Debian Etch on a HP Compaq nc6320 Laptop

The HP Compaq nc6320 is Suse Linux Yes certified. Installing Debian Etch requires nevertheless a few tweaks.

Note: the problems with wireless networking and suspend to disk can be fixed using a 2.6.21 kenerl, eg. from Details will follow.


Debian installation works smoothly
DVD reader works
Broadcom BCM5788 Gigabit Ethernet works (recognized during installation)
Intel 945GM/GMS/940GML Graphics works (select the i810 driver)
Synaptics Touchpad works after reboot (recognized during installation)
Intel 82801G audio speaker and microphone work (enable mic capture with alsamixer -V all)
Intel 3945ABG Wireless works with minor problems (install ipw3945-modules, ipw3945d and firmware-ipw3945)
CPU frequency scaling module speedstep-centrino requires a little tweak
ACPI A/C and battery control works if the psmouse module is unloaded before shutdown
model keys works if the psmouse module is unloaded before shutdown
Modem works, but without dial tone
battery life 2:30 h (much less than the advertised 4:48 h)
Suspend to disk (hibernate) works, but ACPI and fan control seem broken after wake-up
Suspend to ram doesn't work, investigating
Blotooth not tested
Firewire not tested
finger print reader not tried


The nc6320 is a Centrino Duo based Laptop. My model has the following facilities:


Installation went smoothly, I only had one small problem because of my special package selection.

I used a recent daily snapshot of the Debian Etch netinst installation CD. I prefered this because it comes with a 2.6.18 kernel. I have read just now (4th March 2007) that key expiry breaks the rc1 installation images, an installation with the rc1 images would probably have given some headache.

ACPI A/C, battery control and model keys

Initially the A/C adapter status, the battery control and the model keys were broken in a second (or later) linux boot. To get them working I had to shutdown from Windows or reboot in the bios.

To get these things working I had remove the psmouse module before shutting down. To achive that I installed the following script as /etc/init.d/psmouse-unload

#! /bin/sh
# Provides:          psmouse-unload
# Required-Start:    
# Required-Stop:     
# Default-Start:     
# Default-Stop:      0 6
# Short-Description: unloads psmouse module
# Description:       

# Author: Hendrik Tews <>
# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the script
DESC="psmouse module"

# Load the VERBOSE setting and other rcS variables
. /lib/init/

# Define LSB log_* functions.
# Depend on lsb-base (>= 3.0-6) to ensure that this file is present.
. /lib/lsb/init-functions

# Function that starts the daemon/service

# Function that stops the daemon/service
	# Return
	#   0 if daemon has been stopped
	#   1 if daemon was already stopped
	#   2 if daemon could not be stopped
	#   other if a failure occurred
        logger psmouse-unload script unloads psmouse module
        modprobe -r psmouse

case "$1" in
	[ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_daemon_msg "Stopping $DESC" "$NAME"
	case "$?" in
		0|1) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 0 ;;
		2) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 1 ;;
	echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME stop" >&2
	exit 3

Make this script executable and link it with a K-prefix in /etc/rc0.d and /etc/rc6.d (the shutdown and reboot runlevels):
chmod +x /etc/init.d/psmouse-unload
update-rc.d psmouse-unload stop 30 0 6 .


The wireless network interface works after installing the packages ipw3945-modules, ipw3945d and firmware-ipw3945. After the lates update one can even switch the Wireless off and on with the corresponding model key (30. September 2007).

One small problem that I haven't investigated yet: When booting on battery with wireless turned off (via the model key) the boot process stops somewhen after loading the ipw3945 module. The system does not really freeze, however booting will not finish. One can, however, boot on battery with wireless switched on and switch the wireless off once the machine is up.


I got the internal soft modem working with sl-modem-deamon and wvdial. The sl-modem-deamon package says that it can either work with alsa or with the slamr kernel module compiled from sl-modem-source. I tried both but I never got the speakers working together with the modem. That means I cannot hear the modem dialling, which is often very helpful for debugging simple connection problems (i.e., wrong number or line busy).

To start the modem run /usr/sbin/slmodemd --alsa hw:0,6 as root. It will tell you what to use as modem device. Once this is running you can start wvdial with a suitable configuration.

last changed on 20 Sep 2011 by Hendrik