TuxMobil: Linux with Laptops, PDAs, Mobile Phones and Portable Computers
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This Hewlett-Packard - HP laptop has the following hardware:


The system comes preinstalled with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Unfortunately, the CD's included with the system are recovery CD's instead of standard installation CD's.

I wanted to create a dual boot system and keep Microsoft-Windows as well as have the ability to use Linux. The recovery CD's frustrated this effort since they automagically partition and install everything. You have no installation options. I got around this by buying Partition Commander 8. This tool allowed me to resize the NTFS partition and also has a boot manager that detects all partitions. It allowed me to create EXT3 and swap partitions.

After repartitioning, I went on to install Slackware 9 on my new partitions. This went without a hitch until it tried to install Lilo on the Linux root partition. Since I'd made a boot floppy during the install, it was easy to fix the problem by booting from floppy. Editing /etc/lilo.conf and adding the line "ignore-table" to the global section followed by ruuning lilo again fixed the problem. After this the boot manager was able to boot either Linux or Microsoft-Windows.

The next step was to configure the peripherals. The system works after initial installation but ACPI and audio have problems.

To get ACPI going, I downloaded the 2.4.22 kernel and acpi-20030916-2.4.22.diff as well as ospmd-20021122. After unzipping the kernel and the ACPI patches, I installed the patches ad hen configured the kernel, compiled and installed it.

The next step was to compile and install ospmd. The only remaining thing to to was edit /etc/rc.M to start the ospmd instead of acpid. This essentially made the brightness control for the LCD as well as the on off switch for the touch pad work. Also, battery, thermal, fan, button, ac adapter will work by loading the kernel modules for this on bootup.

Finally, to get sound working, I decided to use the ALSA drivers. After downloading and installing the 0.96 version of the ALSA drivers, libs and OSS compatibility modules, all that remained was setting up the /etc/modules.conf so that the snd-ali5451 driver is loaded.

There are more things that could be done to try and get other features working, but that will take investigation of the IO ports on the system as well as doing some or now, the system works well and adding either kacpi or klaptop to your KDE installation will give you feedback on the battery state.

All in all, the system is very useable and allows you to run Linux when you're on the road. Windows is still on my system because I still have to find a way to get my Toshiba PDR71 digital camera to work under Linux. There may also be a few other things that I need windows for but I have yet to find them.

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This page is a courtesy for TuxMobil made by John Gluck <jgluckca_at_yahoo.ca>.

TuxMobil: Linux with Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs, Mobile Phones and Portable Computers

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