Installing Fedora Core 2 on a HP Compaq nw8000

I just got a new laptop for work. It’s a HP nw8000, a high-end mobile workstation. And that’s what it seems like, especially with a screen resolution of 1600×1200… What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to get Fedora Core 2 (Linux) up and running on it. If you’re not into that sort of thing, you might want to move on.

Update 13.3.2005: I have reinstalled the laptop with Fedora Core 3. You may want to read about that instead.

As with any laptop these days, the first step is to follow through on the Windows install. Once that is done, the harddrive needs to be modified so that you have some space for Linux to be installed in. I used qt-parted from the System Rescue CD. It did the job well and easily without any hassles. After that is done, it’s time to begin the install. Make a normal install, and after that is done, upgrade all of the packages. I use apt to do the job. I used Jeff Saucier’s guide on installing FC2 on a nc8000 as my main source of information when setting up my own system as the difference between a nc8000 and nw8000 is quite small.

Kernel, Bluetooth, IrDA

Jukka Ketelaars has a good account of all of the steps needed to play around with in the kernel to get things working. I seriously recommend updating to the latest kernel version though. At least the one I have (as of this writing) is 2.6.8.

I’ve tried to get bluetooth to work, but so far I haven’t had any luck with it. It could all be due to the fact that I haven’t even tested Bluetooth in Windows yet and the whole thing might not be activated (as it is a USB chip inside the computer). OK, now I feel stupid. A couple of hours spent debugging at work in Linux and an hour in Windows at home and no luck with Bluetooth. Until I decided to press the little network button near the power button. On goes a blue light and Bluetooth start working. I tested it with the Bluetooth File Sharing Gnome applet and was able to receive files from my phone. All is well…

Infrared works just fine. Gnokii communicates with the phone, but alas the Nokia 6820 seems to have some problems with gnokii, even the latest version. I’ll see if I ever feel the need to do something about it. Probably not.

X-Windows, mouse, and keyboard

Now it is time to start fiddling around with X to get the 3D parts working better. You’ll need the driver from ATI. Then follow the steps described in this Fedora Forum post. The video card that comes with this laptop (ATI FireGL T2) enables a resolution of 1600×1200 with enough colors. After the necessary updates, glxgears gives abouto 1200 fps. Remember, you have to reinstall the fglrx driver each time you begin using a new kernel.

To get the extra keys next to the power button to work add the following lines to your /etc/rc.local. The mute and volume controls work directly, you can use the Gnome keyboard shortcuts tool to set their function.

setkeycodes e00a 151
setkeycodes e008 148
setkeycodes e009 149

Networking

Since FC2 comes with IPv6 on it may slow down browsing. Insert the following line into /etc/modprobe.conf if you don’t need IPv6.

alias net-pf-10 off

I haven’t tested the wireless networking or modem options of the laptop yet. The modem will probably stay untested since I don’t even have a phone-line available. What is interesting is that the laptop didn’t even come with the cables needed for modem usage. Which is good since I have more than enough of them lying around in various boxes at home and the office.

Sound

Follow these instructions to get the sound working well.

Other goodies

I also got an external ASUS DRW-0804-P DVD-RW writer. I haven’t tested writing anything with it yet, but all applications recognize it immediately and it should work fine. I tested it with the USB connection, haven’t tested the Firewire connection yet.

This page is listed on TuxMobil, look for more resources on working Linux on laptops, PDAs, notebooks, and phones.

5 thoughts on “Installing Fedora Core 2 on a HP Compaq nw8000”

  1. Hallo FC user,

    I am an Linux newbie, and I have just installed Fedora Core 2 ( under supervison) on my notebook: HP pavillion ze4900 ( more specifiek: ze4928EA)
    FC 2: 2.6.5-1.358 ( Red Hat Linux 3.3.3-7 )

    Problem:
    * the modem doesn’t work correctly

    -FC2 system-config-network replies with the message “No modem was found om your system”

    -FC2 Souns card detection, is working good.
    –Vendor: Intel Corp
    –model: 82801DB (ICH4) AC’97 Audio Controller
    –module: snd-intel8x0
    ( Play test sound: OK )

    The command “lspci” says something about an modem:
    –00:1f.6 Modem Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) AC’97 Modem Controller
    ( Looks equal as the sound card detection?! )

    WinXP Prof. system information;
    –Soundcard: Intel 82801DB(M) ICH4(-M) -AC’97 Audio Controller [B-1]
    —Codec: Conexant
    –Modem: SoftV92 Data Fax Modem with SmartCP

    Question;
    -Is it possible with this FC2 release, that the modem is detected and working properly for my internet connection?
    -And what are the steps to do? (remenber i am an linux newbie!)

    ( I tested this also with Knoppix (KDE) and.. the modem is not working )

  2. I’m sorry, but I have no idea on how to get the modem working. Try looking at the installation and setup guides on other laptops with a similar modem at e.g. TuxMobil. I do know that the modem is a software (not hardware) modem and that is why it isn’t directly supported.

    The fact is that I don’t even have a land-line to test the modem with…

  3. What you got there is a winmodem, not a real modem but a software one. I call them modems with lobotomy because rely on the CPU to do the job.

    Sorry to disappoint you but *usually* these modems do not work under linux since they rely on proprietary software and the chip manufacturers are reluctant releasing the drivers and even information under GPL. However, there’s a good site where you can search if there’s a driver available under linux: http://www.linmodems.org/ . Good luck!

  4. hello, i’ve got the same computer (hp pavilion ze4928ea) the modem is a conexant and work (under linux) with hsfmodem software. the software is free (until 14kbs) but you have to pay to have the full (56kbs) software (see http://www.linuxant.com). In my opinion you have the right to use a modem that you have paid with linux without paying another time.

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