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HP ProBook 4520s


This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the HP ProBook 4520s laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the HP ProBook 4520s. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the HP ProBook 4520s page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the HP ProBook 4520s specifications page.

NameHP ProBook 4520s
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-620M Processor
Intel® Core™ i5-520M Processor
Intel® Core™ i5-430M Processor
Intel® Core™ i3-350M Processor
Intel® Core™ i3-330M Processor
Screen15.6” (1366×768) Widescreen
RAMUp to 8GB
HDD250GB to 500GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4350
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
Atheros 802.11b/g/n
Intel Centrino 802.11a/b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

ScreenYesDRM doesn't seem to work?
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesI needed to install the the fglrx driver (Kubuntu 10.04)
BluetoothYesNot working on 64-bit system (LinuxMint DE/Debian Wheezy)
ModemNot TestedMy laptop does not have a modem
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested
Inbuilt MicYes



Using the integrated Intel graphics: video, sound, ethernet, wireless and webcam worked out of the box for me with Ubuntu 10.04. Suspend and all magic FN keys (display brightness, volume etc.) also work fine. Compiz effects are quick and look good. The user who mentions fglrx and DRM above was using a version of this laptop with the ATI graphics, I suspect.


mak kam, 2012/10/04 16:37

i want to have dual boot ubantu with win 7 32bit but its not giving along side option during installation

Wronskian, 2012/03/14 00:28

I'm dual booting Ubuntu & Windows 7 with a 4530s and everything is working great except 3 things. One is not such a big deal: the fingerprint reader. The other two may be related and are really annoying. The laptop is running superhot with the fan always on pretty high and the battery lasts like less than 2 hrs. On Windows 7 the laptop ran hot occasionally but nothing like this and the battery would last at least 3-3.5 hrs.

I'm pretty new to linux so I'm pretty helpless to fix these which is pretty disappointing. The main worry I had from a past linux experience was the wireless but that was effortless. If the laptop wasn't running so hot I could deal with the low battery life since I'm usually near an outlet anyway but the fan is annoying and I'm worried the heat levels will eventually damage the laptop. Since installing Ubuntu I haven't done anything much than browse simple sites like this so there's no reason for the heat generation that I can see. The air coming out of the vent is so hot you could use my laptop as a space heater when it's running Ubuntu! ;)

Tomáš Brunclík (Tomas_IV), 2012/03/31 15:04

Not that I am too much confident this will help, because I heard from more sources, that HP laptops just have these heat problems more than other brands, even in Windows (mine is luckily OK). Also, I use different distro and desktop environment. But if it is not some hardware or hardware/driver problem it would not hurt to try:
Find a program for cpu frequency control, it may be already installed. If I recall it correctly, when I had been using Gnome, there was toolbar applet called Governor for that. It allowed to set several modes of power consumption, so to set some more energy-saving option might resolve both problems. And there are other apps for it, if you do not find one installed, try search Synaptic for keywords like 'cpu', 'cpufreq', 'frequency', 'power'. Generally, some of these apps are based on ACPI subsystem, others on kernel cpufreq control. The later are ususally better at the cpu control.

Tomáš Brunclík (Tomas_IV), 2012/03/31 15:09

I see I did not explained myself very clearly in one sentence. It will not hurt or make any more problems to try one of the cpu control apps in any case, only if it is a hardware or driver problem, it will probably not help.

Tomáš Brunclík (Tomas_IV), 2012/01/23 17:05

I would like also ask you all, if someone was able to configure the clickpad so that it works as close as possible to normal touchpad. Out of the box (almost 1,5 year ago), it was not possible to right click or drag anything and a multi touch caused unpredictable clicks nad jumps of the cursor. I was able to configure some multi-touch features, so now I have right-click emulated by two-finger tap, middle-click by three finger tap, and scroll by two finger drag (I can live with this). I can drag files/windows by one finger double-tap-hold-and-drag gesture, but this is not so comfortable, because when you need longer grag than the width of the clickpad allows, it is not possible (you have to release the dragged object and then double-tap-hold-and-drag again, which is possible when you are dragging a window, but not when you are dragging a file). The “normal” way, i.e. press the left button, hold it and drag with another finger does not work (or I was not able to configure it). I was not also able to disable touch sensitivity of the button area (which is probably the reason why the “normal” drag could not work).
If someone figured this out, I would be very grateful for description how to do it.

