What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

Older ThinkPads.. from the 600, the 7xx, the iSeries, 300, 500, the Transnote and, of course, the 701
Post Reply
Message
Author
Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#1 Post by Blender » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:47 am

What Linux distributions have worked for you? I'm talking for thinkpads earlier then 2K.

What Linux OS would you recommend for a 380XD?
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

stamasd
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:43 am
Location: Easton, CT

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#2 Post by stamasd » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:00 am

On my Thinkpad 755CX, the only version of Linux I was ever able to install with a GUI was a version of Debian. Configuring the XFree86 server to work with the video chip was a chore, especially since I wanted to have it work full-screen at 800x600 as opposed to only 640x480. I don't recall much else as this was over 15 years ago, but I'm sure I can pull that HDD and see if still works if you want the details. FWIW it worked well with Windowmaker as a display manager.

I also tried Slackware (3.6 I think, which was at the time my favorite distribution) but IIRC I could never get a GUI configured.
Current Thinkpad collection: 755CX x2 and 755CE (with a Dock II 3546); 380ED; 380XD with port replicator; 770Z with SelectaDock III; 570 with UltraBase; R52 with advanced dock.
Former members, no longer alive: 760ED.

brchan
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:43 am
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#3 Post by brchan » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:49 am

Easiest and works out of the box: Puppy linux
Bleeding edge apps: Arch linux (requires some configuration)
Smallest footprint: Tiny Core linux with custom kernel for cpu type (requires a lot of configuration and setup)

Based on my personal experience in terms of performance, I'd say
600E/X or newer: Puppy Linux or Arch
Anything older: Tiny Core as mentioned above.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

Neil
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Paragould AR USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#4 Post by Neil » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:36 am

antiX is a Debian based distro that makes configuring Debian a little easier. Using antiX core, you can make the system as light or as heavy as you desire. I'm not saying it's the best, but just one of many that can do the job. And one that I have used.

That said, I don't think it's worth the effort. You are not going to make a useful computer out of 15+ year old tech, no matter what the OS. For me, it's more nostalgic to use an OS designed for the particular machine, be it DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95 or OS2.

Might even rephrase the question in the thread topic to "What is a good Linux OS for [task you have in might] on a legacy ThinkPad?"

So, I think I'm going to adjust my answer from current distributions like antiX, and say a good Linux distro for something like a 380XD would be OS/2 Warp or Red Hat Linux from the era.
Collection = T500 - R400 - X300 - X200 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - T61 (14.1" SXGA+) - T60 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P - 600E

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#5 Post by Blender » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:41 pm

stamasd,
WOW! You own a 755CX! That is cool! When was the last time you turn it on? 15 years ago? Do you think it was AntiX that you installed on it? Because I know its Debian based distro. I love slackware.

brchan,
Does puppy linux require any further config to get to work at full 800x600?
So since the 380XD is older then 600E it is recommended that I use Thiny Core?
Are there any steps to compile the custom kernel for 233mhz pentium cpu?

ThinkPadder,
Im leaning more towards using AntiX. I would like this 380XD to be functional because I would love to actually use it. Just not as my regular machine. I plan on using it for IRC, Mutt email client and Lynx web browser. A gui would be nice for dillo or links. This machine has a 16bit 10/100 pcmcia card that would like to work.
I do have a 390E that I installed Win95 on for nostalgia. I loaded it with a bunch of games.

Im going to try out a few different distros and get back to you guys.
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

creshal
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:04 pm
Location: Graz, Austria

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#6 Post by creshal » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:15 pm

Do rolling release distributions like Arch really run well on that old hardware? Things like graphics card drivers are deprecated after a decade or so, Mesa/Xorg don't keep them indefinitely like the kernel does.

stamasd
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:43 am
Location: Easton, CT

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#7 Post by stamasd » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:04 pm

Blender wrote:stamasd,
WOW! You own a 755CX! That is cool! When was the last time you turn it on? 15 years ago? Do you think it was AntiX that you installed on it? Because I know its Debian based distro. I love slackware.
I have two 755CX, and a 755CE. I last turned them on: yesterday, last week and 4 days ago, in that order. :) One of those Thinkpad 755CX was my first laptop back in 1997.
(I am actively working on getting one of the 755CX flashed with the latest BIOS while not having a working battery, details in my other thread here http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=122692 )

However, I last turned on one of the 755CX while it had the Debian HDD in it.. oh, probably a year ago or so.

