I recently got a Thinkpad P14s Gen 2 with an Intel i7-1165G7. Here are some first impressions on 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. Same with wifi. Don’t even bother, use a usb wifi card or the USB tethering of your phone.

Once installed, add sid in the apt sources, run a full-upgrade and 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 keep it off/low via the ACPI (echo level 2 > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan). For a more permanent solution, I’m playing a bit with ThinkFan to see if I can find a decent middle ground.

To get access to the /proc/acpi/ibm/fan endpoint 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

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

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

pulseaudio -k
pulseaudio -D

Bluetooth

Install the pulseaudio-module-bluetooth package.

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, WiFi connected, 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