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Installing Sidux (Debian Sid) onLenovo/IBM Thinkpad X61s

Last updated: 2 August 2007

General Hardware Specifications of X61s:

Hardware Components
Status under Linux
Core2Duo L7300, 1.4 Ghz. Works No special procedure required during installation.
12.1 XGA TFT Display Works Select Generic LCD Display in Installer
Intel onboard i915 Works Select vesa or i915 driver
1Gb, DDR2 PC2-5300 Works No special procedure required during installation
120 GB SATA Hard Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
Integrated Network Card Works Standard e1000 driver
Internal modem Works Linuxant driver; HSF modem (paid)
Bluetooth device Works Standard bluetooth drivers
Intel 3945 Wireless Networking (Wi-Fi Certified), 802.11a/b/g Works Use either ipw3945d or the new iwl3945 driver; with the last one, the wireless led doesn't work (yet)
28 WHr Lithium-Ion Battery Works No special procedure required during installation
Intel HDA, with AD1984 codec Works

Not part of the current alsa driver (1.0.14); a built of the HG (development version) is needed to get this working

This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.21-smp

This laptop is operating under Kernel version

Basic Installation of Sidux:
I chose Sidux as I wanted to have a nice current distro (also because of the current hardware), but I wanted some more support and testing done on it than just plain Debian Sid. Besides that, Sidux is probably one of the quickest booting and running distro's available at the moment. Package management is easy and updates are frequently available/

To obtain Sidux, go to: and download the latest ISO of your choice. I chose conservatively, and went for a 32-bit large install with OpenOffice.

The system was booted on an external USB DVDrw drive, with an additional "noapic" setting as otherwise the DVD device would not get properly initialised.
Installing was a breeze. I just emptied out the whole disk. Yes, no more Vista (hurray!!!). After that I repartitioned. Keep one thing in mind with partitioning: you have to keep the first 1Mb of your harddisk unpartitioned as that is used by the BIOS!!!
Next I just followed the installers pointers and that was it.

After installing I added the wireless driver from the non-free sources (so a network cable is needed during this part of the install).
Setting up additional features for Sidux
Unresolved issues

Contact Information (Optional)

In general the X61s is a great machine. Almost everything works out of the box and is supported. Besides that it's light, quick and has a long battery life. The case is sturdy and there are enough ways to connect it to other devices. The only thing that is sort of missing, is a cd/dvd drive, but to be honest, I'd have no idea where to put that, it's just too small.