Running debian (8) Jessie (backports) on lenovo thinkpad x260

Submitted by abhaisasidharan on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 08:15

Since the new Lenovo Thinkpad X260 houses the latest hardware like the i7-6500U skylake processor, Huawei ME906s LTE, Intel® Snowfield Peak 2 WiFi 2 x 2 802.11 a/c with Bluetooth® M.2 (vPro™) etc as mentioned here, things like WiFi, the graphics card and the LTE 3G port may not work with the stable release of Debian 8 (Jessie). This is because since you choose Debian stable, the software is a little bit outdated compared to other distributions. Stability at the cost of obsolescence. Fortunately, we have a not-so-unstable unstable version of Jessie aka Debian Jessie backports!

Backporting is the action of taking parts from a newer version of a software system or software component and porting them to an older version of the same software.

– Wikipedia

When it comes to Debian, backports are packages taken from the next Debian release (called “testing”), adjusted and recompiled for usage on Debian stable. Because the packages are also present in the next Debian release, you can easily upgrade your stable+backports system once the next Debian release comes out. (In a few cases, usually for security updates, backports are also created from the Debian unstable distribution.)

Firstly, download and install Debian 8 as one would normally do. I’m not providing any information on this as there are literally thousands of blogs on the internet with information on the same. Google it!

Secondly, when you reach the login screen press CTRL + ALT + F1and it will direct you to a terminal login. Login and run sudo apt-get update, because you know… You know you don’t have to but your OCD makes you do it anyway! After whatever it is you do after you login, you must edit your ‘sources.list’. Run sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

This is how it probably looks.

# Line commented out by installer because it failed to verify:
# deb jessie/updates main contrib
# Line commented out by installer because it failed to verify:
# deb-src jessie/updates contrib main

# jessie-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
# A network mirror was not selected during install. The following entries
# are provided as examples, but you should amend them as appropriate
# for your mirror of choice.

deb jessie contrib main non-free
deb-src jessie contrib main non-free

Add the following two lines to the end of it.

deb jessie-backports main contrib non-free
deb-src jessie-backports main contrib non-free

Save and exit. Then run the following.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install linux-image-amd64/jessie-backports
sudo apt-get update # This is the OCD one!
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

# To install linux 4.7 kernel
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports linux-image-4.7.0-0.bpo.1-amd64 
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports linux-headers-4.7.0-0.bpo.1-amd64
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports xorg
sudo reboot

#Graphics card
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports xserver-xorg
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports xserver-xorg-video-intel 

# WiFi
sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports firmware-iwlwifi 
sudo modprobe iwlwifi
sudo service network-manager restart

Now you have everything you need to run Debian Jessie smoothly. I’m still working on a solution for the LTE port.

For the fingerprint sensor, fprint seems to be working well for many people. Add the repository if it isn’t already and then install.

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:fingerprint/fprint
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libfprint0 fprint-demo libpam-fprintd

I thought about putting up some screenshots of my Debian Gnome Desktop Environment (DE) to show how it looks, but as it turns out, I have to logout of my awesome i3wm DE. (**whisper** Gnome shell uses a lot of CPU.) So I’m not going to be doing that.