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This article is part of the Hardware series.
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The HP Pavilion dv5000 series laptop has a similar form factor to its predecessor, the zv6000 series laptops. The dv5000 series is available in two different configurations: One based on the AMD line of processors with ATI Radeon graphics, and the other based on Intel mobile processors (Celeron, Core Solo and Core Duo processors) with an optional upgrade to an nVidia GeForce Go 7400 video card. This article specifically deals with installing Gentoo Linux on the latter machine, the dv5000t. This machine's sister, the HP Pavilion dv5000z is covered under a separate article, though some overlap is to be expected. When ordering this machine, it has many customizable features including processors, hard drive size, CD/DVD Burner options and video card options and monitor type. These specific configuration issues will be noted where it may impact your installation.


Like many machines these days, this laptop comes pre-installed with Windows XP. Unless a backup disk was ordered with the machine, it does not come with a Windows XP system disk either. In addition, Hewlett Packard sets up the machine with an additional partition for backup purposes. HP also pre-installs some software and toys which may include Microsoft Money, CD Burning utilities and so on.. You will not have backup disks for any of this software. If you have any intention of using Windows on this machine, back up your entire system with whatever backup utility you prefer. Even if you're not sure, it is recommended that you do this.

You will also need to consider your partitioning scheme. If you intend to keep Windows XP and you would like to resize the partition, it is your choice how you would like to complete this task. You may be more comfortable using a Windows based utility to resize your Windows partition. Depending on your preferences, you may want to delete the backup partition as well (I did). Just be warned - if you don't backup onto some other medium, you will never get your add-on programs back if your Windows partition should fail.

Do not create your Linux partitions yet! This is best done through Gentoo's Installation Documentation.

Gentoo Installation

For installation procedures, please follow the Installation Documents on Gentoo's home page. Following are some notes on some modifications to the installation:

Hard Drive Notes

The hard drive in your laptop is a Serial ATA device. Your hard drive will be /dev/sda and the first partition of that hard drive would be /dev/sda1, the second /dev/sda2 and so on.

If you're using Grub as your boot manager, please note that Grub does not distinguish between SDA or HDA hard drives. /dev/sda1 is still considered by Grub to be (hd0,0).

Kernel Configuration Notes

Enable Serial ATA.

If you intend to use an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 wireless adapter, you'll want to use a 2.6.13 kernel or newer. As of this writing, the default Gentoo kernel is current.

Hardware Configuration

Once you're able to boot into your fresh new installation of Linux, you still have a lot of things to set up. Below are some details about some of the hardware devices on your computer that you may wish to configure.

nVidia with X

You will need to emerge the nvidia-drivers module. At the time of this writing, they are masked. So I had to do the following to get them emerged:

 If you already installed the nvidia-kernel and nvidia-glx modules:
 emerge -C nvidia-kernel nvidia-glx

 Now lets get the nvidia-drivers installed:
 echo "x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords
 emerge nvidia-drivers

Once this is all set up, you should be able to set up X normally. A good start is to use the command: startx -- -configure. It will create an file in your home directory which you can use to tweak your /etc/X11/xorg.conf configuration file.


The touchpad is made by Synaptics. Installation is fairly simple. All you need to do is emerge synaptics and edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file accordingly. There are three sections you'll need to edit: ServerLayout, Module and the mouse InputDevice section. Backup your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file before modifying, just in case. Then edit so that these sections look similar to this.

File: cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  # Note: '...' means that certain aspects of the file have been omitted here.

  Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier     " Configured"
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
        InputDevice    "Synaptics Touchpad" "CorePointer"
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
  Section "Module"
        Load  "synaptics"
  Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Synaptics Touchpad"
        Driver      "synaptics" #"mouse"
        Option      "Protocol" "auto-dev"
        Option      "Device" "/dev/mouse"
  # You can probably get away without the following as defaults will likely work fine.
        Option        "FingerLow"     "25"
        Option        "FingerHigh"    "30"
        Option        "MaxTapTime"    "180"
        Option        "MaxTapMove"    "220"
        Option        "VertScrollDelta" "100"
        Option        "MinSpeed"      "0.09"
        Option        "MaxSpeed"      "0.18"
        Option        "AccelFactor"   "0.0015"

  # The following line is VERY important for Syndaemon to work properly.
        Option        "SHMConfig"     "on"

All you have left to do is to restart your Xorg session (if it's running) and everything should work well.

The synaptics package contains a special utility called Syndaemon. I'm using KDE, so it appears automatically in my system tray. It gives you all sorts of tweaks and additional functionality.

Volume Control Keys

Those buttons at the top of your laptop are not automatically recognized by Linux or X11. But they kernel is capable of understanding the scan codes. You will need to emerge xbindkeys, which is a utility that allows you to map keys to a function. Once emerged, add the following to ~/.xbindkeysrc:

File: cat ~/.xbindkeysrc
  "amixer sset Master 1+"
  "amixer sset Master 1-"
  "amixer sset Master toggle"

Now, you'll need to automatically start xbindkeys whenever you start your X11 session.


In KDE, you'll need to add a symbolic link to xbindkeys in your ~/.kde/Autostart/ directory/:

  # ln -s /usr/bin/xbindkeys ~/.kde/Autostart/ 


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Last modified: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 01:17:00 +0000 Hits: 9,178