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Running Fedora Core on the HP Pavilion zv5000z

This document was last updated: 6 August 2006.

In May 2004, my business partner Mike and I purchased two Hewlett Packard Pavillion ZV5000Z laptops for use with our business.

This page will be ever-evolving.

Please share your experiences. Contact me if you have comments regarding this information, especially if you have something for me to add.



It’s been quite a while since I first got my hands on this laptop. It’s been a good performer and has withstood a lot of use and abuse. The screen is not as bright as I wish it was, but that may just be because one of my employees got one of HP’s BrightView screens and it makes my screen look painfully dim.

Linux support for the electronics in the zv5000z has come a long way. It’s now very easy to use the bulk of this laptop in Linux. The only still-outstanding Linux issue I’m aware of is the integrated card reader.

Cardbus cards

I had trouble using a Netgear cardbus wireless card and determined the following command had to be run before it would be recognized. I put this command in the /etc/rc.local file.

# Need this for cardbus adapters to work properly
/sbin/setpci -s 0:a.0 SUBORDINATE_BUS=0A

A note about the BIOS

Be sure the BIOS is updated to at least version F.30. HP offers a BIOS installer for Windows 2000/XP on their website (one good reason to keep at least a small Windows partition on your hard drive). I found I had problems getting the ALPS trackpad working at all in Linux with the older BIOS images. With F.30 installed, the trackpad is identified as a PS/2 device (just like it did in Fedora Core 2). If you want the extended functionality of using the synaptics X driver, you still need to patch the kernel.

(6 August 2006) - Thanks HP! Hewlett-Packard no longer has BIOS images available for download from their support web pages. I have no idea if you can get access to more recent BIOS images by contacting them or if F.30 is the most recent BIOS and if you didn’t get it, you’re screwed.

The laptop

The laptop is an HP Pavilion zv5000z and has an Athlon 64 CPU in it. It can also be purchased with an AMD Athlon XP based on the Athlon 64 core.

Because Hewlett Packard and Compaq are basically the same company, this laptop is also known as the Compaq Presario R3000Z.

Chipset NVidia NForce3
CPU Athlon 64 - 3000 (1.8Ghz)
RAM 512MB (1 DIMM)
(Max RAM is 2GB)
Hard disk 40GB IDE (4200 RPM)
(Upgraded later to 100GB (5400 RPM))
Video card NVidia GeForce 4 440 Go 64MB
Sound NVidia NForce 3 audio
(ALSA uses the snd_intel8x0 driver with success.)
LCD panel 15.4" WSXGA+ (1680x1050)
(1920x1200 and 1400x1050 were also available)
Optical drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive
(DVD-RW also available)
Onboard WiFi Nope - I didn’t opt for it
(Broadcomm-based 802.11b/g w/ Bluetooth available)

Fedora Core 5

I haven’t yet produced a document specific to FC5, but everything pretty much works- as good or better than it did with FC4.

Fedora Core 4

For detailed information about using this laptop with Fedora Core 4, see this document.

Quick step-by-step install of Fedora Core 3

Since I first posted this information, I’ve gotten feedback from some people who just find the task of getting Linux running on their laptop to be daunting after looking over all the information here. While I’ve tried to be very thorough in my presentation, getting a productive computing system up and running is not that difficult.

So, for those who either don’t care about the details or fear their head may explode from information overload, I hereby present to you simple step-by-step instructions for getting Fedora Core 3 running on the HP Pavilion zv5000z.

Fedora Core 3 installation and configuration notes

For my notes on installing FC3 on this laptop and configuring it for optimal use, see this document.

Other sites of interest

Here are links to other sites that may be of interest to those coming here. If you know of a site that should be linked here, let me know.

Running Linux on these laptops

Running Fedora Core in general

If you’re a “Linux n00b”, you should probably invest in a good Linux book, perhaps from O’Reilly & Associates.

Otherwise, read the release notes on installation media for the version of Fedora Core you’re installing.

I’ve found another excellent site is — a unofficial set of answers to almost every question you could have about running Fedora Core as a desktop operating system. Perhaps the most valuable advice on is the information about third-party yum repositories where you can grab all the fun stuff that’s not included with Fedora Core by default including MP3 and DVD support as well as proprietary accelerated video drivers.

Running Linux on laptops in general

Specific hardware

  • NVidia (video and motherboard chipsets)

Some frequently asked questions

I’ve received great response from the online community to this page. Thank you for your support. There are some questions that more than one person has asked, so I’ve decided to share the answers to those questions here!

