Friday, March 20, 2009

Installing Debian 5 (Lenny) on HP6730B laptop (model GB988EA#ECB)

Audio support

Following information published on Wiki and Issue page, I was able to configure audio module so it is recognized properly and sound is available both on speakers and microphone audio output. In short, following was done:
  1. In file /etc/modprobe.d/options added one more
    options snd-hda-intel model=mobile
  2. In file /etc/modprobe.d/als-base added the same (not sure whether it was necessary):
    options snd-hda-intel model=mobile

Then just reboot.


To configure multimedia buttons need to create /etc/X11/Xmodmap file and add following lines:
keycode 129 = XF86Music
keycode 162 = XF86Video
keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
keycode 178 = XF86WWW

This file is read by xmodmap utility, launched by display manager on X session startup. Key codes were taken from xev command output, and mapping from /usr/include/X11/XF86keysym.h and
/usr/include/X11/keysymdef.h files of the linux kernel source tree. The laptop supports only audio control keys (which are software keys), e.g. mute and volume +/- control. Other keys I keep because my external keyboard Logitech UltraX supports them. I wonder why these are still not set by the Debian installer automatically (are codes are non-standard?). Binding to KDE events can be changed in KDE
Control Center->Regional settings->Keyboard layout.
For example, for Opera application I set combination XF86WWW.


Works well.


Reported it works, but I have not checked it out. Recognized as Hewlett-Packard Wireless (Bluetooth + WLAN) Interface.


Upgrade Linux kernel to 2.6.28, which has support for HP WebCam. Cheese, XawTV and Skype work well.

Power management

While compiling kernel, enabled power management and ACPI extensions, so when either the lid is closed or on Fn+F3, laptop goes to suspend mode. Here are some issues I watch from time to time:
  1. laptop sometimes does not switch into suspend mode. Still have no idea what is wrong with it (some kind of resources are busy?).
  2. On wake up fan starts turning with 100% speed. This seems to be a bug. This happens every 4th time or so, suspending and wakening up helps, but is really annoying.


Flash drives, keyboards and mices work well.


Works well, backlight can be configured with xrandr. My following entry will touch this, describing external monitors attachment.


Recognized Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller, by default X configuration uses some default driver. To change to Intel one, add line in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:
Section "Device"
Identifier "Primary Video Device"
Driver "intel"
# options may go here ...


Does not work due to absence of appropriate driver. Maybe there is, I do not care so much about it.


Works just fine. Recognized as CDDVDW TS-L633L.

Card reader

Recognized as HP Flash Media Reader. Works - tested on SD card.

Network adapter

Installed adapter is recognized as NetLink BCM5787M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express, and works well.


Recognized as Agere Systems FW323, have no idea whether it works or not.

Laptop user opinion


  1. Price. I beleive it corresponds to performance, which is quite enough to develop enterprise applications for Java platform. It simultaneously runs Web browser (Opera), mail client (Icedove), IDE (IntelliJ IDEA) and JBoss on deployment, and some other staff, with sufficient performance.
  2. Key board layout is really good one, though that's my first notebook. Also Fn key is not the most left one, and that's great.
  3. Not to heavy to carry in business trips.


  1. Absance of Caps Lock indicator. Well, there could not be one because there is no such key, but it would be great to have some indicator I could watch keyboard layout indicator state (except English I have Russian one). Sounds really funny, but that's what I am accustomed to.
  2. Keys next to Power button seem to be hardware ones and are not recognized by xev, what makes them useless.
  3. There is no DVI output, but VGA and HDMI instead. Is DVI dead yet?

Thanks for reading.
TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones


  1. After upgrade to kernel noticed that the bug with CPU fan is not an issue anymore. Thanks to kernel developers and contributors.

  2. My installation works just fine (hp6730b) Debian 5.0.2 kernel 2.6.26-2-686 except that I can not turn on the wireless card. Any ideas?

  3. Sorry, I do not have any to test on. I advice to either upgrade your system or install the latest kernel - probably you will find support for the card.