[SOLVED]Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

[SOLVED]Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-02-24 22:33

A friend has an old T60 Thinkpad that was running XP and the hard drive has gone bad. He would like to have Linux installed, as he is fed up with Windows, and I am uncertain as to whether I can install Buster i386. Currently the laptop has only 512 MB of ram and I am suggesting that he upgrade to 2 MB if we can find the memory here in Costa Rica. Also I have suggested that he install a 120 GB (minimum) SSD. I believe that the processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo. I am not positive as I don't have access to the laptop at this moment (it's in the computer repair shop).

So, is this machine as I have described it capable of running Debian Buster i386?

Thanks for your responses.
Last edited by ticojohn on 2020-03-01 22:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby anticapitalista » 2020-02-24 22:41

I have a T60 32 bit running antiX-19 (buster-based) with 3GB RAM and a cheap 128GB ssd.
So yes, that machine is capable of running Debian buster with the changes you suggest.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-02-24 22:59

I have a T60 32 bit running antiX-19 (buster-based) with 3GB RAM and a cheap 128GB ssd.
So yes, that machine is capable of running Debian buster with the changes you suggest.


Thanks for the quick response. I had some confidence that Buster i386 would run but just wanted some additional feedback,
I appreciate the quick response and will post back here if and when we get it running.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby stevepusser » 2020-02-25 04:29

The machine is capable of 64-bit, but i386 is the correct choice, since the programs will use maybe 20-30% less RAM. Just don't go installing GNOME, Cinnamon, or other heavy desktops.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby anticapitalista » 2020-02-25 10:41

stevepusser wrote:The machine is capable of 64-bit, but i386 is the correct choice, since the programs will use maybe 20-30% less RAM. Just don't go installing GNOME, Cinnamon, or other heavy desktops.


Not all T60 are 64 bit capable - mine isn't.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-02-25 17:52

@stevepusser The machine is capable of 64-bit, but i386 is the correct choice, since the programs will use maybe 20-30% less RAM. Just don't go installing GNOME, Cinnamon, or other heavy desktops.

Thanks stevepusser. I am planning to install Buster i386 with either LXDE or XFCE with lightdm. I have burned the netinst iso to a USB stick. Hopefully the T60 will boot from USB. If not I can always burn the iso to a CD, but from what I have read I think the T60 supports booting from a USB. Right now we are still waiting for the repair shop to come up with 2 GB of RAM. It's older DDR2 SODIMM. Don't know how available it might be here in Costa Rica. But I'm sure that we'll come up with something, maybe used.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-02-25 19:50

I have Debian Buster with LXDE iunstalled on a ThinkPad T40 and R50. Both needed to boot from CD. At least I wasn't able to get it booting from USB. But beside that both systems run fine with Buster. I like it very much. 8)
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-02-25 22:55

Onsemeliot wrote:I have Debian Buster with LXDE iunstalled on a ThinkPad T40 and R50. Both needed to boot from CD. At least I wasn't able to get it booting from USB. But beside that both systems run fine with Buster. I like it very much. 8)

Thanks for the feedback. I was looking on line at the BIOS for the T60 and it looks like it might boot from a USB, but just to be on top of things maybe I should go ahead and burn a CD.

I just found this https://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=23706 which would seem to confirm that the T60 can boot from a USB stick. I'll still burn a CD just in case.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby anticapitalista » 2020-02-26 14:23

My T60 boots from usb(2)
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-02-26 18:21

anticapitalista wrote:My T60 boots from usb(2)


Thanks for the update. I'm still waiting for the shop to find additional RAM. Will update when I can get the OS installed.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-02-27 17:31

Still don't have the T60 to do the install, but I did find out that it has 1 MB of ram. As they can't find more ram for the laptop I am hoping that Buster i386, with XFCE or LXDE, will run okay. I think it will be okay as long as he doesn't have too many open tabs in the browser (he likes Chrome.Chromium. ugh). My friend uses the laptop only for web browsing, email etc., so I think it will be okay. Hoping to have the computer tomorrow or Saturday to do the install.
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-03-01 20:43

I got Buster installed. Had to use the firmware version(firmware-10.3.0-i386-netinst.iso). However, after installation there is no network connection, neither wired nor wifi. I have no idea what is wrong. And I cannot connect to the internet to download any packages. but there is firmware and wifi installed from non-free. As this is more of a software issue, I think, should I start a new post?
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Re: Install Debian Buster on Lenovo Thinkpad T60

Postby ticojohn » 2020-03-01 22:02

Got the WIFI working. Had to edit NetworkManager.conf and set managed=true.
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