New Laptop – Lenovo 3000 N200

At the beginning of last week I took delivery of a new Laptop, a Lenovo 3000 N200. I’m really pleased with it. Since its arrival I’ve found some time to play around with it, install Fedora 8 and integrate it into my life as my new main machine.

It’s a great little machine with a decent specification and some fun toys like a web cam and a fingerprint reader. Most of the hardware works out of the box on Fedora 8. The following are steps I had to take to get everything working, most of which are taken from the Linlap page for Mandriva the 3000 N200.

Sound – I edited /etc/modprobe.conf and changed the line options snd-hda-intel index=0 to read options snd-hda-intel index=0 model=lenovo.

Webcam – I had to build and install the USB Video Class Linux Device Driver to get the webcam working. Hopefully as this driver matures it will be included in the mainline kernel.

nVidia – I installed the RPM to activate the Livna repositories and installed the nVidia driver as detailed.

Network Manager – I like to use Network Manager which is installed but not used by default. The Fedora Wiki has a page detailing steps to enable Network manager.

I haven’t had any chance to play with the fingerprint reader yet but there are Linux drivers in development called fprint.

I was really pleased that all of the hardware was supported “out of the box” on Fedora 8, bar the sound tweak, including the WiFi adapter.

[Updated: 29/02/08]

It seems quite a few people are stumbling across this post when searching for information on the N200 so I thought I’d best update it with a couple of points from the comments.

Wireless works out of the box on Fedora 8, it seems a little flaky at times but that may just be some of the networks I use.

The Fingerprint reader all works nicely with the version of fprint and fprint-demo in the Fedora 8 repositories, more interestingly work is being done in Fedora 9 to integrate fingerprint reader authentication into the desktop using fprint. Nice! See my new post on Fedora 9 for more interesting new features planned to arrive in that release.

[Updated again:  19/03/08]

There’s been plenty of discussion going on in the comments with regard to getting sound working on the N200. Marc Knüttel seemed to be suffering a bit but fortunately he has now managed to get sound working. His particular problem seemed to be related to the ICH8 + PulseAudio + KDE. Check his blog for his solution: Intel 82801H (ICH8) Sound Card Working on Fedora Core 8 .

While looking at this I also discovered that ALSA version 1.0.15rc2 or later is required to use the ICH8 under Linux. Worth knowing.


  1. Just got same laptop myself today and loaded up Fedora 8.

    Your blog was the first hit I got from google when I had a problem with sound. Looking forward to checking out all your solutions.

    – One question, did your wireless work out of the box?

  2. Hi Sand,

    I’m pretty shocked that I’m the first hit for anything other than my name 🙂

    Yes, wireless did work out of the box. I was, and still am, very impressed.

    Good luck and enjoy your N200!

  3. Well, after a couple of days I am well impressed.

    I’ve bought about 30 Lenovo 3000n100 machines in the last year (For people at work – I am the IT manager) and they’ve performed admirably with XP in a Server 2k3 environment. So I knew they were pretty good machines.

    My 3000n200 with an extra gig of RAM is surpassing all my expectations.

    I messed up a little at the start though. I went ahead an followed your instructions for the nVidia drivers without checking what graphics my machine had. Of course it was intel.

    Sound is working well. Installed Amarok and MySQL today and my library all came across painlessly (via a samba share from my Vista machine).

    Only problem is the Wireless. It’s there, it’s installed. It just won’t pick up any networks. Gotta keep playing with it.


  4. Just bought this, and it is really nice 🙂

    But, I’m confused. You talk about nVidia drivers, but mine has an Intel graphics chipset!

    Running Ubuntu 7.10, wireless works straight out of the box, but sound doesn’t. Need to look at the webcam, the fingerprint reader and get the MMC interface working, it’s seen, but won’t recognise any media in there……

  5. Hi Ian,

    As with many electronics theses days it seems that the 3000 N200 comes in several configurations.

    The modprobe line configuration and the driver linked to above should get you on the right path with sound and web cam respectively.

    I haven’t gotten the MMC or FPR working yet but I honestly haven’t tried, my research indicated that they are both supported though. Good luck!

