Today I got my new notebook. A Lenovo T460 Thinkpad. In this blogpost I want do document my problems or absence of problems with installing and using Debian Gnu/Linux. I paid around 930 Euro via the u:book program (where you can get notebooks cheaper if you are a student/pupil or working at a university). The version I bought included 8GB Ram and 256 GB SSD.
tldr: I’m writing this under Debian Testing (stretch) with wireless activated and working audio. Also the screen is working with the expected 1920×1080
More detailed information about the hardware (lspci). You can also look at the the output of lspci -v
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Sky Lake Host Bridge/DRAM Registers (rev 08)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Sky Lake Integrated Graphics (rev 07)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Device 9d2f (rev 21)
00:14.2 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Device 9d31 (rev 21)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Device 9d3a (rev 21)
00:17.0 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Device 9d03 (rev 21)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9d10 (rev f1)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9d12 (rev f1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9d48 (rev 21)
00:1f.2 Memory controller: Intel Corporation Device 9d21 (rev 21)
00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Device 9d70 (rev 21)
00:1f.4 SMBus: Intel Corporation Device 9d23 (rev 21)
00:1f.6 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I219-V (rev 21)
02:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device 522a (rev 01)
04:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 8260 (rev 3a)
First I tried to use the Debian testing netinstall image. But at that time (2.3.2016) the installer was broken because of some dependency problem between systemd and the ifupdown package. (I suppose this bug ticket is concerned with the problem.) My motivation to use the testing version was to have the better hardware support which was important for me because of the novelty of the T460. My fears now where that the Debian Stable Version (at this time: Jessie) would not be able to install itself on the notebook. But interestingly enough: It did work. The sound, wireless, touchpad and screen had some problems. But this was no problem, because after the first reboot I edited the /etc/apt/sources.list and replaced the jessie keyword with testing. After that used apt-get upgrade and apt-get dist-upgrade upgraded me to the testing version.
Sadly enough the Wireless device needs a non-free firmware. So I had to add the non-free section to the debian apt source list. After that I installed the iwlwifi package. After that, wireless was working.
Also the microphone and the webcam is working out of the box with debian testing (stretch).
If you are like me and have some problems with the small fonts in your desktop environment, you should increase the DPI settings. I use KDE so the answer to this stackoverflow queston was helpful. I increased the DPI setting from 96 to 110 and now my fonts are bigger and easier to read. There is another blogposting which helps you with firefox/iceweasel, thunderbird/icedove and chromium.
Having a new notebook is one thing. Migrating all data and configurations to the new one is a whole other thing. While not really specific to the kind of notebook, I want do document some things I did while migrating to remind myself for next time or help other people save some time.
Mails in Thunderbird/Icedove
If you use thunderbird (or the same program under different name icedove in debian) getting mails and configuration to the new notebook is very easy. Just copy the .thunderbird / .icedove folder under your home directory from you old device to your new one. Just like it is described here.
Public/Private Keys / GnuPG
If you are like me and you are encrypting some of your mails, transfering you keys is another thing you need to do. Luckily enough, this is as easy as migrating your mails(settings). Just copy your.gnupg folder in your homedirectory.
There is one problem with suspending. When the notebook is on the AC closing the lid causes the notebook to suspend. Opening the lid wakes it up. This works rather flawlessly. The problem is when the device works on batteries – in this case the device freezes when closing the lid. I have done some research and debugging on this problem and asked for support in a posting on the debian forums / I reported my problems in the thinkpad subreddit and got some interesting/informative answers. I’ll report if find some solution for this problem. Update: I’m summarizing my findings and updating new informations about this issue on a dedicated blog post.
I tried hibernating once or twice, it didn’t work out of the box. But I don’t care because I don’t need it.
Links and Resources
- Debian Wikipage about Debian/Stretch installing on a T460
- Tuxmobile has a list of installation guides for lenovo/ibm models (and more)
- screen flickering
- external display via hdmi
- fingerprint scanner (http://software.moftalk.com/fingerprint-reader-problems-at-t460-gZtWhXLxe.html)
- wifi perfomance/stability
- tlp/smapi (http://thinkwiki.de/TLP_-_Linux_Stromsparen , http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-linux-advanced-power-management.html)
- describe SSD and maybe show performance information
- check for errors in logs and investigate
- trackpoint problem (https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=114321)