Linux (ubuntu Karmic Koala) on HP Elitebook 2530p

Finally got my new laptop (the old one served me well), an HP elitebook 2530p. I had my doubts on the ability to be able to get suppport for every piece of hardware in this laptop under Linux, but it was doable. Not without issues, but still fairly easy.

I opted for the latest ubuntu, Karmic Koala (9.10), which on the time of writting was release candidate. The installation went smoothly. The windows partition got resized without issues and after a few clicks on the next button the system was up and running. With encrypted ext4 filesystem and all.

Working without a hitch:

  • acpi (suspend, fan control, speedstep)
  • sound
  • graphic
  • wired network

Working with some debugging

  • Initially the wireless would not work with my wrt54g. It worked with other wifi hotspots. Symptoms were that the laptop could not a dhcplease from the router. Tried to flash the router with dd-wrt firmware instead of the tomato firmware. Did not help. Breakthrough came when I reset the router settings to “Default”. Then it worked with dd-wrt. I reflashed it with tomato and it still worked. So it is possible to enable “some setting” in the wrt54g router that cause problems with this laptop. My other laptops did not inhibit these issues. But then again. The laptop can not really be blamed.
  • My external Huawai E180 did not work. After some googling, it turned out to be a bug introduced in a specific kernel release.  The solution was to downgrade the kernel to a previous version. The only one available was 2.6.31-9-rt, which I choose and that works just fine.
  • The built-in Qualcomm Gobi 1000 3G module requires a firmware and a firmware loader to function. The firmware loader can be found here. It is just a little .c program and a set of udev rules. After that you will need the firmware. That can be obtained from your windows partition. If you do not have the driver for the windows environment it can be obtained from hp. The Gobi chipset is a fullblown arm cpu which can function as a 3G modem for various types of 3G nets. Different firmwares allows access to different networks. This piece of information gives an overiew. For my part I needed the 6. th version of the firmware as I live in Europe/Denmark.

All in all a couple of minor issues. I am really satisfied with this latop and the way Linux works on it. Will hopefully be a good laptop for me in the next couple of years.

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