Revision 114 as of 2009-11-07 22:54:01

Clear message
  • Contact: HP2133 Contact Needed
  • Make: Hewlett-Packard
  • Brand: Mini-Note
  • Model: 2133
  • Website: HP 2133 Mini-Note

Current Issues/News

  • There are now Via binary drivers available for 9.04 (26oct09) Version 86a-u904-50937. (Working at 80% warp capacity)
  • Install/Boot may fail (Screen corruption followed by lock up) with the latest BIOS versions. It may be necessary to re-flash the BIOS with an earlier version (download these from the HP website). (Recommend F.04).

Notes for 9.10

  • No Via binaries available yet.
  • external monitor only works if connected at boot time.
  • audio driver is flaky, sometimes fails to work at all, sometimes disappears after suspend or hibernate but comes back after reboot; when it starts it works fine though.

Notes for 9.04

  • Smooth install with xubuntu 9.04 alternate cd. (au hp2133)
  • Most(all?) hardware detected and working out of the box. (au hp2133)
  • Via binary video drivers (26oct09) Working at 80% warp capacity.
  • When using Openchrome, vga out doesn't work.

Notes for 8.10

  • VIA has recently released (02Dec08) a binary driver for Ubuntu 8.10 which adds support for video output to an external lcd. Please see /DisplayConfig810 for a full description of how to use the drivers.

  • How to on compiling Via Unified 2D/DRM driver source version 86a-50283 (21Aug09) for 8.10 CompileSourceHowTo

  • Sporadic Hard Lockups upon USB Flash drive insertion.

Notes for 8.04 LTS

  • CPU Scaling (fix in Install Howto)

  • Wireless NIC (works fine with ndiswrapper, and with the new Broadcom STA driver)

    • Native kernel driver b43.ko doesn't work (misses PIO support according to the logs)
    • b43.ko prevents machine from suspending by crashing
      • Quick fix to disable the problematic driver: echo 'blacklist b43' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
  • Correct audio driver not available (ADI SoundMax AD1984A)

    • Headphone jack detection doesn't work (fixed with ALSA 1.0.17)

    • Microphone jack and internal microphone not recognized (fixed with ALSA 1.0.17)

  • USB stick might not be mounted automatically (fix in Install Howto)

  • Webcam is detected by UVC driver, but won't display image (green or black image displayed depending on application). Works fine in cheese.

Note: Both wireless NIC and audio driver (along with correct mixer and microphone input) work natively (no ndiswrapper required) out-of-the box with vanilla kernel 2.6.26-rc5. Wireless NIC alone works correctly with If you decide to use this kernel, you're obviously missing VIA's binary unichrome driver, in that case you're left with openchrome which may be a usable alternative to some. You'll also need to recompile the out-of-tree Linux UVC driver by hand for the webcam to work if you use these kernels.

System Info

Machine specs and current state of working hardware: HP2133 System Info

How-To: Installing Ubuntu 9.10 from CD on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

HP2133 Install 9.10

How-To: Installing Ubuntu 9.04 from CD on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

HP2133 Install 9.04

How-To: Installing Ubuntu 8.10 from USB/SD Card on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

HP2133 Install 8.10

How-To: Installing Ubuntu 8.04 from CD on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

Tested Configuration

  • The specific model tested for this Wiki was the KX869AT, which arrived with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.1 pre-installed. These instructions should work for the KX868AT without modification. Other models of HP 2133 have slightly different hardware.


  • The following instructions assume a complete install of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) from scratch. Be sure to back up any data you feel is important. The following instructions have been kept as simple as possible to appeal to the widest audience.


Installing from an external CD/DVD Drive

  1. If you have one available, installing from an external CD/DVD drive is the simplest installation method. Download a copy of Ubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron and burn the image to an installation CD. Connect an external CD/DVD drive to the USB port and load the installation CD.
  2. Put your finger somewhere close to the F9 key, because the Mini-Note's BIOS options pass quickly. Start or restart the computer and press F9, which will bring up the Boot Device menu. Select your CD/DVD drive and hit enter.

