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HP-Compaq 6715B


This is a guide to running Linux with the HP-Compaq 6715B laptop. This is an AMD based laptop with some medium level components.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameHP-Compaq 6715B
ProcessorAMD Turion 64 MK-38 2.2GHz
Screen14.1“ WXGA
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsATI Mobility X1250
Network10/100 Ethernet, Broadcom 802.11g/n Wireless
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesSee notes below
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
WirelessPartialSee notes below
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYes
PCMCIANot Tested


For the ATI Mobility X1200 included with the 6715B you will need to use the proprietary fglrx module or the new open source radeonhd driver as the Xorg drivers (ati and radeon) does not support this chip. You can view our Configuring an ATI graphics chip for Linux guide for installation details on the fglrx module.

The bcm43xx does not work with this wireless controller. The kernel reports a lot of “FATAL ERROR: BCM43xx_IRQ_XMIT_ERROR” errors. Ndiswrapper works fine with this windows driver. See the guides on this site for installation details on ndiswrapper.

Debian AMD64 Notes

Thanks to Berni for the following:
Debian amd64 works a treat on my gb837et variant. The etch installer recognises the Ethernet and the disk.

The etch ndiswrapper and fglrx modules however do not work. The second core does not work in the etch 2.6.18 kernel. No problems just newer versions needed:

Dual cores work using the etch 2.6.22 backported kernel from

ndiswrapper works from lenny

ati/amd screen driver with full resolution works from

Power control is superb with powersaved in etch giving long battery life.

hdparm -B 254 may help to extend disk life.

Also and probably generally - it is wise look for a BIOS option to Keep fans running option when installing any OS on a laptop. The gb837et has one described as keep fans running when on mains power. Note however on this laptop the fans are quiet.


A little bit of Linux knowledge is required to get the wireless LAN working on the HP-Compaq 6715B. Other than that everything else works well.


Łukasz, 2018/01/06 20:57

Works like a charm with Lubuntu 14.04.5 and default kernel 3.13. 3D acceleration works out of the box. For WiFi firmware-b43-installer needs to be installed with “sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer”, if bcmwl-kernel-source was installed, needs to be removed with “sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source”. WiFi should start working then, if not, manually load b43 module with “sudo modprobe b43”. Lubuntu 14.04.5 works like being crafted for 6715b. Kernels newer than 3 contains bug which is causing frequency scaling and fan malfuntions, so stay away from them.

Łukasz, 2018/01/06 21:13

To solve problem with not saving backlight level, add kernel boot parameter “acpi_backlight=vendor”.

Norm M., 2016/08/21 17:15

I've installed several different distros on my two Compaq 6715b laptops. Bodhi Linux, Lubuntu, and others. In my case, I removed the Windows Vista, replaced it with WinXP, and dual-booted into Lubuntu.

The whole issue with the wifi is a weird one. If I'm in Lubuntu, and accidentally touch that stupid strip at the top where the blue wifi light indicator is, then the wifi turns off “permanently” until I reboot up in Windows. The Windows HP Wireless Assistant launches and turns the wifi back on (sometimes). If not, then you have to open the Assistant app to turn it back on.

In the case of first installing Lubuntu though, the wireless will probably not work right out of the box (especially during a “live” session). What I recall doing was installing Lubuntu with a Ethernet cable connect to my router, go into Synaptic Package Manager, search for Broadcom and select the b43 driver. Once that's installed, everything should work OK.

As far as desktop environments, I've tried just about everything there is, via Lubuntu. Enlightenment, KDE, LXDE, Openbox, XFCE, Unity, etc. Most of the heavier DE's will run sluggish, but they will run. The best ones to use for some modicum of speed though is LXDE, XFCE, and Enlightenment.

Overall, for such an old laptop, it really works well. I love the keyboard on this machine, especially compared to many of the newest laptops with their flat keys, which I don't care for as a touch-typist.

Both of my laptops had the CD-ROM units die on me. I have to use an external drive to burn anything. Both failed while using Kb3 burner, as I recall.

I'm using Lubuntu 12.04, but will wipe it clean and probably install Lubuntu 16.10 or Linux Mint (XFCE version). The deal-breaker is always the wifi thing. I've never had to use the ndsiwrapper so that would be another learning curve to deal with. I'm hoping whatever driver for the b43 chipset is in the repository.

The latest versions of Ubuntu will finally allow me to use dual monitors. I have an HP 2009m monitor and the laptop's screen. It's so nice to be able to work across both screen for extra “real estate”.

Another incentive to upgrade is that I cannot transfer files between my Android phone and the computer using 12.04. The latest Lubuntu (and other modern distros) do let me plug in a USB cable and transfer files between the two using a file manager.

Kent Kolarik, 2015/02/11 05:41

I installed Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon on my HP Compaq 6715B. Aside from the minor annoyance of having to install the B43 Wireless driver, installation and operation have been a snap! I even got the fingerprint scanner to work. Frankly, I'm just disappointed I took so long to ditch MS to go to Linux!

Norm M., 2016/08/21 17:18

Many of us may have come late to the party, but once we arrive, there's little chance of going back to Micro$oft crap ever again.

I walk into computer stores, see those Win10 laptops and don't feel even an ounce of envy or regret for sticking with Linux/GNU. :-)

(I realize your comment is over a year old…hoping you're still enjoying your Linux installation!)

