Kubuntu Linux Edgy Eft 6.10 on an HP DV6120 Laptop

I finally bought myself a new laptop. It is an HP DV6120 CA. In this article I describe how I setup Linux on it, what works, what needed workarounds, and what doesn't work. If you have helps or hints or tips, please add them as a comment to the article.

Specifications for the HP DV6120CA Laptop

Here are the specifications for this laptop.

  • Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology featuring Intel Core Duo processor T2250
  • 15.4" WXGA High-Definition BrightView Widescreen (1280 x 800) Display
  • 120GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)
  • 1024MB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm), expandable to 2GB.
  • Optical Drives: LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±RW with Double Layer Support
  • Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector), 54g 802.11 b/g WLAN
  • Weight is 2.9 kg, and is only 2.5 cm thin
  • Removable Storage: 5-in-1 Integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital Cards, MultiMedia Cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, xD Picture Cards
  • Network Card: Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector), 54g 802.11 b/g WLAN
  • I/O Ports: 3 x Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, 2 x Headphone Out - 1 With SPDIF Digital Audio & 1 Stereo, 1 x Microphone-In, 1 x VGA (15-Pin), 1 x TV-Out (S-Video), 1 x RJ-11 (Modem), 1 x RJ-45 (LAN), 1 x Laptop Expansion Port 3, 1 x IEEE 1394 Firewire (4-Pin), 1 x Consumer IR

Installing Kubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft)

Before buying this laptop, I went to the store and booted a Kubuntu Edgy CD on the demo machine. I made sure that most things worked (specially the wireless).

The install in 6.10 seems to be a bit buggier than 6.06, which I used on four other machines.

First, the installer refused to resize the NTFS partition. I had to delete all partitions, including the recovery partitions (one 12 GB FAT, and another 1GB NTFS).

Second, grub failed to install itself. I then had to redo the partitioning to add /boot on its own tiny 250MB partition, and start the install over again.

Hardware devices

Here is the output from lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller AHCI (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
05:05.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0832
05:05.1 Class 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 19)
05:05.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0843 (rev 01)
05:05.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 0a)
05:05.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 05)
05:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection (rev 02)

And here is the same with numeric IDs:

 00:00.0 0600: 8086:27a0 (rev 03)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information

00:02.0 0300: 8086:27a2 (rev 03)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 177
Memory at d8100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
I/O ports at 1800 [size=8]
Memory at c0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Memory at d8200000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256K]
Capabilities: [90] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 2

00:02.1 0380: 8086:27a6 (rev 03)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Memory at d8180000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 2

00:1b.0 0403: 8086:27d8 (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 58
Memory at d8240000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
Capabilities: [70] Express Unknown type IRQ 0
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [130] Unknown (5)

00:1c.0 0604: 8086:27d0 (rev 02)
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=02, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff
Memory behind bridge: d6000000-d7ffffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000d2000000-00000000d3f00000
Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+) IRQ 0
Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
Capabilities: [90] #0d [0000]
Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [180] Unknown (5)

00:1c.1 0604: 8086:27d2 (rev 02)
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=03, subordinate=04, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00003fff
Memory behind bridge: d4000000-d5ffffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000d0000000-00000000d1f00000
Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+) IRQ 0
Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
Capabilities: [90] #0d [0000]
Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [180] Unknown (5)

00:1d.0 0c03: 8086:27c8 (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 233
I/O ports at 1820 [size=32]

00:1d.1 0c03: 8086:27c9 (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 217
I/O ports at 1840 [size=32]

00:1d.2 0c03: 8086:27ca (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 209
I/O ports at 1860 [size=32]

00:1d.3 0c03: 8086:27cb (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 177
I/O ports at 1880 [size=32]

00:1d.7 0c03: 8086:27cc (rev 02) (prog-if 20)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 233
Memory at d8444000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [58] Debug port

