* debian on bullman v-klasse 8

Posted on October 4th, 2007 by Alex. Filed under Projects.

Bullman V-Klasse 8 CENDUO 15+This description should give some hints how to install and run Debian (lenny/testing, started with standard kernel: Linux jitu 2.6.22-2-686 #1 SMP Fri Aug 31 00:24:01 UTC 2007 i686 GNU/Linux; currently on custom kernel: Linux jitu 2.6.28-4 #1 SMP Fri Dec 26 15:04:46 IST 2008 i686 GNU/Linux (my .config file); please also refer to random shutdown/freezes/crashes with kernel 2.6.26) on a Bullman V-Klasse 8 CENDUO 15+ laptop.

Installed Hardware

lscpi gives the following output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 Memory Controller Hub (rev 0c)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 PCI Express Root Port (rev 0c)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Contoller #4 (rev 03) 00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 03)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 03)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 5 (rev 03)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev f3)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801HEM (ICH8M) LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M/ICH8M-E) IDE Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M/ICH8M-E) SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 8600M GT (rev a1)
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5787M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN Network Connection (rev 61)
0e:06.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 05)
0e:06.1 Generic system peripheral [0805]: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 22)
0e:06.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C843 MMC Host Controller (rev 12)
0e:06.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 12)

For someone needing more details about the hardware, I did a lshw.

Supported Hardware

This table should give an overview which devices I managed to install and to keep running. It does not guarantee that a device does not run and maybe I did something wrong. So any hints and comments to get the remains to work are most welcome. Items are written in green and blue color which stand for “run” (even after a troubling installation – see documentation below) and “not tested/runs partly”, respectively.

  1. SATA Controller in AHCI mode: works out of the box, no extra modules are needed
  2. CDROM (hda): out of the box
  3. WLAN (Intel 4965AGN): ndiswrapper with WinXP driver and native iwl4965 module
    • unencrypted
    • WEP
    • WPA/WPA2 (RSN)
  4. VGA: nVidia GT8600M: proprietary driver provided by nVidia. No problem, kernel-headers are needed as usual. Do not use Kernel 2.6.21 or if you have to disable the paravirtualization support in processor support and features in the kernel config
    UPDATE (29/08/2008): The properitary drivers do not work, if you use a standard kernel >= 2.6.25, since xen support has been activated. So the kernel knows, if it runs in a hypervisor or natively. Have a look here (section Use module-assistant (lenny)) to get to know, how to integrate the drivers (including 3D support) offered by Debian into your system.
    UPDATE (26/12/2008): Have a look at this post, if you want to have a 3D desktop and have some resizing issues with the terminal window.
  5. Integrated 2MP webcam
  6. Modem: Might work, not tested
  7. CardReader: Tested only with SD Cards and works with them, but does not work with Sony’s properitary Memory Sticks. Maybe in the future: A experimental driver for them is already available in the kernel configuration. If you are using a kernel below 2.6.25 and experiencing trouble accessing SD cards, have a look at this thread. It also depends on the SD Card itself.
    All kernels versions greater than 2.6.25 have the necessary modules integrated. Do a modprobe ricoh_mmc to prevent the hardware to “steal” the control over the SD card from the SD controller. Ricoh hardware tends to do that.
  8. ACPI:
  9. Sound: Realtec ACL268
  10. Fingerprint sensor

Even the special buttons above the keyboard work. The only problem I still have: The LEDs for NumLock, Caps and ScreenLock do not work so far. [solved]

Installation documentation

WLAN Intel 4965AGN

The adapter works with both: ndiswrapper and the native driver which can be found at the website of Intel Wireless WiFi Link drivers for Linux. The compilation is quite easy and is described in detail in the Howto that can be found on the website. However you might run into the problem that the compilation (with make KSRC=/usr/src/linux) does not work, because the kernel sources are needed. Download and install the source package by apt-get install linux-source-2.6.22, go to /usr/src/ and do a tar xfj linux-source-2.6.22.tar.bz2. After that create a link to that directory by ln -s /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.22 linux. If you compile the wifi sources now, you might run into an error saying that /usr/src/linux/scripts/mod/modpost is missing. To create this file, you need to compile the kernel. the file is created right at the beginning of the kernel compilation process. So do a cp /boot/config-2.6.22-2-686 .config in /usr/src/linux, make menuconfig, make -j4. After around 30 seconds, interrupt the process, you do not need to compile the whole thing. Go back to you wifi driver and proceed with the manual. Add iwl4965 to /etc/modules so that the module is loaded at startup. The package wireless-tools should be installed since it can configure and monitor the adapter in case there are any problems.

Getting WPA enabled was quite tricky. Especially if the connections is established and usable, but gets interrupted after almost exact 10 seconds. Try to play around with the eapol and ap_scan settings, which helped a lot in my case. Also read the manuals for wpa_supplicant and wpa_supplicant.conf, which you also need to install. Check the useful links below. Some people wrote in forums that disabling the network manager coming with gnome and using the manager coming with KDE helped.

