Installing Debian 3.1 (Sarge) on a ThinkPad A30p

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This is a documentation of some of the installation and configuration steps required for installing Debian/Sarge on a Thinkpad A30p and getting the most out of it.

Basic installation

The recommended procedure is, to get a Debian/Sarge DVD put it in the DVD-drive and boot from the DVD. Proceed with the installation as on an arbitrary computer.



For a detailed description of how to operate ACPI on IBM Thinkpads, take a look at How to make ACPI work. Further it explains the steps necessary to get suspend to ram and hibernation to work. Be sure to check How to get special keys to work if some of the function keys don't work properly.

Xserver and TV-out

The A30p is supplied with an ATI Radeon Mobility 7000 graphics adapter. It comes with a tv output and a tv input connector. The XFree86 supplied by Debian/Sarge contains a working ati driver which supports acceleration and DRI. However at GATOS you can find up to date OpenSource drivers for both, XFree86 and Xorg (while the 7.0 release should come along with the GATOS drivers).

For information on the SVideo out read How to get TV-Out working on ATI graphic cards.


This is a short summary on the kernel features needed on the A30p. The supplied kernel in Debian/Sarge is 2.6.8. It is advisable to get a newer Version. You can use either a newer debianized kernel or get a vanilla kernel. At the time this documentation is written, the latest known version is

Enable support for: (recommended: as Module or Statically compiled in )

  • Modules and module unloading
  • Support for Pentium-III processor
  • ACPI (how to make it work) S
  • cpu-freq with ondemand governor (alternatively userspace governor) S
  • PIIX chipset
  • IDE/ATA drives and floppy (at least HDD S or initrd needed)
  • PCMCIA - Yenta cardbus
  • e100 network device M
  • usb-uhci for usb host controller M
  • i810 sound card M
  • nvram M
  • i2c M
  • AGP and radeon support M

If using a debianized kernel, most features are compiled as modules. To get everything to work at boot you should put the according modules not detected by hotplug in /etc/modules:


(not yet completed)

/Hm, did you *really* get ondemand governor working on A30p? My 2.6.14's one wouldn't, and it's documented, as linked/discussed at How to make use of Dynamic Frequency Scaling./