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HP EliteBook 8540p


This is a short guide to running Linux with the HP EliteBook 8540p laptop. It is tested with opensuse 11.2 Emerald. Almost everything works out of the box, except NVIDIA drivers (though easily done with one-click install) and wireless (latest compat-wireless-2.6.34 are needed). They can be put to work. The fingerscan reader does not work.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the HP EliteBook 8540p. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the HP EliteBook 8540p page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the HP EliteBook 8540p specifications page.

NameHP EliteBook 8540p
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-820QM Processor (1.73 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache)
Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Processor (1.60 GHz, 6 MB L3 cache)
Intel® Core™ i7-620M Processor (2.66 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache)
Intel® Core™ i5-540M Processor (2.53 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache)
Intel® Core™ i5-520M Processor (2.40 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache)
Screen15.6“ (1366×768) Widescreen
15.6” (1600×900) Widescreen
RAMUp to 16GB
HDD250GB to 500GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA NVS 5100
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
Intel Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300 (3×3) 802.11a/b/g/n
Intel Centrino® Advanced-N 6200 (2×2) 802.11a/b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

ScreenYes The appropriate NVIDIA drivers should be installed, is done swiftly (1-click install)
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes works with Xorg 1.7.6 drivers and NVidia proprietary drivers
SoundYes input (microphone) need to be set to the right input channel
EthernetYes kernel 2.6.32, didn't work in 2.6.30
WirelessYes latest iwlwifi module from compat-wireless (2.6.34) should be installed
BluetoothYes not tested thoroughly. Managed to tether blackberry successfully over BT
ModemNot Tested
USBYes all five work
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYesTested with SD card 4 Gb
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint Readerdoes not work It works also not in windows on some machines (dual boot win 7)
Fn-buttons Yes The Fn buttons initially do not work. You have to set the behaviour manually. see Discussion below


- I run openSuse11.2 on this laptop (i5-540M). I had some issues with the wireless (the RF_KILL parameter was set to 2, meaning the device was disabled by something outside the driver's control). To solve this, I have disable wireless in Windows (as dual boot), made sure that in the BIOS settings (press esc upon boot) the wireless is enabled, and installed the latest compat-wireless (do not use from the opensuse repositories, but use tar.gz directly from compat-wireless website).
- Hotkeys do not work
- An annoying 'buzz' sound most of the times when I shut down.


After setting up opensuse11.2, I am very pleased with the performance - though the wireless caused some troubles, it is working now. However, hotkeys do not work properly. Also the screen brightness cannot be set, something rather useful to have in power management. Apparently, the screen hardware is not supported in the gnome power applets.

Hibernate / Suspend

Release notes for Ubuntu 10.10:

When the XHCI module is loaded for USB 3.0 operation the system cannot suspend. Manually unloading XHCI will allow suspend to complete normally. To avoid future suspend problems, the workaround is to add:


to /etc/pm/config.d/unload_module then the system can suspend normally. NOTE : “_” and “-” are synonymous.
This method should be prefered over USB3 fix below

You have to save it into a file in the /etc/pm/config.d/ folder, let's say you call this file unload_module.
Put executable rights to it:

sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/config.d/unload_module

Suspend/Hibernate needs a USB3 fix. Script taken from Adamohere
This script simply unload the xhci kernel module upon hibernate/suspend, and loads it back upon resume.
Create a script file with this content:

# May, 18 2010, Adamo Ferro
# Fix USB3 suspend and hibernate problems

case $1 in
modprobe -r xhci
modprobe -r xhci
modprobe xhci
modprobe xhci
*)  echo "USB3 fix script: wrong argument!"

You have to save it into a file in the /etc/pm/sleep.d/ folder, let's say you call this file 01fix_usb3.
Put executable rights to it:

sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/01fix_usb03

…and that's all!

Function Keys

Screen Brightness

The fn+f9,f10 keys (screen brightness/backlight) can be enabled by editing /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-laptop-panel-hardware.fdi at line 27 so that it reads:
match key=”/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/computer:system.hardware.product” contains_outof=“8540p;4410s;4415s;4416s;Compaq 5×5”
then reboot.

Dual Monitor - Docking Stations

In order to change video modes upon connecting additional displays (or disconnecting) you should user disper and auto-disper to automatically change video modes.

