Installing Debian Wheezy on a ThinkPad T61

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This page is a work in progress and is currently (aug 2011) maintained by User:Eliasson. It covers the installation of Debian Testing daily build, codenamed Wheezy. The installation media I used was downloaded in Aug 27, 2011. 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: 3.0.0-1-amd64

SATA Issues

Currently, SATA mode is set to "Compatibility" in the BIOS and I'm using the ATA_PIIX driver, which finds both the hard and the cdrom drive. In AHCI mode, the cdrom is not found. I haven't found any information on that, yet.

Running in the AHCI mode worked for me - the hard drive showed up as /dev/sda and the cdrom as /dev/hda. K3b finds it and uses it fine.



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.


ALSA works out of the box.


NVidia Quadro NVS 140M


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)




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