Debian GNU/Linux Unstable (sid) on a Compaq Presario 1510US Laptop
Author: Patrick Lane
Last Updated: October 13th, 2002
Pentium 4 2.2 Ghz
512 MB 266 Mhz DDR-DRAM
40 GB UDMA 4200 RPM HDD
DVD/CDRW Combo Drive
15” TFT XGA display (actually a SXGA display)
ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 Graphics card w/ 32 MB RAM
AC'97 Sound Card
Intel 10/100 NIC
1394 (firewire) port
USB 2.0 port (x2)
S-Video TV-Out port
One Type I/II PC Card slot
As of this writing (October 13th, 2002), I have not tried to setup and/or use any of the following hardware:
S-Video TV-Out port
You might be sketchy about running Debian unstable, but I can tell you this... I have had less problems running Debian unstable on my desktop for the past year and now on my laptop than I did trying RedHat 8.0 on my laptop for two days.
I started out with the Debian 3.0 Stable CD (woody). My laptop was already set up to boot from the CD so all that was required was inserting the CD and rebooting the computer (note, I had already setup my linux partitions using partition magic in windows).
I am assuming that you have some experience with linux and that you'll be able to make it through the installation process without any problems.
Setting Up Your Kernel
I downloaded the latest kernel release (2.4.19 at the time of this writing) and extracted it into the /usr/src/ directory. For convenience purposes, I made a symlink so /usr/src/linux-2.4.19 pointed to /usr/src/linux
ln -s /usr/src/linux-2.4.19 /usr/src/linux
Next you will need to configure the kernel for your system. I use
to configure my kernel. To do this, you'll need libncurses, make, and a compiler installed:
apt-get install make g++ libncurses5*
should do the trick.
If you have never compiled the linux kernel, please refer to the Kernel HOWTO available at:
You'll wan't to enable prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers
Under General Setup you'll want to enable:
Power Management support
all options under ACPI support
Under ATA/IDE/MFM/RLL support enable SCSI emulation support
Enable SCSI supporti, SCSI CD-ROM support and SCSI generic support.
FireWire (IEEE 1394) port:
enable IEEE 1394 (FireWire) support (EXPERIMENTAL) and OHCI-1394 support
Network Interface Card
Under Network Device Support and then Ethernet (10 or 100MBit) select EtherExpressPro/100 support
To use DHCP, you'll also need to enable Socket Filtering under Networking Options
For USB 2.0 devices, you'll want to enable EHCI HCD support
For USB 1.x devices, you'll want to enable OHCI support
External USB Mouse
enable Input core support
If you're planning on using a device such as a Wacom Tablet as your mouse, you'll need to set your X resolution. The optimum settings for the Presario monitor are 1400x1050 (for a non-fuzzy picture)
Event interface support
Under USB support enable USB Human Interface Devices and HID input layer support
enable Intel ICH (i8xx), SIS 7012, Nvidia nforce Audio or RME Hammerfall (RME96XX) support
Note: I have not been able to get sound working with this option compiled directly into the kernel, only when built as a module
After you compile your kernel, make sure that you update your /etc/lilo.conf file to point to the new kernel. Also, you'll want to add the line:
for CDRW support
Setting up your XFree86
The Xfree86 packages in woody don't support the Radeon 7500 card. You'll need to upgraded to Xfree86 4.2. To do this, edit your
/etc/apt/sources.list file to point to the debian unstable packages.
This is how my sources.list file looks:
deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ unstable main
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ unstable main
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US unstable/non-US main
deb-src http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US unstable/non-US main
# Gnome 2
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian ../project/experimental main
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian ../project/experimental main
deb http://www.phy.olemiss.edu/openoffice/ unstable main contrib
If you want Gnome2 and Open Office as well, add those lines.
After you update your sources.list file, run the following:
If you selected the X Windows System packages during the install process, you know have Xfree86 4.2. The driver for the Radeon card is the ati driver.
apt-get install x-window-system
If you want Gnome2
apt-get -t experimental install gnome
If you want OpenOffice
apt-get install openoffice.org
If you need help with Debian, check out #debian on irc.debian.org. It's a very helpful channel, I may even be in there if you have questions about this particular setup. Please feel free to e-mail me any questions. I know I'm not the best document writer and I can imagine someone would have some questions about this horrendous document =). When I add support for the extra hardware, I'll update this page.