Time to get a new laptop for a family member. Something pretty cheap. These days (Feb 2018), linux “just works” right? Not on the HP 245 G6! I am installing Linux Mint 18.3, but don’t doubt that similar problems would occur with other distributions of the same vintage.
With the problems listed below, I can’t recommend this as a target for linux installation.
Filesystem corruption with AMD GPU and IOMMU
The worst of these is that with default kernel parameters, it is not long before all mounted filesystems are irreparably corrupted! The gory details are explained here.
The interim solution is to add amd_iommu=off to the kernel parameters.
It is possible that kernel 4.15 contains a fix for this problem, but finding out
Wifi driver not in standard distro
The wifi chip is a realtek RTL8723DE PCI ID D723 which lacks a driver in the current distro kernels (4.10, 4.13). There are a couple of github repos with drivers for this chip, which got it up and running for wifi (BT not tested yet)
SD Card Reader
This is apparently an Alcor Micro card reader PCI id 058F:6366
If there is no card present at boot, the device doesn’t show up at all, i.e. lspci doesn’t mention it.
I rebooted with the card from my camera in place, and the card shows up. However, as soon as the card is removed, the device disappears and doesn’t reappear when the card is plugged in.
On the hardware side, there is no eject mechanism on the card slot, so it is very awkward to extract the card with only about 3mm of it projecting from the case.
Starting from cold, shortly after reaching graphical login or desktop, the display starts flickering (enough to be a worry for epileptics I guess). Switching away to a different virtual console (Ctl-Alt-F6, Ctl-Alt-F7) may fix it temporarily. Either that or close the lid to suspend, then wake up again. After the display has been on for a while, the flickering goes away.
The power connector is a so-called “HP Smart Adapter“. This has a third concentric pin in the centre of the power socket. The universal adapter that we already have doesn’t include one of these amongst its array of interchangable connectors, so is currently useless. So the HP supplied adapter will have to be carted to and from work.
What does work???
The audio is via a combo headphone/microphone jack. This works OK with a set of phone earbuds with microphone.
The DVD drive works.
For reference here are some details about the system hardware
System: Host: mint Kernel: 4.10.0-38-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Cinnamon 3.6.6 Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia Machine: System: HP (portable) product: HP 245 G6 Notebook PC Mobo: HP model: 8324 v: 22.24 Bios: American Megatrends v: F.20 date: 11/07/2017 CPU: Dual core AMD E2-9000e RADEON R2 4 COMPUTE CORES 2C+2G (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB clock speeds: max: 1500 MHz 1: 1300 MHz 2: 1300 MHz Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Device 98e4 Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: ati,amdgpu (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,radeon) Resolution: firstname.lastname@example.org GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on AMD STONEY (DRM 3.9.0 / 4.10.0-38-generic, LLVM 4.0.0) GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 17.0.7 Audio: Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 157a driver: snd_hda_intel Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Device 15b3 driver: snd_hda_intel Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.10.0-38-generic Network: Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: r8169 IF: eno1 state: down mac: xxxx Card-2: Realtek Device d723 IF: N/A state: N/A speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: N/A Drives: HDD Total Size: 1032.2GB (1.3% used) ID-1: USB /dev/sda model: USB_3.0_JET_16GB size: 15.9GB ID-2: /dev/sdb model: TOSHIBA_MQ01ABD1 size: 1000.2GB