Installing from a USB/SD Flash Drive

  1. If an external CD/DVD drive is unavailable, you can also install from a USB Flash Drive or SD Card. The instructions below rely heavily on the instructions and converter file found on the PenDriveLinux site. Many thanks to the talented people on that site. Check there for updates if you encounter difficulties with the converter file.

  2. Ensure you have the following:
    • A Windows PC to run the conversion program
    • A downloaded copy of the Ubuntu 8.04.1 ISO installation file
    • A 1GB or larger USB flash drive or SD Card
    • The PenDriveLinux converter file

  3. Launch Ub8convert2.exe, which creates a folder named Ubuntu8.
  4. Place the Ubuntu 8.04 ISO file in the Ubuntu8 folder. Click the fixu8.bat file (also within the Ubuntu8 folder) and follow the onscreen instructions.
  5. Once you've created your bootable USB drive or flash card, open it up in Windows Explorer. You should see a file named 'syslinux.cfg' in the root of the drive. Open the file in a text editor and scroll down near the bottom, where you'll find the the line:


    Change this to:

    This will allow you to properly configure your video settings on initial startup.
  6. Connect your USB flash drive or SD card to your Mini-Note. Put your finger somewhere close to the F9 key, because the Mini-Note's BIOS options pass quickly. Start or restart the computer and press F9, which will bring up the Boot Device menu. Select your USB flash drive or SD card and hit enter.

Base Installation

  1. When the language menu comes up, select your preferred tongue and hit enter. At the Ubuntu install menu hit F6, which will bring up the Boot Options line. Add the word xforcevesa at the end of the line and hit enter. The installer will then load the kernel and begin the installation process. It is normal for the progress bar to freeze for a short period of time. Have patience.

  2. Eventually you should hear the welcoming sounds of Ubuntu through the Mini-Note's ample speakers, and see the Hardy Live session desktop. While wireless networking is not available at this point, you should be able to connect to the internet through a wired ethernet connection if necessary. Double-click on the "Install" icon and follow the wizard through the subsequent screens, selecting your location and keyboard layout.
  3. Step 4 will ask you how you'd like to partition the disk. If you're comfortable with losing everything currently on the disk, select "Guided - use entire disk". Otherwise, choose the option that makes the most sense for you. Ubuntu works just fine sharing the drive with a Windows install, and it will even read and write to your NTFS partition out-of-the box. REMEMBER - If you choose the entire disk, you will kill everything else on your hard drive. BACK UP FIRST! Continue through the wizard, filling in your user information, password and computer name. When you're sure you're ready to make changes to your hard-disk, hit "Install" on the final page.

  4. The "Installing System" dialog will come up next. Grab a tasty beverage and watch the progress bar slowly creep across the screen. When installation is complete, hit Restart Now. The CD should eject, and remove it from the tray/slot at this time. Press enter to restart your computer.

Drivers and Fixes

  1. As Ubuntu starts for the first time you may see some video artifacts from forcing the vesa video driver. You should still get a clear Ubuntu login screen and your speakers should work right from the start. Log in with the user you created during the install process. It's probably not a bad idea to run the Update Manager (System > Administration > Update Manager) to check for the latest security patches and bug fixes. Reboot if necessary. DO NOT run the Hardware Drivers wizard (the little green computer board icon) to update the firmware on your wireless. It won't work and it'll cause more problems than it fixes.

  2. Video Driver Installation -- VIA now provides Ubuntu-ready video drivers for the HP 2133 at this site. Wireless Networking is still not working, so use an ethernet connection to connect to the internet. If you have no ethernet connection, you'll need to go to the "Wireless Driver" section below and set up your wireless card before continuing.

  3. Open up Firefox and head to the VIA website at the link above. Once there, be sure to select "Ubuntu 8.04 LTS" instead of "SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1" in the "OS" selection box. Click on the first GFX driver link (Stable) and save the file somewhere you'll remember it. Firefox will save it to the desktop by default. Next, you'll need to download the new xorg.conf file. Save it somewhere convenient, like the desktop.

