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HP 2133 Mini-Note PC

The HP 2133 is HP an inexpensive sub-notebook with the marketed intent of targeting the educational sector. It is an obvious competitor to similarly-designed notebooks such as the ASUS Eee PC.

It is small (10.04" x 6.5" x 1.05"), comes with a VIA C7-M processor and a 1280 x 768 8.9" WXGA display, and has either ample hard drive storage or 4 GB of Flash-based storage.


There are fourteen models of the HP 2133, all with varying hardware configurations; three of which come loaded with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and the others with Windows Vista.

Essential specifications


00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Host Bridge
00:00.1 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Host Bridge
00:00.2 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Host Bridge
00:00.3 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Host Bridge
00:00.4 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Host Bridge
00:00.5 PIC: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 I/O APIC Interrupt Controller
00:00.6 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Security Device
00:00.7 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 Host Bridge
00:01.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237 PCI Bridge
00:02.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 PCI to PCI Bridge Controller (rev 80)
00:03.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M900 PCI to PCI Bridge Controller (rev 80)
00:0f.0 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. Device 5372
00:10.0 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.2 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.3 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.4 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 90)
00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237S PCI to ISA Bridge
00:11.7 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8251 Ultra VLINK Controller
00:13.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A Host Bridge
00:13.1 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A PCI to PCI Bridge
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. Chrome9 HC IGP (rev 01)
02:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11a/b/g (rev 02)
07:03.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5788 Gigabit Ethernet (rev 03)
80:01.0 Audio device: VIA Technologies, Inc. VIA High Definition Audio Controller (rev 10)


Installation media

The HP 2133 does not have an optical drive, so this will be a little exciting. The easiest Gentoo method is to build a 2008.0 (beta 1, at time of writing) LiveUSB disk and boot with that. Thankfully, this is amazingly easy!

A script exists as an attachment to that automates converting the LiveDVD ISO to a bootable format direct to a disk. At time of writing, the only suitable media is livedvd-i686-installer-2008.0_beta1.iso, so a large USB drive is necessary.

A couple steps are necessary to prepare the disk, but nothing major. The below steps assume you have a USB disk of at least 4 GB in size.

Partition your USB disk:

fdisk /dev/sdX

In fdisk, delete ('d') all existing partitions on your target USB disk, create one new ('n') primary partition of type FAT32 (type b), mark it active ('a'), and write ('w') the partition table.

Download the script linked from the bug (the author of this wiki page used the attachment dated 2008-03-03 18:34) and start it:

./ --format livedvd-i686-installer-2008.0_beta1.iso /dev/sdX1

This will go through the long process of copying the necessary files to your USB disk.

Your USB disk should now be bootable. Plug it into the side of your HP 2133, turn it on, and press F9 to get to the boot menu. Select the USB drive (it will be named as the device, but it is likely the middle option of the three) and you should see the familiar grub shell.

You must enter the grub commands to boot by hand, unfortunately:

kernel /boot/gentoo root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc dokeymap looptype=squashfs \
       loop=/image.squashfs cdroot vga=791
initrd /boot/gentoo.igz

From this point on, you can continue as you would any normal Gentoo installation. Caveats, or HP 2133-specific notes, are all that appear below, so use the Gentoo Handbook!

Core Gentoo installation

Chapter 3

The 2008.0 beta 1 media does not seem to support the wireless (b43) so one must install either with the wired connection (which works automatically) or via a networkless install.

Chapter 4

The hard disk is /dev/sda. It may be partitioned as desired.

Chapter 5

The processor in the HP 2133 is a VIA C7-M. As per Safe Cflags, the below /etc/make.conf options are appropriate:

File: /etc/make.conf
CFLAGS="-march=i686 -mmmx -msse -msse2 -msse3 -O2 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"

Chapter 7

You should grab at least gentoo-sources-2.6.25-r2, as 2.6.25 has better support for the wireless driver, and (included in gentoo-sources-2.6.25-r2) has a compatibility fix specific to the b43 on VIA hardware. Accept the ~x86 keyword for the package, if necessary.

