[conspire] Linux compatibility ??

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Aug 24 20:36:37 PDT 2008

Quoting Ken Bernard (kenbernard at gmail.com):

> To Cabal List -
> I am thinking about one of these two HP small and kind of small notebooks. I
> would probably want to put debian on them. If I go with the Mini-Note I
> probably dual boot between
> the Suse and Debian. Wondering about the VIA processor and Broadcom wireless
> interface.
> Or... if I get the tx2500z (which weighs more, but is a tablet with an AMD
> CPU; will I be able to get the tablet features working. I would like to be
> able to capture hand written notes and save them as jpeg or as OpenOffice
> files.
> HP Mini-Note
> http://h71016.www7.hp.com/
> <goog_1219473843506>dstore/ctoBases.asp?oi=E9CED&<goog_1219473843506>
> BEID=19701&SBLID=&
> <goog_1219473843506>ProductLineId=539&FamilyId=<goog_1219473843506>
> 2769&LowBaseId=23430&LowPrice= <goog_1219473843506>
> $729.00&familyviewgroup=1353&
> <goog_1219473843506>viewtype=Matrix&<goog_1219473843506>
> basesdisplayed=all&Matrix=

Wow, looks like GMail very badly mangled that URL.


That one's better, and _does_ take one to a page about something called
the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC.

Graphics:  VIA Chrome 9 (whatever that is)
Wireless:  Broadcom 4311AG, physical format unspecified

What are the southbridge, ethernet, sound, Bluetooth, and SATA/PATA
chipsets?  Heavens knows, and HP aren't telling.  (HP, Dell, Sun, and
IBM are particularly wretched about providing meaningful chipset
information.  They always have been.

I personally wouldn't consider it -- or any other laptop for Linux --
unless and until I knew what those things are.  Further and more
fundamentally, I try to always carefully avoid newly introduced laptop
models and newly introduced chipsets in the first place.  People keep
buying brand-new (newly introduced) laptop models, trying to put Linux
on them, and having all manner of problems.  If, instead, you stick with
used models that have been around for a few years, you have no such

I always give this advice, but it's seldom heeded.  (Jeez, any decent
model of ThinkPad -- and, no, I don't mean the junky product lines --
from the last five years makes a really great Linux laptop.)

A commenter on a Web forum says:

  Sorry, no hardware acceleration for the VIA Chrome 9. I'm in contact
  with one of the key developers for X drivers for VIA chipsets (VIA's
  most infamous detractor - libv) and aware of the horrors he has to go
  through in order to get anything functional (VIA's 'support' in this
  area mainly consisting of random and sporadic drops of binary, not
  source code, which he then has to painstakingly reverse engineer in
  order to get something functional). Unless we get a tide of users
  harassing VIA for proper Linux support, they'll just continue their
  usual strategy of giving insincere support and then astroturfing like
  mad to pretend they're 110% behind Linux

As Daniel notes, HP offer SUSE SLED SP1 as a preload.

_Linux Journal's_ Shawn Powers reviewed it:  

He likes the 8.9" screen's size, resolution, and quality -- with a minor
cavil about it being very reflective, and thus problematic in some
lighting conditions.  He also likes the option of either solid state or
HD storage.  Battery options are better than comparable ASUS models.
(Standard battery gives 2 hours.)  Likes the keyboard a great deal.
Ambivalent about the weird trackpad.  Says the crappy proprietary video
drivers from VIA are not very good.  Broadcom card support is "not so
great", had to resort to NDISwrapper.  Said the SLED preload is pretty
good -- but he overwrote it with Ubuntu, found it "not too difficult".
Overall, he describes it as "awesome", and recommends it.

I gather that the second option you refer to is the HP Pavilion tx2500z
Here's an Ubuntu Hardy Heron report on it:

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