Debian GNU / Linux on a Thinkpad T23

This page gives hints to use an IBM Thinkpad T23 with Linux (Debian flavor).
It is still a work in progress since I did not have time yet to do everything, please check back often !
For questions:

Last update : 2002-04-01

Aim : have Debian GNU/Linux and Windows/2000 in multiboot on a new shiny IBM Thinkpad T23

Start : Operations :
  1. Hard drive
    The notebook comes pre-installed with Windows 2000. The hard drive is partitioned in two:
    I wanted to keep Windows, as well as the recovery partition if possible.
    Solution : use GNU parted. Download a floppy image ( and boot with it. Read its documentation. Resize first partition (hda1) to be smaller. I choose to let Windows have around 6GB. In the new space, create 2 partitions : a Linux one, and a Linux swap one. I choose to let Linux have around 7GB and for rounding purposes the swap partition has 128MB.
    After that there are 4 partitions on your hard drive: Windows (hda1), Linux (hda2), Linux swap (hda3), Windows hidden (hda4)

  2. Linux installation
    I wanted to use the Debian GNU/Linux, if possible (stable) the cutting edge one (woody) at least for Xfree 4.
    None of the three potato CD worked as booting medium : after kernel loading, it always was hard stuck just after detection of floppy disk.
    Solution : I started to investigate booting with a floppy.
    I rebooted to Windows, and copied the content of all 3 CD in a Windows folder, so that I will be able to use them later (since you can not have the floppy and the cdrom drive at the same time, and the floppy one was needed)
    I finally found the floppy flavor that booted : the idepci one. Others will not. I have used the one included in the CD I had for compatibility.

    After boot, I installed everything using the content from the Windows partition. I did not configure lilo to create the MBR because I have read somewhere than it will destroy IBM's own (the one displaying Press F11 to restore at boot-up). Thus, as recommended, I mounted the internal (hda4) partition, copied rrdisk.* and loaddskf.exe to hda1, rebooted in windows, run rrdisk.bat which created a boot floppy that can restore IBM's own MBR at any time.

    After that I configured lilo to boot things from disk (erasing previous MBR)

    I wanted to have the network to upgrade to woody. I was unable to use the ethernet interface, modules failed to load.

  3. Linux kernel & network interface
    I have downloaded the latest kernel (2.4.13) and compiled it. I put all ethernet cards in modules, as well as sound cards. After having rebooted with the new kernel, I was able to use the ethernet card.
    Solution : modprobe eepro100
    I edited /etc/modutils/local to include alias eth0 eepro100 so that kerneld will work nicely (do not forget to run update-modules).
    Having network access now I changed /etc/apt/sources.list to point to a local debian mirror of woody, and did a few apt-get dist-upgrade and apt-get upgrade.

    Another reboot later (with a lilo edit and rerun of course) I had a woody with a kernel 2.4.13 working nicely ;-)

  4. X Window
    The chipset used is a SuperSavage IXC/16. Xfree 4.1.0 does not support it.
    Solution : go to then drivers, then login in at bottom (fourth) you are redirected to put archive as name and password, accept licence (needs cookie), click on ``370drv'' (ProSavage Drivers) and download Savage_4.1.0_binary.tgz. Extract savage_drv.o and copy it to /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers (keep the current one for safety).

    After that X works, a X -probeonly yields the following results : X_probe.txt with this XF86Config-4.
    It takes a while to load (15 seconds before seeing first window manager prompt).

  5. Sound
    The sound chip does not seem to be a CS46xx like in a T22. /sbin/lspci reports :
    00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation: Unknown device 2485 (rev 01)
    Module i810_audio successfully loads, but without sound.

    Solution : use ALSA, and choose card named intel8x0

    You can see the final /etc/modutils/alsa which makes everything ok by default (just launch an application with sound, and it works - do not forget to put yourself in group audio !). CONFIG_SOUND and CONFIG_SOUND_OSS are compiled as modules with the kernel.
    The only problem remaining is that at each reboot, sound is at 0, and must be put higher with a mixer (I use aumix)

  6. Wireless card
    I got an extra PCMCIA Wireless Card. On it, it is written:
    IBM PC Card WIFI High Rate Wireless LAN, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
    and on back:
    Lucent Technologies PC24E-H-FC
    P/N: 015545/A
    Solution : compile kernel with PCMCIA as module, CARDBUS as yes, Wireless LAN (CONFIG_NET_RADIO) as yes, Hermes (CONFIG_HERMES & CONFIG_PCMCIA_HERMES) as module, and CONFIG_NET_WIRELESS as yes. Then under PCMCIA network device support, put yes to CONFIG_NET_PCMCIA and CONFIG_NET_PCMCIA_RADIO, and the driver (CONFIG_PCMCIA_WAVELAN) as module.
    With these options, the kernel should be ready.

    Download the pcmcia-cs package. In /etc/pcmcia.conf, put:
    I used the configuration from and put in /etc/pcmcia/config.opts at the end (commenting all other lines related to Wireless drivers) :
    device "orinoco_cs"
      class "network"
      module "hermes", "orinoco_cs"
    card "IBM High Rate Wireless LAN PC Card"
      manfid 0x0156, 0x0002
      bind "orinoco_cs"
    (the driver is already included in kernel, see /lib/modules/*/kernel/drivers/net)

    In /etc/pcmcia/network.opts, change what you need. I used:
    so as to use pump for DHCP client (install the package !)

    In /etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts, adapt settings depending on where you are. For public meetings in which I participated, I needed to have (in one of the section matching the MAC address of the card):
    (without any ESSID)

    After all that, I just have to insert the card, and everything is done correctly : drivers loaded, network configured, and so on. I have from times to times spontaneous reboot when using this wireless card, but I do not know where exactly is the problem.
    I did not play with the encryption (so to speak) features of the card.
To do/investigate :