* Install disper
* Download and copy auto-disper to /usr/bin
* Set desired video mode for mobile configuration (stand-alone)
* Save your current display configuration and setup with

./ --save mobil

* Connect an additional display, or docking station. Configure your setup and save it with

./ --save docked

* Now you can change video modes according to your connected devices with

/usr/bin/ --change

* It's recommended to assign the command to a keyboard shortcut


malvika adhikari, 2018/12/10 08:30

You can avail both in call and out call services according to your wish and desire. If you want me to provide you with my escort services at your own place then the out call services will be of great help to you.

LS, 2018/10/03 09:18

Anyone try downloading the latest version of Zorin OS Core on this laptop?
It seems to me Zorin would have most of the former problems worked out by now. Would like to know either way :)

polo outlet, 2014/12/17 02:05

sanny, 2014/10/26 11:33

great work your gadhet info is something that i could se al ovre but nothing is like form you actually

meowsqueak, 2012/06/20 04:08

This laptop seems to work equally well with Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit), having upgraded from 10.04 with all the tweaks I mentioned previously.

Kontuz, 2011/05/27 14:19

You can follow this (french sorry) tutorials of you want to have a nicer (ie native resolution)splashscreen with grub2, I wanted to translate it in the comments but its too long, so here's the link. You need to replace the 2nd step by the one in the 2nd link

lolziac, 2011/02/10 17:58

My System: Kubuntu 10.10

Suspend and Hibernate were fixed by creating the script noted on this page.


Wireless was not working but I fixed it by:
#sudo modprobe -r iwl3945
#sudo modprobe iwl4965

Hope it helps :)

meowsqueak, 2010/12/08 21:58

Occasionally (every few days when laptop left on constantly), the wired ethernet interface fails. It can be easily recovered with a 'modprobe -r e1000e; modprobe e1000e' but it is pretty annoying as all existing network connections (ssh, sshfs, skype, etc) are all affected. Does anyone have a solution to this? Kernel 2.6.35-02063502-generic.

meowsqueak, 2011/01/13 21:25

I upgraded to the 2.6.36 kernel from the kernel-PPA and this problem appears to be resolved.

If you are still running 2.6.35 and experiencing this problem, a simple 'modprobe -r e1000e; modprobe e1000e' seems to bring the interface back to life.

meowsqueak, 2010/11/04 19:48

Sometimes my machine fails to wake up from a suspended state. The row of illuminated 'indicators' lights is lit up, but unresponsive to touch, the screen is blank, and kernel magic-sysrq combinations do not actually work (I reported they did in August but now I'm not convinced they did anything). The only thing to do is hold the power button and power-cycle the machine. Then, without fail, the next time it boots the wireless interface will be non-operational, requiring a suspend then wake-up to resolve.

@masticator - were you seeing a similar problem? Did recompiling the iwlagn drivers have any effect on this?

Wolfgang Groiss, 2010/10/31 08:21

To get suspend/hibernate working on my 8540p, the usb driver fix given above was neccessary.

In addition, the notebook had its display backlight turned off after resume, so all i got was a black screen. To get rid of that, I followed the advice given in comment #2 (and #9) in
Having “have_kms()” just return 1 in /usr/lib/pm-utils/sleep.d/98smart-kernel-video

meowsqueak, 2010/11/04 19:49

Did you always get a black screen after resume, or was it occasional?

Daebarkee, 2010/09/30 13:59

I'm trying to install a proper NVIDIA driver to change display resolution.
But I can't find the right one.
What I have tried are:
Linux x86/IA32
Latest Version: 256.53
Latest Legacy GPU version (71.86.xx series): 71.86.14
Latest Legacy GPU version (96.43.xx series): 96.43.18
Latest Legacy GPU version (173.14.xx series): 173.14.27

Is there someone to help me?!

Thanks in advance.

meowsqueak, 2010/08/20 09:45

Just a few comments based on my experience with Ubuntu 10.04:

  • For the SSD option, TRIM support requires kernel 2.6.33 or newer, with 'discard' mount option.
  • suspend/hibernate needs a USB3 fix - not sure where to find it but I have 01fix_usb03 in /etc/pm/sleep.d and it appears to simply unload the xhci kernel module.
  • as reported earlier, I had an issue where Wireless ceased to work following a failed wake-up from suspend. A subsequent suspend and successful wakeup resolved this.
  • the fn+f9,f10 keys (screen brightness/backlight) can be enabled by editing /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-laptop-panel-hardware.fdi at line 27 so that it reads:

match key=”/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/computer:system.hardware.product” contains_outof=“8540p;4410s;4415s;4416s;Compaq 5×5”

then reboot.

