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Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:55 pm
by Scottfish
I just picked up a new to me T440P. I am taking my time deciding what distro to run. I feel like I always default to Ubuntu due to ease and comfort, but am wondering who is running what on their Thinkpad?

I just ordered an M.2 SSD, so I have a couple of days to play around before "committing" for wat that's worth.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:02 pm
by Thinkpad4by3
I'm running this ultra-light weight distro that happens to support many modern prgrams and plays very nicely with old computers. It is Windows 98

Haha. Just kidding. I run Ubuntu on my test machines but I will never use it on a daily driver.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:18 pm
by Neil
Debian 9 on a T60
Xubuntu on a T43p
MX-16 on both a T61 and a T40
TrueOS on my X300

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Edit: Just remembered SolydK on the X200

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:04 pm
by Omineca
Debian 9 / LXDE on an R500. It's still as good as the day I bought it.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:07 am
by axur-delmeria
Debian (with Xfce desktop environment) on all the Thinkpads I've owned.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:47 am
by Scottfish
For those of you running Debian, how do you get wireless working? I think I'd like the stability and weight of Debian.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:03 am
by axur-delmeria
Scottfish wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:47 am
For those of you running Debian, how do you get wireless working? I think I'd like the stability and weight of Debian.
Most wifi chipsets require binary-only firmware, which Debian frowns upon.
However, for the sake of convenience, there are unofficial builds of the Debian installer ISOs which contain said firmware: https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unof ... e/current/

This is the torrent file for the 64-bit version :
https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unof ... so.torrent

This is the torrent file for the 32-bit version :
https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unof ... so.torrent

Both are ISO images which can be burned into a blank DVD, or written directly to a 4GB (or larger) USB flash drive.

If you already have Debian installed, but with no wifi, just go to https://debian.org/distrib/packages then search for the firmware package for your wifi chip.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:59 pm
by Scottfish
Thank you!! The last time I tried installing the packages, it didn't work. The ISO helps!

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:52 pm
by Eto
I see none of you are running a Linux Mint version!

Any particular reason why?

Mint doesn't play nice with Thinkpads?

Thats all I've owned for quite some time starting way back with a T 41!

thanks for any all replies, eto

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:53 pm
by Eto
I see none of you are running a Linux Mint version!

Any particular reason why?

Mint doesn't play nice with Thinkpads?

Thats all I've owned for quite some time starting way back with a T 41!

thanks for any all replies, eto

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:37 pm
by Neil
Mint is fine on ThinkPads. I just don't happen to have it installed on one at this time. I do have Mint on a couple of non-ThinkPad machines though.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:10 pm
by Eto
thanks Neil, I have downloaded three ISO's and haven't loaded any of them yet.

Debian, Ubuntu and Mint.

I'm fine tuning a new machine, W510, and will load Linux onto my older machine a T510, with one of the three ISO's (maybe try all three, I don't know)!

I loaded my first taste of Linux back in 2000, Linux Mandrake!

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:19 am
by Cigarguy
I run Mint in a few of my Thinkpads. Love it.

It's Linux, it's free. Try it and pick the one you like. All it cost you is a little time while the trade off is you learned a thing or two. Not a lot of risk and doesn't cost you a dime.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:41 am
by Self_Propelled_Crane
How about Ubuntu MATE? The Youtube channel "AA Computers and Technology" always seems to run that in the Thinkpad videos he has. I wonder why though.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:56 am
by Eto
thanks for your input self propelled and cigar guy!

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:03 am
by Scottfish
I installed Mint Debian Edition (w/ Cinnamon) on Wednesday and settled in on that for a couple of days while waiting for my new SSD to arrive. I've always liked Mint.

I agree w/ Cigarguy as well. It's free. Distro hopping doesn't cost anything but a little time. Enjoy yourself. I plan on using the M.2 drive as an OS drive and 2.5" SSD for data, so changing distros should be a breeze.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:01 am
by Cigarguy
I seem to collect a lot of the 80 to 120 GB HDD that came with T60/T61/T500 generation of Thinkpads. They are great for distro testing. Pop the SSD out of one of my Thinkpad, in goes a test HDD. Load distro, play, abuse and use. Like or no like? No like, format HDD and carry on to the next one. I'll even have 3 to 4 of the 80 GB HDD each loaded with different distros to play with. When I'm done back goes the SSD and carry on as if I'm normal.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:33 am
by axur-delmeria
Cigarguy wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:01 am
I seem to collect a lot of the 80 to 120 GB HDD that came with T60/T61/T500 generation of Thinkpads. They are great for distro testing. Pop the SSD out of one of my Thinkpad, in goes a test HDD. Load distro, play, abuse and use.
^ Good idea.

Related question: anyone tried "Flash on Disk" modules?

Found a local seller offering used 4GB SATA flash disks @ 5 USD each.
I was wondering if they're worth a look.

Image

Image

4GB is useless for any recent Windows OS, but with careful installation Linux can be made to fit. :D

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:02 am
by jaspen-meyer
On my daily driver my root partition uses 4.2 gb.

You can run some systems, like Debian and Arch, on a 4gb disk. Install a 'minimum', or 'bare', or 'core', system and then add only the packages you need. For Debian systems this could mean using the --no-install-recommends switch:
apg-get --no-install-recommends [package]

Personally I prefer 16gb sata III ssd drives. They are fast, cheap and large enough for most tasks.

On the 4 gb drive, off-load these to tmpfs in /etc/fstab:
/tmp
/var/log
/home/$USER/.cache

There is a never-ending shortage of disk space if you are not careful. For example, so you want to download a new ISO file to /home/$USER/.

