Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HP Pavilion dv5-1020ep (Ubuntu 64 bits)

My old laptop's battery is dying, and I used that as an excuse to buy myself a new on :-)

I had a HP Pavilion zt3240EA, and have been very happy with it. Nice machine. Still, age weights on every one.

I'm gonna be installing Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS Desktop Edition, 64 bits version, on my new HP Pavilion dv5-1020ep.

Download and Burn a CD
$ md5sum ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso
  • Burn a cd (you can use Brasero, for example, if you already use Ubuntu). 

Running the live cd
  • Boot from the cd.
  • After booting it's important to check the integrity of the cd. Burning cds also fails.

Hardware to check (during the live cd session)
  • Graphics (only 1024x768, but check)
  • Sound (check)
  • Media buttons (check)
  • Cable network (check)
  • Wireless network (the proprietary Atheros wireless card was found, not tested)
  • HP media command (not working)
  • Integrated Webcam (check) 

Hard Drive Partition Layout
    /dev/sda1      ntfs      Vista                  36002 MB
    /dev/sda        ntfs      Vista Recover      8450 MB
    /dev/sda3      ext3     /                        10240 MB
    /dev/sda5      ext3     /home               10240 MB
    /dev/sda6      ext3     /storage            94072 MB
    /dev/sda7      swap                               1028 MB

Post-install: Graphics Card

I installed EnvyNG using the Synaptic Package Manager (look for envyng-gtk) and just had to run it (Applications > System Tools > EnvyNG), after closing Synaptic (important), and choose to “Install the ATI driver (Automatic Hardware Detection)” option.

I now have a normal 1280×800 screen resolution and some desktop effects are already active.

There is an ATI Catalyst Control Center under Applications > Other, where you can tweak things up.

Problems to Solve: if I have Compiz on, there's a terrible flickering when playing back movies.

Post-install: CPU Frequency Scaling

After installing Ubuntu I noticed that the frequency of both cores was always at 2 GHz (the cpu max frequency in my case).

Because this is a laptop I want the cpu to scale that frequencies as needed.

Useful tools:
$ sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils
You can check this behavior by:
  • Adding the "CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor" to your Gnome Panel (add two, one for each core). Frequency should change while you work.
  • Check the output of the following (here you can check the driver used - powernow-k8 - and the current scaling policy)
$ cpufreq-info
Reference: How to use CPU frequency scaling (cpufreq)

After some time of research here's a very simple method (read the Reference for much more details):
  • Go to your /etc/rc.local file
$ sudo vi /etc/rc.local
  • And add the following
modprobe powernow-k8
sudo cpufreq-selector -g userspace
/etc/init.d/powernowd restart
exit 0
  • Go to your /etc/default/powernowd file
$ sudo vi /etc/default/powernowd
  • Add the -n option
OPTIONS="-q -n"
  • Restart

Useful tips:
  • Check available frequencies for your cpu (if you have more than one core also check cpu1, cpu2, etc.)
$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies
  • Check current governor
$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
  • Check available governors
$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_governors
Problems to solve: restarting powernowd always change the governor to ondemand.

Post-install: Wireless Network card

A warning in the Notification Area showed that a Proprietary Driver is enabled (Atheros wireless card).

Check the driver name:
$ lspci | grep Atheros
Followed this instructions from Ubuntu Forums, now I can use the wireless card, I found several networks, the signal is good, I connect with my password, but I can't get an IP... This means no Internet.

Problems to solve: connect to the Internet with sucess.

Post-install: Laptop Optimizations

Here's some useful tips if you're running on a laptop:
  • Go to your /etc/default/acpi-support file
$ sudo vi /etc/default/acpi-support
  • Change the ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE option to true
  • Install and run powertop. Follow the instructions on-screen (more info here).
$ sudo apt-get install powertop
$ sudo powertop 

Post-install: Sound Card

Sound works fine, but the Master mute button doen't mute the Front. This means that the columns still output sound.

