Debian GNU Linux (Sarge) on HP Omnibook XE3 Laptop
Featured link of the year: TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, PDAs and mobile phones
This document contains some hints about the Hewlett Packard Omnibook
XE3-GC laptop (product number F2116W). There are also other pages about
XE3 laptops, just go to TuxMobil. I will not cover all details about
this laptop and things like kernel compiling, see the other pages for
I used Knoppix 3.2 to install Debian GNU/Linux via knx-hdinstall. After that there
has to be finetuning for converting Knoppix to Debian. Starting from
Knoppix 3.3 you can also use knoppix-installer
and before that you can alter your partition table with qtparted. But, if you try to
resize partitions, make sure to backup all your important data
such as mail-folders, address books, MP3s etc.. before you start.
Here is my harddisk layout, there is no hibernation partition anymore,
you should keep it though. I added another 500MB after some time, to
have one big partition of 4GB should be better.
737 5919921 b W95 FAT32
801 514080 83 Linux
1222 3381682+ f W95 Ext'd
1201 3212968+ 83 Linux
1222 168651 82 Linux
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp.
440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX Host bridge (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp.
440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX AGP bridge (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Normal
00:04.0 CardBus bridge: Texas
00:04.1 CardBus bridge: Texas
00:07.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp.
82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ISA (rev 02)
00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp.
82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 IDE (rev 01) (prog-if 80 [Master])
00:07.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp.
82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 USB (rev 01) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
00:07.3 Bridge: Intel Corp.
82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI (rev 03)
00:08.0 Multimedia audio controller:
ESS Technology ES1988 Allegro-1 (rev 12)
00:08.1 Communication controller: ESS
Technology ESS Modem (rev 12)
01:01.0 VGA compatible controller: S3
Inc. 86C270-294 Savage/IX-MV (rev 11) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: 3Com Corporation 3c575 [Megahertz] 10/100
is a PCMCIA card.
For networking I use a 2nd handed PCMCIA card from 3com since this
laptop only includes a winmodem (ESS Technology ESS Modem) which is
really difficult to get working and can crash your machine often. So
you are better off buying a cheap external modem if you want to use a
In order to get the soundcard (ESS Technology ES1988 Allegro-1)
working, you should choose maestro3 in ALSA or OSS.
Using Touchpad and USB mouse at the same time
For this you should edit /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and modify it
Identifier "XFree86 Configured"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "PS/2 Mouse" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice "USB Mouse" "CorePointer"
Identifier "PS/2 Mouse"
Option "Protocol" "auto"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "Emulate3Timeout" "70"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Identifier "USB Mouse"
"ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
You can middle click with the touchpad by pressing both buttons at once.
Using FAT-formatted Floppy Disks
For this I use the mtools package so you don't have to worry about
In /etc/mtools.conf should be
a line saying:
Then you can access the floppy disk by typing floppy:/ in Konqueror's address
bar. Of course you can also use mdir
a: etc. on the command line.
Using an USB stick
Add the following line to /etc/fstab:
/usbstick auto noauto,user 0 0
The first two entries may be different for you. Now you can mount the
stick by typing:
I prefer using an automounter.
Using LIRC to control MPlayer
If you want to control MPlayer with an infrared control you can follow
Enter the BIOS before booting by hitting F2. Then you go to System Devices and enable the
Infrared Port in SIR mode
and 2F8 IRQ3 (or any
other and adjust modprobe parameters accordingly) address.
In Linux you better create the following devices and give write access
to the group. Maybe you want to change the group to something like lirc
and put certain users in it.
mknod /dev/lirc c 61 0
mknod /dev/lircd c 61 0
chmod g+rw /dev/lirc*
chgrp lirc /dev/lirc*
Then you should install the LIRC package. In order to use it, first you
propably have to prevent the serial kernel module from claiming the
infrared port. Then you can load the module and start the lirc daemon:
setserial /dev/ttyS1 uart none
modprobe lirc_sir io=0x02f8 irq=3
lircd -d /dev/lirc -H default
In /etc/lircd.conf is the
conf file of your remote control. Get one (before starting lircd) at http://lirc.sourceforge.net/remotes/
or create your own one with irrecord.
Also you must have the file ~/.lircrc. You should change the
values for button=
according to your /etc/lircd.conf.
If MPlayer is compiled with lirc support: ./configure --enable-lirc then
you should be able to control MPlayer with your remote control.
For better MPlayer performance you should also do this as root at boot
echo 1024 >
Future releases of emovix will have support for this laptop and an
old hauppauge remote control. You can easily add support for your own
remote control. The boot argument will be REMOTE=haupsir.
(check the email address!)