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Old 01-09-2008, 03:08 AM
Mike Bird
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Tue January 8 2008 19:40:43 Jimmy Wu wrote:
> A question for Thinkpad Debian users:
>
> I will be getting a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 in a few days, which will
> become my primary computer for school/home etc. I want to run Debian
> etch on it, but am relatively new to Debian and Linux (I started with
> Ubuntu about 7 months ago). I have a few questions before I wipe
> Vista off the laptop, specifically about the Thinkpad software that
> comes preloaded. Does Debian provide similar support for stuff like
> the "Client Security" that manages the fingerprint reader, and other
> stuff the volume buttons, the Fn keys, the blue "ThinkVantage" button?
> Also are there any glaring hardware issues I should be aware of?
>
> Thanks in advance for your help,

Check out thinkwiki.org. More info there than I can summarize.

This email sent from a new Lenovo T61 with about 75% of the h/w
currently configured and tested. I kept the recovery partition,
shrank the Vista partition (needed for a game) and assigned most
of the space to a mostly Lenny install with Sid xserver for nvidia.
There are patches available to get sound working in 2.6.22 but I'll
simply wait for 2.6.23. You may have difficulty getting some h/w
to work in Etch. (Today's Sid nvidia-kernel-source has a bug and
needs to be unbzip2'd and untarred before m-a can auto-install.)

--Mike Bird


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Old 01-09-2008, 10:14 AM
Chris Lale
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

Jimmy Wu wrote:
[...]

> I have a few questions before I wipe
> Vista off the laptop, specifically about the Thinkpad software that
> comes preloaded. Does Debian provide similar support for stuff like
> the "Client Security" that manages the fingerprint reader, and other
> stuff the volume buttons, the Fn keys, the blue "ThinkVantage" button?
[...]

Perhaps it would be best to install with dual booting by shrinking your Windoze
partition - have a look at the Debian NewbieDOC wiki [1]. To get access to the
latest tools, you may wish to upgrade to Testing (or perhaps Unstable) after
installing Etch. Alternatively, you can install Testing directly using the
weekly build images [2]. You cannot install Sid directly, although there is the
Sidux project [3] which provides 3 or 4 Sid snapshots each year.

You might want to try the debian-laptop list [4], and Google for "linux thinkpad
t61" [5].

[1]
http://newbiedoc.berlios.de/wiki/How_to_install_Debian_GNU/Linux_on_your_computer#Dual-boot_installation_-_shrink_an_existing_partition
[2] http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/
[3] http://sidux.com
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-laptop/
[5] http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=linux+thinkpad+t61&btnG=Search&meta =

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Old 01-09-2008, 08:51 PM
"Jimmy Wu"
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

Thanks to Chris and Mike for your responses - I appreciate your input and time

On Jan 9, 2008 6:14 AM, Chris Lale <chrislale@untrammelled.co.uk> wrote:
[snip]
> Perhaps it would be best to install with dual booting by shrinking your Windoze
> partition - have a look at the Debian NewbieDOC wiki [1].

and

On Jan 8, 2008 11:08 PM, Mike Bird <mgb@yosemite.net> wrote:
[snip]
> I kept the recovery partition,
> shrank the Vista partition (needed for a game) and assigned most
> of the space to a mostly Lenny install with Sid xserver for nvidia.

The reasons I don't want Vista are as follows:
(1) Microsoft claims even the Home Basic needs "20 GB hard drive with
at least 15 GB of available space" (see
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/systemrequirements.mspx)

I suppose I could dual boot with less than that, but I still don't
want to be wasting 10+ GB of space on something I would almost never
use.

(2) If I were to dual boot, I would rather do it with XP, since it has
worked relatively well for me, and not Vista. I might do this as an
afterthought, but I really want to see how far I can go without M$. I
am not a big gamer. The only reason I would have Windows is because
there might be unforeseeable circumstances when I may run into Windows
only software. I am sure if I needed to, I could always shrink by
Debian partition later and install XP, right?

Once I actually get the laptop and run into hardware issues, you'll
probably see me back here with more questions.

Also, do any of you use the fingerprint reader? That is one thing I
am interested in / curious about.

