I've been trying to install Debian Woody on a Packard-Bell iGo 6000 for quite a while now. A lot of the things that didn't work first try are now working, but there are several open issues - comments / suggestions on any or all of these would be greatly appreciated.
As for the hardware specs - as stated above, it's a Packard Bell laptop; see below for more details. Software configuration is Debian Woody 3.0 dist-upgraded to the unstable branch, i.e. KDE 3.1.2, Gnome 2.2, xfree86 4.2.1. I'm running a custom-built 2.4.20 kernel.
The laptop has an on-board ALi sound card (ALi 1535M, if I'm not mistaken). www.ali.com
recommends the use of the Trident/ALi 5451 kernel sound driver. Admittedly, this works to some extent - I get sounds, can playback wav-files etc. BUT... I get high-pitched squeaking noises lasting for about 1 second about every 20 seconds of sound playback. That is, if there are many short sound clips played discontinuously, the squeak will occur after about 20 seconds of sound has been played on aggregate, and if I try to play something continuous, it will occur every 20-ish seconds.
This happens with audio cds, wav files, sound from movies, midi files, and just about everything involving the sound card, and there seems to be absolutely nothing I can do about it.
It is perhaps worth to note that audio cds didn't play straight away - I had to spend quite a while on this board to figure out the problem; there is no direct cable between the cd drive and the sound card, meaning I have to play audio cds with XMMS and the appropriate plugin. Don't think that has any bearing on the matter though...
XFree86 will only start using the vesa driver, which is a bit of a waste (the machine has an ATI Radeon 340M IGP). If the driver is set to "ati", which is the recommended setting for all radeon cards, the x server doesn't start - it aborts with the message "no devices detected" (I think). Any suggestions on how to get it to use the appropriate driver would be welcome.
Ahh, the mouse...
Of course, the laptop has an internal touchpad. And of course I would rather use an external mouse... ;-) I have a Microsoft Optical IntelliMouse (USB). Plugging it into the USB drive, and setting up the x-server to use /dev/psaux with the PS/2 protocol works fine (for both external mouse and touchpad) except the mouse wheel isn't recognised.
I read somewhere that PS/2 doesn't support mouse wheel events, and that I need either ImPS/2 or ExplorerPS/2 as the mouse protocol. Changing to either of these results in a very strange effect - I can move the mouse pointer on the screen, but when I stop moving (or, rather, when I lift the optical mouse from the desk - and at rather, seemingly random points), it warps to the bottom-left corner of the screen, and generates repeated click events (possibly middle-button clicks, not sure on that one).
No other mouse devices work (only /dev/psaux); this happens regardless of the USB port it's plugged in; I'd love to try plugging it into a PS/2 port, only the laptop doesn't actually have one (!); I've tried a different mouse and get exactly the same effect; I've tried disabling the internal touchpad in the bios and still get the same effect.
Basically, I have run out of ideas on how to get the mouse wheel to work.
I don't know how laptop model/vendor specific this problem is. To put it simply, if I try to use a kernel compiled with APM support, then KDE hangs on "Initializing Peripherals", after three blinks of the corresponding icon.
I would like to be able to use KDE, and I would obviously like to have a kernel with APM support on a laptop. Somewhere I read that on some notebook models, the KDE APM probe hangs the system. Does anyone know where to disable that on KDE 3.1.2, or, alternatively, how else to get it start up normally when using an APM-enabled kernel?
As I said, any comments at all would be helpful. This notebook so far has been quite a nightmare to get going under linux, and once I figure these final 4 things out, I plan to write a description of what I did to get Debian to work. (even installs froze mid-way through to start with...
Well, I think that's all the relevant information; if I've missed something out, don't hesitate to ask.