Tomáš Brunclík (Tomas_IV), 2012/03/31 14:28

Update: I had a hard disk failure (hdd replaced under warranty, Hitachi –> Toshiba). It means I had opportunity to test fresh indtall of Linux Mint Debian XFCE 64 bit edtion ;-). Bluetooth is the same, touchpad is configured and somehow works out of the box. The configuration is similar to my own tweaked one from previous install, only:

  • the side scroling was not working, possible to enable it using package gpointing-device-settings, along with other settings.
  • left- midle- and right-click are not emulated by taps, but by single- double- and triple-click, respectively (better than my previous setup)
  • double-tap-hold-and-drag does not work, not possible to enable it from gpointing-device-settings, have to set it by a script yet.

I still miss an emulation of pressing left button and dragging like on normal touchpad.

Alireza, 2011/12/27 19:56

I chnage my hp os from 7 to linux by use of the cd that were with can i come back to windows 7 again? F11 dosent work

Tomáš Brunclík (Tomas_IV), 2011/12/25 11:33

I use a 64-bit system (Linux Mint XFCE - Debian testing based) and would like to ask other 64-bit users, if they have working bluetooth. It used to work on a 32-bit version of the same distro, but does not on 64-bit. The bluetooth seems to work until you actually try to connect a device. There are no warnings or error messages, the drivers load fine, the bluetooth manager comes up and shows both in/out traffic. Only that you can not see any device from the notebook, nor the notebook from other devices (both set to visible of course). Trying both default Debian testing kernel and Liquorix one with the same results.

Everything other works mostly fine out of the box, I only had to configure the clickpad to get the right and middle button functionality (throughd multi-touch gestures only, which is not always ideal), and I have sometimes problems with sound through the hdmi output, but that seems to be a pulse audio updates problem.

originalchoice, 2011/12/25 19:27

Yup, I can confirm that Bluetooth doesn't work correctly in 64-bit environment for me as well (Ubuntu oneiric).

Arijit Modak, 2011/12/12 06:45

I am a amature in using linux. please guys help me to get it use it with full efficiency as i am using the windows 7. please guys help me…

Renārs, 2011/11/12 14:22

I've got another problem with Gnome-shell and Ubuntu 11.10. Watching videos is pretty unpleasant as there's slight screen tearing in action scenes. Is there a bug report for this?

jaka, 2011/11/12 12:57

watch this bug to know when the touchpad will be fixed:

Asiel, 2011/09/23 15:48

I have hp probook 4520s dual boot win 7 and ubuntu 11.04 but ubuntu dont boot it not works???? how I can fix that

originalchoice, 2011/11/12 14:33

You need to boot with a Live CD and reinstall the grub2 bootloader. Instructions are on the web.

originalchoice, 2011/09/07 07:25

Well, I've got a dual-boot setup with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.04 on this machine (version with 2310m and hd 3000 graphics) and it works great. Only it seems that Ubuntu is draining the battery a little faster than Windows and yesterday (about a week since I bought the laptop) Ubuntu froze on me. Don't know if it's the computer's fault or the 11.04, because lot's of things don't work on it quite right.

Oh yeah, face recognition works when screen lock is activated (it even recognizes me with glasses on, while HP software on Windows did not) but doesn't work when booting up. Doesn't initialize.

So, if anyone has ideas regarding the battery drain, I'd sure would like a note. Thanks!

Himem, 2011/07/14 17:42

Thibault, thanks for the link to correct Ralink RT3090 driver. I'm writing this comment using wireless network in Ubuntu 10.04 64bit.

drknow, 2011/07/03 10:34

thank you

Hannah, 2011/07/01 18:01

I have Ubuntu 11.4 installed on the HP 4530s - everything works apart from the fingerprint reader.
Plugged in printer and it recognised it straightaway.
Also had OpenSuse on it before I put Ubuntu on it.

tom, 2011/05/04 18:35

Hi all!

I am planning to buy one of these laptops and I need confirmation about the wireless card, which is a “combined Broadcom 802.11b/g/n 1×1 Wi-Fi and 2070 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR”. Unfortunately I don't know the chip nor the PHY version. By the way the laptop itself is a Core i3-380M with Intel graphics version and I'm going to run Ubuntu 10.10 or 11.04 on it.

