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X61 favorite Linux flavor?

X60/X61 and X60t/X61t Series
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paulie420
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:45 am
Location: Portland, OR

X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#1 Post by paulie420 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:38 pm

So I just got an X61... its old and I don't know what use case I might find for it, but...

I installed lubuntu... it looked OK; installed well and even performed pretty well at first. I need to upgrade memory, as I only have 1GB installed now!! After upgrading the system software to current, my hard drive failed at boot. As X61 owners may know, the batteries are so old you might have to keep yours plugged in... I think I had some data loss due to losing power during an upgrade; point is, lubuntu might still be a good choice for this old hardware.

I'm currently testing Linux Mint XFCE light version... but my question:

For a Lenovo ThinkPad X61, do you have a favourite version of Linux that you like to run on this hardware?
Or, WHAT OS do you run on your X61 - regardless?

Thanks... I'd love to find a copy of OS/2 Warp - I think it would look neat on the X61.

Paulie420

Cigarguy
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:05 pm

Mint for me

RealBlackStuff
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:26 am

X61 can have up to 2x4=8GB RAM, even if manuals claim different.
If your battery is still working, use any old HDD/SSD to temporarily install 32-bit Vista or W7 (no updates required at all).
Then download/install Middleton's BIOS to get SATA-II speed and a few other goodies.
https://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Middleton%27s_BIOS
Make sure to fully read the instructions and charge the battery before you begin updating BIOS.
If you don't fancy that and you have an external CD/DVD-drive, burn a CD from the included ISOs.
As for Linux, +1 for Mint.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

WarhawkCZ
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#4 Post by WarhawkCZ » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:54 am

MX linux, of course!

axur-delmeria
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:11 am

Debian since the day I got an X61.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

Hyena
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#6 Post by Hyena » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:45 am

One more vote for Linux Mint with XFCE gui!

Kingair
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Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#7 Post by Kingair » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:43 pm

I tried a bunch
Started with Mint Cinnamon but now running MX Linux
And it loves the X61
You can try a bunch if you want
UbuntuDDE is nice as well (Deepin desktop)

Kingair
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#8 Post by Kingair » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:11 am

Test driving the just released Mint Cinnamon 20 Beta on my X61t
Mint Cinnamon was my first ever Linux distro I installed
Check it out !
My X61 T7300 is running Arch

https://imgur.com/gallery/NvtlSQY

deickos
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Location: athens, greece

Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#9 Post by deickos » Wed Feb 01, 2023 5:09 am

current versions of ubuntu and mint are heavy for x61.
i tried antix so far and it is indeed light
T500 - T9600, 8g ram, 1680x1050
T420 - 2450M, 8g ram, 1366x768
X61t - L7500, 4g ram, 1024x768
W520 - 2760QM, 10g ram, 1920x1080

WarMachine
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#10 Post by WarMachine » Thu Feb 02, 2023 12:34 pm

Hello,

Today, my X61 (L7700, 4 GB RAM, 60 GB Crucial M4) runs Windows 7 and I also have installed the Middleton BIOS, the use is very pleasant.for light tasks (I avoid Internet with this OS as it's not supported anymore). But when I received it, I tried Debian.

But I never install "all-in-one" systems. I use a network image and install a bare system. So, when I first reboot, I only have the console and I install then all the paquets I need (and I'm very careful with dependances and optional/suggested paquets). With a typical install like that, my system has ca. 1400 paquets.

I had made a topic about that on a french Debian forum, if you want to have a look : https://debian-facile.org/viewtopic.php?id=16456

That gives an idea.
In fact, today, if I'm to install a system, it'll be even more optimized (in terms of "I want the lightest system I can get"). I don't use LXDE anymore (not so fan of LXQt). I've replaced it with Fluxbox. LXDE is Windows-like, Fluxbox not so much, so, a little time to adapt is necessary. But I like the possibilities offered by this manager and the way it can be configured (through text files). Once everything is ready, you can just make a copy of the configuration files and put them on another machine, you'll have exactly the same thing (and everything is configurable, that's crazy). My task manager shows me a total of 70 MB used when I start the manager. Even Windows XP (if not optimized of course) uses more.

Distros like LUbuntu are nice, but often, you have more than you need. If you want, you can delete what you don't need but the system is left dirty. I prefer to do the contrary : start from scratch and only install what I need. The big advantage of distros like LUbuntu (and the different flavors of Ubuntu) is that you have a coherent interface. And to have that when you build your system from scratch is not always easy to achieve and can be time consuming. But what a pleasure to finally have the exact thing you want.

With an SSD and "only" 4 GB (2x 2 GB) of RAM (DDR2 4 GB sticks are very difficult to find and very expensive) and a distro like the one I described above, the X61 is blazingly fast ! :o

:)

W.
701Cs| 755Cs| 560| 600E| T23| X20| X24| X31| T30| R30| T41p| T42| T43| X41
T60 14.1"| T60 15.4"| T61 14.1″ WS| R60| X60t| X61s| X61t| X301| T400| T400s| W500| X200| X201| T410| T410s| X220| T420| T420s| W520| T430| T431s| X240| T440| T440s| T440p| T450s| X250

axur-delmeria
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#11 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Feb 03, 2023 12:39 am

WarMachine wrote:
Thu Feb 02, 2023 12:34 pm
I use a network image and install a bare system. So, when I first reboot, I only have the console and I install then all the paquets I need (and I'm very careful with dependances and optional/suggested paquets). With a typical install like that, my system has ca. 1400 paquets.

