X230/framework build with Qubes OS. (or just an affordable stepping stone into a framework laptop)

13 is preferable because keyboard is non-usb.

I’m looking to mod an x230. I’ve seen people posting about transplanting thinkpad keyboards to work over USB with special boards and such. I assume this is because special key mapping, the nipple, etc?

What if I just want basic functionality. Can the ribbon connector of my thinkpad keyboard interface with framework 13 mainboard and for the most part just work?

Alternatively I’m looking at pairing framework keyboard and mainboard, and using the shell of the thinkpad.

Any thoughts, experience, advise?

I’m looking for a cheap, gradual route into a framework laptop. If I can get away with using my thinkpad shell + display via a display port adapter, with the framework mainboard and any non-USB keyboard combo I’d be very interested.

Welcome to the forum.

For QubesOS?

Unfortunately, that won’t work at all. The wiring in laptop keyboards is not standard, so the pinout won’t match.

Thanks for replying.

How about the trackpad? Are those universal?

Maybe could get away with awkwardly jamming the framework keyboard above the existing x230 trackpad without using the framework input cover/trackpad component.

I’d be fine with a small profile USB trackpad/mouse if needed, but don’t want USB keyboard because QubesOS.

With the mainboard, I was thinking to have it in the 3d printable or coolmaster mainboard case. Would want to dremel out the x230 shell and place the mainboard case inside.

If the x230 stuff is too much, maybe simpler to find a way to place the keyboard directly onto the 3d printed case.

If I went that route I could source a smaller screen. I’ve seen that people are using 10inch Ipad screens. In fact that smaller form factor would be great as I travel a lot.

Figured it would be QubesOS.

I don’t know as much about touchpad communication and drivers. But at minimum, the connector is unlikely to fit and / or have a matching pinout. Internal laptop parts aren’t at all like desktop parts, where things are expected to generally be standardized and many are just plug-and-play.

Technically, a non-Framework keyboard could possibly be made to work directly connected / not converted to usb. But it would be a lot of effort. Since the Framework Embedded Controller is open source, you might be able to modify to work with the different key matrix. Touchpad might be possible too, but I think it would be harder depending on the particular touchpad, how much information is available, any peculiarities about it.

Thanks again,

Any resources on mounting the framework keyboard to the 3D printed mainboard enclosure? (With battery mod for ease) https://www.printables.com/model/639639-framework-mainboard-case-with-battery

I know cables can be modded to accommodate a new layout. Mod Framework Keyboard to External USB? - #16 by MJ1

With some imagination I’m sure a separate small USB trackpad can be mounted semi-flush within the footprint but not sure that’ll solve the Qubes issue with framework trackpad and AMD (preferred) mainboard- No USB with 4.2.0-rc5 on Framework Laptop 13 AMD · Issue #8734 · QubesOS/qubes-issues · GitHub)

I’d really like to keep the thinkpad shell, hinge, and screen (possibly do the x230 13" IPS mod).

Should I rename this thread to focus on the project goals as a whole?

Not that I’ve run into.

New layout? With the boards I linked there, that would be just extending the cable, not changing the layout or pinout.

I don’t know much about Qubes, besides that it doesn’t seem to have a way of dealing with usb keyboards without compromising the way they want their security to work.

That might be good. Maybe attract people who know about Qubes.

in response to “New layout? With the boards I linked there, that would be just extending the cable, not changing the layout or pinout.”

  • That’s me getting my terminology wrong. I meant flexibility in terms of freedom to position the keyboard in the frame.

You can quote someone by highlighting the desired text, then clicking the “quote” button that appears.

In case it would help, you can find the pinouts for the trackpad and other components of the FL13 here on Framework’s Github