Thanks again,

--
Jimmy Wu
Registered Linux User #454138


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Old 01-10-2008, 12:27 AM
Mike Bird
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Wed January 9 2008 13:51:21 Jimmy Wu wrote:
> The reasons I don't want Vista are as follows:
> (1) Microsoft claims even the Home Basic needs "20 GB hard drive with
> at least 15 GB of available space" (see
> http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/systemrequi
>rements.mspx)

You might want to make the recovery CDs and save the recovery partition.
In this sad world, being able to restore/reinstall Vista will dramatically
improve resale value when you replace the laptop in a few years.

> Also, do any of you use the fingerprint reader? That is one thing I
> am interested in / curious about.

Thinkwiki says it works. I haven't got around to it yet in Linux.
(Vista fingerprinter reader support worked out of the box but
Vista is ugly in so many ways.)

--Mike Bird


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Old 01-10-2008, 04:31 PM
David Brodbeck
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Jan 9, 2008, at 5:27 PM, Mike Bird wrote:


On Wed January 9 2008 13:51:21 Jimmy Wu wrote:

The reasons I don't want Vista are as follows:
(1) Microsoft claims even the Home Basic needs "20 GB hard drive with
at least 15 GB of available space" (see
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/systemrequi
rements.mspx)


You might want to make the recovery CDs and save the recovery
partition.
In this sad world, being able to restore/reinstall Vista will
dramatically

improve resale value when you replace the laptop in a few years.


Although maybe not as much as if it had XP.


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Old 01-14-2008, 10:47 AM
Chris Bannister
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Wed, Jan 09, 2008 at 04:51:21PM -0500, Jimmy Wu wrote:
> am not a big gamer. The only reason I would have Windows is because
> there might be unforeseeable circumstances when I may run into Windows
> only software. I am sure if I needed to, I could always shrink by
> Debian partition later and install XP, right?

As far as I know, M$ doesn't play friendly with other OS's. XP will want
all the HD. You are best to install XP, then Debian. There may be ways
around it but I'm guessing they would be very unpleasant.

It would be like trying to reason with a selfish unsharing child. :-(

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Old 01-14-2008, 06:26 PM
Mike Bird
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Mon January 14 2008 03:47:32 Chris Bannister wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 09, 2008 at 04:51:21PM -0500, Jimmy Wu wrote:
> > am not a big gamer. The only reason I would have Windows is because
> > there might be unforeseeable circumstances when I may run into Windows
> > only software. I am sure if I needed to, I could always shrink by
> > Debian partition later and install XP, right?
>
> As far as I know, M$ doesn't play friendly with other OS's. XP will want
> all the HD. You are best to install XP, then Debian. There may be ways
> around it but I'm guessing they would be very unpleasant.

Lenny installer had no problem shrinking the Vista partition and
setting up grub dual boot - actually triple boot on the T61 if you
keep the diag partition (recommended).

--Mike Bird


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Old 01-14-2008, 08:45 PM
"Jimmy Wu"
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Jan 14, 2008 2:26 PM, Mike Bird <mgb@yosemite.net> wrote:
> On Mon January 14 2008 03:47:32 Chris Bannister wrote:
> > On Wed, Jan 09, 2008 at 04:51:21PM -0500, Jimmy Wu wrote:
> > > am not a big gamer. The only reason I would have Windows is because
> > > there might be unforeseeable circumstances when I may run into Windows
> > > only software. I am sure if I needed to, I could always shrink by
> > > Debian partition later and install XP, right?
> >
> > As far as I know, M$ doesn't play friendly with other OS's. XP will want
> > all the HD. You are best to install XP, then Debian. There may be ways
> > around it but I'm guessing they would be very unpleasant.
>
> Lenny installer had no problem shrinking the Vista partition and
> setting up grub dual boot - actually triple boot on the T61 if you
> keep the diag partition (recommended).
>

Thanks again for all the input. Given the large amount of HD space I
have, I think I will go with keeping Vista and dual booting, although
I have a bit of work to do before I can even get into installation:

The computer was a gift, and has been preloaded with a bunch of stuff
by the person who gave it to me. Included in this bunch of stuff are,
among other things, 20 GB of uncompressed audio and lots of software,
including Office 2007, Nero 7 Ultra (or something like that, I have
never used nero and don't know what it's supposed to be called), and
an install of Tomb Raider. Obviously, it would be rather sad to
irrevocably wipe all of this away, so I am trying to back up and
salvage as much of it as possible. The isos will be relatively easy
to back up (I'll just burn them), but I'll have to go in and find the
registration / product keys that were used somehow.

