8 May 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on HP EliteBook 8440p

[ note: I'll be updating these instructions to be a little simpler to follow -- right now this is the raw notes ]

I just got a new laptop at work and it's working nicely now with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. There were some obstacles that took a little research to sort out, so, this info may be useful to others.

Model Info:
HP Elitebook 8440p
WL655PA
Intel Quad Core i7-720QM 1.6/2.8Ghz, 6MB cache
NVIDIA NVS 3100M with 512 MB video memory

Higher end versions of the 8440p use Nvidia graphics and this caused some trouble from the start. Installation fails without some manual assistance because the graphics card isn't handled very well.

* after booting from the installer USB stick (probly works w/CD also) you will need to select the nomodeset option, then install

* after installation, hit shift during boot to get grub screen

* change 'quiet splash' to 'nosplash nomodeset' on line that starts w/ 'linux'

* crtl-x to continue booting...

* after logging in, get a popup regarding proprietary drivers for nvidia, activate them

* edit /etc/default/grub, changing GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT per-- GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nosplash nomodeset"
* then "sudo update-grub"


Everything seems to now work other than brightness control.

* add
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
to Device section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf and reboot

* see that (as root)
echo 80 > /proc/acpi/video/DGFX/LCD/brightness
echo 100 > /proc/acpi/video/DGFX/LCD/brightness
suddenly now does something useful

* see also that the up/down brightness keys still don't work .. haven't had much luck with this yet; you can control brightness from the power mgmt interface

* until the brightness controls really work then you may prefer to remove the xorg.conf entry; at startup the brightness seems to be set a bit low and it would be annoying to reset it each time

19 comments:

Garp68 said...

Finally was able to get the 8440p working with Ubuntu! Now the next step of creating a custom LiveCD from this install using Remastersys. Everything seems to work fine but when I boot from the LiveCD the display is 800x600. When I open up NVIDIA X Server settings it says that I am not using the NVIDIA X driver. Not sure how to force the NVIDIA X drivers to load on the LiveCD when it works just fine when native on the LT!!

Reed said...

sounds like the fix for this would be simple but no idea what it is -- I recall seeing something somewhere about forcing other nv drivers to not load -- maybe a modules blacklist

Garp68 said...

I have not fixed it completely but a temp fix is to simply plug in an external monitor. I was able to get the full resolution automatically from a LiveCD. Tested with a 9.1 LiveCD on the 8440p and it worked fine too with an external and no tweaks to Ubuntu. I also called HP and was basically told sucks to be you! Ubuntu doesn't have a hardware certification process so they wouldn't attempt to help! Well using an external monitor for the LiveCD works for my purpose so I am satisfied. Maybe 10.1?? :)

Reed said...

Ah, good idea.

I think this problem affects more than just this machine so I wouldn't be shocked to see fixes appearing sooner.

re: HP -- the data sheet I got indicates certified "SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11"

All the same, I'm pretty amazed at how good this is working. Linux on a laptop has come a long way. The fact that everything else -- wireless, the camera, etc just works out of the box and on a very new model is freaking lovely.

Anonymous said...

I got ubuntu 10.04 64-bit working on hp8440p laptop, thanks to this post!
During installation, since I was interesting in a dual boot system, I had to erase one of the primary partition (I choose the HP-Recovery's partition). An useful tip is that if you, in the same Gparted session, recreate a logic partition in the exact position and with the same fs, it seems that you don't loose hp-recovery's data!

Some problems still exist:
1. brightness doesn't work, even with the command you posted above (echo 80 .. ). Only when I unplugged the AC cable, brightness goes down (too down). I hope to find a solution.
2. Battery life is reduced when I use ubuntu instead of win7. Any ideas to solve this problem?

thank you!

Reed said...

Right now I get a dim display only at startup until I hit a key. Then it brights up. I should explore that further.

I suspect the battery issue is related to auto cpu speed changing tools -- another thing I should learn more about...

yarik said...

Thanks, your notices was very useful!

mmicotti said...

Brightness now working on hp 8440p, I fixed out following the instructions found here: I added 8440p to line 27 of file /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-laptop-panel-hardware.fdi. Rebooted and now it works!

Reed said...

That worked! thanks

Raoul Duke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raoul Duke said...

I have installed Ubuntu 10.10 beta.
Everything work out of the box except bluetooth, any suggestions ?

Reed said...

sure enough BT not working on 10.10 for me either -- no ideas right now

mmicotti said...

I'm trying to use an external monitor (a projector) on my hp 8440p (ubuntu 10.04), but until now I can't manage to have the same desktop on the two monitors. I changed nvidia-settings both to twin-view and to separate-screen, but it didn't work! It always shows me the desktop splitted on two monitors..
By the way, the hotkey Fn+F4 doesn't work..
Has anybody solved this kind of problem?

mmicotti said...

I fixed it choosing the optione "clone" instead of "absolute" in the position field.

Reed said...

sounds like you went through the exact same discovery steps as I did on that one

vangop said...

Did anyone notice a bug with the blank screen on 10.10 with 8440p?
Whenever the screen blanks (due to power manager settings), it won't turn on by mouse moves/keyboard. The only way is to switch thru virtual terminals.
at least this is on x64

Reed said...

I have run into this problem on 10.10 but not on my HP laptop and wasn't using x64 and it went away after some updates.

I'm using x32 on all my machines still because I'm silly tho and just need to catch up.

felix said...

Ubuntu Natty alpha 3:
Everything works out of the box (haven't tested UMTS and BLUETOOTH!). External screen works flawless using the nvidia-settings tool. Battery live is OK, but not excellent. I installed the "laptop-mode-tools" package and, further, I have the following small script that helps to shave off a few percent of power consumption:

#!/bin/sh

sudo su -c "echo 10 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save"
sudo su -c "echo Y > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save_controller"
sudo su -c "echo 1 > /dev/dsp # Gotta make a sound to turn it on"

# Enable various kernel power saving features
sudo su -c "echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs"

sudo su -c "echo 5 > /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host0/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host1/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host2/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host3/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host4/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host5/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo 500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs"
# sudo laptop_mode start
# sudo hdparm -S 4 /dev/sda
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power on



For the blank screen issue: I am experiencing this, too. All that helps is to switch terminals.

felix said...

Here is my experience with the HP8440p, i7-640M, Nvidia graphics
using Ubuntu Natty (starting from alpha 3 and including all updates)

Everything works out of the box (haven't tested UMTS and BLUETOOTH!). External screen works flawless using the nvidia-settings tool. Battery live is OK, but not excellent. With Wifi enabled I can get 3h something with reduced brightness which is not bad when considering the small battery and the powerful processor.

I installed the "laptop-mode-tools" package and, further, I have the following small script that helps to shave off a few percent of power consumption:

#!/bin/sh

sudo su -c "echo 10 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save"
sudo su -c "echo Y > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save_controller"
sudo su -c "echo 1 > /dev/dsp # Gotta make a sound to turn it on"

# Enable various kernel power saving features
sudo su -c "echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs"

sudo su -c "echo 5 > /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host0/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host1/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host2/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host3/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host4/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo min_power > /sys/class/scsi_host/host5/link_power_management_policy"
sudo su -c "echo 500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs"
# sudo laptop_mode start
# sudo hdparm -S 4 /dev/sda
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power on



For the blank screen issue: I am experiencing this, too. All that helps is to switch terminals.