File: /etc/portage/package.keywords
sys-kernel/gentoo-sources ~x86

An example kernel configuration can be found here: linux-2.6.25-gentoo-r5


There's nothing special left to do to get a basic install running. Further components will be set up from your working installation, so reboot into your newly installed Gentoo!


It's easier to install support for a number of items after you've booted and are off the Gentoo LiveUSB. Install these at your leisure.


If you have a 2.6.26-rc5 or later kernel, support is included, however it is limited to Master and PCM channels. Input is untested. For older kernels or more functionality, use the version provided by media-sound/alsa-driver.


With kernel 2.6.26-rc5 and later, you can use the included Intel HD Audio driver.

Linux Kernel Configuration: Intel HD Audio
Device Drivers  --->
  Sound  --->
    <M> Sound card support
      Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  --->
        <M> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
        PCI Devices  --->
          <M> Intel HD Audio
          [*]  Build hwdep interface for HD-audio driver
          [*]  Build VIA HD-audio codec support
          [*]  Enable generic HD-audio codec parser
          [*]  Aggressive power-saving on HD-audio

Configure ALSA modules

File: /etc/modules.d/alsa
alias and-card-0 snd-hda-intel
alias sound-slot-0 snd-card0
/etc/init.d/alsasound start


The card is an HDA VIA VT82xx and is supported by ALSA in the kernel, but seemingly only by the generic Intel HDA driver, so not much is available. Instead, use the development drivers provided in Portage:

File: /etc/portage/package.unmask
File: /etc/portage/package.keywords
media-sound/alsa-headers **
media-sound/alsa-driver **
emerge media-sound/alsa-driver
/etc/init.d/alsasound start

This should enable master, PCM, microphone, and speaker mixers, with a couple input sources. See general ALSA/sound documentation to proceed.


The touchpad is your basic Synaptics touchpad. Use the Synaptics Touchpad guide to configure it. Additionally, the button under the spacebar to disable the touchpad should work out of the box.



VIA has their own open source drivers supporting the chipset in the HP 2133 (VN896), but the author could not get them to work, and they may conflict with the openChrome drivers (which may be significant if planning on running X). The generic vesafb driver in the kernel will suffice; vga=791 is a suitable argument in this case.

The 2D portion of the graphics chipset is supported in X by x11-drivers/xf86-video-openchrome, so select 'via' as your video card for X:

File: /etc/make.conf

The driver name to use in xorg.conf is "openchrome". Note that openchrome does not yet support 3D on the chip, so DRI and DRM are not yet functioning — dragging windows in X may be slow at times, etc.

A custom mode line for the laptop panel may need to be provided. The following is care of

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Modes"
  Identifier "modes"
  Modeline  "1280x768" 92.15 1280 1352 1488 1696 768 769 772 799


Section "Monitor"
  Identifier "Monitor"
  UseModes "modes"

An example xorg.conf can be found here: xorg.conf

If the above configuration does not work try adding the following lines to the Section "Device" of xorg.conf. The second line fixes the mouse pointer which is otherwise not visible. While the first line ensures your screen is not blank.

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Device"
Option "ForcePanel"  "On"
Option "SWCursor"    "On"
Option "AccelMethod" "XAA" #There are some issues with EXA and openchrome, have raised bug report with openchrome


Works correctly with current SVN releases of Linux UVC driver (


See the Broadcom 43xx article.



Suspend to disk works out of the box on gentoo-sources-2.6.26-r1 and gentoo-sources-2.6.25-r7. Use hibernate-script.


If you are using a non-framebuffer console, emerge vbetool and configure hibernate-ram to use it.

File: /etc/hibernate/ram.conf
EnableVbetool yes
VbetoolPost yes

Ensure b43 is compiled as a module. This will prevent the kernel from crashing on resume. Add irqpoll to the kernel command line (i.e. in grub.conf) so wireless will work on resume. Tested on gentoo-sources-2.6.26-rc1.

Outstanding issues


(See the beginning of the Sound section, these shouldn't be an issue anymore)


See also

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Last modified: Fri, 03 Oct 2008 08:09:00 +0000 Hits: 7,563