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Debian on T60

I wrote about Debian GNU/Linux (wheezy) install on my T60. This page contains any notes and links I may collect related to it.

This may not be really interesting, since today (2011-06-18) almost everything Just Works on sane hardware. There are ancient instructions all around that scare you with all kinds of tricky workarounds for various problems that you get on PC hardware and poor system integration. Maybe this will provide a little contrast :-)

The hardware

What works

  • Boots and runs, no crashes or major problems
    • linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64
    • linux-image-2.6.38-2-amd64
    • linux-image-2.6.39-2-amd64
    • linux-image-3.0.0-rc3-amd64
    • linux-image-3.0.0-1-amd64
    • linux-image-3.1.0-1-amd64
    • linux-image-3.2.0-1-amd64
  • X, xv, xrandr, DRI (3D graphics), Free radeon driver, Just Works without any config!
  • DVD drive can be removed and inserted freely (see attached undock_dvd.txt)
  • DVD burning and reading work flawlessly for all the media I've tried.
  • WLAN (ath9k, bg router)
  • Sound (snd_hda_intel)
  • Ethernet (e1000e)
  • Bluetooth (btusb)
  • CPU frequency scaling (acpi-cpufreq, ondemand 1-1.8GHz)
  • KVM (kvm_intel)
  • Suspend to ram (5s to sleep, 2s back up!) and hibernate to disk (6G swap)
  • Fingerprint reader (libpam-fprint)
  • Printing to Samsung ML-1640 (USB, hotplug, CUPS)
  • memtest86+ from GRUB
  • Thermal sensors (lm-sensors, thinkpad-isa)
  • Fan speed set by fancontrol
  • Booting off USB mass memory
  • Full-disk encryption, LVM
  • USB, keyboard, both pointing devices, any other trivial things

What doesn't work

  • Hibernate button doesn't hibernate. It's just a button, I should find a spot to activate it.
  • Modem (probably works, but POTS has been obsolete for over a decade)
  • Fourth GB of RAM (chipset support, T61 does more)
  • Haven't tested card slots (no cards)
  • Haven't tested docking (no dock)
  • Haven't tested external screens yet
  • Haven't tested infrared yet


It's FAST. I'm not used to this :-) The older HDD was probably a bit slower than my old laptop's and an SSD brought a massive improvement over that still. The fan seems to run slowly most of the time, but the machine is quite cool unless really stressed with something.

KVM is a funny new venture and one of the things I really wanted out of this. I'll probably try some other operating systems.

My screen changed from 16:10 to 4:3 with this. I'm not sure how I feel about that. There's a nice load of vertical space now, but videos leave a lot of it unused. The IPS TFT is a wonder in that you can see it from any angle. The privacy sheet will black it out from any practical angle besides head-on. Sadly, the colours are somewhat off. That supposedly happens to IPS screens with age.

The battery lasted over four hours in active use. Charging seems to take about two.

It's very smartly put together and you can still find parts for it.


Harri Haataja,
18 Jun 2011, 02:02
Harri Haataja,
20 Jun 2011, 08:29