Q: How do you get the integrated card reader working?

A: Beats me. This is tied to the TI 1620 PCMCIA controller, but it seems it requires the driver to load some firmware in order to use it. My hope is that someone who is either smarter than me or has more time to burn than me will someday figure out how to do this in Linux. Or, I guess, Texas Instruments could benevolently donate some code into the open source world.

Q: How do you get the integrated wireless working?

A: I knew the optional integrated 802.11b/g wireless network adapter was based on a Broadcomm chipset so I didn’t even bother adding it to my order. Instead, I planned on using a PCMCIA WLAN card.

That said, I have heard from some people that the NdisWrapper code will let you run the Broadcomm adapter by making use of the Windows driver. This reportedly only works in 32-bit (i386) Linux environments and not in 64-bit (x86_64) environments. But, all hope is not lost.

(6 August 2006) Word is the open source community has been making great progress on reverse-engineering the Broadcomm chipset. A completely open source driver for this chipset, which appears as many, many onboard wireless systems, will be available soon.

Q: Can you remove the Broadcomm WLAN adapter and/or install a more Linux-friendly WLAN adapter?

A: That is a good question. The Broadcomm adapter is a miniPCI adapter, so it’s not that difficult to remove. Several other WLAN adapters are available in miniPCI format which enjoy much better Linux support such as those built on the Prism54 chipset and Intel’s Wireless Pro adapters.

There is bad news, however. I’ve run across some rumor online that HP’s BIOS includes a card whitelist that only accepts miniPCI cards that are “blessed” by HP. Attempts to insert other cards are met with an “unsupported card” BIOS error.

Some references to this:

Q: How do you get the internal modem to work in Linux?

A: It’s a “Winmodem”, like most modern laptop modems. I suspect you’ll have much better luck getting a PCMCIA modem or a USB hardware modem working.

Output from lspci says the modem is a 00:06.1 Modem: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 00d9 (rev a2). This suggests maybe the NVidia NForce3 drivers for Linux may be useful.

One reader has corresponded with me and says he had some luck with winmodem drivers he downloaded from <>. Specifically he mentioned slmodem2.9.4.

I played around with this a little bit and discovered this driver specifically works with 32-bit Linux and doesn’t seem too friendly with the x86_64 architecture. I will continue to investigate.

I welcome any other comments on this.

Q: When I plug my headphones into the headphone jack, the speakers stay on. Is my laptop broken?

A: Nope. I find it odd that this is handled in software, but it apparently is (or is supposed to be). To enjoy your music in private, mute or turn down the master channel in your favorite mixer application. The headphone channel will let you control the level being sent to the headphone jack. It’s weird, but it’s also kind of cool.

Q: Is there a way to suspend or hibernate this laptop in Linux?

A: I have not tried this yet. I will experiment with swsusp and see what I can figure out.

Q: How do I get the extra buttons (i.e. images, music, WWW butons above keyboard and volume control buttons along front of laptop) to work in Linux.

I had not spent much time investigating this, but decided one day to check it out. It turned out to be a much simpler solution than I thought.

The best resource I’ve found on this topic is hosted by titled HOWTO_Use_Multimedia_Keys.

If you follow the instructions in the above HOWTO, you’ll be able to capture the key codes for each of the launch buttons above the keyboard (camera, music, www), the volume and mute buttons at the front of the laptop, and the FN-Function key combinations for play-pause, stop, previous, and next. You can use these codes to build a configuration file to give to xmodmap.

To run xmodmap automatically, you can either put the command /usr/bin/xmodmap $HOME/.Xmodmap in your .xsession file (if you’re using graphical login), your .xinitrc file (if you’re starting X with startx), or in your shell’s startup file (.bashrc, .zshrc, etc.).

You also need to use the setkeycodes command for a couple special keys. I put these commands in /etc/rc.local:

# Multimedia keys not known by kernel
/usr/bin/setkeycodes e008 136
/usr/bin/setkeycodes e00b 140

Here is what my .Xmodmap file looks like:

keycode 161 = XF86Launch0
keycode 122 = XF86Launch1
keycode 178 = XF86WWW
keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
keycode 162 = XF86AudioPlay
keycode 164 = XF86AudioStop
keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev
keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext

You can then bind these XF86 mappings to special meanings inside your window manager. In KDE, this is done via the KDE Control Center in the Accessibility facility.