Installing Linux Mint 9 (Isadora) on HP EliteBook 8440P laptop



Linux Mint is a nice distro based on Ubuntu, it's very polished and has some nice easy to use features, and comes with all the codecs/plugins you need out of the box.
I've used it since version 5 on my laptop.

Version 9 (Isadora) is based on Ubuntu Lucid.

I work I got a new HP EliteBook 8440P and there where a few gotchas to get Mint(or any Linux) on it, mostly issues with the newer NVidia graphic card support.

Booting the LiveCD/Installer


Right off the bat, problem.
With the graphic card issue it would just display fuzzy pixels and be unusable (can't install)

So step 1:
When Booting the CD, in the boot menu:
  • highlight "start linux mint"
  • press tab to edit the boot line
  • replace quiet splash -- with nosplash nomodeset and press enter

This will allow to boot in a graphic mode that works (although less cute)

Installing mint


Once you have the Mint LiveCD booted up, click the "install mint" desktop shortcut and install
... Nothing special here ...
end of install, shutdown, remove disk and press enter to reboot

First boot from Hard drive


More shenanigans for the video issue(now grub):
  • highlight "linux mint 9"
  • press "e" to edit boot command
  • on the line that starts with "linux ..." go to the end and replace "quiet splash" with "nosplash nomodeset"
Then press CONTROL and X to boot mint

Fixing the Video problem forever in grub


We don't want to edit the boot command at each start :)
  • Start a terminal : Click Menu/terminal

  • execute: sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

  • change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT per-- GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quet splash"
to:
  • GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT per-- GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nosplash nomodeset"
  • then save and close gedit

NVidia Video driver


Configure your network/wifi (click the "network" icon in task bar) as it will be needed

Click the "hardware drivers" icon (looks like a PCI card, next to volume control in right of task bar) and select "install drivers"
Activate the nvidia driver.
It will download & install the nvidia graphic card driver

Making the brightness controls work


Still in terminal
execute sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

In "Device" section add this line: (before EndSection)

Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

Save and close gedit

Execute: sudo gedit /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-laptop-panel-hardware.fdi

Add '84440p' to line 27, like this:

<match key="/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/computer:system.hardware.product" contains_outof="4410s;4415s;4416s;Compaq 5X5;8440p">

Software Updates


It's a good time to install the software updates as well
Run "mint updates" - shield icon in tak bar and install all available updates

REBOOT


REBOOT & Enjoy !

Resources


Most of those instructions inspired and lightly modified for Mint, from:
http://blog.triumphovermadness.com/2010/05/ubuntu-1004-lts-on-hp-elitebook-8440p.html


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