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The HP EliteBook 8730w has been tested with Ubuntu Interpid (8.10) x86. Installation and configuration of Ubuntu on this laptop is presently not straightforward and likely not a good endeavor for new users of Linux. However, if you have the patience and time to invest in getting it set up, it can be done, and almost all hardware features work correctly.
The only investigated issues yet to be resolved are relatively minor. The tty terminals (accessible by pressing, e.g., ALT+F1) do not work with the nvidia graphics card driver. Screen brightness is not adjustable, although the ambient light sensor, which automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen, does, as does its corresponding function key. Additionally, all the custom HP controls, such as the volume scroll, the wireless button, the sleep button, etc., work and are easily reprogrammable–surprisingly, the calculator button even worked right out of the box, launching the Gnome calculator when pressed.
If you have the HP EliteBook 8730W and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.
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.
This page is just for discussing using Linux on the HP EliteBook 8730w. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the HP EliteBook 8730w page on LapWik.
* Daniel Cannon (cannon.danielc <at> gmail <dot> com)
* Morgan van Dyk (morganc.vandyk<at> gmail <dot> com)
If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.
For full specifications see the HP EliteBook 8730W specifications page.
|Name||HP EliteBook 8730W|
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo|
|Screen||17” WSXGA+ or WUXGA+ Widescreen|
|RAM||1GB to 8GB|
|HDD||160GB to 320GB|
|Optical Drive||DVD+-RW or Blu-ray|
|Graphics||NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700M, NVIDIA Quadro FX 2700M or ATI Mobility FireGL V5725|
|Network||Ethernet, Intel 802.11abgn, Bluetooth|
|Graphics||Works||Requires driver from nvidia to work correctly.|
|Sound||Works||Requires additional / tricky configuration.|
|56K Modem||Not Tested|
|ExpressCard Slot||Not Tested|
|Fingerprint Reader||Not Working||This Chipset is new and details can be found on fprint wiki|
See HP EliteBook 8530w for other helpful and relevant discussion.
Following instructions are from my experience installing Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10 x64.
To get the system / liveCD to boot, you must first enter the BIOS and disable the “Fan Always On” option under System Config / Device Config.
This step is only relevant if you intend to dual-boot the computer with Windows XP and Ubuntu.
I had some difficulty initially resizing the pre-installed Windows XP partition using gparted. This was easily resolved by executing “chkdsk /f” at the command line from Windows and then rebooting back into Windows. Afterward I was able to resize the partition to as low as 15GB, though I resized it only to 30GB.
After completing the above two steps, installation was a breeze. Wireless card was readily recognized and usable from the LiveCD, and no errors occurred during the installation process, which took approximately one hour to complete. One minor issue I noticed with the LiveCD was that it was unable to eject the CD drive after exiting the LiveCD. This was a very minor issue, and I have since found that Ubuntu is capable of ejecting the drive after it was fully installed.
Immediately after you complete the install, run Update Manager. This installs a much-needed update to the Kernel headers. If you install this kernel update after the graphics card driver, however, as I mistakenly did, you may find all your hard work, be unable to start X, and have to redo all of these steps again.
When Ubuntu first boots, you will find yourself in an awful 1024×768 resolution. This is because the restricted nvidia drivers are not installed or enabled.
Traditionally, this issue is readily resolved by installing the drivers from Ubuntu's restricted driver manager, renamed to “Hardware Drivers” in Intrepid, which is accessible from System / Administration. However, you may find that neither of the two available drivers will successfully install–instead, attempting to install one will cause a progress window to pop up, which hangs at 0% until you kill it. I was finally able to get this to work by manually installing nvidia-glx-177 and a load of other nvidia packages (details of how to do this can be found in the discussion at HP EliteBook 8530w).
However, I would recommend not even trying to install the official nvidia 177 driver supported by Ubuntu, but rather to install nvidia 180.11b manually. Once the 177 driver was installed, I was able to run at a 1920×1200 resolution; however, gnome hangs for a good five minutes everytime you boot–not good!
I found this problem beautifully resolved by installing the 180.11b driver. The driver can be found from here. After installation, gnome now loads very quickly, even with compiz enabled, and all graphics are sleek, crisp, fast, and beautiful.
That said, installation was not entirely straightforward because, as mentioned elsewhere, the tty terminals do not work under Ubuntu on this laptop, and I've yet to find a fix for them. The driver must be installed from runlevel 3 and without an X server running, which is rather difficult to do without the tty terminals, but it can be done! My approach: After downloading the driver install script, kill gdm through Ubuntu's “Services” dialog. This can be found under System / Administration / Services; simply enter your password to unlock the window, uncheck “GNOME Display Manager”, and answer yes to the prompt asking you if you're really, really sure you want to do that (trust me, you do). Gnome will die, and you will find yourself at a familiar black console. Then execute “sudo su” to get to a root terminal, cd to the directory to which you downloaded the driver, and execute “sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-180.11-pkg0.run”.
You will then be presented with an onslaught of text menus–simply trust your intuition here and accept the defaults. Allow the script to recompile your kernel for you, and allow it to create a new xorg.conf for you.
If all goes well with the installation, you can then enter “reboot” at the root shell to restart the computer. It will reboot into a terminal, as you previously disabled GDM. So, to get back to gnome, enter “sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start”. Then you'll likely want to re-enable GDM from System / Administration / Services.
Update : The NVIDIA driver is no longer beta, 180.22 is released as stable.
Check for latest driver here
Virtual console still not working:-\.
Sound does not work out of the box, but it is fairly easy to get it running.
First of all, you must edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base and add the following line:
options snd-hda-intel model=laptop
Then, upon rebooting the computer, you should find that sound works. See here for details of what this is doing, and why it's needed.
Unfortunately, however, this only fixed some of the sound issues. System sounds, totem, and many other applications work fine; however, Flash, Rhythmbox, and many others do not. I found an excellent fix for this issue in this guide.
But, unfortunately yet again, this fix introduced even further problems. First, when shutting down the computer, the screen would blank and freeze; the computer would not power off. After many failed attempts to resolve the issue, I finally stumbled across the cause and saw that a fix had been committed, but not yet released. The shutdown problem is caused by ALSA, which at shutdown, begins probing Pulse repeatedly and hangs. It is resolved by disabling an environment variable, PULSE_INTERNAL, in the alsa-utils startup script, to prevent it from probing pulse. Edit ”/etc/init.d/alsa-utils” and add the following line:
After a reboot, the shutdown problem no longer remains.
Next, I found that after a few reboots, my sound mysteriously stopped working. This, it turns out, was due to the PCM volume being set to 0. From a terminal, run “alsamixer -Dhw” and adjust your PCM to volume to its max. Also, ensure that you are using “HDA Intel (ALSA mixer)” as your playback device, which can be set from the “Volume Control”, accessible by right-clicking on the speaker icon in Gnome.
You can enter a summary of how well the HP EliteBook 8730W works with Linux here.