Difference between revisions of "Installing Debian Wheezy on a ThinkPad T61"

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[[Category:Debian 7.0 (Wheezy)]]

Latest revision as of 12:12, 18 June 2015


This page is a work in progress and is currently (Jan 2012) maintained by User:Eliasson. It covers the installation of Debian Testing daily build, codenamed Wheezy. Hardware marked on this page with "N/A" is available on some Thinkpad T61's, but not on mine. Feel free to fill in the gaps if you have the info.

System information

  • BIOS version:
  • Linux kernel version: 3.1.0-1-amd64


Using the Debian Wheezy netinstall image from Aug 27, 2011, I couldn't get the computer to boot the normal installation CD. Everything stalled after the message Loading initrd.gz..... An Ubuntu 10.04 CD worked fine though. I ended up using a USB flash drive to install Debian. This guide covers how to create a bootable flash drive. Also, the T61 seems to be a little picky about the USB stick. If one doesn't work, try another. It needs to be recognized in BIOS as a "USB Hard Drive" with a plus sign in front.

However, the Debian Wheezy netinstall image from Jan 1, 2012 booted just fine. The graphical installation crashed immediately but the text installation worked. This leads me to the conclusion that the installation problems are probably not the computer's fault but the fact that Debian Testing is still not perfectly stable. Eliasson 00:57, 2 January 2012 (CET)

The Debian Wheezy netinstall image (debian-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso) from Oct 12, 2013 works perfectly with the exception that the cpu usage of the gnome-shell increase to 100 percent if the NVidia Quadro NVS 140M is build-in. This issue can be fixed by changing from the default installed Nouveau driver to the NVidia proprietary driver, mentioned below. GeBeater, Nov 28, 2013.


ALSA works out of the box. Pulseaudio works well with the default settings. Both internal and external microphone works.


NVidia Quadro NVS 140M

When using the default Nouveau open source driver for NVidia cards the screen becomes suddenly unresponsive (the mouse pointer moves normally, but the windows do not response to clicks; gnome-shell 100% cpu). The installation of the NVidia proprietary driver according the instructions resolve this issue.

Intel 965GM

  • Driver: intel

Correct screen resolution identified automatically. No need to touch /etc/X11/xorg.conf. External monitor untested.

WiFi: Intel 3945/4965AGN

With kernel 2.6.24RC3 the driver comes part of the kernel and does not need manual installation. You still have to copy and install the firmware though.

Activate the non-free repositories and install the package firmware-iwlwifi [1]. According to the Debian-Package-Info page, this package is architecture independent. Reboot your computer and the WiFi card should work. The hardware disable switch works without problems.

WiFi: ThinkPad 11a/b/g Wi-Fi wireless LAN Mini-PCIe US/EMEA/LA/ANZ (Atheros)



Bluetooth now works for me (Ccurley), with a Bose AE2w headset, using the A2DP profile.

However, I replaced ALSA with PulseAudio to get it to work. I used the apt-get command line from http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=12497 (after excising two package names that no longer exist).

# apt-get install pulseaudio libao4 paprefs libpulse-mainloop-glib0 pulseaudio-module-jack pavucontrol pulseaudio-module-x11 gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils libasound2-plugins paman pulseaudio-module-gconf libgconfmm-2.6-1c2 pavumeter libglademm-2.4-1c2a pulseaudio-esound-compat libpulse0 libpulse-dev pulseaudio-module-bluetooth pulseaudio-module-zeroconf

I then purged every package with "alsa" in the name and two libasound2 packages.

I fired up vlc, and it played a MP3 file for me immediately. Wow!

I then fired up the PulseAudio volume control, and went to the Configuration tab.

I then turned on the headset. It appeared almost immediately in the configuration tab. I set it to use A2DP instead of the telephony duplex. then to the Playback tab on the PulseAudio volume control, where I selected the headset as the output device. Then I did the same with a Flash video from youtube.

That was it!

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