UPDATE (21/08/2008): Newer kernel versions (>= 2.6.24) do not work with the iwlwifi drivers any more. It does not even compile although all needed kernel headers are installed. The iwlwifi web page says:

These kernels (in this case 2.4.26 and up) have the iwlwifi driver included and the released drivers (available from this site under download page) do not work with these kernels. If you want to run the latest (or very close to it) development code with your kernel then you should use the compat-wireless project that retrieves the latest driver development code from the upstream repository. We do push our changes to this repository very frequently.

The compilation of the compat-wireless drivers is straight forward and described in detail on the wep page and in the readme. However please download the newest firmware and store it into /lib/firmware to avoid messages like:

iwl4965: iwlwifi-4965-2.ucode firmware file req failed: Reason -2
iwl4965: Could not read microcode: -2

Even the activity LED is blinking now (Kernel version: 2.6.26 and compat-wireless version: 2008-08-06)

UPDATE (18/10/2008): iwl4965 has been integrated into the kernel (2.6.27) and works out of the box. You still might need the firmware file mentioned above.

Useful Links

Integrated Webcam

Installing the webcam is quite easy:

  1. apt-get install linux-uvc-source linux-uvc-tools luvcview
  2. m-a a-i linux-uvc
  3. modprobe v4l2-common
  4. modprobe uvcvideo
  5. Test the functionality with luvcview – f yuv

UPDATE (29/08/2008): The above steps are not necessary anymore, since in the latest kernels coming with lenny (2.6.26 and even before that, but I cannot remember, when it started to work) the necessary drivers are already compiled and built in. Anyway the functionaly can still be tested with luvcview.

ACPI: Suspend to RAM

This is a little bit tricky and it took some time to figure out the error. Executing /etc/acpi/sleep.sh as root should work. However going to sleep with Fn+F1 will not work at the beginning. First of all you need to install power manager (either for gnome or for KDE or both), and also the packages powersaved which will remove apmd. If you initialize the sleep mode now, the laptop will start the screensaver, but nothing else will happen. The reason is that the hardware is not yet full supported by the hibernate scripts. Therefore you need to edit the file /etc/hibernate/ususpend-ram.conf and change the option USuspendRamForce to yes. After reinitialization of the daemon, it should work.

Hint: to assign also the Wow Video/Audio keys (or any customizable keys) use xev and .Xmodmap. Further information can be found at a Ubuntu Howto in German and this Howto in Englisch.

Sound: snd-intel-hda, alsa and Realtec ACL268

This codec is not yet supported by the kernels coming with the Debian distribution. However the driver for the ACL268 codec found its way to the alsa-driver. Get the newest driver from the alsa webpage (I downloaded alsa-driver-1.0.15rc3), unzip and compile the package:

  • ./configure –with-cards=hda-intel –with-oss=yes –with-sequencer=yes –with-kernel=/lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build
  • make
  • make install-modules
  • open /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base and add the line options snd-hda-intel model=acer at the end.
  • execute alsaconf

Please be aware that all settings are muted by default for the first time, so you will not hear anything. Change the settings in the mixer. You may also try out other model options. The problem what I still have is the noise caused by built-in microphone. So far it is not usable.

UPDATE (29/08/2008): The current kernel shipped with lenny (2.6.26) comes with an alsa module in the version 1.0.16 (do a cat /proc/asound/version to get to know the version you are currently using), so it is not needed anymore to perform the steps mentioned above. In the new version everything (at least everything tested so far) runs smoothly. This includes the auto mute, if you plug in headphones, and the built in microphone which does not generate the clicking noise any more. Please change the model parameter in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base to dell (options snd-hda-intel model=dell). To get to know other parameters and options, read

zless /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/ALSA-Configuration.txt.gz

To figure out your chip and codec configuration, do a

  1. cat /proc/asound/cards (for the Audo Controller)
  2. cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | head -n 1 (for the codec)

You have to restart alsasound (/etc/init.d/alsasound restart), if you make any changes to the settings in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base. If you think, you got the right chip and codec, but nothing works, check the volume and mute status of the outputs. You can also try all available settings to find a suitable one.

Useful Links

Fingerprint sensor

The fingerprint sensor is working and supersedes the passwords. However the project fprint is in a very early stage and did not provide any comfort for me. However you can find fprint in the experimental tree of Debian. See the links below for any other tree of Debian and Ubuntu.

Useful Links

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones

9 Responses to “debian on bullman v-klasse 8”

  1. Jitu » Blog Archive » no keyboard leds in debian (xorg) Says:

    […] « Jitu home page « debian on bullman v-klasse 8 […]

  2. compiz and the resize issue | Jitu Says:

    […] For an overview of my hardware, have a look at this post. […]

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  4. John Says:

    Please help me revert the original funtion of my Bullman laptop. It was accidentally on numlocked. What or how must I do to fix it?

  5. jitu Says:


    I did not understand, what exactly you mean. Is the numlock switched on permanently and cannot be switched off? Or is it about the LED only? Which distribution do you use and what Bullman do you have?
    I can remember there was a bug once in an x package (I think it was xserver-xorg-input-kbd or similar). Did you check the bug reports?
    See, so many questions….

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