I'm sure it was plain old vanilla Debian, not a variant. A circa 2001 version of Debian. And Slackware was either 3.6 or 3.7. I have not actually attempted an install of Linux on 755 since the early 2000s.

I love Slackware too, in fact I have a subscription to it and get every one of Patrick Volkerding's releases automatically in the mail. I do that to support financially one of the last remaining bastions of old-school Linux. Even though these days I find myself using mostly Funtoo on my boxes.
Current Thinkpad collection: 755CX x2 and 755CE (with a Dock II 3546); 380ED; 380XD with port replicator; 770Z with SelectaDock III; 570 with UltraBase; R52 with advanced dock.
Former members, no longer alive: 760ED.

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#8 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:53 am

How much ram do you have in the 380xd?

DSL 4.11 will run. TinyCore will run.
AntiX may run.
[debian] x24 [xiphmont led] x60s [libreboot, led] T400 [libreboot, P9600] T420 [Ivy Bridge i7 3612QM]

goldeneagle
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Bandera, TX

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#9 Post by goldeneagle » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:27 pm

I installed an older version of Debian a few months ago on a 360CE. It has 36MB of RAM, and I believe the full install required about 600MB or so. To make it easier, I copied the entire archive over from the official download site, stuck it on one of my servers (and served with Apache), and did the network install option. I can't speak for the other well known distros mentioned like Puppy or Arch (though I've heard of them), but the 3COM/Megahertz network cards so common in the mid-90s should work fine (3C589 I believe).

Performance is decent, but like others noted, I had to do a bunch of searching to find an xf86config file that works with the WD90C24 framebuffer, err, video card.

I also have NetBSD installed on a 755CE and that works good as well, except that I haven't had a chance to play around with X on that machine. That actually got installed on a 1GB Sandisk PCMCIA card and boots off the PCMCIA slot, leaving only another one available for the network card.
Historic ThinkPads owned:
300, 360C, 360CE, 360CSE, 510CS, 560, 560E, 701C, 701CS, 730TE, 750, 755C, 755CE, 755CD, 760ED
Newer ThinkPads owned:
T520, W520, X220 Tablet

brchan
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:43 am
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#10 Post by brchan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:25 pm

brchan,
Does puppy linux require any further config to get to work at full 800x600?
So since the 380XD is older then 600E it is recommended that I use Thiny Core?
Are there any steps to compile the custom kernel for 233mhz pentium cpu?
Puppy should automatically configure everything, including resolution. I recommend Tiny core if you don't mind getting your hands dirty. There are online tutorials such as this one here: http://wiki.tinycorelinux.net/wiki:custom_kernel. Optimizing the kernel for your system's cpu on these ancient machines can give you a giant leap in performance. This applies to any linux distro, but Tiny Core just has a lot less bloat while maintaining some decent updated apps.
Do rolling release distributions like Arch really run well on that old hardware? Things like graphics card drivers are deprecated after a decade or so, Mesa/Xorg don't keep them indefinitely like the kernel does.
Ran well on my 600X, T23, and T43, and up. My 770 was really slow, though. As far as drivers go, the ones for my T23 and 600X are still in the standard repo list (probably others as well). Both were updated last year, so there shouldn't be big issues.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#11 Post by Blender » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:36 pm

stamasd,
I have not yet tried looking for bios upgrades for legacy thinkpads. I bet its difficult to find them, or, do you know a good place to get them? I doubt lenovo has available to download.
If you do attempt an install on a 755 you might try tiny core? lol
Same here, I have purchased a cd from slackware because I thought it would be nice to own one and will do the same for 14.2 evantually.

jaspen-meyer,
I have 98MB of ram. Thanks.

goldeneagle,
A 360CE!! Dang thats old! So your 360CE is a fully funtional CLI box with internet (impressive) And that is exactly what im trying to achieve with this 380XD.
I never thought of booting from a PCMCIA card. Is it like a SSD? Just as fast?
I would love to try that!
What is the biggest one that is compatible?

brchan,
I dont mind elbow grease. Its good for me. If AntiX does not work out I will try Tiny Core. I like a light weight system.