To fix this go to System > Preferences > Sound and select the Front device in the list below.

Post-install: File System

Besides the / and /home partitions, only root have permissions to write in every other partitions. In my case /storage.

So, we have to add permissions to our user:
$ sudo chown -R youruser:youruser /storage
$ sudo chmod -R 755 /storage
Click here for more info.

Post-install: Updates

Update Manager warned me about 120 available updates. Just letting it go...

Post-install: Multimedia

References: Complete Streaming, Multimedia & Video How-to and Medibuntu
  • Repositories
$ sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/hardy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
$ wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add - && sudo apt-get update
  • Flash
$ sudo apt-get purge flashplugin-nonfree && \
sudo mkdir /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree && \
sudo cp -f ~/Desktop/libflashplayer.so \
/usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/ && \
sudo nspluginwrapper -i \
/usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so && \
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so \
/etc/alternatives/firefox-flashplugin && \
sudo ln -sf /etc/alternatives/firefox-flashplugin \
/usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/flashplayer-alternative.so && \
sudo rm -f /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so
  • Codecs and plugins (it will take quite some time)
$ sudo apt-get remove gnash gnash-common libflash-mozplugin \
libflashsupport mozilla-plugin-gnash swfdec-mozilla && \
sudo apt-get install alsa-oss faac faad flashplugin-nonfree \
gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad \
gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly \
gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse ia32-libs icedtea-gcjwebplugin \
liblame0 non-free-codecs openjdk-6-jre unrar
  • Audio and Video Streaming
$ sudo apt-get remove kaffeine-mozilla mozilla-helix-player \
mozilla-mplayer mozilla-plugin-vlc totem-mozilla xine-plugin && \
sudo apt-get install gnome-mplayer gecko-mediaplayer
  • Playing Encrypted DVDs
$ sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdread3 libdvdnav4 build-essential debhelper fakeroot regionset
$ sudo regionset
Check the reference link, because it as many other things you’ll want.

Post-install: Preferences and Look and Feel

Here's some things I changed right away:
  • 4 workspaces
  • Automatic login (System > Administration > Login Window, Security tab)
  • Add Network Manager and Battery Charge Monitor to the Panel
  • Background
  • NTP Time Server
  • Weather on Clock Preferences 

Post-install: NFS file sharing

To configure two Ubuntu machines to share files using NFS, check here.

Post-install: SAMBA Server

Go to Applications > Add/Remove and install Samba.

Go to System > Administration > Samba to add shares and define samba users.

Also check this post.

Post-install: LAMP Server

To install Apache, MySQL and PHP, check here.

Post-install: extra software

List of extra installation software installed:
  • Firefox Foxmarks add-on (can’t live without it)
  • GnomeDo
  • VLC
  • Conky
  • Synergy
  • GVim
  • lm-sensors
  • Network Selector
  • VirtualBox
  • Gaupol Subtitle Editor
  • More Firefox add-ons (BugMeNot, Forecastfox, Twitkit, Portuguese Dictionary)
  • Firefox IMDB search-engine
  • Gnucash
  • Google Earth (it will download a .bin installation file, run it in the Terminal)
  • aspell-pt-pt
  • Mail Notification


  1. Real nice write up thanks man. I own a dv5-1017nr, the install should be very similar; I'm a ubuntu noob this will help.

  2. No problem. If you have any problem let me know. Maybe I can help.
    This post is for Ubuntu 8.04. Check the 8.10 update at http://lof-ubuntu-xp.lofspot.net/blog/2008/11/3/upgrading-to-ubuntu-810-the-intrepid-ibex.html.
    I need to update it, still might help you out.

  3. possible wireless solutionJanuary 23, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    thanks for writing this. my hp laptop is a dv5-1112ea and this guide is really useful.

  4. "Problems to solve: connect to the Internet with sucess.":
    check out http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Download
    i used compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2 and i got wlan0 (finally) among my devices.
    mine is a pavillion dv5-1112ea. very similar to yours.
    your article is great. thank you.