Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" on my Compaq V3000

Article from : http://simonsspace.blogspot.com/2007/07/ubuntu-feisty-fawn-on-my-compaq-v3000.html
Credits: Simon Ives
URL: http://www.blogger.com/profile/08907255806014615303

This weekend I decided to take the plunge and install a Linux distro on my notebook PC. The reason I had not done so by now is because this particular notebook is well documented as being problematic under Linux, particularly the WiFi card as it is completely proprietary with no Linux drivers being available. I am now posting this using Linux while watching a DVD over a wireless network protected with WPA, the DVD is stored on a Windows XP machine running NTFS…I must have done something right. The following is a guide as to how I got Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” running with full functionality (actually better but more of that later) on a Compaq V3000 (V3118AU) model notebook.


After downloading the Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” iso and burning it on a CD I booted into the live distro. If you’re using the same model notebook as me, or a Broadcom WiFi chipset, you’ll notice in the boot procedure that there are two errors. The first error says ‘PCI BUS BUG #81 [49435000]’ and the second says something like ‘error 983 with BCM43xx’. I’ve no idea what the first error means and I doubt that it’s important, I’m still getting this error now and my system is functioning well. The second error is the one that we need to address. Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” comes with a generic BCM43xx (Broadcom WiFi) driver but it lacks the firmware files so fails to load. I’ll address these two errors later.

Once the live CD boots up you can play around if you like or just move right on to the installation. I put 10GB aside for the install so just followed the instructions on installing Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” into the free space. Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” installed without any problems and I booted into it fine, with the same errors as mentioned before. To my surprise the only hardware not working ‘out of the box’ was the Broadcom WiFi card and the audio. In fact, I discovered that I have a working Bluetooth and IR system (tested both) that didn’t show up under WinXP.


The first step was to get the WiFi working as I could then work on everything else. As the wired LAN was functioning I plugged into my router and downloaded NDISWrapper (I did first attempt to just add the firmware to the BCM43xx driver but it took too much effort and didn’t function stably) -> System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager -> Search for NDISWrapper, click the check box and then Apply. Before you proceed make sure you have the Windows driver for the Broadcom card. You need to extract the .sys and .inf files from it. I placed mine on my Desktop.
Now pull up a terminal and type ‘sudo rmmod bcm43xx’. This unloads the Broadcom driver from the system.
Type ‘sudo rmmod ndiswrapper’ to unload any instances of ndiswrapper that my be running. Type ‘sudo ndiswrapper -i filename.inf’ where filename.inf is the location of the driver, mine was ~/Desktop/filename.inf.
Type ‘sudo ndiswrapper -l’ and if the driver installed properly then you’ll get a nice little list saying so.
To load NDISWrapper at startup type ‘sudo ndiswrapper -m’.
Restart the computer and there you go, a working Broadcom WiFi. Mine picked up my WiFi from inside my main house and my neighbours WiFi signal too. I also get better signal strength than under WinXP. Also, I connected fine with WPA encryption thanks to the Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” network manager.


The audio was a hassle as the card and driver were loading correctly at startup, I just got no audio. The first step I took, now that I had WiFi, was to update Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn”, this apdated ALSA. The correct driver for my hardware is the intel8x0 so I entered ‘gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base’ which opens the alsa configuration file. I then updated the snd-hda-intel entry to my driver, snd-hda-intel8x0 and rebooted. While the computer was just starting I went into the BIOS and disabled the audio options there. When Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” started back up I had audio.


Strictly speaking the video works with Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” with no mods. However, if you want 2D and 3D acceleration you need to install the nVidia driver. This couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is select -> System -> Administration -> Restricted Drivers Manager and hit go, if you have a net connection that is. Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” downloads the current nVidia driver and installs it. After a restart you’ll have full featured graphics.


The shortcut keys on my notebook all worked out of the box. The mute key and the volume keys work better than in WinXP as there is no delay in their actions. There is actually one key that appears not to work, the media centre key. This key actually does work, it is just not assigned any action, I assigned mine to open xmms. The touchpad is turned off on startup but if you have no mouse all you need to do is to hit the touchpad power key. Everything else works a treat. The two inbuilt microphones work well, the firewire and usb have no issues. My USB drives all auto mount and the five in one card reader works well.


Some other applications that I have found useful with this Ubuntu “Fesity Fawn” distro have been:
Thunderbird is a powerful open source email client. I use Thunderbird on WinXP and copied the profile folder over to my local Thunderbird directory. Now I’ve got all my mails and filters etc.
Beryl is a window manager with a difference. For the best GUI experience you’ll get try Beryl…if you think Win Vista has good visuals then you’ll be blown out of the water by this.
ALLTray is an app that will let you minimise any application to the task bar. I’m having troubles with ALLTray and Beryl though.
XMMS is a multimedia player that just works. Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" does come with Rhythmbox but I just prefer XMMS as it is small, has many plugins and I’ve been using it for years.
Wine is an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator and allows (some) Windows based apps to run under Linux.
Azureus is a bit torrent client.
Bluefish Editor is a web site creation tool that works with all the major web based programming languages such as PHP/MySQL, HTML/XHTML etc.
Audacity is an audio recording and editing environment. It’s a fantastic tool.
Filezilla is a full featured ftp client from Mozilla.
Gnome Baker is a CD/DVD creation environment.

So if you think that Linux isn’t for notebooks then think again. At least with Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” you can have a fully featured Linux distro that will work on even the most proprietary of systems.

P.S. This is my 100th post so happy birthday to me!

UPDATE: This website is no longer maintained. This guide has been migrated to simonives.info where you will find any updates. Please post any questions or comments at the new site.


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