Ubuntu 5.04/5.10 (Hoary/Breezy) on HP nc6120

PG824ET model

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Latest Update

(23 Jan' 06) - Upgrading to Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy)

What is working

Video - yes , Audio - yes, Wireless - yes, Wired network - yes, ACPI - yes, USB - yes.

Not tried

Modem, Firewire, Smart card, Bluetooth.

Installation

Burn the HP customised ISO for Ubuntu 5.04 and install using that. I did not have any problems with my install to get the system up and running as a dual boot (with WinXP).

Video

The video card is Intel 915GM/GMS) and the installation provides support for this chip. The default install is working fine at 1024x768. VGA output to external display works too after restarting X (Control-Alt-Backspace) once the display has been connected.

Audio

The sound card chipset is ADI AC '97 and default install works great. No problem playing files and CDs. Skype works fine too.

Power management

The installation comes loaded with scripts to perform hibernation to memory and hibernation to hard disk. This is a big plus point. The networks don't seem to come up gracefully when coming out of sleep or hibernation, nothing that a small script can't take care of. There seems to be no support for lm_sensors.

USB

Both ehci_hcd and uhci_hcd drivers seems to be working fine. I have used two sets of mouses, one keyboard, two models of USB keychain drivers and a 300GB external hard disk as USB devices so far.

CD writer

CD writer works as expected for ISO and data files on CDRs at 4x.

Wired networks

The chipset is Broadcom and the vanilla installation works just fine. I have successfully connected to two wired networks, one an internal cable network at home and another a T1 connection at univ.

Wireless network

This is where it gets a bit messy. The default drivers and softwares will get you on a WEP and unsecured wireless network just fine. However I wanted to use WPA-PSK at home and EAP-TTLS-PAP at univ. To support these encryption methods, you need to update your drives. I updated the Intel drivers to 1.0.6 (2.3 firmware) by following the instructions given in this Ubuntu forum post. I had to do one thing differently - make sure that the symbolic link created at "/lib/modules/2.6.10-5-386/build" pointed to the i386 headers. Pointing it to the kernel source or the generic headers will not work

ln -s /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.10-5-386 /lib/modules/2.6.10-5-386/build

Another step I had to perform was to disable hardware crypto. Without this dmesg showed up a lot of firmware errors and my keys got reset after a short period of time. You can do this by:

echo "options ipw2200 hwcrypto=0" > /etc/modprobe.d/ipw2200

That should get the ipw2200 drivers to 1.0.6 and working. Now install wpa_supplicant if you need WPA-PSK support.

Xsupplicant (needed for EAP-TTLS) found in Hoary is version 1.0.1 and I could not get it to work with my setup. It authenticated fine, but refused to get me an IP address. Downloaded and installed the 1.2pre1 version of xsupplicant. You can find a sample config file for working with xsupplicant here along with a script to automate the process. While compiling xsupplicant, if you get an error complaining of missing "-lcrypto", install the libssl-dev package. I could not find this package through "apt-get". Hence I installed the i386 stable debian package for this. To compile, you will need the packages bison and gcc if you haven't installed it by now.

Slow bootup?

I used to exerience a huge bootup delay when the network cable was not plugged in. Looks like DHCP requests were taking too long to timeout. Some people in the forums suggested playing with the timeout values of the DHCP requests. However this could leads to trouble when you actually do plug in the cable and your DHCP server is a bit slow. So I commeted out the following lines in "/etc/network/interfaces":

mapping hotplug
script grep
map eth1
auto eth1
auto eth0

etho is my wireless interface and eth1 is the wired interface. Before you do this, please note that you will be disabling the hotplug feature of the interfaces. So your machine will not automatically start asking for IP address the moment you plug in the network cable. You will have to manually perform "sudo ifup eth1". I can live with that, but not with the 30 odd seonds delay at bootup.

Wine keyboard problem?

I installed the debian packages wine,libwine,winesetuptk and wine-utils. Running wine for the first time allowed me to configure wine using winesetuptk. I accepted all default values and setup went off well. But when I tried to use wine on an installer, the keyboard suddenly lost focus. It seems like the setup using winesetuptk sometimes triggers this problem. The solution is to uninstall winesetuptk, remove the ".wine" directory in the home directory and then use "wineinstall" script found at /etc/share/wine Again accept all defaults. Setup worked fine with the installer.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy)

Jan 23, 2006. After stalling for a long time, I finally decided to upgrade the installation to the latest Ubuntu release, 5.10 (Breezy). As far as I can see, everything has worked out fine, though not without the initial glitch.

the trick inthe upgrade process is to make sure that you follow the "With Breezy CD and Synaptic" section of the upgrade guide. When I tried the Synaptic and Apt-get methods, I ended up with weird dependency problems with Perl and X servers. Using the CD for upgrade and then updating later with synpatic/apt-get worked great! The default Breezy release CD can be used for the upgrade.

ipw2200 drivers from the vanilla installed worked just fine! Make sure to comment out/remove the "options ipw2200 hwcrypto=0" in the "/etc/modprobe.d/ipw2200" file if you had added it earlier, as this is no longer required.

Suggestions?

Contact me.