Genadi, 2009/05/25 14:03

where to find the driver for the wireless HP compaq 6715B

Berni Elbourn, 2009/03/03 15:54

Now mine is upgraded to Debian Lenny. Note that the default snd-hda-intel sound module will crash the system if under load badly.
The fix:
Remove previous /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-* files.
Run alsaconf accept recommended options.
Then update /etc/modprobe.d/sound like this:
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
options snd-hda-intel index=0 model=basic probe_mask=3 position_fix=3

Berni Elbourn, 2009/03/03 19:09

Sorry. alsaconf gets it right. Please ignore that edit to /etc/modprobe.d/sound - the laptop is not wired for this config. Crashes were caused by Amarok itself…they seem to be fixed by configuring the Xine Engine to use oss.

Berni Elbourn, 2009/03/04 23:05

Gave up on Amarok - it continues to hose my system at random. There are some reports of a problem with the analysers - also gstreamer libraries - out there. Rthymbox works a treat.

Berni ELbourn, 2009/03/05 21:46

Argggh, looks like crashes were due to the ATI fglrx video drivers after all that!

The lenny radeonhd video driver works perfectly:
$ aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd
$ dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg # default answers

Reset alsa:
I have reset alsa to defaults by running
$ alsaconf # default answers.

Amarok is back!

Petri Asikainen, 2009/02/08 08:29

With openSuse 11.1 and 6715b (KE051ET#AK8) I have to use nohz=off boot parameter to get thing stable.

JosipBroz, 2008/12/19 09:58

Comments from an openSUSE 11.0 user: If your wireless chip is 4328, the proprietary Broadcom hybrid driver (wl.ko) works best – no more lockups or anything. But be sure to blacklist any previous drivers, and to instal the ieee80211_crypt_tkip module, required by this driver. If your distro repos support that driver, all this should be done automagically, else follow the README.TXT accompanying the drivers source, downloadable on the Broadcom site. Be warned, though, your kernel will be tainted. Fingerprint reader: seems to get recognized as a “scanner device” if you install the HP hplip package. The card reader can recognize xD memory cards too. A sidenote: the PCMCIA smartcard reader was GLUED INTERNALLY on my laptop, had to force it out (almost breaking it) to use other PCMCIA cards!

Keith, 2008/12/16 17:29

Just a FYI for anyone who has installed the wifi drivers and the Wireless light will not come on on the laptop. I had to reset the bios to the default settings to get it to come on. I never made changes to the bios, but it did get it working.

Jo, 2010/08/18 15:44

Thanks. I had no trouble getting the wlan to work with ndiswrapper and using the driver provided on the HP support page, but the wlan light never showed up once I disabled it by pressing the blue light button before shutting down the system.

Resetting the BIOS was the solution ;-)

I am using Open Suse 11.3

Dave King, 2008/07/27 09:04

No devices detected error

I have a Compaq 6715b laptop, installing Debian 4.0 with KDE 3.X. Having problems with video drivers. I have followed how-to-guide from this site, however I still get ”(EE) No devices detected” . Did I miss something? Need help.

netromb, 2008/06/23 09:40

openSUSE 11

Installs greatly on updated version of the 6715b with tl64 cpu, 1 gig of ram added. Not tested modem, and the fingerprint sensor does not work. Aside from that the rest seems ok. Wireless works greatly with the b43 driver after installing the firmware. (To get the firmware I used the method found at, another way will be to use the “install_bcm43xx_firmware” script found in /usr/sbin.) Now using wireless with wpa2-psk. The radeonhd driver gave me a nice correct picture, and after I installed the fglrx module I even had Compiz fusion going.

RealBorg, 2008/05/06 01:10

ATI is always good for a negative surprise

I have posted a review at

Cliff, 2008/04/18 12:08

Need help on the wireless driver

Can someone that is using the wireless driver with this laptop post some info on the process to get it to work such as installing or selecting the correct driver.

Josh, 2008/03/25 08:11


Have anybody tried firewire on this laptop? If somebody have opportunity to try it… can you post here result? Thanks alot.. Josh

Aidan, 2008/05/04 23:51

I tried firewire briefly when i first got the laptop, seemed to work with my video camera, but the program i was capturing with crashed during capture so i never tested it properly.
I have Fedora now which runs very well on this laptop, but has a different firewire driver which is a pain to set up, so i haven't bothered.
When i get the chance i will test it a bit more thoroughly.


Aidan, 2008/02/20 23:44


I have this laptop running with Fedora 8 and had no trouble getting the wireless working with the b43 driver. It runs a lot better than when i was using ndiswrapper.

apart from a few quirks with the fglrx module this laptop is great with linux.

Joe Alex, 2008/02/26 01:15

And where did you get firmware? I tried some hp drivers for windows, but I could'n cut it.

Aidan, 2008/05/04 23:58

I cant remember which drivers i used, they were the ones recommended by the how-to i used, i will try to track them down.

I will have to find them again anyway when i install fedora 9, so i will post details then.

Joe Alex, 2008/05/06 04:58

Actually new b43 native linux driver should be best choice, I suppose. Also it's clearly written where get the correct firmware.

buletov, 2008/03/24 11:47

what about if you turn the lap on with wifi button off;
if you turn it on while in the GUI, will the adapter work?
In my experience, it does not work until reboot.

Anonymous, 2008/05/04 23:56

That is correct.

If i boot the laptop with wireless off, it will not work. But if the wifi is on during boot, then i can turn wifi on and off fine once the system is booted.

Simon Green, 2008/01/09 17:37

SD card reader

Just like to mention that the SD Card reader works fine on this model of laptop. It appears as a USB storage device when inserted.

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