00:1e.0 0604: 8086:2448 (rev e2) (prog-if 01)
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=05, subordinate=05, sec-latency=32
I/O behind bridge: 00004000-00004fff
Memory behind bridge: d8000000-d80fffff
Capabilities: [50] #0d [0000]

00:1f.0 0601: 8086:27b9 (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information

00:1f.1 0101: 8086:27df (rev 02) (prog-if 8a)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 209
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at <unassigned>
I/O ports at 1810 [size=16]

00:1f.2 0106: 8086:27c5 (rev 02) (prog-if 01)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 217
I/O ports at 18d0 [size=8]
I/O ports at 18c4 [size=4]
I/O ports at 18c8 [size=8]
I/O ports at 18c0 [size=4]
I/O ports at 18b0 [size=16]
Memory at d8444400 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 2

00:1f.3 0c05: 8086:27da (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 4
I/O ports at 18e0 [size=32]

02:00.0 0280: 8086:4222 (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:135b
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 177
Memory at d6000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Capabilities: [c8] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [d0] Message Signalled Interrupts: 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
Capabilities: [e0] Express Legacy Endpoint IRQ 0
Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
Capabilities: [140] Device Serial Number 4e-58-45-ff-ff-de-18-00

05:05.0 0c00: 1180:0832 (prog-if 10)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 177
Memory at d8001000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 2

05:05.1 0805: 1180:0822 (rev 19)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 169
Memory at d8001800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

05:05.2 0880: 1180:0843 (rev 01)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 3
Memory at d8001c00 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [disabled] [size=256]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

05:05.3 0880: 1180:0592 (rev 0a)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 3
Memory at d8002000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [disabled] [size=256]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

05:05.4 0880: 1180:0852 (rev 05)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 3
Memory at d8002400 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [disabled] [size=256]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

05:08.0 0200: 8086:1092 (rev 02)
Subsystem: 103c:30bb
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 50
Memory at d8000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
I/O ports at 4000 [size=64]
Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 2

The lsusb command shows that the web cam is from Microdia:

Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0c45:62c0 Microdia
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

Screen resolution

The screen is capable of 1280x800, but the default kubuntu install only makes it 1024x768, which makes it really annoying because the font looks "smudged" .

To get over this, one has to run the command:

# aptitude install 915resolution

Then you must run a command to set the resolution. In my case, it was:

# 915resolution 4c 1280 800 24 

Reboot the laptop, and you should have 1280x800.

What I noticed though is that the fonts look really bad, although anti-aliasing is on. With anti-aliasing off, they look too thin and "crooked". This is really annoying.

Moreover, FireFox (perhaps because of GTK) uses its own, yet worse, font, even if one goes in System Settings and change the fonts for GTK applications.  This makes the letter "i" appear as an "l" in Gmail for example, and that is unacceptable.

There is an open bug about this on launchpad. 

Wireless

For the wireless, the built in ipw3495 chip works fine. However, I needed to disable and enable it every time I boot. To get around this, I assigned a static IP address to it, and since then it starts fine.

# iwconfig eth1
eth1 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:"zzzz"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.452 GHz Access Point: 00:zz:zz:zz:zz:zz
Bit Rate:36 Mb/s Tx-Power:15 dBm
Retry limit:15 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:zzzzzz Security mode:open
Power Management:off
Link Quality=82/100 Signal level=-49 dBm Noise level=-64 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:6 Missed beacon:0

Synaptics Touchpad

The built in synaptics touchpad needs to have the ksynaptics utility installed. This allows adding a delay to disable the pad when typing. Otherwise the cursor would jump all over the place and things would be highlighted, copied and pasted randomly.

Power Management

This machine has two CPUs, and I noticed that sometimes one of them would go to a lower clock rate to save power (800 MHz), while the other one is still on the highest clock rate (1733 MHz). On other occasions, both would go to the lower clock rate.