So currently I am trying to get AntiX to boot. I installed the core version and look forward to getting on the internet BUT im stuck.

Every time I try to boot to the OS ( bootloader does not even show up) it shows the output of:
I9990305

and it just stays there..no hdd activity. Why is it doing that? I did put a 6g hdd in it so it should be fine right? :banghead:
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#12 Post by jaspen-meyer » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:01 am

Get the Hardware Maintaince manual (HMM) for your model, there's a HMM link at the top of this page:

"I9990305: No bootable device.
1. Check that the operating system is installed in the hard disk drive. If not, install the operating system.
2. Reseat the boot device.
3. Check the start-up sequence for the correct boot device.
4. Check that the operating system boots correctly."

My 380ED boots from a 8gb CF card in a PCMCIA adapter, I think.
Press and hold F1, power up till you get into bios.
Set the PCMCIA adapter as your boot device.

98mb of RAM! Booting a current kernel into a CLI will be easy enough.
After that I tried a few distributions and network cards until I found something which automatically configured networking, and which included needed modules for the networking card.
[debian] x24 [xiphmont led] x60s [libreboot, led] T400 [libreboot, P9600] T420 [Ivy Bridge i7 3612QM]

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#13 Post by Blender » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:57 am

Thanks jaspen-meyer

I looked it up in the HMM and it said what you said. Your right.

But how could that be?? I mean... i was able to install antiX to it. I only used one partition for the root at /dev/sda1

I checked the boot order and reseated the hdd and still says the same code.

Maybe it is the MBR that it is not seeing?
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#14 Post by jaspen-meyer » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:27 am

Is the version of AntiX suitable for your 233mHz processor?
Is grub, or something similar, installed at /dev/sda ?

What device did you use to install? I ask because, as a workaround, you could boot from that device to load the kernel located on /dev/sda1

The part of the boot sector may be bad.
Boot loader may be installed to the wrong place (/dev/sda1 instead of, the correct, /dev/sda).
Partition size (6GB) may be too large - someone who knows better will chime in and tell you the maximum partition size for your machine.
[debian] x24 [xiphmont led] x60s [libreboot, led] T400 [libreboot, P9600] T420 [Ivy Bridge i7 3612QM]

stamasd
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:43 am
Location: Easton, CT

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#15 Post by stamasd » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:41 am

Blender wrote:stamasd,
I have not yet tried looking for bios upgrades for legacy thinkpads. I bet its difficult to find them, or, do you know a good place to get them? I doubt lenovo has available to download.
If you do attempt an install on a 755 you might try tiny core? lol
Same here, I have purchased a cd from slackware because I thought it would be nice to own one and will do the same for 14.2 evantually.
I found the BIOS upgrade for the 755CX at http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/windows/lanet/thinpad/
Finding the upgrade is not the issue; it's the fact that the flasher requires a fully charged battery to work, and I don't have a working battery, nor am I able to find one anywhere.
Current Thinkpad collection: 755CX x2 and 755CE (with a Dock II 3546); 380ED; 380XD with port replicator; 770Z with SelectaDock III; 570 with UltraBase; R52 with advanced dock.
Former members, no longer alive: 760ED.

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#16 Post by Blender » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:13 pm

jaspen-meyer,
Yes it is suitable because I can use it in live mode.
How do I tell if grub is install at /dev/sda? Sorry I'm fairly new to linux. AND if its not installed, how do I install grub there?
I used the 380XD to install AntiX.
I am going to put the default 4090mb hdd back in and re-install and get back to you.

stamasd,
Congrats on finding the bios upgrade! I did some searching around and found a battery but its not cheap..
Here is the link

http://www.batterycanada.com/Lib-25.asp

I am going to do more searching.
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#17 Post by Blender » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:28 pm

Alright. So I decided to write a floppy image containing the Plop boot manager to help me verify the boot error I9990305.