  • for kernel 2.6.32 and 2.6.33, the kacpid process seems to run constantly on one core, reducing battery time and making the laptop quite hot. To disable this, add this to /etc/rc.local:

echo disable > /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/gpe01

  • there may be an issue involving the DVI port on the docking station. I was unable to get a picture on a connected monitor. The fix involves capturing EDID info and referring directly to it in xorg.conf, but I haven't tried this yet.
  • on some of the models, there is a nasty sound emitted briefly from the speakers on reboot.
Tux, 2010/09/06 17:02

With 2.6.34-12-desktop/#1 when I echo disable into gpe01, it gets back to enabled immediately. I see the same as you do.

What I also see is an extremely slow eth0 if connected to a 100Mb hub. When connected to a Gb HUB speed seems OK.

Tux, 2010/09/11 07:17

with all above problems are gone.

one mystery remains: The middle button(s) do not generate any event, not even in xev.

I will also have to investigate if suspend to RAM and/or suspend to disk now workj as expected

meowsqueak, 2010/09/06 20:18

DVI issue was a red herring - problem was with DVI cable. Replaced cable and had no further issue.

jojovilco, 2010/09/07 19:45

Hi, in your post you mentioned: “on some of the models, there is a nasty sound emitted briefly from the speakers on reboot”
This is exactly my case. Do you by any chance have ideas or hints how to get rid of it?

meowsqueak, 2010/09/07 22:17

@jojovilco: unfortunately no, I am not aware of a fix at this time. If you find one, please post here.

masticator, 2010/09/28 07:44

The shutdown beep happens when pressing the shutdown button. I have found that it is a system sound (rather loud IMO) to warn, because pressing the shutdown button is a kind of hard kill of all processes. It used to be configurable, but it isn't anymore.

More on this bug report and this ubuntu forum.

Tux, 2010/09/14 11:14

01fix_usb3 can be found here

I followed his instructions, but it now results in a message instead of failing powersave

# powersave -u
INFO: using SYSTEM upower
method return sender=:1.45 → dest=:1.144 reply_serial=2

Tux, 2010/10/07 13:27

Now running and found that on my OpenSUSE 11.3 installation the “fix” is a bit different:

$ cat /etc/pm/sleep.d/01fix_usb3

# Original example told to modprobe xhci, but
# FATAL: Module xhci not found.

case $1 in
suspend | hibernate) modprobe -r $MOD ;;
resume | thaw) modprobe $MOD ;;
*) echo “USB3 fix script: wrong argument $1” ;;

With that change (note the modname is extended with -hcd), suspend and resume work lightning fast

Tux, 2010/10/07 13:30

Adding “echo disable > /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/gpe01” to resume/thaw will also quiet the CPU as described above.

littlet, 2010/10/24 09:55

small correction at least for the module should be:


Tux, 2010/10/24 11:25

$ uname -r ; modprobe -l | grep xhci

So on my OpenSUSE, it is still with a dash, not an underscore. FWIW modinfo returns the same for xhci_hcd and xhci-hcd

dhwang, 2011/02/07 09:39

confirmed on HP8540w with Kubuntu 10.10

It's xhci-hcd

dhwang, 2011/02/07 10:02

Turns out this is in the release notes.

And ”-” and “_” are synonymous, thu “_” is preferred for some reason.

meowsqueak, 2010/08/20 07:22

I had this all working until today when I suspended, undocked, brought it home from work and it failed to come out of suspend properly (blank screen). I had to do a magic-sysrq-S/U/B and now when it boots up the wireless is not working. According to iwlist, lshw -C network, and nm-tool, the interface is detected OK, but it's “disabled” or “asleep”.

Any idea how to re-enable the wifi adapter? The 'button' on the illuminated strip doesn't seem to do anything except change colour.

meowsqueak, 2010/08/20 08:51

Just to follow up - I was unable to find a software 'fix' for this, but I did get my WiFi back by simply suspending/waking-up again.

masticator, 2010/09/28 07:46

I have had success with just compiling the iwlagn drivers again from Compat Wireless latest stable release.

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hp_elitebook_8540p.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/01 09:55 by
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