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moving to Linux...

Linux on ThinkPads
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Weogo
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Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:27 pm
Location: Riceville, NC

moving to Linux...

#1 Post by Weogo » Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:37 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm minimally computer literate - and mostly just look at them as tools.
I've worked with a command prompt but very slowly.

My first Thinkpad was an A30P and I really liked the Trackpoint and
have gone on to an X41T, X61S, X201S and current T490S.

I want to move completely to Linux, as the open-source aspect appeals to me, and long-term, I think there may be the possibility of better support.
I've tried Linux several times in the past and stopped because I couldn't find software to do what I needed, battery life suffered, Trackpoint and other drivers were challenging.
Some of the newer distros, like Zorin, look fairly good for being easy to install and reliably 'just working'.
I don't need the OS to look like Windows, but it's fine if it does.
Any distro suggestions in addition to Zorin?
I read a lot of good comments about Debian, but might need somebody to offer a couple weeks of phone support to go this route...

A step along the way will be dual-booting Win10 and Linux.
First step is to backup current Win10 data/settings. I've use various programs in the past for this. Currently I just copy whole folders of data to a backup drive.
Do you suggest any simple, better approaches?

I know how to create a separate partition on the 1TB drive.
What is the most reliable way to set up dual-boot?

I've been reading several earlier Linux threads here.
Over the years I've learned so much from this forum; much appreciated!

Thanks and good health, Weogo

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
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Posts: 3400
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: moving to Linux...

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:22 pm

My advice? Install Linux on another Thinkpad, so you can use it side-by-side with Windows while in the transition phase. Also avoids the possibility of data loss while installing Linux.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

dr_st
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Location: Israel

Re: moving to Linux...

#3 Post by dr_st » Mon Aug 15, 2022 10:41 pm

Weogo wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:37 pm
I've tried Linux several times in the past and stopped because I couldn't find software to do what I needed, battery life suffered, Trackpoint and other drivers were challenging.
The part in bold will likely still be somewhat true, even today. Although there is more attention from IHVs/OEMs to Linux driver optimization in modern client laptop/desktops, it still does not get as much focus as Windows.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

Weogo
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Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:27 pm
Location: Riceville, NC

Re: moving to Linux...

#4 Post by Weogo » Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:55 am

Hi Axur,

That's a great approach and I still have the X201S, but it's currently in storage 800 miles from where I am.

dr_st, I commonly run my Thinkpad plugged in, with just a few hours a day unplugged. So I could get by with minimal power management.
How much does the extra heat generated shorten the life of the laptop?
Gotta have a good working Trackpoint...
Is Linux designed mostly for big, tower computers?

Thanks and good health, Weogo

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
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Posts: 3400
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: moving to Linux...

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:44 pm

Weogo wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:55 am
Is Linux designed mostly for big, tower computers?
In a way, yes, in the sense that most Linux deployments are on servers, where power management isn't a high priority.
That said, there are programs like TLP (https://linrunner.de/tlp/) that improve laptop battery runtime, and I've read some reports that the newer kernels have better power management out of the box.

Regarding the installation of Linux on a Thinkpad that already has Windows, it might be a good idea to install it on a separate drive-- some models support mSATA or M.2 2242 SSDs on the WWAN slot. Doing so reduces the chance of accidental data loss. That said, it's better to back up your data first. I suggest creating an image file of the Windows disk; doing so makes it faster and easier to return the laptop back into running condition if it does get accidentally formatted.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

dr_st
Admin
Admin
Posts: 9421
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: moving to Linux...

#6 Post by dr_st » Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:35 pm

Weogo wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:55 am
How much does the extra heat generated shorten the life of the laptop?
I would think the difference to be too small to be reliably measured or cared about.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

Weogo
Sophomore Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:27 pm
Location: Riceville, NC

Re: moving to Linux...

#7 Post by Weogo » Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:31 pm

Hi Axur,

I hope that Zorin has Trackpoint support, and will, if needed, install TLP.
I will be installing on the main drive and setting up as dual-boot.
Any suggestions on making that easy?
I do have a full windows backup.

dr-st, thanks for the assurance about heat not being an issue.

Thanks and good health, Weogo

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3400
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: moving to Linux...

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Aug 18, 2022 12:12 am

I've never used Zorin so I don't know the specifics of installing it. But the bare minimum requirement is to have unpartitioned space in the drive you're installing it on. By default, Windows uses the entire disk; in that case you have to shrink partitions using Windows' Disk Management applet.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Weogo
Sophomore Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:27 pm
Location: Riceville, NC

Re: moving to Linux...

#9 Post by Weogo » Thu Aug 18, 2022 9:48 am

Hi All,

I have Zorin Core installed and running!
It looks pretty good, am probably going to go with the paid version.

The mouse is working ok, just a little jumpy.
Next is checking out multi-track audio in/out over USB.

Thanks!

Good health, Weogo

benlimanto
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri May 20, 2022 12:21 pm
Location: Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia
Contact:

Re: moving to Linux...

#10 Post by benlimanto » Sun Oct 23, 2022 2:06 am

Well that's good for you Weago! Well come aboard! I'm using *EL/Fedora from Ubuntu/Debian based, and never looked back, because, well.. SELINUX is a good tools for me, so I kept using it.
X220 with Win 10 21H2
i7-2640m, disabled Hyper Thread, Temp Drop on average 10*C
12gb RAM (enough for now, DDR3L)
480 Kingston OEM SSD
64gb Samsung SD Card
Recently rolled back to Windows 7 from Win 10 21H2. Sad

Then FEDORA 36. EL RULESSS :D

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