  6. I have a question I hope someone can answer. I have a Lenovo 3000 N200. It came with Vista basic which I removed by installing Linux Mint and telling the installation to clear the entire hdd. LM installed perfectly, but then could not access the cd/dvd r/rw internal drive of the laptop…….I have bought an external drive which works perfectly through usb2 and curiously, PCLinuxOS installed as a live OS from a CD in the external drive could see the laptops dvd drive,but once it was installed, nope, it could not.

    I am informed that there seems to be a hidden partition I may have removed during LM installation and if so, it may need to be replaced ?

    Or can Fedora 8 actually deal with both the SATA drive and this infernal dvd drive ? I’d love some comments on this one.

  7. Hi Tony,

    Unfortunately I can’t help with this issue. I decided to leave the hidden partition in place until I had everything working properly and haven’t gotten around to removing it.

    I can’t see the optical drive support being dependant on it at all though, it just doesn’t make sense. It seems more likely to be hardware or software fault. Certainly Fedora 8 is quite happily using the drive, I burnt a CDRW with it just yesterday evening.

    Sorry I can’t be more help.

  8. Thanks Joshua, I will be picking up a copy of Fedora 8 to try out…….If it loads and recognises the optical drive then that should be that……..If not…..?? The crazy thing is that you CAN install any OS from that optical drive…….No problem, just put the installation disk into the drive and away you go…….it is only AFTER the OS is installed that it suddenly says: nope, no optical drive is present…….wretched thing.

  9. Hmm, very strange Tony. I have a feeling it’s a driver issue if it works for installation but I can’t be too certain.
    Good luck with Fedora, it’s a great little distro!

  10. hey Josh, i have the same set-up Lenovo n200 3000 on Fedora Core 8, can seem to tweak my sound card, the way you did, any other advice? thanks

  11. Hi Marc,

    The only things I can suggest are that you ensure the sound is not muted by the sound server and that you have the latest software updates installed.

    I did not modify modprobe.conf until I’d already configured everything else and got the latest updates so there may have been a fix in there?

  12. Hi Josh,

    been working around it during my free time, but still nothing, you mentioned that you did some updates, what would those be? i have also seen a lot of users having the same problem with ICH8 on Fedora.

  13. Marc,

    The updates I applied are just the ones in the Fedora and Livna repositories. You need to have at least ALSA version 1.0.15rc2 for the audio to work.

    Don’t forget that Fedora 8 uses PulseAudio, this has caused me some issues a few times as the Gnome volume applet and keyboard shortcuts don’t seem to be fully integrated with PulseAudio.

    Pulse allows you to control the volume for individual applications, etc, which meant I might have used hotkeys to increase the volume to 100% but Pulse had only changed audio settings for the foreground app meaning my speakers where still set at their previous volume.

    Check the PulseAudio Volume Control applet under Applications > Sound and Video and set everything to maximum volume (at least while you test and tweaek).

    Sorry I can’t be more help!

  14. Hi Josh,

    I just updated to alsa 1.0.16, I now see where the problem lies, i think it’s with pulseaudio, i get this error once i try to run pulseaudio Connection failed: Connection refused

  15. Marc, Great stuff! Glad to have been some help! 🙂

    Any idea what actually fixed it in the end?

  16. Tony

    I have the same problem myself, the optical drive not recognized after booting from the harddrive but not when booting from the DVD drive. It seems to be a conflict between the grub bootloader and the BIOS.

    Use the lilo bootloader instead.

  17. Tony,

    …and lilo loads very slowly until you add ‘compact’ option in your lilo.conf

  18. I have tried the latest BIOS from the lenovo web site to no avail. I’m still trying to find a solution with grub and the lenovo.

    BTW, lilo should not be loaded in the MBR. Instead load the ntbootloader in MBR then chainload it to lilo.


  19. HI i have bought lenovo 3000 N200
    and i want to ask some queries about this because i am confuse

    This Fingerprint reader works with the windows password ? i want to login WITH this fingerprint reader in the startup of windows. like login password of window..

    if this can happen then please tell me the setting
    how to set this fingerprint reader.
    because i am blank and could not do that.


  20. Fakhar,

    Unfortunately I cannot help you with this as I am not running Windows on this laptop.

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