HP Pavilion dv6000 Series

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This page is a summary of the installation/configuration of Sabayon 3.4e x86-64 on the HP Pavilion dv6000 Entertainment Notebook series. This new line of machines from Hewlett Packard is wildly popular and this guide should hopefully provide generic instructions to get any machine based on some of its technology (including the newer Dell Inspirons) to work great in Sabayon. For reference, I am using a dv6404ca.

System Information

HP Pavilion dv6404ca Entertainment PC

  • AMD® Turion64 X2 @ 1.80 GHz
  • NVIDIA® C51/MCP51 chipset
  • NVIDIA® GeForce Go 6150 graphics
  • NVIDIA® MCP51 High Definition Audio
  • NVIDIA® USB2, SMBus & IDE controllers
  • NVIDIA® MCP51 Ethernet Controller
  • Broadcom Corp® BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI
  • Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro/xD Card Reader
  • Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller
  • Ricoh Co Ltd Built-in Webcam
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • 160GB Ultra ATA 133 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.4" Display (1280x800)
  • Synaptics Touchpad
  • Lightscribe DVD-RW (Dual Layer)
  • QuickPlay Multimedia Keyboard
  • Wireless remote


Surprisingly enough, this machine would not even boot the Sabayon LiveDVD unless the Virtualization setting in the BIOS was enabled, so ensure that you've done that first.

It also experiences some freezing issues (notably, random lockups.) It's unsure exactly what it is that causes this, but fortunately it can be quelled with the following boot parameters (these actually vary from processor to processor, so you may want to have a look at this thread on LinuxForums re: which boot parameters may concern you.) On the Turion64 X2, append the following to the kernel line in /boot/grub/grub.conf:

noapic nolapic

I can confirm that this boot parameter has rendered my machine 100% stable, with no experienced lockups whatsoever since I've deployed it. Except for when running Compiz Fusion. To get Compiz Fusion running stable, make sure you're running the latest graphic drivers and use these two boot parameters:

iommu=off noirqdebug

During install/initial post-install noapic seemed to help, but since has proven to render some apps like Amarok unstable. I've removed it from my boot parameters and the system seems fine, so I would suggest avoiding its use unless necessary.

Making sure you have the latest graphics drivers is crucial. nVidia released some new drivers in the 3rd week of September that greatly improved stability with things it used to have trouble with, such as ndiwswrapper and Compiz Fusion on their integrated cards.

Out of the box

Post-install, after specifying the boot parameters in grub.conf and rebooting, here's what you have working:

  • AMD® Turion64 X2 @ 1.80 GHz [ACPI works perfectly, suspend/hibernate, etc., see boot params]
  • NVIDIA® C51/MCP51 chipset [no issues]
  • NVIDIA® GeForce Go 6150 graphics [no issues]
  • NVIDIA® MCP51 High Definition Audio [no issues, yet to test mic or SPDIF]
  • NVIDIA® USB2, SMBus & IDE controllers [no issues]
  • NVIDIA® MCP51 Ethernet Controller [no issues]
  • Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro/xD Card Reader [no issues]
  • Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller [not tested]
  • 1024 MB RAM [no issues]
  • 160GB Ultra ATA 133 5400RPM Hard Drive [no issues]
  • 15.4" Display (1280x800) [no issues; detected automatically]
  • Synaptics Touchpad [no issues]
  • Lightscribe DVD-RW (Dual Layer) [have yet to try this, but 3.4e has some great Lightscribe tools]
  • Wireless remote [who knew!]
  • Compiz Fusion [must be enabled using accel-manager-bin]

And here's what's not working all that well:

  • Broadcom Corp® BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI [detected, bad driver]
  • QuickPlay Multimedia Keyboard [requires additional configuration]
  • Ricoh Co Ltd Built-in Webcam [detected; but no driver installed]

Making stuff work

It seems that HP has done a great job in the design of these machines, because the hardware responds very well outside of its native Vista environment, something that can't be said for similar machines from competing manufacturers. I can honestly tell you that you will get every little bell and whistle to work on these beasts.

Broadcom BCM94311MCG

The Broadcom drivers included as modules in the kernel (bcm43xx) are complete garbage, so let's remove those first.

# modprobe -r bcm43xx
# nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

And add:

blacklist bcm43xx

to the bottom of that file. That takes care of the kernel drivers (you'll notice the little wireless light on the front of the machine has turned amber) and ensures they won't try to fire up when you reboot Sabayon. What we will be doing is using ndiswrapper to wrap a Windows XP driver, which will get this wireless card functioning properly.

First, you will need to obtain a file called sp34152.exe from the HP website (Google is your friend.) If you really can't find it, post on the forums and someone will assist you.

Use cabextract to squeeze the drivers out of the Windows binary file.

cabextract sp34152.exe

In the same directory, do:

ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf

This configures ndiswrapper to use the driver we just obtained. When this completes, you can remove the files you cabextracted. Next, you want to load the module.

modprobe ndiswrapper

The wireless light should return to blue; all systems go, your wireless is working. KNetworkManager actually works great with this card, huge surprise!

QuickPlay Multimedia Keys

For KDE users: open the Control Center, go to Regional & Accessibility -> Keyboard Layout. Select the Hewlett Packard SK-2501 Multimedia Keyboard, and you're good to go.

For GNOME users: (todo)

Ricoh Built-in 1.3 MP Webcam

First, if you still have Vista installed, use the webcam at least once. Some of the Ubuntu kids mention here that the driver uploads some critical microcode to the device upon first use. I can attest to this, as my webcam wouldn't work before using it in Vista.

Next, you want to install the uvcvideo driver.

# emerge linux-uvc

And then modprobe it:

# modprobe uvcvideo

This loads up the driver now, and for every subsequent reboot. Oddly enough, I couldn't get utilities such as xawtv working to test this cam, but after re-emerging xf86-video-v4l and xawtv, it worked instantly in aMSN and Kopete. Generally, if the uvcvideo driver created a /dev/video0 device, you're good to go.

And that pretty much does it for getting all of the bells and whistles going on these beautiful machines. Enjoy!