last update: 2021-10-25 at 19:00:28 CEST

Installing Debian on a Thinkpad X300

Cause the Crunchbang distribution is discontinued in development, I decided to switch to a native Debian with OpenBox.


Download the debian netinst image: http://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst And copy it to an USB stick (the ISO hybrid images can be copied directly to the device; don’t use unetbootin)

# check which device is the usb stick
sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb|grep Disk

# copy the image to /dev/sdb (usb stick)
sudo cp ~/downloads/debian-8.1.0-amd64-netinst.iso /dev/sdb; sync
using a wrong device will break your systen and data! make backups :)

I will continue the installation using a wired connection.

If you dont set a root password the default user will get sudo capabillities

Complete the installation and reboot.

Setup wired networking

ifconfig eth0 up

Base setup

vi /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
apt-get install vim ssh wireless-tools sudo
vim /etc/sudoers

Get a desktop

install X and a window manager

sudo apt-get install xorg openbox
vim ~/.xsession
# add line:
exec openbox-session

Install a login manager

sudo apt-get install slim
# reboot to and login graphically
init 6

Wireless Networking

The Thinkpad X300 has a Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN wireless card. To setup the card you need the following nonfree firmware

sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

# Debian 8 "Jessie" iwlegacy firmware
deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi
sudo modprobe -rv iwl4965 && sudo modprobe -v iwl4965
apt-get install wicd

At first no wireless networks are found. You have to set the wireless interface in preferences

Get Sound

sudo apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils
sudo alsactl init
aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/*

Install Packages

Add more desktop components

sudo apt-get install thunar thunar-archive-plugin gnome-keyring xfce4-volumed xfce4-power-manager terminator menu gsimplecal xfce4-mixer tint2 volumeicon-alsa x2x

Install apps

sudo apt-get install chromium icedove gimp asciidoc source-highlight mc bc blender bsnes conky cups curl darktable dstat evince ffmpeg g++ geany gphoto2 powertop iceweasel imagemagick lame lftp vlc mplayer nload nmap rsync sshfs tree libreoffice-calc viewnior

Openbox Autostart

vim ~/.config/openbox/autostart.sh

tint2 &
sleep 3
volumeicon &
xfce4-power-manager &
xset r rate 250 25 &
xset b off &
wicd-client -t &
conky -q &

Fan Control (Thinkpad X300)

sudo apt-get install lm-sensors hddtemp
sudo sensors-detect
sudo apt-get install thinkfan
echo "options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/thinkfan.conf
sudo modprobe -rv thinkpad_acpi
sudo modprobe -v thinkpad_acpi
sudo systemctl enable thinkfan.service

# NOTE! check for correct behavoir:
sudo thinkfan -n
watch sensors
while [ 1 ]; do sudo hddtemp /dev/sda; sleep 1; done

next customize the desktop