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Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

T4x series specific matters only
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mrtaufner
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Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#1 Post by mrtaufner » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:58 pm

I've literally wasted +5 hours of my life trying to make some distros work on my good ole T41.

I've been looking for some of the most known ones that "don't have PAE", but for some reason it has been a real pain:

I'll list some of them (none of them has worked actually):

[*]Lubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 (actually only 12.04 and previous are non PAE, and that version is not on their repo anymore. Installation gets stuck after the "detecting hardware" thingy)

[*]Bodhi (legacy install is allegedly non PAE but didn't work with either unetbootin nor rufus. This was a complete mess: First the pae [censored], then the Radeon 7500 wouldn't allow a normal live boot... so i had to go xforcevesa and then it would say that no live media was found to boot...)

[*]Trisquel Mini (didn't work with unetbootin)

[*]Elementary (actually this was the first I tried and only noticed afterwards that it's only for PAE enabled CPUs)

Distros that did work (which, also, I recommend):

[*]Trisquel Mini (with Rufus. The last distro I tried with Rufus and booted from a Live USB AND the one I'm going to install on my Thinkpad)

[*]ToriOS (with Rufus. Pretty basic and completely intended to be upscaled like arch, but based on Debian Jessie instead)

So my point is:

[*]Machine is too old. Finding a good distro for it felt really grindy.

[*]Don't try using unetbootin It seems that it causes bugs on most recent(-ish) distros.

[*]Do your homework first if don't want spend a good amount of the evening and night grinding with distros and commands and drivers.

[*]DON'T try using unetbootin. I really mean it.

[*]Devs should really be more explicit on what their OS do and do not have. Had to dig really deep into some forums to find the info I was trying to find.

[*]As of today, old ATI Radeon Drivers for Linux are still [censored] and many distros won't have them (mostly because they're are not free software nor open source)

[*]As of today, old WLAN drivers support on Linux is still [censored]. I guess I'll have to find the drivers for Ye Olde Intel Wlan 2100

[*]UNETBOOTIN IS SHIET

Hopefully this will serve someone well in a near future

ajkula66
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:28 pm

Two distros that worked OOTB on my T42 were non-PAE version of Zorin, and the Debian-based Mint (Betsy).

ATi drivers are a real problem with older systems, but my take is that the lack of them doesn't really make a huge difference, since these machines are old and sluggish for most purposes to begin with.

To each their own, but there's no need IMO to use a 2100B in A.D. 2018. Atheros-based cards have always had much better support and are woefully inexpensive nowadays.

My $0.02 only...
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mrtaufner
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#3 Post by mrtaufner » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:13 am

ajkula66 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:28 pm
Two distros that worked OOTB on my T42 were non-PAE version of Zorin, and the Debian-based Mint (Betsy).

ATi drivers are a real problem with older systems, but my take is that the lack of them doesn't really make a huge difference, since these machines are old and sluggish for most purposes to begin with.

To each their own, but there's no need IMO to use a 2100B in A.D. 2018. Atheros-based cards have always had much better support and are woefully inexpensive nowadays.

My $0.02 only...

I agree. Didn't know Zorin, but I did know that Debian and Mint have dedicated non PAE releases.

I don't mind having a sluggish machine: you can't overcome that, but i'd like to know I'm getting the most juice from it, right? As i said on reddit before (regarding this thread) these Thinkpads are no more than a glorified Raspberry Pi but x86-capable.

