Installation instructions for the ThinkPad 365

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Specific installation notes for the ThinkPad 365C, 365CD, 365CS, 365CSD, 365E, 365ED, 365X and 365XD.

General Notes

The Thinkpad 365 ( model 2625) has serveral boot options available in the setup / diagnostic mode ( hold down F1 and turn on laptop to enter setup) . One option is to boot from floppy or CD (365XD) which is fairly standard, but a more flexible option is to boot from the PCMCIA port. Given a large capacity flash card ( usually a compact flash card in a PCMCIA adapter) the original setup CD can be replicated onto the flash card. Alternativly any distribution designed to run from a USB Flash card will also run from the PCMCIA port.

Using the PCMCIA Fash card method above it should be possible to test most of the mainstream distros using LiveCD versions before installing to the harddrive.

Another solution is the ditch the hard drive completely and use a 44 pin IDE ( laptop IDE) to compact flash converter, leaving both PCMCIA ports free.

The ThinkPad 365XD is known to be compatible with Red Hat 6.2, as long as the system has more than 8 megabytes of memory. There is a problem with starting up X; while models of the 365XD with TFT displays were compatible with a number of releases of X, the DTSN models of the 365XD had compatibility problems with certain releases of X, and required complicated startup to make X visible:

  • Run $ startx to start the X server
  • Hit FnF7 on the keyboard. This may make X visible. If not:
  • Exit out of X with CtrlAltBackspace
  • Restart X with $ startx

Releases 3.2 and 3.3.6 of XFree86 are known to be compatible with the 365XD; other releases may not be.

Distro specific Instructions

Puppy Linux

Tested with Puppy linux version 2.01 live cd. Note you need another computer to create the boot image with.

  • 1. Create a live CD
  • 2. Create a boot floppy.
  • 3. Using the live cd create a Compact flash boot distribution ( in the create USB key boot disk menu.)
  • 4. Copy the .sfs file from the CF card onto the harddrive along with the ideflash file.
  • 5. Boot from the floppy, it should load freedos and then boot into puppy.


  • 1. PCMCIA not recognised.
  • 2. Sound card not detected.

External Sources

ThinkPad 365X

ThinkPad 365XD