In fact, today, if I'm to install a system, it'll be even more optimized (in terms of "I want the lightest system I can get"). I don't use LXDE anymore (not so fan of LXQt). I've replaced it with Fluxbox. LXDE is Windows-like, Fluxbox not so much, so, a little time to adapt is necessary. But I like the possibilities offered by this manager and the way it can be configured (through text files). Once everything is ready, you can just make a copy of the configuration files and put them on another machine, you'll have exactly the same thing (and everything is configurable, that's crazy). My task manager shows me a total of 70 MB used when I start the manager. Even Windows XP (if not optimized of course) uses more.
:)
The last time I started with a text-only Debian install was on a first-generation Acer Aspire One that only had an 8GB SSD-- the puny drive made it necessary to save disk space whenever possible. With regards to the "lightest system I can get", many years ago I experimented with other window managers on a spare X61T that only had 512MB of RAM (it used to have 1.5GB, but the 1GB stick died). Fluxbox was among those tested, and personally, I found it too different from what I'm used to. Eventually I settled with JWM (Joe's Window Manager), though I don't remember how much RAM it used up. Even with just 512MB, I managed to use Firefox with one or two tabs open.

The experiment ended when I acquired two 1GB sticks, eliminating the need for such drastic memory-pinching measures.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

WarMachine
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#12 Post by WarMachine » Fri Feb 03, 2023 7:38 pm

Hello,

I have tested JWM also, didn't left unforgettable memories, but it was also very light (it was in a distro named Slitaz, which was very cool, but it's very old). In the same spirit, I have also tested RatPoison and i3 but it's probably the same thing as you just said : too different compared to what I'm used to. Fluxbox remains my favorite (and if I want the same type of desktop manager but a little lighter, I choose Blackbox (it's the father of Fluxbox and it's lighter because it's not as complete as Fluxbox (but that's no problem for me).

I have an EeePC 900 (not the 900HD, the original 900 with garbage SSD in it). The capacity is so little (4 GB) I had to do a minimal install, it's a laptop used everyday as a PiHole server, I managed to put LXDE on it, but I have only 200 or 300 MB free on the SSD. Everything works fine. I have used XP and 2000 years ago on this machine, but Linux is way better.

W.
701Cs| 755Cs| 560| 600E| T23| X20| X24| X31| T30| R30| T41p| T42| T43| X41
T60 14.1"| T60 15.4"| T61 14.1″ WS| R60| X60t| X61s| X61t| X301| T400| T400s| W500| X200| X201| T410| T410s| X220| T420| T420s| W520| T430| T431s| X240| T440| T440s| T440p| T450s| X250

rezenee
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Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#13 Post by rezenee » Wed Mar 08, 2023 9:26 am

Debian, with dwm. runs amazingly

karotlopj
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#14 Post by karotlopj » Sun Jul 30, 2023 1:30 pm

paulie420 wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:38 pm
So I just got an X61... its old and I don't know what use case I might find for it, but...

I installed lubuntu... it looked OK; installed well and even performed pretty well at first. I need to upgrade memory, as I only have 1GB installed now!! After upgrading the system software to current, my hard drive failed at boot. As X61 owners may know, the batteries are so old you might have to keep yours plugged in... I think I had some data loss due to losing power during an upgrade; point is, lubuntu might still be a good choice for this old hardware.

I'm currently testing Linux Mint XFCE light version... but my question:

For a Lenovo ThinkPad X61, do you have a favourite version of Linux that you like to run on this hardware?
Or, WHAT OS do you run on your X61 - regardless?

Thanks... I'd love to find a copy of OS/2 Warp - I think it would look neat on the X61.

Paulie420

I used to use OS/2 Warp all the time... started using it in 1989, and have tons of books on it as well as numerous laptop disks with it installed, but haven't tried it for some time.

This site might prove useful to you:-

https://winworldpc.com/product/os-2-warp-4/os-2-warp-40

I've since moved to FreeBSD, which IMV is far better than Linux in many ways. I've been running FreeBSD on an X61 for about years and am very happy with it. To me Linux is a PITA, because you have to decide which of 100s of distributions use and learn all the different pkg managers they all seem to use.

Initially FreeBSD may seem a bit daunting because the basic installation leaves you with a text mode login prompt and you have to decide what you want to do next. You can install virtually any Linux desktop environment, although might be too intuitive for a novice. There are versions of FreeBSD, such as NomadBSD which will install a graphical environment as part of the install if you prefer.
My ThinkPad Graveyard:
600 * 2, X220, X61 * 2, T61

ZaZ
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#15 Post by ZaZ » Sun Jul 30, 2023 7:48 pm

Another vote for Mint, though I've never owned a X61, but it ran well on my similar R60.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
ProBook 470 G5 - 1.6GHz Core i5 | 16GB | 2.2TB | 17" FHD | Mint

jmgingerbeer
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Re: X61 favorite Linux flavor?

#16 Post by jmgingerbeer » Fri May 17, 2024 5:58 am

I have recently installed Zorin 17 Core on my trusty Thinkpad X61 7674 with 4 Gb RAM. So far it is running smartly and quite a bit faster than Windows 10. Nice to see it supports my Canon Lite scanner and Pixma printer without hiccups. A couple of Windows apps are running also.

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