Mika/Notes/Computer Stuff/Debian Installation/X220

From WikiDotMako

I got x220 core i7. I can either log into Windows once and go to http://goodbye-microsoft.com/ or try the following.

Step 1: Get image files[edit]

Since I have network access, I was going to put image files on a usb stick via http://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst#verysmall . However, this page leads to individual files and I wanted to download them all at once. According to Lenovo website, I have amd64 and here's the link for a complete package. If you want to collect different parts separately, try the link but when I did it (note that you need to dd if=boot.img of=/dev/sdb or whereever the usb is in order to convert and copy the img files onto the usb stick), installation failed.

Other pages of interest at this point:

I put the file onto my USB stick.I kept putting wrong image files on the usb but I unmounted the usb stick and without removing the stick from the laptop, I did dd if=(path/filename) of=/dev/sdb . dd didn't work this time in Ubuntu, so we used a graphical interface USB Live USB creator (usb-creator-gtk).

The one I got above was old, so everything I got was old. I changed in the source.list squeeze->testing. Then, apt-get dist-upgrade

If I just type in mount, it shows where things are mounted.

Step 2: Booting with the USB stick[edit]

Insert the USB stick and boot the new computer. Press the blue ThinkVantage button when the first page appears. A new page that allows alternative booting or BIOS setup will appear. In BIOS, USB booting should be enabled.

Choose F12 to select USB booting.

The first time I did it, I got boot error because I didn't copy the image file by dd. If I just diddrag and drop or cp, it doesn't work.

There are a few things that could be changed in BIOS. For example, I don't have a fingerprint reader, so all settings for fingerprint can be disabled. Also, under security, there seem to be a few options that allow third-party monitoring of the laptop, so those can be disabled as well.

Step 3: Installation[edit]

Most of the default settings are good. I should have thought about the new hostname before.

I ran into a problem for GRUB (grub-pc couldn't be installed). I chose LILO instead and that worked ok. I could continue with installation without either of them but if I skip this installation step, I just can't restart at any point. After the basic installation completed:

apt-get install grub-pc

sudo grub-install /dev/sda

sudo update-grub

If I don't get any errors, then I can apt-get purge lilo.

Step 4: Upgrading the kernal[edit]

Since I had trouble with the resolution, we decided to update the kernal.

dpkg -l |grep linux-image

apt-cache policy linux-image-2.6-amd64 (to show which version I have/but this one was too old)

(update /etc/apt/source.list to include unstable)

apt-get update

apt-cache search linux-image

apt-get install linux-image-amd64

apt-get upgrade (but aborted)

apt-get install vim bash-completion


Step 5: Wide aspect ratio[edit]

I had a few problems because the kernal I initially installed was old.

A few ways to check what might be going on are:


lspci |grep VGA

grep drivers /var/log/Xorg.0.log

Then, after upgrading the kernal:

apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel

Not sure what Bernie did after that...

Step 6: Wifi[edit]

Some of the new laptops kept crashing our router last year but Bernie said that the problem might have been fixed, so we gave it a try.

Since I needed to get non-free packages (most of the wireless cards are non-free?), I had to add non-free sources to /etc/apt/source.list:

deb http://debian.lcs.mit.edu/debian unstable non-free
deb-src http://debian.lcs.mit.edu/debian unstable non-free

I can comment out these lines once I finish

Bernie and I tried getting firmware-linux-nonfree but that didn't do the trick, so we did:

apt-cache search intel wifi
apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi
rmmod iwlwifi
modprobe iwlwifi

My wifi didn't crash the router.


  • Setting up sudo

Use visudo, which checks for errors.

  • Setting the history size

echo $HISTSIZE (to check the current size)

export HISTSIZE=2000 (or however big they need to be)

  • Set up ibus for Japanese input

install ibus and ibus-anthy

install ttf-(japanese fonts): this installs japanese fonts for the system

  • iceweasel

set up keyword shortcuts

addons for noscript and https-everywhere

right-click in text boxes and click on "Add dictionary" and add English dictionary for automatic spell check.

  • dist-upgrade to testing
  • can't mount usb

Error message:

Error mounting: mount exited with exit code 1: helper failed with: mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb1, missing codepage or helper program, or other error In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try dmesg | tail or so

Solution: comment out /dev/sdb1 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0

Somehow, /etc/sdb was set to CDROM. One, I don't even have a CD drive and two, that's not usually when cdrom should be set to.