Ubuntu 9.10 on HP Pavilion dv6-2004sl

I bought this laptop computer in January 2010 with the hardware below.
Component Description State
CPU AMD Turion II Dual-Core Mobile M500 (2.2GHz) 1MB Chache L2. OK
Chipset AMD M880G (I'm not sure this is correct) OK
RAM 4GB DDR2 2 Dimm OK
HDD WDC WD5000BEVT-60ZAT1 465GB 7200 rpm SATA drive OK
CD/DVD-R(W) hp CDDVDW TS-L633M ATA drive with double Layer Support Partly tested
Display 15.6" HD LED Brightview Widescreen Display (1366x768) OK
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 (upto 2302 MB total memory with 512 MB DDR3 diponible) OK
HDMI out   Not tested
VGA out   OK
Sound (internal) HDA ATI SB (Codec: IDT 92HD75B3X5) Partly OK
Sound HDMI HDA ATI HDMI (Codec: ATI R6xx HDMI) Not tested
USB 4 USB 2.0 ports one with eSATA(not tested) OK
Firewire Tested with a camcorder from Canon. OK
LAN Realtek Pcle GBE Family Controller 10/100/1000 OK
WLAN Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g WiFi Adapter OK
Toch-Pad   OK
ACPI   Not tested
PCMCIA   Not tested
Flash Media Reader Functioned after disabling the "Card Reader / 1394 Power Saving" in the BIOS "System Configuration" menu. OK
WebCam   Ok
IrDAs   Not tested

Windows and Ubuntu installation

The computer comes with Windows 7 pre-installed. A creation of the installation disks plus a backup of the boot sector (sudo dd if=/dev/hda1 bs=512 of=win-boot.bin count=1 from the Ubuntu live CD) was the first thing I did.
Then I downloaded the Ubuntu version 9.10 (karmic) desktop 64-bit CD image and made a CD. The installation of Ubuntu went smoothly and I had Ubuntu up and running in a very short time, I did have some problems with the sound setting, see below, but it is impressive that almost everything functioned out of the box.


Ubuntu 9.10 has some problems with the internal sound device on the HP. The sound chipset is from ATI and implement the Intel HDA (High Definition Audio) Specification. I had to install the linux-backports-modules-alsa-karmic-generic package manually to get some sound. Then change the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file. To find the right value:
 $ /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
 Codec: IDT 92HD75B3X5
A look in the /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/HD-Audio-Models.txt file gave me the hp-dv5 as the best value under the STAC92HD71B* codec section, so I added the following line in the button of the file:
 options snd-hda-intel model=hp-dv5 enable_msi=1
followed by the commands:
 $ killall pulseaudio
 $ sudo alsa force-reload
Still the microphone, and auto detect of the front jack did not function. To test that the ALSA module function for sound out use the following command:
 $ speaker-test -c2 -Dplughw:0 -twav
To control the internal speaker when I plugged a headphones in the front jack I downloaded the hda-verb:
 $ wget ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/people/tiwai/misc/hda-verb-0.3.tar.gz
 $ tar -xvmf hda-verb-0.3.tar.gz
 $ cd hda-verb-0.3
 $ make
 $ sudo cp hda-verb /usr/local/bin 
and used the following commands:
 #mute the speaker
 sudo ./hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x0d SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0
 #unmute the speaker
 sudo ./hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x0d SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0x40

 #mute the headphones
 sudo ./hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x0f SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0
 #unmute the headphones
 sudo ./hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x0f SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0x40
With the latest update of the linux-backports-modules-alsa-generic ( it seems that the ALSA function!
Now starts the problems with PulseAudio! To get the sound to function; select the Hardware tap in the Sound Preferences, select Internal Audio and set the profile to Analog Stereo Duplex
Also install the paman (PulseAudio Manager) package to get better control over PulseAudio. You get two new useful instruments: PulseAudio Volume Control and PulseAudio Device Chooser in the Application - Sound & Video menu.
The sound has still problems and PulseAudio must be re-started sometime with
 $ killall pulseaudio
I also get lot of the following messages in the message log
kernel: [ 1862.933879] ALSA hda_intel.c:1187: Too big adjustment 32

Some useful commands and there output:
 $ aplay -l
 **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 0: STAC92xx Analog [STAC92xx Analog]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 1: STAC92xx Digital [STAC92xx Digital]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 3: ATI HDMI [ATI HDMI]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0 

 $ lspci -v | less
 01:00.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc R700 Audio Device [Radeon HD4000 Series]
	Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 3637
	Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
	Memory at f2310000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
	Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
	Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel


Skype has made package ready to install for the most poplar Linux distributions. But my personal experience is to use either the Static or the Dynamic versions. If you use the Dynamic version remember to install the following packages: I had some problems with Skype related with the above sound problems. I still have a strange problem: When I turn-on the WebCam the microphone dies and I have to re-start PulseAudio (killall pulseaudio). The video function and I can still hear the other part.


To install libdvdcss see: Restricted Formats Playing DVDs. In short:
 $ sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
 $ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh
I can still not play some DVD that seem copy right protected.
I have not tested the reading and burning of a doubled layer CD/DVD.

Browser Flash plugin does not response to mouse click

Edit /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper/i386/linux/npviewer add the line
before the last line.
This looks like to be a Adobe issue as I have heard that Acroread also can have problems without this variable set.
www.gtk.org tells us:

GDK has been rewritten to use 'client-side windows'. This means that GDK maintains its own window hierarchy and only uses X windows where it is necessary or explicitly requested. Some of the benefits of this change are:
Launching an application with GDK_NATIVE_WINDOWS=1 application turns off this feature. This is needed if the application manipulates the windows it creates using direct X API calls or a mixture of X API and GDK instead of just going through GDK. When using "client-side windows" all window manipulation by an application must go through GDK. Adobe needs to update Acroread to be compatible with this feature.

My articles index    You can mail me from here
TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones Linux On Laptops
Henrik Baastrup (c) Jan-2010 (last changed 11/2-2010)
My home linux site