Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 (amd64) on HP Pavilion dv6z

Greg Schenzel <inittab AT unixdev DOT net>

Copyright 2012
GNU Free Documentation License

I don't normally put together laptop guides, but I wanted to share a few notes on my experiences with this laptop (all positive). Most things should just work without additional software, drivers, or non-standard configuration (X11, WiFi, Audio, Ethernet, etc). I have run both Debian 5 and 6 on this laptop. Debian 5 required a custom kernel but Debian 6 does not. Squeeze (6) is also the first release to properly support screen blanking after inactivity and hibernate to RAM. There are, however, a few changes that need to be made to make the mouse usable and get hibernation to operate correctly.


lspci Reference

00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS880 Host Bridge
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (int gfx)
00:05.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 1)
00:06.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 2)
00:11.0 SATA controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 SATA Controller [AHCI mode]
00:12.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller
00:12.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller
00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller
00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller
00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 41)
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) (rev 40)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 LPC host controller (rev 40)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge (rev 40)
00:14.5 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI2 Controller
00:16.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller
00:16.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor HyperTransport Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Miscellaneous Control
00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Link Control
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M880G [Mobility Radeon HD 4200]
01:05.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc RS880 Audio Device [Radeon HD 4200]
02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 03)

Mouse Settings

You may want to use an external mouse with this laptop. The internal touchpad only comes up with one button to the synaptics driver. Put the following in your login manager or desktop session initialization script (mine is ~/.xsession - yours may be different depending on desktop manager) to make the internal one more usable. This will allow you to tap click (which worked in Debian 5), tap-and-drag (also worked in Debian 5), simulate the middle mouse button by a tap to the top right corner, and simulate the right mouse button by a tap to the bottom right hand corner.

synclient TapButton1=1
synclient TapAndDragGesture=1
synclient RTCornerButton=2
synclient RBCornerButton=3

Hibernate

Hibernate to RAM works out of the box with this laptop on Squeeze. However, upon resume the LCD backlight will be reset to off and the WiFi interface may be down. You can make the following changes to the hibernate configuration in order to address these issues.

Audio

I found the audio to be finicky in Debian 5 about cutting out sometimes, but it works great in Debian 6. However, the internal speakers are practically unusable. I can barely hear anything at max volume. I recommend purchasing these USB-powered HP travel speakers that I picked up at a Wal-Mart in Steamboat Springs a few years back on vacation and using them instead: HP Multimedia Speakers (GL313AA).