS menu.

Using the xfce version is fine too if you are feeling something more lightweight.

Install Manjaro Linux

  1. You will be booted into a live, fully functional Manjaro environment, we will of course be installing Manjaro to the SSD of the Thinkpad.
  2. Open the Manjaro installer, there is a shortcut on the desktop. ~Most of the steps are pretty self explanatory
  3. Pick your location
  4. Setup your partitions, if you are installing alongside Windows select the option, otherwise select 'Erase Disk' and 'Swap (with Hibernate)'
  5. Enter in your user information, you do not need to create a password for the administrator account (your account can do everything that an administrator can (your account has sudo and can change the root password if desired))
  6. Select an Office suite, LibreOffice (or 'No Office Suite') is my recommendation
  7. Check the summary and click install
  8. Once the installation is complete, check the box that says 'Restart Now'
  9. Remove the USB once the Thinkpad logo appears. As we don't want to accidentally boot back into the installer.

Update Manjaro Linux and Install Programs

Once Manjaro has booted you can login using the credentials that you set during the setup process, make sure you are connected to WiFi for the following steps

Update Manjaro

Before anything else we will set some update settings and update Manjaro and all it's packages

  1. Search for 'Update' in the application menu (What would be the start menu in windows) and open 'Software Update - Add/Remove Programs'. There is also a system tray icon to indicate if there are software updates available.
  2. Click the hamburger menu (in the top right section of the window) and click 'Preferences'
  3. Enter your password and the preferences window will open
    1. Click the 'Official Repositories' tab and select your country. Do not ask my why this doesn't get set in the installation process.
    2. Click the AUR tab and 'Enable AUR support'
    3. Close the preferences window
  4. In the 'Updates' tab, click Apply to install all available updates and wait for the updates to complete
  5. You may be prompted for a reboot, there is one more thing we need to do.
Install Programs
  1. Click the 'Browse' tab in the Software Update window, and click the magnifying glass to search
  2. Search for 'thinkpad-scripts', click build, click apply.
  3. You can think of these as the Thinkpad drivers, they setup the functionality for the hardware buttons on the screen, and screen rotation (that works with pen input).

  4. Search for Krita and install it
  5. Once this is complete reboot the computer.

A few settings to make things nice

In Krita:

Under Settings, Configure Krita, General, Tools

In the System Settings Manager

Startup and Shutdown:

In the System Settings "Shortcuts" menu

From the settings menu, or searching in the application menu open the Shortcuts app

Add another shortcut for the other Thinkpad button, the landscape to portrait one. Set it to the command thinkpad-rotate cw


Start Krita while the keyboard is available and press Ctrl + Shift + F to enter full screen mode (and still have access to all of the Krita functionality.