I was hoping that this Plop boot manager could boot the AntiX OS but it cant and here is why..

It says,
"MBR: CHECK..
MBR: IS VALID..
CHECKING BOOTSECTOR
WARNING:
NO VALID BOOTSECTOR SIGNATURE CONTINUE BOOT? [Y/N]


and of course I selected YES. But nothing happens.

How do I add a valid bootsector signature? Any way to do that?
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

stamasd
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:43 am
Location: Easton, CT

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#18 Post by stamasd » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:17 pm

Is your HDD good? If you boot from a DOS floppy, does fdisk see the HDD and can partition it?
Current Thinkpad collection: 755CX x2 and 755CE (with a Dock II 3546); 380ED; 380XD with port replicator; 770Z with SelectaDock III; 570 with UltraBase; R52 with advanced dock.
Former members, no longer alive: 760ED.

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#19 Post by Blender » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:57 am

Yeah I booted to DOS and fdisk can see it and I was also able to make a new partition.

I don't know what the issue is.
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

stamasd
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:43 am
Location: Easton, CT

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#20 Post by stamasd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:48 am

Try "fdisk /mbr" from the DOS floppy. That will rewrite the MBR and boot sector to the HDD.
Current Thinkpad collection: 755CX x2 and 755CE (with a Dock II 3546); 380ED; 380XD with port replicator; 770Z with SelectaDock III; 570 with UltraBase; R52 with advanced dock.
Former members, no longer alive: 760ED.

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#21 Post by jaspen-meyer » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:04 pm

If you can boot into a system, check whether /dev/sda (may be /dev/sdb after you've mounted another DEVICE) has its boot flag set. The command line program 'fdisk' is a commonly used tool for such work.

For anyone interested in learning more about how Linux works, I'd suggest following the Gentoo installation documentation, from start to finish. It covers partitioning with fdisk.

In Debian you can install grub with 'grub-install'. Search around for syntax, for example:
https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manua ... stall.html
[debian] x24 [xiphmont led] x60s [libreboot, led] T400 [libreboot, P9600] T420 [Ivy Bridge i7 3612QM]

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#22 Post by Blender » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:02 am

I really appreciate everyones help so far..

stamasd,
I tried fdisk /mbr and antix still did not boot up. Darn.

jaspen-meyer,
i used the slackware install CD to examine the partitions with fdisk and I did not see the boot flag...which might be the reason why it wont boot. Good call..

my setup is simple. Just the root / partition. No swap or home. All space is for /

Strange because i just got done installing antix core again.

I have to figure out why there is no boot flag...

Do i have to do anything extra during the install?
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#23 Post by jaspen-meyer » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:47 am

boot partition issues aside; the minimum system requirements of AntiX are advertised as 256mb ram, "It should run on most computers, ranging from 256MB old PIII systems with pre-configured swap to the latest powerful boxes. 256MB RAM is recommended minimum for antiX." (source http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page)

Just tested AntiX in my 80mb-ram 380ed. It starts booting, then crashes.
TinyCore. Try TinyCore.
[debian] x24 [xiphmont led] x60s [libreboot, led] T400 [libreboot, P9600] T420 [Ivy Bridge i7 3612QM]

stamasd
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:43 am
Location: Easton, CT

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#24 Post by stamasd » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:05 pm

I put my Debian HDD in the 755CX and booted it. It's plain Debian all right, with kernel 2.2.20 from Apr 20th, 2002.
I saved the XF86Config and I'm attaching it to this post, maybe it'll be useful to someone. It allows the Xserver to run fullscreen (800x600) but IIRC in 256 colors only.

(edit) um, can't figure out how to add attachments to posts on this board. I'll just include it as text below.
Like I said, I use Windowmaker with this. The only problem is it doesn't exit cleanly when I want to end the X session - the GUI stays on screen even though it's not in GUI mode anymore. You can type commands but you can't see anything on the screen as it's all covered by the stuck GUI.

