Finally made the call here to go Debian 12 as my daily driver on the relatively new Carbon X1 I bought last year in 2022. Here are my notes around installation and making things work.
Installation off a USB installer with the standard 64bit installer ISO went very well. I did remove the stock nvme ssd that shipped with the laptop and replaced it with a 2TB Samsung SSD just to give me some more room. I wasn’t sure how much I would need to VM Windows stuff later so wanted the space for that. Also, the Samsung 990 Pro is faster. Installer recognized everything nicely and was able to get going
This was the biggest concern for me going into this. The Intel AX2xx chipset didn’t play nice with Debian 11 previously when I tried some installations last year on a Thinkstation so I was worried this was going to be an issue. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t reliable either. I was able to get through the install fine and was running mostly fine for the first few days. But, it was iffy and would struggle on performance and drops if you really had some continuous downloads and high bandwidth.
So, I messed around with driver options and other areas but the only thing that stabilized it was to get the latest git firmware over at
Extract that and move all “iwlwifi*” into /lib/firmware to overwrite the distro items. I saw an immediate improvement after that. I downloaded the May 15th, 2023 tar.gz so anything after that is probably fine.
Another concern was the Intel Arc chipset, but all good there right out of the install. I also have a Thunderbolt dock driving two 27′ monitors at 75hz so was worried that I was going to lose that. But all good no extra playing on that.
Again here, I was expecting something bad but all worked very well. No issues after the Debian 12 install. Recognized everything fine.
No problems off the install and the firmware manual firmware update may have helped as well. Have a bunch of Bluetooth devices from a mouse, to Jabra to speakers, etc. All okay.
My HP Laserjet on the wireless network was auto-sensed by Debian 12 and added. I made it a default. All good.
I have a Keychron Q6 that I love. Works fine but I can’t config/update key maps or anything through VIA as I could through Windows 11, but supposedly there is a fix I need to play on updating the firmware on the keyboard
I run VMware Workstation and have always used that when I have dipped into Linux as my daily driver over the years and nothing different here. I had to install linux headers for the kernel version and was able to install Workstation 17 no problems. I also dd imaged the old nvme Windows 11 I removed when I upgraded the SSD for this install and used qemu to turn it into a .vmdk to run Windows on this that was running directly prior to Debian 12 (and for a fallback) but all runs very well.
Key Communication Applications: Zoom and Slack
These were key for me. Both Zoom and Slack have .deb packages. They are stable and run well natively in Debian 12. There is a little lag right now with bookworm just recently released, so all references to Debian 11, etc. but all okay and run great without messing around. These are running 24×7 for me.
I’m a Vivaldi guy with workspaces and tab stacks. Easily have 10-15 windows and a dozen or so tabs in those under workspaces, etc. All very very fast and memory management is MUCH better than on Windows 11. Tons RAM left for everything else and the Intel i7 12th Gen is not overwhelmed like it was on Windows 11. Chrome and Chromium, and Firefox, of course all good as well.
I was a big/huge SnagIt user forever. I’m okay with the built-in Gnome screenshot tool and the additional step of using something like Drawing https://maoschanz.github.io/drawing/ for now. Not awesome but workable. I do want SnagIt for Linux of course, but what are you going do?
Flipped through all of them (KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, Gnome, etc.) as one does when you do these type of operations and have settled on Gnome Wayland. It’s great and clean. Also, as long as you are using the gdm3, it does great around screen locks, etc.
Going with Rhythmbox for now. Does great on my personal music library across Nextcloud and for internet radio. Been happy so far with it. I was a big Musicbee user on Windows.
Debian 12 as a client for Nextcloud is great. The Nextcloud Client is also working well syncing files, etc. No virtual files support yet that I know of that I loved on Windows, but I have the space and can be selective on resident files vs. on-demand.
Will add more here as things come up, but Debian on X1 Carbon has really unleashed the power of this laptop. Not going back.