If possible, please explain the circumstances of a successful test eg. b43, brcm80211 or Broadcom STA driver, 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels, Bluetooth, monitor mode.

I'm also intrested in the fingerprint reader. Could any of you get it to work?


Vincentweb, 2011/03/11 10:29

I had only 1h30 of autonomy at first but since I installed laptop-mode-tools and Catalyst I have 3h30.

hayder, 2011/06/10 10:37

hi dear
where i can find the laptop-mode-tools and catalyst pleas

Josh, 2011/02/23 19:52

I just purchased this laptop, and I have installed Mint 10 Gnome. The right-click on the touchpad isn't working, and the wifi card did not configure. I thought this was unusual for Mint since it is based on Ubuntu, and most of the Ubuntu posts report success with the NIC. All FN keys work, Bluetooth works, wired Ethernet works. I haven't tried the mic or webcam yet.

If it makes a difference, I'm running the 64-bit version. If anyone has any ideas to help with these issues, please let me know. Thanks!

Andrew Montague, 2011/02/23 14:16

I have two issues:

1) The Touchpad is just awful. I've tried installing the PSMouse package but it won't build. Without some way of getting the right click to reliably work it FUBAR'd.

2) It won't shut down. I assume this is a bad driver (wireless maybe?) but I've not got the skill to troubleshoot it. Shame as the over laptop is pretty nice.

For the record I'm using Ubuntu 10.10.

dspolleke, 2011/02/20 11:47

I run VirtualBox on it.. It had enough cores to do virtualisation in it's sleep. BUT there are virtualization instructions in the CPU that you can enable in the bios ..

Mr. J, 2011/02/18 18:02

does this laptop support virtualization?

Has any one tried to run KVM on it ?

dspolleke, 2011/02/17 22:37

tested with Opensuse 11.3

the networkcard has a problem with suspending .. seems a driver problem
i could not get the webcam to work. will test wwan later..
The Fingerprint scanner on my other laptop did not work either. there are drivers for Lenovo laptops…

anonym, 2011/02/14 11:22

Ubuntu 10.10 works great. All Fn-s, Card reader and bluetooth are OK. The only problem is right-click on touchpad.

vincent web, 2011/01/07 20:31

With OpenSuse everything was recognized, except the fingerprint reader.
On ArchLinux, I had to disable some modules to have the wifi working (adding !rt2800pci !rt2x00pci !rt2800usb !rt2x00usb in rc.conf). However I have no right click with the touch-pad. I had wifi and touch-pad troubles with Ubuntu Koala.

Thibault, 2011/01/04 08:25

I had a problem with wifi using ubuntu 10.04, since the network card (Ralink RT3090) is installed with the wrong driver (RT2860). I just needed to install the correct driver (dependency on dkms.
If “unclaimed” with lshw -C network, you need to delete and re-install the deb.

Esteve Alquézar, 2011/01/03 07:57

Hi! has anybody try to configure fingerprint reader in HP Probook 4520s? I tried Debian 5.0, Fedora 14, Gentoo and OpenSolaris. And…I can be possible that the battery only works for 2h?

best regards

Tectu, 2010/12/14 08:59

I installed Kubuntu 10.10 and the WLAN and Bluetooth don't work… In Ubuntu 10.04, it works all great without any problems.

Michael Rodrigues, 2010/09/11 05:06

I just bought the Hp probook 4520s, and installed ubuntu 10.04 lts… no problems, it took care of every thing, such as the blue tooth, wifi, etc.. the ATI drivers installation came as a pop-up, installed that also; no problems

Urs Hunkeler, 2010/07/14 17:08

I'm trying to install Kubuntu 10.04 and I encounter a couple of problems. The LiveCD works, but somehow not much else. After the installation Grub did not start up. I had to manually install Grub all over again from the LiveCD. After that, the kernel started booting, but then I would get a blank screen. Apparently, the automatic mode setting from the kernel (2.6.32) somehow is incompatible with the graphics card. After disabling it in the kernel command line (nomodeset), the console now starts, but the Xorg server somehow turns off the backlight… Still working on it.

Nick Kirsten, 2010/07/01 15:16

I have just bought the HP Probook 4520s. I have been using Kubuntu 9.10. Default graphics settings does not work and had to disable acpi=off and added vga=771 to the boot options (F7) on boot screen. Useful guide can be found at

I hope it helps others - my kubuntu now works like a charm ;)

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