I recently got a Thinkpad P14s Gen 2 with an Intel i7-1165G7. Here are some first impressions and how well it works with Debian.

Before initiating with the installation, disable SecureBoot and set the standby/sleep feature to “Linux” on the BIOS.

I installed Debian Sid starting from the non-free netinstall image of Buster then did a full upgrade after having added Sid in the sources. As usual, the touchpad won’t work during the installation, so don’t use the GUI.

Install the firmware-misc-nonfree package to get rid of a bunch of possible missing hardware warnings.

Fan

This is absolutely the worst part of this notebook and I’m not quite sure how such a thing can pass QA. Both on Windows and Linux the fan will stay constantly on (around 4000 RPM) for whatever reasons, even when there is no load on the cpu and temperature is very low.

If this is an issue for you, research on reddit and forums to understand the gravity (and the consistency) of the problem.

I just turned off the fan via the ACPI (echo level 0 > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan) and apparently, when the CPU gets hot the fan goes up anyway but for the rest of the time I’m finally able to have some silence.

To get access to the /proc/acpi/ibm/fan see the relevant article on ThinkWiki.

Audio

To get the speakers working, you need https://packages.debian.org/sid/firmware-sof-signed. No modprobe patches should be needed for this.

For microphone, run arecord -l and not the the two numbers in the last line (Subdevice #). E.g. if both are 0, you would specify the device as hw:0,0.

Edit /etc/pulse/default.pa and insert a

load-module module-alsa-source device=hw:0,0

line before the .ifexists module-udev-detect.so that should be there already. Restart pulseaudio to apply the new settings:

pulseaudio -k
pulseaudio -D

Final considerations

Here’s some power consumption statistics:

TLP is installed and active, Plasma as DE, i3 as windows manager, Sublime Text and Firefox open, display at 30% brightness, fan almost off and the battery had 48% charge left.

> powertop --version
PowerTOP version 2.13
> powertop
The battery reports a discharge rate of 5.88 W
The energy consumed was 118 J
The estimated remaining time is 3 hours, 57 minutes

Summary: 856.2 wakeups/second,  0.0 GPU ops/seconds, 0.0 VFS ops/sec and 10.4% CPU use