Installing Linux on a ThinkCentre Tiny M700

I just got a new (refurb) model of this incredibly tiny machine, to replace my giant HP Z800 Workstation for both room, newness, and power consumption. So I set down to install Linux on it, not Windoze 10 as comes installed. And I ran into a brick wall. With help from friends, chiefly Leo Chavez of Linux User Space podcast, I got it working. This assumes you already have your distro burned to a USB stick (I use a Ventoy stick with multiple distros). Here are the steps.

1. Boot & wait for Lenovo screen
2. Hit Enter and wait for BIOS screen
3. Insert USB (in my case, Ventoy) stick quickly enough that the machine has time to read it without moving on to the next menu (if you miss this, you’re going to need to start over)
4. Hit F12 to tell it to boot from an alternate source
5. Select USB (Ventoy) stick (& choose your distro)

After that, it’s a piece of cake.

2 thoughts on “Installing Linux on a ThinkCentre Tiny M700

  1. Interesting. I’ve never had this issue of needing to time when I insert the USB stick. Quirk of the thinkcentres? My lenovo netbook is just a normal boot from USB.

    1. I have had several Lenovo notebooks, and never had this issue. Just the old F12 and you’re good to go. But this one was a fun case. Even so, I love the machine now that I got it running. I’m currently running a ThinkPad T540p and a T560, am selling a T430, and have had several others over the years.

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