Code: Select all

# File generated by xf86config.

#
# Copyright (c) 1999 by The XFree86 Project, Inc.
#
# Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a
# copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"),
# to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation
# the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense,
# and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the
# Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
# 
# The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
# all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
# 
# THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
# IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
# FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.  IN NO EVENT SHALL
# THE XFREE86 PROJECT BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,
# WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF
# OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE
# SOFTWARE.
# 
# Except as contained in this notice, the name of the XFree86 Project shall
# not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other
# dealings in this Software without prior written authorization from the
# XFree86 Project.
#

# **********************************************************************
# Refer to the XF86Config(4/5) man page for details about the format of 
# this file.
# **********************************************************************

# **********************************************************************
# Module section -- this  section  is used to specify
# which dynamically loadable modules to load.
# **********************************************************************
#
Section "Module"

# This loads the DBE extension module.

    Load        "dbe"  	# Double buffer extension

# This loads the miscellaneous extensions module, and disables
# initialisation of the XFree86-DGA extension within that module.
    SubSection  "extmod"
      Option    "omit xfree86-dga"   # don't initialise the DGA extension
    EndSubSection

# This loads the Type1 and FreeType font modules
    Load        "type1"
    Load        "freetype"

# This loads the GLX module
#    Load       "glx"

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Files section.  This allows default font and rgb paths to be set
# **********************************************************************

Section "Files"

# The location of the RGB database.  Note, this is the name of the
# file minus the extension (like ".txt" or ".db").  There is normally
# no need to change the default.

    RgbPath	"/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"

# Multiple FontPath entries are allowed (which are concatenated together),
# as well as specifying multiple comma-separated entries in one FontPath
# command (or a combination of both methods)
# 
# If you don't have a floating point coprocessor and emacs, Mosaic or other
# programs take long to start up, try moving the Type1 and Speedo directory
# to the end of this list (or comment them out).
# 

#    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/local/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/"

# The module search path.  The default path is shown here.

#    ModulePath "/usr/X11R6/lib/modules"

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Server flags section.
# **********************************************************************

Section "ServerFlags"

# Uncomment this to cause a core dump at the spot where a signal is 
# received.  This may leave the console in an unusable state, but may
# provide a better stack trace in the core dump to aid in debugging

#    Option "NoTrapSignals"

# Uncomment this to disable the <Crtl><Alt><BS> server abort sequence
# This allows clients to receive this key event.

#    Option "DontZap"

# Uncomment this to disable the <Crtl><Alt><KP_+>/<KP_-> mode switching
# sequences.  This allows clients to receive these key events.

#    Option "Dont Zoom"

# Uncomment this to disable tuning with the xvidtune client. With
# it the client can still run and fetch card and monitor attributes,
# but it will not be allowed to change them. If it tries it will
# receive a protocol error.

#    Option "DisableVidModeExtension"

# Uncomment this to enable the use of a non-local xvidtune client. 

#    Option "AllowNonLocalXvidtune"

# Uncomment this to disable dynamically modifying the input device
# (mouse and keyboard) settings. 

#    Option "DisableModInDev"

# Uncomment this to enable the use of a non-local client to
# change the keyboard or mouse settings (currently only xset).

#    Option "AllowNonLocalModInDev"

EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Input devices
# **********************************************************************

# **********************************************************************
# Core keyboard's InputDevice section
# **********************************************************************

Section "InputDevice"

    Identifier	"Keyboard1"
    Driver	"Keyboard"
# For most OSs the protocol can be omitted (it defaults to "Standard").
# When using XQUEUE (only for SVR3 and SVR4, but not Solaris),
# uncomment the following line.