What makes my job harder is the weird partition scheme, which makes it
so I can't just resize a partition or two and move everything that
needs to be backed up to some excess space out of the way.
I don't really trust what Windows' disk utility tells me, as IIRC it
hides the Rescue & Recovery partition, but what it does tell me is as
follows:
Disk 0 (149 GB):
Partition 1: 39 GB (Windows Vista install)
Partition 2: 55 GB (all the music, misc .iso's for Vista, Office 2007
and other software installation executables)
Partition 3: 55 GB (Tomb Raider-Legend files)

Disk 1 (513 MB):
Partition 1: 511 MB (I guess this is the recovery partition, but am
not sure; it contains one file: ReadyBoost.sfcache (409 MB) )

All partitions are NTFS
The Windows Device Manager lists two hard drives:
Fujitsu MHW2160BH PL
IMD-0

I tried to boot from my Ubuntu 7.04 liveCD to use gParted to get
another look at the partition, but the CD wouldn't boot. So I tried a
really old (several years old) Knoppix CD I had (Knoppix 4.0), and
that booted, but I couldn't figure out how to get Qtparted to show me
the partitions (it showed one disk: UNIONFS/dev/hda or something like
that, but no partitions)

Now that I've given all the background info, I have two main things
I'm trying to do:

(1)
I'm trying to decide if Tomb Raider is worth keeping, especially
because I've never played it before and probably won't, and I don't
know where the installation .exe is, nor do I have a CD. All that's
there is a bunch of cryptic bigfiles (all over 100 MB in size), more
cryptic files, two exe's to run the game, an uninstall exe, readme's,
and I am guessing hidden in there somewhere save data. I do not know
if this mess is salvageable, ie if it will work by just copying
everything to another Windows Vista computer. Any
ideas/suggestions/opinions on what to do with this?

(2)
I definitely want to save the music. For the most part, they're split
up by CD, with the whole CD audio saved as one file in APE format with
a CUE file to go along. There are also a few wav and flac files. But
20 GB is a lot to move, and since it's on the second partition, I'm
not quite sure what I'm going to do with it yet. Again, suggestions
would be appreciated. What I want to do, eventually, is to split up
the CD audio into individual tracks, and convert everything to FLAC
(going with the open source format). If there any good Linux audio
converters that would accomplish that, then I might move everything
somewhere else temporarily and sort through it later, after I get
Debian installed. If not, I might be stuck with converting all these
files on Windows before I can even get started installing Debian.

Wow that was a long post. Sorry.

Thanks again for your help,

Jimmy
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:54 PM
David
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

Mike Bird wrote:

<snip>


Lenny installer had no problem shrinking the Vista partition and
setting up grub dual boot - actually triple boot on the T61 if you
keep the diag partition (recommended).


Sorry for butting in, but assuming this is the Lenovo T61, what do you
think of it?

It's one of a number I'm considering at the moment.

Did you get the pre-installed SUSE option or do you have Debian
installed, and if so, any config problems?

Regards,

--
David Palmer
Linux User - #352034


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Old 01-14-2008, 09:43 PM
Mike Bird
 
Default new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61

On Mon January 14 2008 13:54:21 David wrote:
> > Lenny installer had no problem shrinking the Vista partition and
> > setting up grub dual boot - actually triple boot on the T61 if you
> > keep the diag partition (recommended).
>
> Sorry for butting in, but assuming this is the Lenovo T61, what do you
> think of it?
> It's one of a number I'm considering at the moment.
>
> Did you get the pre-installed SUSE option or do you have Debian
> installed, and if so, any config problems?

We're running Lenny with a little bit of Sid for the NVidia support.
Graphics are really fast. HD, ether, KBD, USB, bluetooth, and various
pointing devices are fine. Have not yet tried Wifi or fingerprint or
card reader. There are patches available to make sound work in
2.6.22 but I'm not in a hurry so I'm waiting for 2.6.23 which doesn't
need patching. I mostly use the T61 on wall current so I haven't
tried suspend, hibernate, etc.

The packages from Sid for NVidia are nvidia*, xserver-xorg*, and
x11-common. You'll also need to build the non-free driver using
module assistant.

We chose Thinkpads for reliability. For much more useful info,
check out thinkwiki.org.

--Mike Bird


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