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HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

Scott Serr
Occasional Advisor

HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

HP just announced they will be performing a market test of a Linux supported notebook. Basically this is a notebook with Linux pre-installed and working well.

No! Please!
90% of the Linux types I know will be re-installing a different Linux distribution or just want to do it themselves.

What should the focus be?
REMOVING the 'Wireless Whitelist" that seems to be in EVERY BIOS of their current line of notebooks. These sorts of things are a huge barrier. I should be able to put in a DIFFERENT mini-PCI card without my BIOS halting telling me the card is not supported. Why would I want to use a different mini-PCI wireless card? Because HP only uses Broadcom which is notorious for it's lack of support for Linux.

Nasty hacks are able to get the Broadcom Windows drivers working under 32bit Linux... but what about all these wonderful Athlon64 notebooks? Do you think people are buying these to run 32bit Windows on? I hope not.

The R3000Z, nx9105, zx5000z(?) are all the same beast. By simply removing (unchecking the feature in the Phoenix Builder UI?) the Whitelist in one BIOS, HP would make all these notebooks "Linux Notebooks." (HP could also make available a Linux compatible 802.11g card... but your average Linux user is not afraid of putting in his/her own mini-PCI card)

I purchased my R3000Z knowing that the internal wireless would probably not work... but I never believed my freedom to replace the card would be taken.

-Scott Serr



13 REPLIES
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

If HP launches a Linux laptop, at least we'll know some Linux works on it. AT least we'll know the kernel, which is common to many distrubtions work.

There have been hundreds of threads here of people who tried to install Linux on HP laptops and failed because the hardware could not handle it.

Now that HP is releasing Linux laptops, some of these issues may subside.

I understand your point and quite respectfully disagree.

Regards,

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
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Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Huc_1
Honored Contributor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

I consider this as good news, I have gotten many latops to run Linux but some of them have been hard to setup ... I enjoy this because it force me to learn ... but most people just want to have something that is all there, You could also wonder why Suse on this laptop today I run Fedora Core 2 on the laptop I am using to write this reply... Suse is a very good distribution It is just I prefer this particular brown bread ... But 90% would want to reinstall no I do not think so

The more Hardware that is sold to run mutiple platform the better

Will it ever be 100% what every one want's
NO !

If I could assign point to HP for that one I would give then 10.

Jean-Pierre
Smile I will feel the difference

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

The good news is that people who (re-)install Linux on a laptop do not have to pay an unwanted license to Microsoft anymore.
Vid Luther
Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

I agree with you. I just bought a HP ZD7310US laptop. No where in the manual does it say that I can't replace the mini-pci card, now that I bought the XG600 Mini-PCI card and tried to replace it, it says Wireless Card not supported.. this is the most damning thing anyone can do.. I understand my warranty is void if I replace the card, but thats my money and I should be able to do what I want to with it. If I broke the laptop during the install of the card it's my fault for being an idiot. But, telling me I can't due to some whitelist.. and then not even listing what cards are supported is asinine.

The Linux-wlan project got the most contributions from Jean Tourhilles at HP, yet they're having such a stupid stance ? I can understand wanting to use the Broadcom chipset on all the laptops as Broadcom gave them a good deal.. but I really have no clue why there is a lock on which cards I can use, Broadcom and HP already have my money.. why does it matter what card I use ?

Even a simple explanation on this topic would be nice from HP. It's their laptop they can do with it as they please, but once I've paid for it, and am willing to sign in my own blood that they will not be held responsible for my actions.. why not let me ?.
Bruce Copeland
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

I agree with EVERYTHING that has been said. It IS good news that HP is at least starting to test some of their notebook hardware with Linux!

At the same time, I feel for those of you who have been stung by the undocumented broadband whitelist. But why simply complain about it here? Why not demand your money back? In the USA, it is generally illegal to sell electronic components (including computers) without sufficient documentation. If you complain to the Attorney General's Office in most any state, they will basically force the retailer/manufacturer to return your money. I suspect the same is true in the EU.

Bruce
Scott Serr
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

Sure it took a while to get things working on my notebook, but that is what I expected. I have everything working except for suspend and the wireless in AMD64. This is how it's been for 8 months. I don't feel like working hard enough to see if suspend will work. But I KNOW the miniPCI card that I have WOULD work if they would simply take of the wireless whitelist. So for the people that praise HP for having a "Linux Notebook" -- I say... We ALREADY have it, with the commodity goods that are in these notebooks work fine with Linux... except for Broadcom wireless. Why won't HP let us replace this?

I gave up... I run 32bit Linux on my notebook so I don't have to have a lunker of a pcmcia card out the side. It IS slower... (I have benchmarked it and it feels slower too) It IS not why I bought a 64bit cpu. I probably could demand my money back... but really I don't want to get my money back, I want a BIOS that doesn't have the whitelist. I would be able to recommend these notebooks for Linux and be 100% satisified if this happened.