Unless you make it a server or a CLI machine

And yea, I'm looking for other mini PCI cards but I'm completely ok without having to browse the internet with this PC

Rs125
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#4 Post by Rs125 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:43 pm

Hi, new today and first post. When most distros are booting from live usb, you can hit “tab” or sometimes f6 to get to boot options. Then enter forcepae—forcepae
This will make it work on older pentium M cpu’s. I have a toughbook cf-29 and it will run new distros by using forcepae. That’s two dashes between the forcepae. Google forcepae for some good info.
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Dekks
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#5 Post by Dekks » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:02 am

antiX or pupply linux
Home Win10/i5 Arch//i3-gaps T61//GNOME 3/X230 Tablet //Spectrwm X61 Bunsenlabs 9.4/X32/X201i
Work - Win7/X220T BunsenLabs 9.4 T60p
Retired T60/X30/X31/X61S RIP R61/T400/T21/T43/X61T/X200T

zinger919
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#6 Post by zinger919 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:40 am

ajkula66 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:28 pm
Two distros that worked OOTB on my T42 were non-PAE version of Zorin, and the Debian-based Mint (Betsy).

ATi drivers are a real problem with older systems, but my take is that the lack of them doesn't really make a huge difference, since these machines are old and sluggish for most purposes to begin with.

To each their own, but there's no need IMO to use a 2100B in A.D. 2018. Atheros-based cards have always had much better support and are woefully inexpensive nowadays.

My $0.02 only...
FYI, I'm writing this on a T42, happily running MX 17 PAE! Even though some Pentium Ms don't report themselves as PAE, most, save the very oldest, are. BTW MX17 runs great on this machine - much more responsive than my wife's T410 / Win 7.

mrtaufner
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#7 Post by mrtaufner » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:12 am

Rs125 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:43 pm
Hi, new today and first post. When most distros are booting from live usb, you can hit “tab” or sometimes f6 to get to boot options. Then enter forcepae—forcepae
This will make it work on older pentium M cpu’s. I have a toughbook cf-29 and it will run new distros by using forcepae. That’s two dashes between the forcepae. Google forcepae for some good info.
Yeah, I discovered that when I posted this, but the distros I tried even with --forcepae would not work.

Dekks wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:02 am
antiX or pupply linux
I managed to install Bunsenlabs Linux (kind of a Debian with newer packages, instead of the old ones that Debian usually uses on stable) without much trouble and runs perfectly fine. The only failing thing right now is the wifi card, but I'm just using an usb wifi stick instead
zinger919 wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:40 am
ajkula66 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:28 pm
Two distros that worked OOTB on my T42 were non-PAE version of Zorin, and the Debian-based Mint (Betsy).

ATi drivers are a real problem with older systems, but my take is that the lack of them doesn't really make a huge difference, since these machines are old and sluggish for most purposes to begin with.

To each their own, but there's no need IMO to use a 2100B in A.D. 2018. Atheros-based cards have always had much better support and are woefully inexpensive nowadays.

My $0.02 only...
FYI, I'm writing this on a T42, happily running MX 17 PAE! Even though some Pentium Ms don't report themselves as PAE, most, save the very oldest, are. BTW MX17 runs great on this machine - much more responsive than my wife's T410 / Win 7.
Yea, I've also read a lot about that. I don't know what did Intel get from not reporting an ACTUAL capability of the Pentium M, though. But anyway, Bunsenlabs Linux runs just fine and I'm ok with that

Dekks
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Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#8 Post by Dekks » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:07 pm

I use Bunsenlabs on this machine, did you add contrib non-free to your sources and add the firmware file for your wifi card
Home Win10/i5 Arch//i3-gaps T61//GNOME 3/X230 Tablet //Spectrwm X61 Bunsenlabs 9.4/X32/X201i
Work - Win7/X220T BunsenLabs 9.4 T60p
Retired T60/X30/X31/X61S RIP R61/T400/T21/T43/X61T/X200T

mrtaufner
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:29 pm
Location: Seville, Spain

Re: Thoughts after trying to install Linux on my T41

#9 Post by mrtaufner » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:47 am

Dekks wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:07 pm
I use Bunsenlabs on this machine, did you add contrib non-free to your sources and add the firmware file for your wifi card
Yea: I actually have no wifi problems with Bunsenlabs... (it fails ONLY on Windows XP every 5 minutes, forgot to mention it in my previous post)

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