The following command will display CPU info for all CPUs, including the clock rate.

cat /proc/cpuinfo 

Also, when running CPU intensive stuff, I see the temperature go up along with the MHz of one or two CPUs (depending on how many CPU hungry processes are running).

Just for fun try this command:

 cat /dev/urandom | bzip2 -c > /dev/null &

Followed by this command:

watch cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THR1/temperature 

Now, try two of the bzip commands, and then check the MHz for each (as above).

Hibernate

Hibernating the laptop works well. The wireless LAN card is activated again after waking up from a hibernation.

Suspend

I tried suspend only twice, and on both occasions, it did not proceed. Since hibernate does not take that much more time, I did not research more why it does not work.

Sound playback and recording

Sound playback works well. Recording is something I could not get working so far, and is very crucial (e.g. for Skype).

Both aplay and arecord shows that ALSA is configured correctly, and can see both input and output devices

# aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: HDA Generic [HDA Generic]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
# arecord -l
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: HDA Generic [HDA Generic]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

using alsamixer, the level is set to highest for PLAYBACK, PCM and CAPTURE devices.

The laptop hardware volume controls and mute button do work fine and would change the volume in kmix, and change the icon to a muted speaker.

In addition to recording not working at all, plugging an external headphone and/or microphone does not seem to make any difference. Sound continues to come out from the built-in speakers, and the mic would not record still.

There are lots of threads on ubuntuforums.org and elsewhere about various laptops that use the ICH7 family of Intel High Definition Audio (HDA) not working. I tried all of the suggested workarounds, and none worked including adding the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base:

options snd-hda-intel model=laptop 

I also tried module=ref, model=laptop-eap, model=z71v, model=hp as well as another option position_fix=1 none of that made a difference.

As well, I tried plugging in the headphones before booting, and that did not make any difference either.

 

Skype

I downloaded and installed Skype from their site. It works perfectly for listening to others, but since recording has yet to work, others cannot hear you. Note that Skype uses the older Open Sound System (OSS) and not ALSA, and has to be setup for that.

Memory card reader

As you see from the above lspci output, there are several devices that read various memory card formats, mainly all the common ones, minus the CompactFlash format (used by Nikons), and adding the xD format (which I use for my Fuji camera).

I only tried inserting an xD card, and that did not do anything.

From what I read on the web, these readers are not supported. Not a big hindrance for me, since USB is there and my cameras support it.

Webcam

There is a built in webcam above the screen. This is detected as a USB device (see lsusb output above), of type Sonix Microdia, and there seems to be reports that it can be made to work, using the sn9c211 driver. For me, it is not really important at present.

Conclusion

After having the laptop for almost a week, and getting the above devices working, and some not working, I decided to take it back to the store and get my money back. The two crucial factors were : lack of microphone (meaning Skype would not work), and the really hideous way the fonts look, specially in FireFox.

This is my second HP laptop that does not fully work with Linux, and that I had to take back to the store. The first one was also an HP DV5226 (I think) Turion machine. There were IRQ conflicts between the mouse and the wireless (Broadcom) card.

The quest for a good Linux laptop continues. 

Contents: 

Comments

HP dv6120

Interesting comments regarding this notebook, especially since I just bought one myself. I ran into similar issues, but I found the video and font issue to not be a problem, specifically because the built-in video card has good support in the xorg database. To get it working on Edgy, I did a "apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel" and used the intel driver in my xorg.conf file. The result is full 1280x800 video and beautifully clean fonts.

The external speaker is definitely an issue and one I hadn't yet visited. The webcam was the least of my worries, but definitely something I'd like to see working before too long.

Thanks for the post. -- Marcel

Thanks for the comments ...

Glad to see that the font issue is resolved. It is a good machine in general. The biggest deal for me was the lack of Microphone.

Does it work for you?
--
Khalid Baheyeldin

The webcam should work

The webcam should work with

http://linux-uvc.berlios.de/
http://developer.berlios.de/projects/linux-uvc