  4. Double-click on the downloaded file, and in the window that appears click the "Extract" button. Again select somewhere that makes sense (the Desktop is fine) and click "Extract" at the bottom right of the dialog. Close any remaining windows and open Terminal, in Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Assuming you extracted the driver folder to the desktop, type:

    cd ~/Desktop/chrome9.83-242-u804/
    sudo ./vinstall
  5. Be sure to use the appropriate "chrome9..." folder name for your driver version. Before the new video will work, you'll have to make a couple more tweaks. Don't restart yet!
  6. Video and CPU Scaling Fixes -- Back in Terminal, type the following:

    sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

    This will bring up the grub boot menu configuration file. Scroll to the bottom of the file and you'll find several boot options. Go to the first, titled "Ubuntu 8.04.1, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic" and in the "kernel" line, delete "xforcevesa". In its place, type:

    acpi_osi="!Windows 2006"

    This will enable CPU speed scaling, helping preserve the Mini-Note's already limited battery life. For more information about this bug (which is in the kernel, and not specific to the Mini-Note) see this link. Save the file and exit gedit.

  7. Remember where you put the replacement xorg.conf file, because we'll back up and overwrite the old one next. Assuming you saved the new unpackaged xorg.conf file to your desktop, type:

    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.old
    sudo cp ~/Desktop/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    When that successfully completes, reboot your machine.

    Warning: it is possible that the VIA driver could cause some strange quirks, such as such as making Rhythmbox Music Player unable to play MP3 without visualization!

  8. Wireless Driver -- The new Broadcom STA driver works well for the BCM4312, and should work fine for different antennas in other models. However, it seems the Broadcom STA cannot connect to access points with hidden SSIDs. If you don't want to use restricted (closed-source) drivers, or you need to connect to a hidden SSID, ndiswrapper works fine. The below instructions were taken from the excellent tutorial here.

    Notify! Make sure that the radio is not disabled from bios. Ohterwise wlan will not work (the device is detected, though) NOTE - If you have the 4GB SSD version of the Mini-Note, you may need a different driver! See the "Wireless Networking" section below.

    1. Update your apt repositories

      sudo apt-get update
    2. Install NDISWrapper and Blacklist Native Driver

      echo 'blacklist bcm43xx' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
      sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils-1.9
    3. Download and Extract the sp38766 Drivers

      mkdir ~/bcm43xx; cd ~/bcm43xx
      sudo apt-get install cabextract

      wget ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp38501-39000/sp38766.exe
      cabextract sp38766.exe
      If you have problems accessing hp's web site try ftp.compaq.com
    4. Configure NDISWrapper and WPA Supplicant

      sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
      ndiswrapper -l
      sudo depmod -a
      sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
      sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.orig
      echo -e 'auto lo\niface lo inet loopback\n' | sudo tee /etc/network/interfaces
      sudo ndiswrapper -m
      echo 'ndiswrapper' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
      echo 'ENABLED=0' | sudo tee -a /etc/default/wpasupplicant

      Careful about line wrapping on the next bit of code. You should copy and paste everything in the box before running -- it is one long command.

      echo -e '#Hardy ssb/ndiswrapper workaround, added' `date` '\ninstall ndiswrapper modprobe -r b43 b44 b43legacy ssb; modprobe --ignore-install ndiswrapper $CMDLINE_OPTS; modprobe ssb; modprobe b44;' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper
    5. Reboot.
  9. Audio Driver -- Out of the box, the default Ubuntu 8.04.1 install leaves you without functioning microphones or headphone jack sensing. Follow the steps below and you should be able to get them working without too much trouble.

    1. Open a terminal window and type:

      sudo apt-get install build-essential
      This will ensure you have the tools to compile your new sound architecture. Leave it open, you'll need it again soon.
    2. Open up your web browser and download the latest ALSA Development Release (alsa-driver-1.0.17) from the ALSA Project. Save it to the desktop.