#    Option     "Protocol"      "Xqueue"

    Option "AutoRepeat" "500 30"

# Specify which keyboard LEDs can be user-controlled (eg, with xset(1))
#    Option	"Xleds"      "1 2 3"

#    Option "LeftAlt"     "Meta"
#    Option "RightAlt"    "ModeShift"

# To customise the XKB settings to suit your keyboard, modify the
# lines below (which are the defaults).  For example, for a non-U.S.
# keyboard, you will probably want to use:
#    Option "XkbModel"    "pc102"
# If you have a US Microsoft Natural keyboard, you can use:
#    Option "XkbModel"    "microsoft"
#
# Then to change the language, change the Layout setting.
# For example, a german layout can be obtained with:
#    Option "XkbLayout"   "de"
# or:
#    Option "XkbLayout"   "de"
#    Option "XkbVariant"  "nodeadkeys"
#
# If you'd like to switch the positions of your capslock and
# control keys, use:
#    Option "XkbOptions"  "ctrl:swapcaps"

# These are the default XKB settings for XFree86
#    Option "XkbRules"    "xfree86"
#    Option "XkbModel"    "pc101"
#    Option "XkbLayout"   "us"
#    Option "XkbVariant"  ""
#    Option "XkbOptions"  ""

#    Option "XkbDisable"

    Option "XkbRules"	"xfree86"
    Option "XkbModel"	"pc104"
    Option "XkbLayout"	"us"

EndSection


# **********************************************************************
# Core Pointer's InputDevice section
# **********************************************************************

Section "InputDevice"

# Identifier and driver

    Identifier	"Mouse1"
    Driver	"mouse"
    Option "Protocol"    "IntelliMouse"
    Option "Device"      "/dev/psaux"

# When using XQUEUE, comment out the above two lines, and uncomment
# the following line.

#    Option "Protocol"	"Xqueue"

# Baudrate and SampleRate are only for some Logitech mice. In
# almost every case these lines should be omitted.

#    Option "BaudRate"	"9600"
#    Option "SampleRate"	"150"

# Emulate3Buttons is an option for 2-button Microsoft mice
# Emulate3Timeout is the timeout in milliseconds (default is 50ms)

    Option "Emulate3Buttons"
#    Option "Emulate3Timeout"    "50"

# ChordMiddle is an option for some 3-button Logitech mice

#    Option "ChordMiddle"

EndSection


# **********************************************************************
# Other input device sections 
# this is optional and is required only if you
# are using extended input devices.  This is for example only.  Refer
# to the XF86Config man page for a description of the options.
# **********************************************************************
#
# Section "InputDevice" 
#    Identifier  "Mouse2"
#    Driver      "mouse"
#    Option      "Protocol"      "MouseMan"
#    Option      "Device"        "/dev/mouse2"
# EndSection
#
# Section "InputDevice"
#    Identifier "spaceball"
#    Driver     "magellan"
#    Option     "Device"        "/dev/cua0"
# EndSection
#
# Section "InputDevice"
#    Identifier "spaceball2"
#    Driver     "spaceorb"
#    Option     "Device"        "/dev/cua0"
# EndSection
#
# Section "InputDevice"
#    Identifier "touchscreen0"
#    Driver     "microtouch"
#    Option     "Device"        "/dev/ttyS0"
#    Option     "MinX"          "1412"
#    Option     "MaxX"          "15184"
#    Option     "MinY"          "15372"
#    Option     "MaxY"          "1230"
#    Option     "ScreenNumber"  "0"
#    Option     "ReportingMode" "Scaled"
#    Option     "ButtonNumber"  "1"
#    Option     "SendCoreEvents"
# EndSection
#
# Section "InputDevice"
#    Identifier "touchscreen1"
#    Driver     "elo2300"
#    Option     "Device"        "/dev/ttyS0"
#    Option     "MinX"          "231"
#    Option     "MaxX"          "3868"
#    Option     "MinY"          "3858"
#    Option     "MaxY"          "272"
#    Option     "ScreenNumber"  "0"
#    Option     "ReportingMode" "Scaled"
#    Option     "ButtonThreshold"       "17"
#    Option     "ButtonNumber"  "1"
#    Option     "SendCoreEvents"
# EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# Monitor section
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of monitor sections may be present

Section "Monitor"

    Identifier  "My Monitor"

# HorizSync is in kHz unless units are specified.
# HorizSync may be a comma separated list of discrete values, or a
# comma separated list of ranges of values.
# NOTE: THE VALUES HERE ARE EXAMPLES ONLY.  REFER TO YOUR MONITOR'S
# USER MANUAL FOR THE CORRECT NUMBERS.

