Linux on HP nx6125 Laptop

30 November -0001

So, in between studying last night I plugged in some install CD’s to see if I could get a complete setup working on my HP nx6125 notebook. It turns out that Mandriva 2007 would install just fine, and the wireless card would work as well using ndiswrappers (after I located BCMWL5.SYS on my windows partition). Ndiswrappers is a Linux program that allows you to use the native Windows drivers for your wireless card, so you have to have access to the Windows drivers.

So the only problem remaining with the Mandriva setup was that the printer install utilities couldn’t find and automatically set up an old HP 820cxi that I have hooked up to a Zonet print server. It could be something wrong with my smbprint setup, but I was hoping for a solution with a little less hassle.

Also, the native 3D desktop support that is new in Mandriva 2007 doesn’t actually work with my laptop. I suppose it is designed to leverage a graphics acceleration card for desktop display, and most laptops don’t have a dedicated graphics acceleration card, so I wouldn’t expect much mileage out of 3D desktop on a laptop.

Furthermore, I noticed that there wasn’t an RPM for Firefox 2 on any of the updates mirrors. While Mandriva’s release cycle is generally a little behind the curve, I *really* want to have Firefox 2 available. I end ran the RPM’s and downloaded the binary from Mozilla, but it lacked an installer. Installers were available on previous versions though so I’m not sure if this is a temporary oversight or a permanent thing.

Other than that 2007 looked really solid. There was some sort of a problem rendering the Mandriva Control Center - the top title bar had strange pixilization. This didn’t cause any functional problems, but it was annoying.

I downloaded Ubuntu 6.10 to give it a whirl. It was just released yesterday so the download took a while (I’m sure a lot of people were hitting it). The install process went a lot faster than the Ubuntu 6.05 install I tried the previous night. The graphics looked clean and the installer seemed to recognize everything. I’m pretty sure I can get the wireless up and running with the same method as with the Mandriva installation. The true test of whether or not “it just works” will be the printer setup. The real kicker will be to see if the memory card reader or the fingerprint reader on the laptop work with Ubuntu - but I’m not going to hold my breath.