Installing SUSE Linux 10.1 on a HP NX8220 Notebook

This document is based on the information from (Thanks Justas!),
but shows the details of installation of SUSE Linux 10.1 on it.

1. Target

nx8220 Hewlett-Packard - HP Compaq nx8220 (EK205ET#ABD) (F.10)
Processor Intel(R) Celeron(R) M processor 1.50 GHz
Memory 512MB (plus 1 free slot for S0-DIMM DDR2-PC533)
Hard disk 80GB
CD/DVD CD±RW and DVD±RW burner
Display 15,4 Inch, 1200x800 WXGA, 16,000,000 colours (this variant) (...and no glare display! :-))
Graphics cardATI Mobility Radeon X600
Wireless Broadcom 802.11b/g
Bluetooth —   (optional, but not this variant)
Modem WinModem
Chipset Mobile Intel® 915GM Express Chipset
Network 10/100/1000 Gigabit
External connections 3x USB 2.0, VGA, Audio in/out, Firewire (1x1394), Fast IR, Docking, Type I/II PCMCIA slot
Pointing deviceTouchpad, 2 Mouse Buttons
Cardreader1 integrade SD/MMC card reader
Sound2 build-in speakers
BatteryLiIon rechargable batteries (typical 2.0h work time) (expandable by additional extra Travel Battery) get installed with SuSE Linux 10.1 and KDE desktop system.

Datasheet (347 kB, PDF):

2. Boot / Installation

On my first tries, it was impossible to boot SUSE Linux from the build-in DVD/CD-ROM drive. But I read about any such problem in the German computer magazine c't. So I wasn't much surprised.

In reallity the problem was caused by the used media...
I had my SUSE only on a self-burned DualLayer DVD9 media. This media is only slowly detected by the internal DVD-ROM. This is sooo slow, that the BIOS didn't get the response within required time, and decides that there is no bootable media is present or not and skips this.
Booting from self-burned DL DVD+R is not possible according to my experience!

So I used an external device, such as an external USB CD-ROM to boot from. But external HD device, or USB stick, or pressed OpenSUSE media might also be possible.

2.1 Installation of openSUSE 10.1

2.1.1 HP says...

Disable ACPI during initial installation

Afterwards you can enable ACPI via editing the GRUB configuration:

2.1.2 SUSE says...

The above information is outdated, and the machine is well-known. Just install without any special boot options. It should install smoothly, especially as such a model is present SUSE labs.

I would give SUSE suggestions a try... :-) But got this information to late, so I didn't. :-(

2.2 Partitioning

parted is part of the graphical SUSE installer, so it should usally been able to shrink the Windows partition without any problems: if there is enough space left, :-) and it isn't one of these days. :-)

I partioned the HD this way:

Here is my fdisk output:

Device   Boot Start End Blocks Id   System
/dev/hda1 1 4832 38805007 7   HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2   4832 9729 39343154 f   W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5   4832 6294 11751516 83   Linux
/dev/hda6   6295 6529 1887606 82   Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda7     6530   9729   25703968+   83   Linux

3. Display

3.1 Monitor

... is detected and installed by YaST automatically. No effort here. :-)

If you're unsure check the Monitor section in file /etc/X11/xorg.conf: e.g. there should be a line: Option "DPMS"

3.2 ATI graphics card

Important Notice: Some models contain an Intel graphics card instead. Do not use the following guide, if you don't have an ATI card.

To find out, if you have an ATI graphics card, do (as root in an terminal window, such as "xterm"):
  lspci -v | grep ATI.

It's save to follow, if you see a line like this:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M24 1P [Radeon Mobility X600] (prog-if 00 [VGA])

3.2.1 OpenSource driver radeon

The ATI graphics card is is detected and installed by YaST automatically, and uses the OpenSource driver radeon.
Have a look at the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and search for a line entry with: Driver "fglrx"

3.2.2 Propietary driver

As an alternative the faster, but proprietary driver fglrx can be installed instead.

