HP Pavilion dv9000 Series

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This page was created to help people having hardware issues on HP dv9000 laptops. While the majority of the hardware for these series works great under Sabayon, there remains a few key components that need additional configuration.

Please Note: the following procedures worked on a HP dv9201 laptop, running Linux kernel 2.6.31-sabayon, for Sabayon 5.1 x86.


When installing Sabayon 5.1 x86 (Gaming Edition) no problems were experienced whatsoever.

What Works

After installation, almost everything works right away. This includes:

  • WiFi (Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN) - unlike many other distros, this is fully working.
  • Video Card (nVidia Corporation C51 [Geforce Go 6150]) - works well, including compiz-fusion. Updating to the latest drivers is recommended.
  • Memory Card Reader (Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter) - works fine.
  • TV-OUT - Use nVidia Server Settings app to configure with TwinView. Be sure to plug the cable into the TV and then press "Detect Display". A second TV display should appear now.

These are the ones that usually cause the most problems and it's great to know they work. The main ones that don't are listed in the next section.

What Doesn't And How To Fix It

There are a few things in the dv9000's that either don't work or needs some tweaks.

These are the main ones:

Webcam Doesn't Work

The dv9000 contains a HP Ricoh Co., Ltd Pavilion Webcam [R5U870] webcam that by default, does not comply with the UVC webcam standards. In fact by default, it doesn't even work at all. To fix this additional drivers must be downloaded and installed. Turns out there are two drivers available, r5u870 and r5u87x. There r5u870 original driver will not work with all webcam apps. It was tested to work with the following:

  • Skype VOIP
  • gstreamer-properties test
  • xawtv test

However, if you get the newer r5u87x driver it should work with all programs, including:

  • The above list
  • Camorama
  • Cheese

This help guide is for the r5u87x driver only! To check if you can use it run the following commands as root:

# lsusb | grep 05ca

This should return a single line for your webcam. There should be a part in the form of 05ca:X where X is your PID. Please write this number down. Visit http://bitbucket.org/ahixon/r5u87x/src/tip/docs/model_matrix.txt. Find the line with your PID and check the Type column, if it says UVC then you can use the r5u87x driver, otherwise you need to get a limited r5u870 driver.

Getting/Installing r5u87x Driver

Getting the driver requires downloading source code and compiling it. Follow these steps and you should be fine:

  • Make sure you have the Mercurial version control system installed. If you don't or aren't sure type the following as root:
# equo install mercurial
  • As a normal user type the following:
$ hg clone http://bitbucket.org/ahixon/r5u87x/
$ cd r5u87x
$ make
  • Now become root with "su" and continue:
# make install
# loader --force-clear
  • Congratulations you now should have a working webcam!

Testing r5u87x Driver

You can now install something like cheese or camorama which uses UVC devices and test it out.


What happens if the above didn't work? Try these:

Sound Problems

A common problem I found with this laptop and others that have Intel HDA audio cards is a popping or crackling sound every once in a while. This is due to ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) powering off the speakers when not used to save power. Then whenever the speakers get used again (playing music) they pop upon powering up. To prevent this, the main alternative is to run the following command (as root):

# echo "options snd-hda-intel power_save=0 power_save_controller=N" >> /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf

After a quick reboot, the problem should be gone.