Ubuntu 8.10 on an HP Pavilion dv7

Ubuntu LinuxNo, it’s not mine. I’m afraid a dv7 is a bit beyond my desire, although I could easily reach for one and afford it. Nope, a family member cast out a year-old quad-core desktop and picked up this lovely machine for exactly what the desktop sold for. Judging by the color, this was made for Ubuntu. 😉


If you’re one of those people (like me) who has an easier time visualizing a machine by hearing the numbers assigned to it … :

  • 4.00 GB RAM
  • 320GB SATA Drive (5400RPM)
  • ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics w/ 256MB (1440×900 native)
  • Double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW with Lightscribe
  • Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet NIC (NDIS 6.0)
  • AMD Turion X2 64 processor
  • Atheros AR5007 802.11b/g WiFi Adapter
  • Bluetooth Adapter
  • Built-in Webcam
  • Digital Media Card Reader
  • HDMI Output
  • eSATA Interface
  • Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit
  • Windows Vista SP1 64-bit

Of course, it was sold with Vista and got Ubuntu as an upgrade (yes, in my opinion, Ubuntu is an upgrade for Vista). Right now the only thing that appears to be not working, according to the owner, is the wireless card.

(I’m guessing that’s because the Atheros 5-series drivers are still marked experimental in 8.10 … ? I only say that because the chipset appears to be the same as the one in my Corega CG-WLCB54AG2, which I got for a lousy 500 yen and configured under 2.6.28 by enabling the experimental drivers in the kernel. I’m probably wrong though.)

Nice looking machine though. Lots of power, smooth and slick surface. Definitely worth being jealous of. My only question: Why use blue lights on a machine that sports a bronze theme? Oh well, no matter. … 🙄

15 thoughts on “Ubuntu 8.10 on an HP Pavilion dv7

  1. kmod

    Wow, for a second there I thought K. Mandla finally upgraded to a decent laptop. 🙂

    My sister got a dv6 for college last year. It has black/silver covering with white lights.

  2. zeus

    I have a dv7 laptop and did the same exact installation as this. I am glad to say that the wireless now works! Ubuntu is definitely a great alternative to vista, which I am sure many people will be happy to hear. Only problem with it is the graphics, which I am having trouble with installing the drivers for. I cant seem to make flash dependent applications work, so sites like youtube cant work so far for me. I am positive that the ubuntu community will find a solution to this soon, so I will keep this news updated.

    I also found that found earlier that windows xp can be installed now with full driver support (not from HP). A team of hackers went out and customized a windows xp that can work. It is called windows xp dark edition. Its a torrent, and it comes in an iso which needs to be burned to a disk.

    1. Genus_001

      Flash makes a 64 bit version for GNU/Linux, but you have to search around for it a bit(i think it is still in beta). Also, if you use the proprietary fglrx driver for it and want to use Compiz Fusion, it interferes with video and flash playback. I also found on my dv-7 if I want to use fglrx, it interferes with the proprietary ath_hal for wifi. The non-proprietary ath5k works awesomely. All in all the only thing I cant get to work is the darn infra-red port to work.

  3. MrSkrimps

    Does anyone know if these issues have been fixed? I recently purchased the HP dv7 as seen above and am thinking about loading ubuntu on it…but to be honest, don’t want the hassle of having “fix” things that are otherwise not broken..Right now, the machine runs like a dream, but I’m tired of every SINGLE day there is some storage hungry update that is ready for vista.

  4. Genus_001

    As of the Karmic Koala, the video and sound are 1000% better on this laptop! The only issues I have are the IR port doesn’t work, although I think that it is supported, i just havent really looked into it since the update, and the “MediaSmart” button still registers a “v”.

  5. alex

    Hi everybody,

    Finally decided to go for Ubuntu on my HP dv7 works fine but as its been said,the wireless doens`t work.

    Anyone got solution for the problem please,please post…


  6. Rich

    Everything works perfectly with Mint 8, which is a modified version of Ubuntu 9.10, except for the Wireless LED not changing color, the remote control keys are not assigned properly so only some work, and the “MediaSmart” button still registers a “v”.

    There is supposed to be a way to re-assign the remote keys and the MediaSmart button, but I am not that familiar with Linux yet.
    Found where to change the MediaSmart button, but can’t change it.
    No idea how to change the remote key mapping to make it work with a specific media player. Any ideas?

    The IR works well as does the wireless.
    Using Mint 8 64-bit with Gnome, KM Player.

  7. Philippe-Pierre

    Hi all,

    I have a question for those who installed successfully whatever Linux distro on a pavilion dv7:

    Could you install grub on the mbr?

    From what I read, I thought that these hp pavilion are “tattooed”, and prevent linux or bsd from booting if grub or any boot loader is installed on the mbr…

    I know that things may change depending on the exact model, but in a few days I’ll try to help a friend installing debian on a
    HP PAVILION DV7-1299EF laptop.

    So please to let me know, guys. 🙂

  8. genus_001

    I have a dv7-1245dx that has had gnusense and ubuntu installed on it, I’m writing this from it(on ubuntu)… grub installs and loads just fine…

    1. Philippe-Pierre


      Thank you very much, genus_001.

      I really hope that the laptop I was talking about will allow booting from grub _as installed on the mbr_, which is what’s important for me.

      We’ll see…

      1. Philippe-Pierre

        Well, it’s done — I’ve installed Debian Lenny on two different hp pavillion laptops, and actually you’ve been of good advice, genus_001, it went smoothly on both machines — as well as FreeBSD on one of them, along with Debian.

        Thanks again.


  9. Pingback: Reports from the home counties « Motho ke motho ka botho

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s