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Basic installation

I started with Debian Sarge. But now I use the testing tree to have more recent software available. Testing is stable and bug free enough to have it on a desktop machine. I chose the "Desktop" installation in the new installer. After all packages were installed, I had to install acpid and acpi to get control over the ACPI functionality. Especially the fan has to be controlled because the notebook is getting hot otherwise. I don't know whether there is a boot parameter for the Debian installation process to enable ACPI. In my case there was no ACPI support and no fan cooling down the notebook. Later I found out that you can force the fan to be enabled while the notebook is connected to external power in the BIOS. Maybe you should set it for the installation process.
Next thing to install is the package 855resolution to manipulate the video modes the BIOS is reporting to X. I had to download the newest version of 855resolution (0.4) from http://perso.wanadoo.fr/apoirier/. Debian Sarge has version 0.3 included, but this is not able to manipulate my Vesa BIOS. I compiled the new version and copied the binary over the one from the Debian package. You can also try 915resolution from http://www.geocities.com/stomljen/ which is a port of 855resolution for the i915 chipset. I didn't really test it, but it seems to work.
To get mouse support on the console I installed gpm. The Synaptics touchpad can be accessed via /dev/psaux. The protocol is synps2.
Additionally to the modules getting loaded at boot time I added some more to /etc/modules. The file is here.
I also grab a script from the Utuntu installation which was created by HP and makes some settings for the display output and special keys on the NC6120.


First thing I had to do was to build my own vanilla kernel. The newest version was 2.6.12 that days. The configuration can be found here. I'm still playing around with the configuration, but I think the main parts are configured properly now. To have a nice resolution even on the console I use the Vesa frame buffer. The parameter vga=795 enables 1280x1024 resolution with 32 bpp colour. I don't know whether this is the highest mode, but it is OK for the moment. When I have more time I will try the intelfb frame buffer, but I didn't get it running yet.
With the normal configuration the notebook is not able to reboot. Add the kernel parameter reboot=b to the grub or lilo configuration. It fixes this problem.

Update 17.07.2005
I now played around with the different ACPI suspend modes and therefore patched my kernel with the newest stable ( Software Suspend 2 patch. The new configuration is here . You have to modify the standard resume partition in the kernel configuration (Power Management Options -> Software Suspend 2 -> Default resume device name). Download the Software Suspend 2 patch from http://www.suspend2.net/ and decompress it. Then go to your kernel source directory. Apply the patch via /path-to-patch/apply. If no errors are reported you can recompile the kernel. After compiling and installing it, you have to recompile the ipw2200 driver, too. For further information have a look at the power management section.

Update 09.01.2007
I have updated to Kernel and don't use any patches any more. But I didn't try Software Suspend yet, so this patch might still be necessary. You can find the new configuration file here .

Update 10.11.2007
Now I use Kernel It is working fine. You can find a configuration here . It is configured to be used with PowerTop and Linux-PHC to reduce the power consumption (see Power management section).

Wireless LAN (IPW2200)

Wireless LAN is running well here. I downloaded the newest driver (1.0.4) from http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/. Additionally you need the appropriate firmware image and a patch for kernel 2.6.12. After decompressing the driver package, you have to apply the patch. Change the current directory to the root directory of the driver package and use patch -p0 < driver.patch. Then run make and make install. For this step you should already run the new kernel. Otherwise the driver gets compiled for the version you are currently running. I copied the decompressed firmware to /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware. Try modprobe ipw2200 now. It should be loaded without trouble. Interesting is the parameter led=1. It enabled support for the blue LED of the NC6120. It is experimental at the moment, but works very good for me. Since I have compiled the kernel with module autoloader support, I had to find a way to pass this parameter to the module when it is loaded automatically in boot process. I added a file called ipw2200 to /etc/modutils and put the line options ipw2200 led=1 into it. After running update-modules the modules.conf file gets modified and the parameter is passed to the module if it is loaded by the kernel.

Update 17.07.2005
Now I use version 1.0.6 of the ipw2200 driver. The installation procedure is the same like for the old version except that you now have to install the ieee80211 driver package. It can be found on http://ieee80211.sourceforge.net/. I use version 1.0.3 of it. Just unpack it and run make and make install. After that you can compile the ipw2200 driver. If you have an old version of the ipw2200 driver installed, delete all related files under /lib/modules/[your-kernel] and reboot the notebook before compiling the new drivers.

Update 09.01.2007
The drivers are now included in the Vanilla Kernel. I use Kernel and the drivers work very well.

LAN (Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet)

The integrated gigabit Ethernet controller works out of the box. It uses the tg3 kernel module.