For years I have keep a full development enviorment on an 8gb usb. That is enough that I can work with, for example, a 1gb ISO file, install all the programs I use, and have space for other data files.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:07 am
by ian78
I recently started messing around with Linux distros with my fleet of elderly thinkpads. To date I have

X60s: Xubuntu but resuming from sleep problems mean that it never really gets much play time.
X201s & X230: Mint Cinnamon which I have found to be perfect lightweight Windows substitutes. Office 2007 successfully installed using winetricks (pressing tab and enter after installation gets you past the first hurdle where there is an 'OK' button hidden behind a splash screen). The only functional issues so far appear to be some macros in Excel don't execute properly under Wine and password protected files don't open. It is also hard to install windows games that come on 2 CDs.

All have SSDs and will boot and be usable in <8 seconds.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:23 pm
by crux
Scottfish wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:55 pm
I feel like I always default to Ubuntu due to ease and comfort, but am wondering who is running what on their Thinkpad?
I currently have 3 running FreeBSD, 2 OpenBSD and 1 Solaris.

Unless you're familiar with UNIX none of them would fall into what I would consider the "ease and comfort" category, although I do have a tutorial on how to build a FreeBSD desktop from scratch where I spell it out step-by-step with a target audience of someone who has never used UNIX or the command line on my site, if you're interested.

Thinkpads are popular in the FreeBSD community.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:35 pm
by jaspen-meyer
crux wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:23 pm
Scottfish wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:55 pm
I feel like I always default to Ubuntu due to ease and comfort, but am wondering who is running what on their Thinkpad?
I currently have 3 running FreeBSD, 2 OpenBSD and 1 Solaris.

Unless you're familiar with UNIX none of them would fall into what I would consider the "ease and comfort" category, although I do have a tutorial on how to build a FreeBSD desktop from scratch where I spell it out step-by-step with a target audience of someone who has never used UNIX or the command line on my site, if you're interested.

Thinkpads are popular in the FreeBSD community.
Years ago I installed one of the BSD variants and it seemed incredibly fast - I couldn't figure out how to control the fan. Are you able to control your fan's speed - and if so is there a how to someplace?

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:30 pm
by Eto
jaspen-meyer wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:35 pm
crux wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:23 pm


I currently have 3 running FreeBSD, 2 OpenBSD and 1 Solaris.

Unless you're familiar with UNIX none of them would fall into what I would consider the "ease and comfort" category, although I do have a tutorial on how to build a FreeBSD desktop from scratch where I spell it out step-by-step with a target audience of someone who has never used UNIX or the command line on my site, if you're interested.

Thinkpads are popular in the FreeBSD community.
Years ago I installed one of the BSD variants and it seemed incredibly fast - I couldn't figure out how to control the fan. Are you able to control your fan's speed - and if so is there a how to someplace?
How, can your "Unix-Newbie" tutorial be had?

Also I am unfamiliar with the "BSD" version of linux you mention . . . .

thanks in advance, eto

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:09 pm
by crux
jaspen-meyer wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:35 pm
Years ago I installed one of the BSD variants and it seemed incredibly fast - I couldn't figure out how to control the fan. Are you able to control your fan's speed - and if so is there a how to someplace?
Edit: Here's what you're looking for. It shows sysctl variables for the fan on Thinkpads: acip_ibm

Eto wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:30 pm
How, can your "Unix-Newbie" tutorial be had?

Also I am unfamiliar with the "BSD" version of linux you mention . . . .
Sure, this is my site:

Building A FreeBSD Desktop From Scratch

I have Thinkpad wallpapers and screenshots of different Window Managers and Desktop Environments in addition to the tutorial.

BSD stands for Berkeley Software Distribution and technically isn't Linux. FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD are known as "UNIX-like" due to legal reasons but can trace their roots back to AT&T Research UNIX. Solaris is true UNIX SysV.

With FreeBSD you start off with the base system and a terminal and build 3rd party programs by compiling ports or from pre-compiled binary packages. I use ports in my tutorial, but you can use pkg and save a lot of time. You'd need to consult the FreeBSD handbook on that, but it's easy as "apt get" IMO and you could still follow the tutorial.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:34 am
by Eto
thank you for the info/pointers/link/definitions crux!

You're ever in philly, cheesteaks are on me at Jims Steaks on south st!

http://www.jimssouthstreet.com

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:49 am
by Dekks
arch & debian with a mix of WMs

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:05 pm
by Self_Propelled_Crane
What's a good distro for T60/T61/Frankenpad-type (or core 2 duo era period) machines? Basically one that works 100% out of the box and is lightweight yet functional?

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:28 am
by madicetea
Self_Propelled_Crane wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:05 pm
What's a good distro for T60/T61/Frankenpad-type (or core 2 duo era period) machines? Basically one that works 100% out of the box and is lightweight yet functional?
If it has enough RAM, I still put in my usual vote for Fedora 27... then again, I think Fedora 28 is coming out in a matter of a couple weeks.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:19 am
by Hans Gruber
Linux Mint (Cinnamon) 18.3 for me.

Re: Time for a "what distro are you running" thread...

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:17 pm
by fourthree
I run 9front on my X61, but wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. There's just too much software that's incompatible with it.

I honestly recommend you stick to ubuntu, unless you plan to learn the command line, which is a worthwhile although tedious task at times. If you're interested, The Linux Command Line is a nice introduction, while The UNIX Programming environment builds up on it.