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Arch Linux on a ThinkPad T43 / T43p

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Arch Linux on a ThinkPad T43 / T43p

#1 Post by micrex22 » Tue May 10, 2022 12:53 am

I got bored of Windows 7 and OS/2 on my T43s (just running OS/2 permanently on my T42 instead) so I decided to install Arch Linux 32 on my T43p. Keep in mind this is being done on a SATA-modded T43p so it's probably a better experience for Linux.

First caveat about Arch Linux 32 is that 'wifi-menu' is not present, so I would suggest to use the RJ45 jack on the T43 to complete the setup.

====How to install Arch Linux 32 on a T43/T43p====
  1. timedatectl set-ntp true
    Note: I cannot get this working on my T43p, not sure why. Too lazy to troubleshoot, perhaps someone could spill the beans as to why.
  2. lsblk
    Note: to list all of the disks, most probably your HDD will land on sda
  3. cfdisk /dev/sda
    Note: assuming sda is your hard disk, change this accordingly
  4. Delete all of the partitions if the disk isn't freshly formatted
  5. partition size: 128M, primary partition, set Bootflag (B)
  6. partition size: (rest of space), primary partition
  7. Make sure you WRITE the changes afterwards, else they'll be lost and you'll have to redo them. If the disk wasn't preformatted and you've manually deleted the partitions, you may still get some false-positives later on about Windows volume names but that can be ignored. And of course remember to see the bootflag (B) for the 128M boot partition.
    Note: since we're going to use GRUB, a 128M partition size is fine (make it larger if you're going to use something else around these instructions), and then the rest of the disk can be allocated for the data partition. I'm not into swapfiles so I'm not going to bother, but you could create one and add it to taste as needed.
  8. mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
  9. mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2
    Note: here we're just formatting both partitions as EXT4, of course you could choose another file system like IBM JFS if you're going to go true blue.
  10. mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
  11. mkdir /mnt/boot
  12. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
    Note: this portion configures the boot partition's mount point.
  13. pacstrap /mnt base base-devel linux linux-firmware nano
    Note: and this command installs the main stuff we need, I'm going with nano instead of vim because I'm a heretick, but feel free to replace 'nano' with vim if you're into that sort of thing.
  14. genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
    Note: once everything is installed from pacstrap that will configure fstab.
  15. arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
  16. pacman -S networkmanager grub
  17. systemctl enable NetworkManager
    Note: installing NetworkManage and GRUB, along with enabling NetworkManager (and yes, it's case sensitive so installing it is lower-case, and then enabling it has capitalization on the start of each word).
  18. grub-install /dev/sda
  19. grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  20. nano /etc/locale.gen
    Note: uncomment which language you want (probably the en_US UTF & ISO).
  21. nano /etc/locale.conf
  22. LANG=en_US.UTF-8
    Note: you will be adding whichever language you chose, in my case I chose US, so it would be "LANG=en_US.UTF-8".
  23. nano /etc/hostname
    Note: put whatever hostname you want in and save, i.e. 'archibm' or 'T43p' or 'potatoibm'.
  24. ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Canada/Pacific /etc/localtime
    Note: you will want to specify the values that are corresponding to *your* local time zone, you can use tab complete to go show the country/city when adding in the first bit.
  25. Exit & reboot, and that should be all
====T43/T43p-specific Customizations====
I'm still customizing mine but there's one particular package that can be used to under-volt the Pentium M, this would allow the machine to run cooler (and it's not like Arch Linux needs much resources):
I couldn't find anything for the AMD-ATi FireGL, but if someone was so inclined they probably could make a special utility. Unfortunately that's outside of my expertise and how much I care.

For my particular setup I'm not going to be installing a desktop environment as it will be exclusively TMUX, but there are plenty of other tutorials on that.

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Re: Arch Linux on a ThinkPad T43 / T43p

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue May 10, 2022 1:10 am

Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1)

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Re: Arch Linux on a ThinkPad T43 / T43p

#3 Post by unixed » Fri May 13, 2022 7:05 am

micrex22 wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 12:53 am
I couldn't find anything for the AMD-ATi FireGL, but if someone was so inclined they probably could make a special utility. Unfortunately that's outside of my expertise and how much I care.
This either has to be done via a hardware mod, with the T61 NVIDIA GPUs binh physically set the ADP 3209 VID to lower the voltage supply, or modding the vBIOS to achieve the same ends.

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