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Hewlett-Packard nc6400


This is a guide to running Linux with the Hewlett-Packard nc6400 laptop, model RA738PA.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameHewlett-Packard nc6400
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2400 1.83Ghz
Optical DriveDouble Layer DVD+-RW
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon X1300
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, Broadcom 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other3 x USB2.0, Fingerprint Reader

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
SoundYesUse snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYesUse tg3 module
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested


The open source radeon module does not yet support the nc6400's ATI Mobility Radeon x1300 graphics chip. However you can use the proprietary ATI module which now includes support for this chip. You will need to install the ATI module to get the display working.
Update: The latest version of Xorg should now have support for this chipset.

Another version of the nc6400 includes the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950. Install the Ubuntu “915resolution” package to use 1280×800 screen resolution.

The wireless network is based on a Broadcom chipset so it requires the ndiswrapper to be used. However I have not had success in getting this to work. It may still work, but more testing is required.
Update: It should work now with the native broadcom module included in recent kernel versions.


The Hewlett-Packard nc6400 has great support for Linux as long as you use a very recent kernel. It is recommended you run at least kernel version 2.6.21.


jan, 2014/03/23 03:09

ubuntu 13.10 doesnt recognize battery on nc6400- will try linux mint instead

schore123, 2013/10/16 10:27

I have installed Lubuntu on this notebook. First i´ve tried to install Ubuntu 13.04 but it doesn´t boot from DVD or USB. Lubuntu run perfetly.

Tom Hodder, 2013/06/09 02:25

I had to provide the “nomodeset” kernel option to boot kernel version 3.8.x

Arun, 2013/05/23 08:34

Debian 7.0 (Wheezy) works perfectly. [Finger print sensor not tested].

hikerguyed, 2013/02/14 02:24

Perhaps I will be able to install Linux Mint 15 and skip LM14 altogether…

h4ck3r, 2013/11/19 20:06

I'm running LM 15 Xfce, it runs perfectly.

Ed Tiernan-Bindler, 2013/02/10 15:20

I have the ATI graphics and Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon 64bit and find that it works pretty perfectly. I want to upgrade to LM14 but it hangs during install. I posted this at the LM forums:

Fortunately, I was directed to this page and another for me to try fixing the LM14 install issue.

Kelly, 2013/01/18 15:27

I would recommend Fedora Project for this machine I use it on mine and it works like a charm. No need to install drivers or anything sound and Wifi etc works. Fedora Core 17


Phil, 2012/12/14 22:23

I have Ubuntu 12.04LTS currently installed on my nc6400 (Mine has the crappy intel graphics driver though) and it works beautifully. Have not tried the finger print reader but the multi-card reader works, wireless works, sound works, graphics are “unknown” and I can't find a driver for it, but everything looks great still and the minor games still run!. Ubuntu 12.04LTS worked in both 32 and 64bit on the laptop (Although the laptops max ram is 4gb so I've opted to run the 32bit since it does seem a bit faster than the 64bit with 2gb ram). Hope this info helps!!!!

ahchandio, 2011/11/26 10:46

can I use PCMCIA of OPTCL in my hp nc6400 machine.? if anyone has experience for this please discuss me. +92-345-3168340

Doug, 2010/09/21 00:20

VGA out no longer works in 10.04 Lucid Lynx. I've tested on two of this model.

Lance, 2009/12/19 13:22

Ubuntu 9.10 has all devices working out of the box with zero work except the fingerprint reader. Some guides will get the fingerprint reader working; however, it does not integrate as well into GDM in ubuntu 9.10 as it is in the latest versions of fedora.

William, 2009/12/30 02:11

I'm using Ubuntu 9.10 on my nc6400 and can't get any audio at all–you didn't have to deal with audio issues?

Edvard, 2010/02/16 22:23

Same problem nc6400 ubuntu 9.10.. no sound :(

shasler, 2010/04/15 00:40

Ubuntu 9.10 / NC6400 - everything worked less the finger print reader and WLAN. Not sure whats up with the difference… my WLAN isnt working, no blue light!!!

shasler, 2010/04/15 04:36

Guess it helps to enable it :)

D Gimbo, 2009/04/24 10:01

This machine works fine with Fedora 10. Everything except the finger print works out of the box. But with fprint I solved that to. But with Fedora 10 you cant handle the keyring with finger prints yet. But you will in just one month then Fedora 11 is released :)

This is a great machine!

yanhong, 2009/03/03 01:19

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Rett Pop, 2008/12/17 20:34

Memento mori, All!

Linux Mint lives on my nc6400 one week. After installation and automatic update all devices works fine except fingerprint. Oh, yes - I still can't turn on dual screen mode for using two monitors.

WBR, Rett Pop.

Zeptus, 2007/07/30 12:04


I did actually get the WLAN to work out of the box on my nc6400. The fingerprint sensor is my only problem now.

ReeL, 2008/11/19 15:01

There is no drivers for linux on offpage. Where did you get WLAN drivers?

Bill Giannikos, 2007/08/09 07:01

Thanks for the info, the wiki has been updated.

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hewlett-packard_nc6400.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/09 07:40 by billg
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