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Notebook Linux

Little log of installing Gentoo Linux on HP Compaq nx6110 PY530ES (the cheapest model you can get with wireless net, bluetooth, DVD-RW and freeDos!)

I always download and burn the latest bootable image tho it's not necessery as long as everything important is taken from the internet after booting. So now I'm trying Gentoo 2005.1.

Important! Disable acpi when booting from installation CD by typing gentoo acpi=off at the boot prompt. There's some bug causing the acpi daemon to seize all the CPU time causing rapid slowdown of the pc and overheating and turning off or rebooting.

So far I had some troubles with the install, so here will be a few links for starters.
The first thing you notice while booting from the CD is failure of autodetecting scripts. They can't detect LAN and WLAN card or Soundcard. Later on I found out the wlan should be available through ndiswrapper providing access to some WinXP drivers. So you'll need Ethernet cabel connection for the initial install steps. The network card may be detected thru the startup (because b44 module - the driver - gets loaded), but it somehow doesn't try to run DHCP client to ask for an IP (I've got ADSL Modem/Router with DHCP server running). To get networking to work you'll need to run dhcpcd eth0 (nicer net-setup doesn't seem to work).
After getting this working I've prepared disks, getting stage1 and portage tarballs along with the mighty Handbook. Then I've tried to do emerge --sync which failed for the first time (it has frozen - almost, read more) and succeded for the second time (when run soon after turning the nb on). Then I started sshd and hoped I'll be able to continu the installation remotely. The computer was running until I started bootstraping, the it hung almost imediately. Then I came home to find the nb turned off...

Now it seems this troubles were caused by overheating of the machine, which seemes to be caused by acpi deamon using 99% of CPU. So now I've let it cool down and am going to try to boot with noacpi parameter or something. It seems to be a known bug:,, ...
YUP!, gentoo acpi=off did it! The installation now runs As Smooth As Possible and the CPU is colder then dead penguin :-P

emerge --emptytree system failed to compile some part of Python. The solution to this is to emerge python before emerging system.

So far, everything is ok. The wireless networking works just fine. I just haven't yet configured xorg to be able to run some wifi monitor (to find out how far from the AP I can get)... I couldn't find any console based monitor. I've got the card working using ndiswrapper and drivers provided by HP.
First do emerge wireless-tools and emerge ndiswrapper (and emerge cabextract for extracting the drivers from .exe archive), then get Windows XP driver from here (I got this one - SP29842.exe - 3.4MB). Unpack the driver somewhere (not sure, I've got it /root but other place would be better) using the cabextract. Run ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf. If will try to load the driver and when it succedes it'll write the configuration somewhere so it's not necessary to load it next time. It also checks configuration of kernel and tells you if there's something missing. I don't know whatever needs to be enabled in the kernel. If the installation succedes, your next task is to load the ndiswrapper module by typing modprobe ndiswapper. If you want the module to start automaticaly the next time you boot, add ndiswrapper to your /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.x. Next step is to configure the card/driver/whatever to find your AP. In my case it's just iwconfig wlan0 essid <AP IDstring> key <hex key> where wlan0 is the device name (should be created after loading ndiswrapper module), AP IDstring is the AP identification string and hex key is the security key for encrypted communication. The last thing to do is to configure the network, in my case it's jsut dhcpcd wlan0.

I've burner my first DVD. After some trying of few ways I emerged graveman, first I didn't want gnome app but then I found out it's gtk and I already had all the libs installed. The rest was smooth, no hardware or access rights problems, just burned the DVD as a user. Probably some kernel tweaking is importent to allow burning but I don't remember whatever I changed. It's about the time, I show you my .config... here it is: .config
Update: The second attempt in burning a DVD was rather pain because of windws encoding of czech chars in filenames. After some tests I did it from the console and it worked. More on that later (or try growisofs).

I've compiled OpenOffice last night, it took 5 hours, 20 minutes and 20 seconds (due to genlop -t openoffice) and it takes 184 MB of the disk space in 2806 files (according to dep -z openoffice) - which is less then the source package that was abou 210 MB in size.

Hardware list (lspci):
Video: i915GM
Audio: AC'97
Modem: AC'97
Wi-Fi: (? unknown) Broadcom 4318 (ndiswrapper + driver provided by HP)
Eth: Broadcom BCM4401-B0 (b44 module)

Update (2006/02/15): As usual, I've lost the will to update this page but Gentoo on my notebook lives on and I keep on finding new things. It's about half a year now. Recently I switched from old PHP ebuilds to the new dev-lang/php way and installed PHP4 and PHP5 simultaneously (detailed guide is in Gentoo guidebook and Today I've found out how to get working wheel on mouse connected by USB. I shall white more about it, till that, just a note:
Section "ServerFlags" 
  Option "AllowMouseOpenFail"  "true" # this allows your usb mouse to not be plugged in when you startx 

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