    HorizSync   31.5 - 35.1

#    HorizSync	30-64         # multisync
#    HorizSync	31.5, 35.2    # multiple fixed sync frequencies
#    HorizSync	15-25, 30-50  # multiple ranges of sync frequencies

# VertRefresh is in Hz unless units are specified.
# VertRefresh may be a comma separated list of discrete values, or a
# comma separated list of ranges of values.
# NOTE: THE VALUES HERE ARE EXAMPLES ONLY.  REFER TO YOUR MONITOR'S
# USER MANUAL FOR THE CORRECT NUMBERS.

    VertRefresh 50-70

EndSection


# **********************************************************************
# Graphics device section
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of graphics device sections may be present

# Standard VGA Device:

Section "Device"
    Identifier	"Standard VGA"
    VendorName	"Unknown"
    BoardName	"Unknown"

# The chipset line is optional in most cases.  It can be used to override
# the driver's chipset detection, and should not normally be specified.

#    Chipset	"generic"

# The Driver line must be present.  When using run-time loadable driver
# modules, this line instructs the server to load the specified driver
# module.  Even when not using loadable driver modules, this line
# indicates which driver should interpret the information in this section.

    Driver     "vga"
# The BusID line is used to specify which of possibly multiple devices
# this section is intended for.  When this line isn't present, a device
# section can only match up with the primary video device.  For PCI
# devices a line like the following could be used.  This line should not
# normally be included unless there is more than one video device
# intalled.

#    BusID      "PCI:0:10:0"

#    VideoRam	256

#    Clocks	25.2 28.3

EndSection

# Device configured by xf86config:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "WD 90C24 (laptop)"
    Driver      "svga"
	# unsupported card
    VideoRam    1024
    Chipset "wd90c31"
    #Option "noaccel" # Use this if acceleration is causing problems
    #Clocks 25.175 28.322 65     36     # These are not programmable
    #Clocks 29.979 77.408 62.195 59.957 # These are programmable
    #Clocks 31.5   35.501 75.166 50.114 # These are not programmable
    #Clocks 39.822 72.038 44.744 80.092 # These are programmable
    #Clocks 44.297                      # Must match Mclk
    # Insert Clocks lines here if appropriate
EndSection


# **********************************************************************
# Screen sections
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of screen sections may be present.  Each describes
# the configuration of a single screen.  A single specific screen section
# may be specified from the X server command line with the "-screen"
# option.
Section "Screen"
    Identifier  "Screen 1"
    Device      "WD 90C24 (laptop)"
    Monitor     "My Monitor"
    DefaultDepth 8

    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       8
        Modes       "800x600"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       16
        Modes       "640x480"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes       "640x480"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
EndSection

# **********************************************************************
# ServerLayout sections.
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of ServerLayout sections may be present.  Each describes
# the way multiple screens are organised.  A specific ServerLayout
# section may be specified from the X server command line with the
# "-layout" option.  In the absence of this, the first section is used.
# When now ServerLayout section is present, the first Screen section
# is used alone.

Section "ServerLayout"

# The Identifier line must be present
    Identifier  "Simple Layout"

# Each Screen line specifies a Screen section name, and optionally
# the relative position of other screens.  The four names after
# primary screen name are the screens to the top, bottom, left and right
# of the primary screen.  In this example, screen 2 is located to the
# right of screen 1.

    Screen "Screen 1"

# Each InputDevice line specifies an InputDevice section name and
# optionally some options to specify the way the device is to be
# used.  Those options include "CorePointer", "CoreKeyboard" and
# "SendCoreEvents".

