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Installing Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (Wheezy) on HP EliteBook 8570w

I was FedUp with Fedora Core 17/18 after a day, so I decided to return to my old love: Debian GNU/Linux. It’s been a couple of years, but I’m happy to be back! Just run the netinst installer which will take care of the most.

Configure NVIDIA Quadro K2000M and iwlwifi on Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 Wheezy

and set some common settings

After installing your Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (aka Wheezy) base system, you need to take a few extra steps to configure your video card and wifi. Depending on your hardware of course. My HP EliteBook 8570w laptop is equipped with an NVIDIA Quadro K2000M video card and an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 wifi adapter. These drivers need to be set up after installation.

I also needed/wanted to tweak some other settings, like the console resolution and speaker beeping.

All information found here is also easily found on Internet using a search engine and some logical search terms.

NVIDIA Quadro K2000M: drivers installation and Xorg configuration

You can follow the wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers page.

This may interest you:   Install Varnish Cache on CentOS 6.7

First, its wise to identify your card:

lspci -nn | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 [Quadro K2000M] [10de:0ffb] (rev all)

and locate your driver.

To install the driver for your card, add “contrib” and “non-free” to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free

Update the available packages and install the appropriate linux-headers and kernel module packages. You can either use aptitude or apt-get:

aptitude update
aptitude -r install linux-headers-$(uname -r|sed 's,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,') nvidia-kernel-dkms

Now you have to create an Xorg server configuration:

# mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d
echo -e 'Section "Device"\n\tIdentifier "My GPU"\n\tDriver "nvidia"\nEndSection' > /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf

Restart your system to enable the nouveau blacklist.

Installing iwlwifi drivers in Debian

Installing the drivers for your WiFi adapter is pretty straightforward, as was the NVIDIA Quadro K2000M. You can follow the wiki.debian.org/iwlwifi page.

If not already added, add a non-free component to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free

Update the list of available packages and install the firmware-iwlwifi package:

apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi

As the iwlwifi module is automatically loaded for supported devices, reinsert this module to access installed firmware:

modprobe -r iwlwifi ; modprobe iwlwifi

and configure your wireless interface as appropriate.

High resolution console

I like to have a higher resolution on my console. This can easily be configured in grub.

  1. Add or change the following in /etc/default/grub:
    • GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024
      GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1280x1024

      or
      GRUB_GFXMODE=1920x1080x32
      GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1920x1080x32

    Choose a supported display mode, check with vbeinfo as grub command first

  2. Run update-grub and reboot

Configure the mouse for text based console

for select, copy and paste operations
You can simply install gdm for console copy-and-paste operations using the mouse.

apt-get install gdm

Disable speaker

Thank you Steven Rosenberg.

To disable the speaker, for tab completion on the console, Uncomment the following line in /etc/inputrc

set bell-style none

You still might hear a beep every now and then. The sound card (snd_hda_intel) has an option “beep_mode”. Just disable that and blacklist the pcspkr module (how-to).

modinfo snd_hda_intel | grep beep
parm:           beep_mode:Select HDA Beep registration mode (0=off, 1=on, 2=mute switch on/off) (default=1). (array of int)

Set beep_mode to off (0) and blacklist pcspkr module:

echo "options snd_hda_intel beep_mode=0" >> /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
echo "blacklist pcspkr" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for your answer! I have some more questions. It would be great if you can answer them too!

    Does also the video acceleration work? (Can you play full-hd with only little CPU usage?)

    How long does the battery last? (Typically usage with debian wheezy)

    Does suspend to disk and suspend to ram works flawless?

    How long does the bootup take? (To give me some idea how fast the SSD is)

    Thank you,
    best regards
    Markus

  2. Hi! Thanks for the tutorial!

    I consider buying this laptop. Is this laptop recommendable together with wheezy?

    Does the fan make noise as Nico describes?

    Does video and 3d acceleration work? Does xrandr with a dual monitor work nicely?

    best regards and thank you,
    Markus

    • Hi Markus and Nico,

      Thanks for your comments! Yes, I can hear the fan, but I don’t find it annoying. It’s not very loud. The laptop is most times in its docking station, as I use it as a workstation.

      3d acceleration works, but you have to disable ‘Sync to VBlank’ through nvidia-settings.

      $ glxgears 
      57512 frames in 5.0 seconds = 11502.297 FPS
      61624 frames in 5.0 seconds = 12324.553 FPS
      61529 frames in 5.0 seconds = 12305.734 FPS
      61614 frames in 5.0 seconds = 12322.739 FPS

      Haven’t tried a dual monitor set up unfortunately.

  3. Hi,

    I have the same EliteBook 8570w. I have installed many distro/kernel but the fan is unfortunately very noisy …

    Is your cpu fan always running ? Which kernel do you use ? Did you add modules ?

    Thank you,

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