    3. Back in the terminal, type:

      cd ~/Desktop
      cd alsa*
      ./configure --with-cards=hda-intel
      sudo make install
    4. The sound drivers install to the wrong place, so next you'll type the following commands. If you're using a different version of the kernel, put that in place of 2.6.24-19-generic:

      cd /lib/modules/2.6.24-19-generic
      sudo cp -a kernel/sound/* ubuntu/sound/alsa-driver/
    5. Finally, you'll have to tell the system to use the new drivers. In terminal, type:

      sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

      This will bring up a text editor. Scroll to the bottom of the file and add the line:

      options snd-hda-intel model=laptop
    6. Reboot. Your sound should work from this point on. You can configure your input levels if you'd like, using the command line program alsamixer.

What's Left?

Video Quirks

  • After the 2.6.24-17 kernel update, the Via video driver crashes if you attempt to enable 3D effects in Compiz. To enable them using earlier kernel versions, you have to run the following commands:

    sudo gedit /usr/bin/compiz

    Find the line that says:

    WHITELIST="nvidia intel ati radeon i810 fglrx"

    and change it to:

    WHITELIST="nvidia intel ati radeon i810 via"
    Save the file, close gedit and go back to the Terminal.
  • Additionally under 2.6.24-16, the video card and VIA driver have some limitations. In anecdotal testing, you can either enable Compiz 3D desktop effects OR watch video, but not both. Expect occasional 3D effects crashes to a standard 2D desktop.
  • With Compiz disabled Skype video works (although with no microphone input) but as soon as the "picture in picture" view comes up the video gets corrupted. Playback of remote video is fine with local video disabled, but this will be an issue for some.

Wireless Networking

  • Issues have been noted with the lowest and highest-end versions of the HP 2133.
    • The 4GB SSD version has a slightly different wireless card which doesn't include 802.11a. If you're having difficulties with wireless after using this wiki, please report them in the Mini-Note forum thread here.

    • The KX875AA (1.6GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD) is having anectodal networking issues with the stock install above, particularly on Kubuntu. While KNetworkManager is suspected, this is far from confirmed at this point.
    • KX872AA (1.2GHz, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, UK version) users who can't get wireless to work via ndiswrapper using the above driver and instructions may want to try installing the bcmwl5.inf driver from the R174291.exe driver package from Dell's website instead (ndiswrapper -r bcmwl5, then unzip .exe file and then install the bcmwl5 driver in the DRIVER_ROW directory in the same way as described above)

Installing an ExpressCard

  • ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54 have been successfully tested after following the instructions here. Briefly, after plugging the ExpressCard into the slot, you may have to enable it via this command:

    sudo modprobe pciehp pciehp_force=1
    Troubleshooting instructions can be found by following the link above. Cards successfully tested include:
    • FireWire - ADS PYRO1394a ExpressCard/34 (Part Number API-650)

      To enable video capture (for programs like Kino) you have to grant read-write permission to /dev/raw1394:

      $ sudo chmod +rw /dev/raw1394
    • SmartCard - GEMPLUS GemPC Express Compact SmartCard Reader (ExpressCard/54)

      Instructions on SmartCard reader setup can be found here and are too extensive for this wiki.

Automatically mount USB stick

  • Fix can be found here.

Different panel sizes

  • If you have a different physical display size (say, the display can handle 1024x600), change the PanelID value in "Device" section of xorg.conf. Correct PanelID value for 1024x600 is 17 (add the following line to xorg.conf)
        option "PanelID" "17"
    In Ubuntu 8.10 (and newer Via driver) this is not needed.

Additional Info

  • The various forum posts below are good places to watch for the solution to this and other quirks. If you find solutions, please update this Wiki.

  • Ubuntu forum on Mini-Note user site. Includes pre-packaged Mini-note specific Minbuntu

  • 'Other' Linux forum at HP 2133 Guide

  • Liliputing posts on Minbuntu and Ubuntu (NB this site includes other machines besides Mini-note such as EEE PC)

  • Gentoo HP 2133 hardware Howto -- This includes some notes on running the 3D driver on a non-Ubuntu system. These should be pretty generic and apply to a lot of distros. Also, there are instructions for countering the recent xorg-server-1.5/openchrome breakage that may be applied to Ubuntu with some work.