4. Network: Ethernet / WLAN / IrDA / Bluetooth / Modem

4.1 Ethernet / TCP/IP

TCP/IP (Ethernet) Network should be working out-of-the-box. No additional configuration is necessary for SUSE Linux 10.1

4.2 WLAN

Is working after installation and configuration of ndiswrapper.
For more information regarding installation of ndiswrapper for SUSE Linux, have a look at

Please keep in mind: the ndiswrapper changes your kernel dramatically. If you install it, you might no longer be abel to get (installation) support from SUSE and any bugzilla entry at Novell regarding the kernel is ignored. I had also boot problems after installation of additional drivers. But a uninstallation of ndiswrapper and fresh installation, fixed that. So be warned!

Important Notice: A model specific setup follows. Do not copy!

Please note that there is a project which tries to develop OpenSource Linux drivers for this chipset. But my nx8220 contains the Rev. 02 chip, which is not supported by the project (yet), nor SuSE did include this driver into their SUSE Linux Version (yet).
But there is hope that it might get supported in the future.

4.3 IrDA

To be done.

4.4 Bluetooth

My model is the "entry line" model. Which means, it's to cheap to have this device included.
But, if I need one, I'll going to buy a Linux supported Bluetooth USB stick alternatively. :-)

4.5 Modem

Install package smartlink-softmodem, e.g. via YaST (Software Management) and continue as /usr/share/doc/packages/smartlink-softmodem/README.ALSA says... :-)

and this link might be useful too: Smartlink AC'97 Modem

5. Input devices

5.1 USB

Works flawless out-of-the-box, exceptions are not host-side, but the devices itself (= no driver).


Works flawless out-of-the-box. Tested with an (additional) Ethernet Card: plugged in, booted, and runs flawless (configured via DHCP) without any effort.

5.3 Firewire

Again: works flawless out-of-the-box. Tested successful with an HD: plugged in and got automatically bound into the system.

5.4 SD/MMC device

Failed! as Justas suggests the patches for the sdhci kernel module are available.
But I didn't put that much effort into it, as I own an external Multi-In-1 USB cardreader.

How you might get it work (not tested!):

5.5 Synaptic touchpad

Works flawless out-of-the-box. Exceptions only, if not supported by the application

5.6 Hotkeys

Install packages wlineak_defaultplugin, lineak_defaultplugin, and lineak_kde, e.g. via YaST (Software Management)

I added the following lines to file /etc/lineakkb.def:
  brandname = "Hewlett Packard"
  modelname = "Compaq nx8220"
  Information = 232
  PresentationKey = 134
  AudioMute = 160
  AudioLowerVolume = 174
  AudioRaiseVolume = 176
[END HP-NX8220]

not working yet. Additional things need to be done

6. Sound

Alsa is working out-of-the-box. No effort necessary.

7. Powersave / PowerManagement

Install packages powersave, yast2-power-management, yast2-powertweak e.g. via YaST (Software Management)

The PowerManagement should work, if the acpi=on boot option gets enabled (see above) and the boot option vga=0x317 is changed to vga=0.
Note: The later results in a non-graphical boot screen.

The PowerManagement can be configured via YaST and via KDE tools.
"Suspend to RAM" and "Suspend to Disk" are working flawless out-of-the-box.

8. Summary

8.1 Conclusion

The machine is easy to install, I would buy it again.

But you should expect minor problems, as you're not buying the latest high end machine. Encounter problems when booting from the internal DVD drive (slowness), with the proprietary ATI driver, ndiswrapper for WLAN, SD/MMC card reader and smartlink modem. Only a small effort is necessary to get PowerManagement enabled (if any). But major functions are working flawless out-of-the-box.

There is hope that the complete hardware will be supported by OpenSource drivers in the future, e.g. by the project. This will be a great advantage then.

8.1 Recommend packages to install

Here is summarized list of recommended packages to install:

9. External Links

Here is a suggestion from HP about installation Linux on the Notebook:

Good link about installation (Gentoo) Linux on a HP nx8220:
Have a look at the Forum there!

A HOWTO for ndiswrapper (WLAN support): for SUSE Linux.

OpenSource Project, who has for the Rev 01 of the WLAN chip a kernel driver. Hopefully the Rev 02, which is in the machine, will be supported soon:

This installation help is listed on... (for finding you way back)


Klaus Singvogel
Limesstr. 38
91634 Wilburgstetten
Telefon: ++49 179 6853496
E-Mail: webdesign aT
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