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Installing ubuntu 15.10 on HP Pavilion (laptop)


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Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2016 23:16:25 +1100

The HP Pavilion is quite a good laptop. The Pavilion line has been going since the mid-nineties and was originally meant to be a budget line for home use. The current Pavilion models are typically at the higher end of laptop prices.

There is support for Ubuntu, but you have to search for it ... And you'll need to read all the links carefully for relevance. Past experience has made me cautious about installing Ubuntu on HP laptops. So I did a little research first.

Hint: If you want to find information about which model laptop you have, you sometimes have to look under the battery. The model I was using was about 4 years old, the model number 15-e013AX and the wireless chip set RT3290 were both written under the battery (in rather small writing).

In order to re-configure UEFI for CD boot, you need to press F10 while the UEFI loader is starting. This seems to be common across the range of recent HP laptops.

I tried installing Ubuntu 14.04 but it didn't work. There was no support for wi-fi and graphics were poor.

An online search revealed that the latest certified version was ubuntu-12.04.5-desktop-amd64. I reasoned that I might be able to install ubuntu-12.04.5 and upgrade to 14.04.

Ubuntu 12.04.5 worked perfectly ... However after running the release upgrade wi-fi stopped working.

There were several links about fixing this. The most hopeful seemed to be the suggestion that I should download the patch rt3290sta-2.6.0.0.dkms.tar, compile it and insert the patch into the kernel with DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support). However this path would have had dependencies (make, gcc, DKMS etc) and would required re-configuring networking for wired support in order to build the software ... All rather time-consuming.

On the other hand I could have tried re-installing 12.04.05 ... But I was reluctant to go backwards.

So I took a punt and tried the latest release (15.10).

All good.

Should have just opted for the latest release ... And saved myself the effort.

So I am happy to report that Ubuntu 15.10 works very well with the HP Pavilion e013AX ... If you have acquired one, I suggest you download the 15.10 ISO (after installing it) and enjoy your new up to date virus free, open source, secure laptop


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