Vid Luther
Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

I installed Fedora Core 3 last night on it, and tried to boot the system, it always froze up on the Grub screen.. did you run into this problem ? I'm going to try lilo, as my partitioning is a bit weird. I had an AMD64 laptop from emachines replacing the mini-pci card on that is not an issue and Gentoo/Fedora all work fine on it (Fedora 32bit, Gentoo 64bit).

If only the emachines provided a higher resolution screen.. I had to go for the zd7310us just for that reason alone, gave the emachines to my gf. It's only 4 months old..
Scott Serr
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

Vid, Gentoo for x86-64 aka AMD64 worked fine on my R3000Z. I just followed the installation of GRUB from the Gentoo manual. I had a quad-boot from GRUB... WinXP, SuSE 9.1 AMD64 (beta test), Gentoo x86, Gentoo AMD64. SuSE wouldn't shrink my XP partition, wouldn't even try. It worked so well on other computers. I guess now the Linux distros have pulled the XP partition handling out because it occasionally ATE their partitions.
Vid Luther
Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

This is a regular P3 with HT laptop. Gonna buy Suse 9.2 tonight and see how it goes.
richard deckard
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

I have an hp pavilion zx5000 that I bought nearly a year ago. I immediately repartitioned the hard drive and install debian on it. Of course it has taken a little while to get things installed and configured but it works for me.

I have accellerated 3D graphics, firewire and USB, sound, and wireless networking. The wireless part was one of the biggest pains. I ended up buying a seperate card to make it work, but, it does work. Mostly I bought the wireless card so that I could have a directional antenna but it became a necessity when I couldn't get the internal card to work. Strangely enough both the internal wireless and my pcmcia card both use broadcom chipsets.

As everyone else has found out, the only way to make this work is through a somewhat bastardized process that uses the windows drivers. I don't like it as a solution but it does work and I've maintained it as a sacrifice. This machine dual boots with LILO and I use windows xp on a periodic basis. If I could get away from a few issues that require MS products I would be completely free of it on this machine. All together I'm happy but I would be happier with a better solution from HP. My suggestion for Carlie would be to release linux drivers or requiring their vendors to.

All this mess with restricting the use of the laptop by cripling the hardware has to go. That is no way to run a hardware company. If things are going to continue this way then when I replace this laptop it will be with a different architecture ~ say an Apple. All of my employees will do the same as I will vote with my wallet.
Scott Serr
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

I have to reiterate here too... If you have a x86 hp/compaq notebook, it's just a pain to use the (internal wireless) windows drivers on Linux. BUT... If you have an AMD64 notebook, it's not just a pain... it's a choice of what *ADVERTISED* hardware functuality that you want to loose. Will it be the 64bit mode or the internal wireless?

No amount of money that I dump into this notebook will fix this problem. There is not a Linux-friendly internal wireless card on the BIOS whitelist.

HP does some things better than others, support is much better than Dell in my experience... but why make "whitelist" decissions with your profit brain disengaged? My next notebook won't be an HP. :(
Vid Luther
Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

Ditto. I have a pcmcia netgear card working in Linux and Windows, I've disabled the wireless card completely. So, HP has cost me $60 in a PCMCIA card, $50 in a mini-PCI wireless card that I know to work in Linux, and a lot of headache.

This decision on their part is the same reason why I now tell all my relatives who ask me for computer advice, to stay away from HP for computers and printers. If they are going to be so irrational towards their paying customers, then their paying customers will react back violently as well. All I have to tell my relatives who think I know everything about computers, is that I had an issue with my laptop and the customer service was horrible and couldn't help me. They see 2 things right there.

1. HP's products are so bad, that even I had to call for tech support.
2. Their tech support wasn't able to help him, they definitely won't be able to help me.

Otherwise, I have Suse 9.2 running on the laptop and it runs fine, just have some issues with Suse itself. But, telling me I can't use something on my laptop without even explaining why, has made me the first and last time HP customer.

Scott Serr
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP launching Linux Laptop "market test"... NO!

[For some reason there was a new post notification in my inbox on this subject, but there is no new post. I wonder if it was scathing and was deleted quickly. hum]

An update. The fine folks doing ndiswrapper now support 64bit. You have to find a beta WinXP 64bit edition driver, but it does work. Mine has worked for almost 5 months. You can't do cool things with it like kismet, but atleast it's wireless.

Another alternative that I didn't try... Apparently people found a portion of the NVRAM for the BIOS settings that could be tweaked under /dev/nvram. I have not tried this, and won't unless I feel really confident. There are links to a hack for IBM Thinkpads.
http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0406.1/1048.html
http://www.essenz.com/support/lists/hackers/20040926/65.html
I think I saw someone have success with an HP but can't find the link.

Still have the Xterasys mini-PCI sitting there collecting dust.

Good luck all...
-Scott