    InputDevice "Mouse1" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"

EndSection

Current Thinkpad collection: 755CX x2 and 755CE (with a Dock II 3546); 380ED; 380XD with port replicator; 770Z with SelectaDock III; 570 with UltraBase; R52 with advanced dock.
Former members, no longer alive: 760ED.

goldeneagle
Freshman Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Bandera, TX

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#25 Post by goldeneagle » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:56 pm

Blender wrote:stamasd,
I have not yet tried looking for bios upgrades for legacy thinkpads. I bet its difficult to find them, or, do you know a good place to get them? I doubt lenovo has available to download.
Just google the IBM PCC BBS. There are several mirrors out there that have BIOS updates. It would be in the /mobiles subdirectory, and I think you can figure out what file goes to what machine in the 00index.txt file (or something similarly named).
goldeneagle,
A 360CE!! Dang thats old! So your 360CE is a fully funtional CLI box with internet (impressive) And that is exactly what im trying to achieve with this 380XD.
I never thought of booting from a PCMCIA card. Is it like a SSD? Just as fast?
I would love to try that!
What is the biggest one that is compatible?
CLI? What are you talking about? Mine actually runs X! I found a config file somewhere online, tweaked it and used that, but it's running in 640x480.

As for booting via PCMCIA, there's an option to boot from there in the BIOS setup. You can use a PCMCIA Type 1/2 flash card (preferred), or some Compact Flash cards work (hit or miss over 512MB). Eventually, I'll move that 1GB Sandisk card to my 730TE and just use a 2.5" SSD on the NetBSD machine (that is only CLI at the moment).

And yes, FLASH is super fast, although nothing compares to todays' SSDs.

brchan,
I dont mind elbow grease. Its good for me. If AntiX does not work out I will try Tiny Core. I like a light weight system.

So currently I am trying to get AntiX to boot. I installed the core version and look forward to getting on the internet BUT im stuck.

Every time I try to boot to the OS ( bootloader does not even show up) it shows the output of:
I9990305

and it just stays there..no hdd activity. Why is it doing that? I did put a 6g hdd in it so it should be fine right? :banghead:
IIRC, I believe that means no boot sector on the drive, or no bootable device. You'll definitely want to make sure you're at the latest BIOS revision. Can't speak for the 380, but on earlier machines, 6GB was the largest you could go. I was never successful with anything over 6.4GB.

If you don't need the space, look on ebay for the simpletech 1GB SSD. They're about 9 bucks, excluding shipping, and work pretty darn good. Just snip off the master/slave pins on the top of the drive, install in the caddy, and you're good to go. If you need bigger, there was a reseller in China selling SiliconDrive 2GB drives for about 30 bucks. Those work good too, but they take about 2-3 weeks to get to the states (I ordered a bunch from him).
Historic ThinkPads owned:
300, 360C, 360CE, 360CSE, 510CS, 560, 560E, 701C, 701CS, 730TE, 750, 755C, 755CE, 755CD, 760ED
Newer ThinkPads owned:
T520, W520, X220 Tablet

Blender
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA USA

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#26 Post by Blender » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:24 pm

jaspen-meyer,
I did not have a lot of success with AntiX so I know how it feels.

stamasd,
Thanks for the info! It will help a lot if I decide to switch to Debian.
Have you about updating that box? It might possible..

goldeneagle,
Thanks for the bios info. That will be useful. I plan on updating the bios on a few of the thinkpads.
It is super cool that yours runs X!
I would get a pcmcia flash card but most linux distros now days need at least around 6gb i think..

But anyway, the I9990305 error is because there was no boot flag on the root partition. I feel a bit stupid. But you usually never have to worry about adding the boot flag manually on the newer machines.

So after lots of distro testing I came to the conclusion that Slackware Linux is the way to go. I had to obviously boot the huge.s kernel in the beginning and at the part where you set up your partions you have to manually give your root partition the boot flag for some reason. A 6gb hdd was used.

Tiny Core linux also worked out of the box pretty well except graphics needed to be re-configured.
I'm a proud owner of a Z61p, T60p, 380XD, 390E, 560X, 380Z, 770E, X201

Farro
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:31 am
Location: Delhi,India

Re: What is a good Linux OS for legacy thinkpads?

#27 Post by Farro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:55 am

Try ubuntu with openbox .. i use it on a few thinkpads
works great
infact there is a quite less known spin , which makes it work like crunchbang
google gobang
once installed , do release upgrade to 16.04 ( latest LTS )

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad Legacy Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest