Review: Running Linux on the HP Envy 14

HP Envy 14Because I travel a lot for my job, I looked for a portable alternative to my DELL XPS M2010. As nice as the huge display was – the 20″ machine was just unsuited as cabin bagge or for mobile usage. Not even to talk of some very special examinations during the security checks on airports.

After very thorough research, my choice fell upon the HP Envy 14, which offers in my opinion the best compromise between portability, power and design. I bought it right away on the release day.

Key facts

  • Intel Core i5-520 2.4 GHz CPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 500 GB 7.200 rpm HDD
  • Hybrid graphics(ATI MobilityRadeon HD 5650 1GB / Intel Arrandale)
  • 14.5″ LED screen  with 1600x900px resolution

Especially the screen is worth mentioning: The so-called “ultra radiance display” is a very bright screen with brilliant contrast and color gammut that is bright enough to work outdoor even though it has a mirroring surface. The additional “extras” of the Envy are the chassis, which is completely made of magnesium and alloy, the backlit island-style keyboard and the large button-less touchpad with multi-touch support (titled ClickPad by HP)

The price tag of 1299 EUR for a customer notebook places the machine in the premium sector. The price as well as the craftmanship make the Envy HP’s top of the customer line. The metal chassis is crafted precisely and looks so stylish that it is easily comparable with Apple devices or the some of the better Sony VAIO machines. On top comes a display, which is without doubt the best display I have ever seen on a notebook.

Compatibility with Linux 2.6.34

HP Envy 14: metal chassisLinux runs on the machine without bigger hassle, what is astounding when you consider how new this hardware is. While the Windows drivers are always available when a device hits the market, can Linux developers often start testing and coding not until then.

I tested the Envy with the brand new  openSUSE 11.3 and the latest release candidate of the upcoming KDE SC 4.5. You find a comprehensive compatibility check and some advice to get problematic components working below.

What runs out of the box:

  • integrated graphics
  • sound card
  • LAN port
  • integrated DVD/CD-ROM/RAM/RW slot-in drive
  • webcam
  • SD/MMC card reader
  • bluetooth

What required some additional work:

  • switching between integrated and discrete graphics
  • wireless adapter
  • multi touch support and button zones of the ClickPad
  • making the mic work properly with Skype

What required fiddeling around:

  • brightness control of the display

What causes trouble up until now:

  • the proprietary ATI fglrx driver refuses to work
  • distorted output for devices plugged to the DisplayPort

The wireless adapter

The used wireless adapter is unfortunately no intel card but a Broadcom BCM43224. Of all chipsets, this one is not supported by the free b43 kernel driver and requires a manual installation of the proprietary Broadcom wl driver. Some distributions already provide prebuilt packages but also compiling the driver yourself is not a big deal and doesn’t put even intermediate beginners into trouble. Do not forget to copy the firmware file into /lib/firmware after installation, then load the wl kernel module and enjoy your working wireless connection.

I still have the issue that the driver randomly refuses to report the signal strength even though the connection is still established and working. But this is a minor issue which should not be too much of a headache.


The missing signal is caused by the wireless adapter roaming between the different frequencies or the router (802.11b/g/n), not disconnecting but misleadingly reporting no signal. You can minimize this behaviour by limiting your router to the 802.11b/g bands, causing the wireless adapter to roam only every now and then for a few seconds.


The ClickPad

The ClickPad works right after installation. Well – at least sort of because multi-touch and button zones are not working thus making clicking only possible with “tap to click”. Fortunately, Takashi Iwai is already working on kernel and XOrg patches although they did not make it into the kernel and XOrg yet. You can still make use of the current state of development (at least with openSUSE): Iwai provides a special repository with a patched kernel and XOrg driver.

The graphics adapters

Switchable graphics

While swtiching between the energy-saving integrated adapter and the powerful discrete adapter works on the fly in Windows, you need to restart the X server under Linux. Anyway: Thanks to the vga_switcheroo module coming with kernel 2.6.34, the switchable graphics is actually quite usable with Linux.

To try it for yourselves, you may use a  script with GUI or access /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch directly with a shell:

  • echo DDIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch switches to the discrete adapter
  • echo DIGD > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch switces to the integrated adapter
  • echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switchunpowers the unsused apdater (saves energy)
  • echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switchpowers the unused adapter

Black console

Right after the installation, I notcied that the console remained black after the boot menu (the display turns off) before the KDE login screen appears. After some testing, I found out that is is due to the switchable graphics. It seems as running the i915 and radeon kernel modules causes some conflicts.

Fixing this is quite simply: Simply put the unneeded module (e.g. radeon) on the blacklist in /etc/modprobe.d and recreate the ramdisk with mkinitrd. Reboot to check whether it woked out.

Brightness control of the display

This problem was fixed in openSUSE ClickPad Kernel 2.6.35.

HP Envy 14: sleekThe most complicated part was getting the brightness control of the display to work. It insistently refused to work and none of the fixes found in the web showed any response. Looking into dmesg showed me, that the BIOS does not support the _BQC method that is needed for the brightness control to work.

This is where an Ubuntu developer saved me. The Envy 14 is not the only notebook with this flaw (actually some Dell machines have this, too), so a bu bug report already existed in Launchpad. Kamel Mostafa has written a patch, that enables brightness control for the i915 kernel module and provided a pre-compiled kernel. The kernel was useless with openSUSE but the patches were not.

With some work I managed to merge the patches into the ClickPad-enabled kernel-desktop package by Takashi Iwai, who luckily provided a kernel-desktop-devel containing the kernel sources. After some typing and a lot of waiting, the new kernel and its modules were compiled:

  1. copy patch to /usr/src
  2. cd /usr/src
  3. patch -p0 < kernel_i915_backlight_controls.diff
  4. follow this tutorial to compile kernel and kernel modules, then install and reboot

After having done this, there should exist a file named /sys/class/backlight/i915/brightness. If you write values between 0 and 9 into it, the brightness of the screen changes immediately:

echo -n5 > /sys/class/backlight/i915/brightness

But you also need to modify the XOrg counter part f the intel driver in order to having XOrg find the correct file to control brightness. Download the xf86-video-intel sources and apply this patch, which adds the correct path to the list of searched pathes. Now compile & install the sources and restart the X server.

You can measure success with:

  1. xbacklight -get should output the current brightness

  2. xbacklight -set [0 - 100] should modifiy the brightness

If xbacklight now works as expected, you can control brightness with the slider control of KDE’s battery plasmoid. And the power plans now are capable of controlling screen brightness, too.

Add the final polishment by assigning user-defined hotkeys to the FN-keys for brightness control. Assign custom commands: xbacklight -dec 20 (darker) repectively xbacklight -inc 20 (darker).

The microphone under Skype

With Skype all voices (no matter whether they are recorded with a plugged-in mic or the integrated array mic next to the webcam) are recorded 2 otaves too low. The reason is a resource conflict in ALSA.  You can fix this by putting this .asoundrc file into your home directory and start Skype as follows:

ALSA_OSS_PCM_DEVICE=”skype” aoss skype

Of course you may put this call into a convenient shell script.

The drawbacks

Battery capacity

HP Envy 14: backlit brand logoopenSUSE does not seem to be the most energy-saving distribution around. You can optimize the power consumption from > 50W to a little more than 25W (with wireless) by following some of the hints by Intels powertop tool. But this is still far from the 13W that Windows 7 consumes while running on battery thus causing a disappointing runtime of 2.5h on battery while Windows runs >4h. Especially the wireless driver seems to be a battery eater. Let us hope that the Broadcom BCM433324 chipset gets supported soon by the free b43 driver.

The optional slice battery may help as it doubles the capacity of the internal battery. Still: 5h is not a great value in terms of mobility.


I found out that the ATI adapter eats battery even when the radeon module is not loaded. If you load the module and power the ATI adapter off as described above, the power consumption decreases dramatically. Now my notebook consumes about 9W idle and 13-15W while surfing with wireless, minimum display brightness and deactivated desktop effects. This power consumption matches the values measured with Windows 7. Now the Envy 14 runs more than 4h before switching off, yay! :)

You can wrench out the endmost drop out of the wireless drivers by reducing the reciever sensitivity:

iwconfig wlan0 txpower 25 (20 also works)

Thx to Alejandro for this advice!

Now I need to automate all power saving measures with a power plan. I will blog about this later.


The ATI drivers

The proprietary ATI fglrx driver refuses to work because it cannot deal with switchable graphics. It also does not yet support kernel 2.6.34, but this can be fixed by patching the install scripts. The big problem remains the changed memory address where the firmware resides. You cannot do much about it because this is closed source. Yet some kernel developers meanwhile try to modify vga_switcheroo that it also copies the firmware when switching graphic adapters. We just need to sit back and wait whether the kernel developers are successful or will fail due to the closed source.

Whether and when ATI addresses this problem with an updated driver remains unknown.

The free radeon driver works but does not yet support 3D acceleration, resulting in crappy desktop effects that are rendered with software method. This may be an option if you require the DisplayPort or HDMI output. But for everyday use, the Intel adapter is the better choice at the moment.


The DisplayPort and HDMI are only usable while running on the discrete graphics adapter but this limitation exists under Windows, too.

The free radeon driver finds both ports but the output is distorted. I have not examined this problem any further. But the output works with Windows and Linux can access the hardware which makes me optimistic that this issue can be solved sooner or later.


After two weeks I am still very happy with my purchase. All in all is the HP Envy 14 a good choice for Linux users. Compared to my DELL XPS M2010, the important components all work out of the box or with moderate work. I really can recommend the machine to everyone, even non-Linux users. HP managed to give PC enthusiasts a real Mac alternative.

Dieses Problem ist im openSUSE ClickPad Kernel 2.6.35 behoben.


199 Responses to “Review: Running Linux on the HP Envy 14”

  1. sheytan
    18. July 2010 um 17:50

    What’s the wallpaper? :D

  2. xSacha
    18. July 2010 um 18:16

    Unfortunately you got the German Envy 14. They come with the broadcom wireless. I ordered a US one that gets an Intel 6200 Wireless.
    I decided to go with the solid state drive too – other than that it is the same as your laptop.
    Nice to see Linux people with this laptop. Hopefully it will gain support quickly.

  3. jirik
    18. July 2010 um 18:31

    Thanks for the review. I was looking for a replacement and really did like this one, however I was afraid of the Linux compatibility issues. Your review gives me at least some hope ;)

  4. Astreek
    18. July 2010 um 19:16

    Why do you use Flash in you web site? There is no Flash player for 64 bit, the old one from Adobe has many security bugs, and the don’t support it any more. The open ones don’t really work.

  5. Andreas Demmer
    18. July 2010 um 21:03

    @SHEYTAN: You can get the wallpaper here:

  6. Pawel
    18. July 2010 um 21:33

    Great review! Let’s hope we’ll get full open source support soon. I’m interested in power management especially.

  7. Alejandro Nova
    19. July 2010 um 03:56

    Try feeding this to your notebook, if you are with the proprietary wl driver.

    # iwconfig wlan0 txpower 25 (20 also works)

    This will slash the power consumption of your wireless device by almost a factor of ten (1.2 W without, .12 W with), without affecting your WLAN sensitivity. The b43 defaults to 20 and broadcom-wl defaults to 32, hence the power consumption difference.

  8. Fri13
    19. July 2010 um 08:25

    These are interesting always when people bought new laptop and they tell what works and what does not and how to get them working, by the easy manner like you just did.

    Must say that the laptop looks very much like Mac Book Pro but the texturing is applied so Apple would not sue ;)

    Looks good and seems to work well.

  9. warnec
    19. July 2010 um 11:57

    Is it possible to make a permanent choice of the graphic card which is supposed to be used in the BIOS? (like in ThinkPads)

    How does the Intel graphic chip handle 3D effects?

  10. Andreas Demmer
    19. July 2010 um 12:38

    Unfortunately, you cannot preselect your prefered graphics card in BIOS. I already complained about this in the official HP forums.
    The internal Intel Arrandale adapter runs the desktop effects well in most times, in some cases (especially under load), you can see that some effects randomly do not run very smoothly. But for most use cases, desktop effects will be just fine with the Intel card.

  11. warnec
    19. July 2010 um 13:39

    Thanks for the information.

    I consider buying it, and hopefully by the time I get it
    at least most of the problems (if not all) will be resolved.

    One last question – as the ClickPad doesn’t appear to have any buttons, do “two-finger tap to right-click” and “three-finger tap to middle-click” “two button scroll” “circular scroll” etc. work? If not, did You try enabling them?

  12. Andreas Demmer
    19. July 2010 um 13:44

    The ClickPad has button zones defined. You can “click” there and the touchpad does not move the cursor then but give a little tactile feedback. This needs Takashi Iwais ClickPad patch in order to work.

  13. warnec
    19. July 2010 um 14:47

    i’m not sure I understood you correctly. So, tapping on certain zones/corners makes the clickpad vibrate? And how can You trigger right/middle clicks? I’m particularly interested if they can be triggered by two/three finger taps.

  14. Andreas Demmer
    19. July 2010 um 14:53

    Not vibrate but act like a hardware button: it lowers about a millimeter and you can feel the clickpoint. You can right click because the button zone is divided into a left and right zone. Clicking on the line that separates the left and right zone triggers a middle click.

  15. warnec
    19. July 2010 um 15:59

    wow! This tactile feedback thing sounds fantastic. To me though, it is pretty sci-fi ;) How easy is that to use? I mean, don’t You believe two/three finger taps are more comfortable/faster to use? And how about scrolling? Sorry to put You through this little interrogation, but I believe it’s something I need to know about before deciding to buy this laptop.

  16. Alejandro Nova
    20. July 2010 um 00:14

    BTW, why not try Fedora? From what I know, OpenSuSE and NVIDIA is a potential hell: there’s no semi-official repository, the NVIDIA repositories are ill maintained, and you can find KDE 4.5 RC2 here too.

  17. Andreas Demmer
    20. July 2010 um 08:40

    @warnec: I had a look into ksynaptics, two-finger and three-finger taps can be activated and work well. But I still prefer the ClickPad button zones. I have also activated two-finger horizontal and vertical scrolling but also circular scrolling would be possible (altough it collided with windows movement too easily for me).

    @Alejandro: Thx for your suggestions. The E14 has an ATI, not a NVIDIA adapter. I always compiled the driver rpm by myself, the old school way like a real man does it! ;) I’ve been an openSUSE guys back since the days of SuSE 6.0.

  18. warnec
    20. July 2010 um 09:55

    Ok, just my last thoughts now. I read a post about E14 w/ Linux on Notebookcheck (AFAIR) where You wrote about Your impressions. The biggest problem at the end seemed to be the battery life – Did You try the powersave trick for WiFi as explained in comments on this site above? Did You also try CPU Throttling (AFAIK it’s about lowering CPU’s multiplier when it’s not in use – cpufreq should do the job, just make sure to select the powersave profile in its options) PS does Your envy have a “Deutsch Tastatur” w/QWERTZ and Strg? Just out of curiousity ;)

  19. Andreas Demmer
    20. July 2010 um 09:58

    Please read my updated post above, I have fixed the battery issue and the E14 now runs over 4h in Linux. And yes, it has a German keyboard layout with umlauts, STRG keys, double-sized ENTER key and other weird stuff! :D

  20. warnec
    20. July 2010 um 12:03

    Ok, I’ve seen the part about powering off an unused card. Good for You! 4h of runtime, maybe 7-8 with slice battery ;)

    PS Do You think it’d be necessary if one were to use fglrx driver?
    Do You believe it’d support vga_switcheroo and 2.6.34 soon?


    I am a little worried this laptop is equipped with ATI graphics, which isn’t renowned for very good Linux compatibility. To be honest, I don’t really hope my hope for the open-source radeon driver – it doesn’t seem to live up to expectations, and even with all the help from ATI it seems to get, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change soon.
    So the options now (and possibly in the future) ar the Intel adapter (not really powerful) or fglrx.

    And the thing is – as this laptop is quite expensive, if I were to use it, I’d expect *at least* 5 years if not more before I decide to switch to a newer hardware.

    Aren’t You afraid ATI might remove the E14′s GPU from its compatibility list by then? (So that one is either left with Intel, hopefully better radeon driver, or older distro which fglrx would support)

  21. warnec
    20. July 2010 um 12:09

    Oh, and did You try CPU throttling and the WiFi trick? How does it influence the battery life and wattage? How do You measure it under Windows?

    Too many questions, I know…. ;)

  22. Andreas Demmer
    20. July 2010 um 13:10

    PPS: I am no fortune-teller, so I cannot forsee when fglrx is supported or outdated.
    CPU-Throtteling works out of the box (1.2GHz when on battery instead of 2.4GHz). WiFi trick works, too but saves only around 1-2W which is not too much.

  23. Alexander van Loon
    25. July 2010 um 15:08

    Like the earlier commenter said, please exorcise Flash from your weblog! It seems unnecessary to use it for displaying heading text.

    I wonder, do you really need the Radeon HD5650 for gaming or something, or is it effectively dead weight and a power guzzler? I’m kind of jealous you can afford to spend € 1300 on a notebook, but if I’d have the budget I would have spent it on a more portable one, 13,3″ is my favourite diagonal screen size for a portable notebook, I suspect the 1600×900 would have been a strong incentive for you to buy the HP though. And I would have chosen one with just Intel integrated graphics. If I had your budget I might have chosen a Sony VAIO VPC-S12X9E/B, which is € 250 cheaper than the HP. I wonder if you asked for a refund on the Windows license included with the HP, or do you actually use Windows?

    I bought an Acer TravelMate Timeline 8371, which cost me less than € 500 after a Windows license refund, and I’m very happy with it. It’s great value for money, and replacing it’s hard disk drive with an Intel X25-M SSD was also a very good idea. It’s aimed at business users, so it’s not such piece of junk with a shiny plastic chassis aimed at consumers.

    Good to see you have more luck with measures to cut power consumption on Linux than me. Several annoying bugs are the cause of a far greater power consumption on Linux than on Windows, one is a bug in Phonon which blocks the audio chip from going in to power saving mode, but the Phonon devs don’t give any priority to fixing it. Another one is that SCSI host link power management is always set to high performance and that there’s no way to set it to power saving, which probably makes the greatest difference. That happens when using Kubuntu. For those who wish to know more and who want to see bug reports, see my weblog.

  24. Andreas Demmer
    25. July 2010 um 15:45

    The ATI card is needed to use the DisplayPort and HDMI output. I have not asked for a Windows license refund because I installed LInux as dualboot with WIndows. Not that I use WIndows regulary – it’s more than a “backup plan” for Software that I do not want to run within my virtualbox.
    I agree that the Acer TimeLine series is sexy, especially the TimeLine X model. But it has an inferior screen compared to the HP.

  25. Gregory
    25. July 2010 um 23:45

    The skype hint has solved my skype microphone problems (I am using opensuse 11.3 – 32 bit with skype 2.x)


  26. Obi-Wahn
    26. July 2010 um 09:00

    Ist switcheroo bei openSUSE 11.3 schon aktiviert? Ich hatte mal gehört, dass man den Kernel neu kompilieren müsste.

  27. Andreas Demmer
    26. July 2010 um 09:04

    Geht mit openSUSE 11.3 (und allen anderen Distributionen, die mindestens Kernel 2.6.34 mitliefern) out-of-the-box.

  28. Sunyata
    26. July 2010 um 10:57

    Is it safe to say that my experiences in installing Ubuntu will be pretty much the same? I know nothing about computers.

  29. warnec
    26. July 2010 um 16:24

    You might have some problems with ClickPad and brightness controls on Ubuntu 10.04, but as soon as 10.10 is released, there *should* be no problems.

  30. Matthew Monaco
    29. July 2010 um 16:13

    Have any of you had any luck getting the tap-to-disable feature in the upper left corner of the touchpad working? A real bonus would be to get that LED to toggle too. Also, I have been using an xf86-input-synaptics with a clickpad patch, (the version is 1.2.2). I see there is a 1.2.99, I guess this is a development version for 1.3?

  31. warnec
    30. July 2010 um 16:17

    The ClickPad seems to require kernel patches (as seen in Takashi Iwai’s repository:
    So I doubt a new version of synaptics driver would fix ClickPad issues that easily. But You are free to try, I am curious to see whether it helps.

  32. Matthew Monaco
    31. July 2010 um 15:50

    I am using a patched synaptics xorg driver and my clickpad is working fine (I can right an left click…) What I am having trouble with is multitouch. I can’t two finger scroll, and if I accidentally touch the pad in a second place while doing normal movement, the mouse cursor goes wild.

  33. Andreas Demmer
    31. July 2010 um 16:54

    Do you use the patch from Takashi Iwai? You realize that it takes patching the kernel too, to make multi touch work?

  34. Matthew Monaco
    31. July 2010 um 18:06

    Ohh, hmmm. I guess I misread above. I thought patching was just required for the clickpad functionality. I didn’t realize I needed it for the touchpad too.

  35. Matthew Monaco
    31. July 2010 um 20:16

    Well, I patched the kernel and…

    i915 brightness patch – doesn’t seem to work. I get the /sys/class/backlight/i915 dir, but changing the setting doesn’t do anything. One thing I did notice though, is that my brightness keys don’t even put up the little indicator when changing brightness anymore.

    clickpad/multitouch patch – my touchpad no longer works. it’s recognized in Xorg.0.log, but it’s not responsive.

    touchpad-led patch – didn’t try to figure out how to use it yet

  36. runamok
    1. August 2010 um 22:13

    How do you monitor power consumption on Linux? I’ve tried Powertop and gnome-power-statistics but neither gives me any statistics on power usage while on battery or AC. Powertop says “no ACPI power usage estimate available” while Gnome’s Power Statistics does not update the History Rate graph.

    Regarding the GPU, how can I tell which module (discrete or integrated) is running?

    Thanks for the writeup. I’m also following your comments on the Envy 14 & Linux forum discussion over at

  37. runamok
    1. August 2010 um 22:15

    Just an update, I looked over at my Envy 14 which had Powertop running and it’s now updating the power usage (only while on battery). I should have been more patient. Kindly ignore that question now. Thanks.

  38. Matthew Monaco
    2. August 2010 um 15:52

    Well, 2.6.35 has been released. Hopefully most of these patches are included.

  39. warnec
    3. August 2010 um 03:37

    Since 2.6.35 has been released with ClickPad support out of the box, it would be a good idea to update the Kamal Mostafa’s brightness control patch (which AFAIK hasn’t yet made it to master branch) so that it works under 2.6.35, not Takashi Iwai’s custom 2.6.34 kernel (not needed anymore, since 2.6.35 already contains his work)

  40. Felix
    3. August 2010 um 05:37

    Bei mir (Stock Kernel) erscheint das Switcheroo-Device nur, wenn ich sowohl das intel als auch das radeon Kernelmodul lade. Dann kann ich den radeon per Switcheroo ausschalten. Wenn ich dann X starte, hängt sich X auf. Die Lösung ist rmmod radeon vor dem X-Start, was allerdings einen Oops ergibt. Der scheint allerdings ansonsten folgenlos zu bleiben.

    Leider funktioniert bei mir Sound gar nicht. hda-intel erkennt zwar die Karte aber findet dann keinen Codec. Kannst du mal bitte schauen, welcher Codec und welche Settings bei dir genau erkannt werden, damit ich die mal manuell eintragen kann bei dem Modul?

    Außerdem macht mich dieses ranzige Touchpad WAHNSINNIG, weil ich da beim Tippen immer mit meiner rechten Handfläche draufkomme. Ich frage mich, für was für Hände das erfunden wurde. Die Position ist völlig unbrauchbar.

  41. Andreas Demmer
    3. August 2010 um 08:21

    @warnec: Sure that Takashi’s ClickPad patches made it into 2.6.35? Would be great… I will build a new kernel and check wether the brightness patch still works with 2.6.35, otherwise I will make an updated version.

    @Felix: Da der radeon Treiber mangels 3D-Supprt noch recht nutzlos ist, habe ich ihn geblacklistet beim Systemstart. Mein KDE-Login Script lädt das Modul dann nach X-Start nach und schaltet die Karte per vga_switcheroo ab um Strom zu sparen. Wegen dem Sound schaue ich jetzt mal. Bzgl. des Touchpads: Unter openSUSE 11.3 gibts ein Modul in den KDE Systemeinstellungen names KSynaptics. Dort kann man einstellen, dass das Touchpad während des Tippens ausgeschaltet ist und sich erst 0,5 Sekunden nach dem letzten Tastendruck wieder aktiviert. Hat bei mir die Fehlbedienungen fast auf 0 minimiert.

  42. Andreas Demmer
    3. August 2010 um 08:25

    @Felix: Meine Modulkonfiguration für die Soundkarte in /etc/ ist recht spärlich:

  43. Felix
    3. August 2010 um 18:09

    Da Problem ist, dass bei mir (stock 2.6.35 kernel) das switcheroo-Modul erst das /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/ erzeugt, wenn ich das radeon-Modul lade. Vielleicht haben sie das geändert bei SuSE.

    Bei der Soundkonfiguration: Normalerweise holt sich der Kernel das aus dem BIOS. Das BIOS scheint bei mir weniger gut zu sein als bei dir, ich kriege z.B. auch eine Packung ACPI-Warnungen, wenn ich das Ladekabel rausziehe, weil die ACPI-Tabellen im BIOS fehlerhaft sind. Hast du vielleicht ein BIOS-Update eingespielt bei dir? Oder kriegst du das auch? Ich bräuchte daher nicht so sehr deine Soundkonfiguration wie was dein ALSA sagt, welchen Codec es gefunden hat. Wenn ich Pech habe, hast du eine andere Hardware-Revision als ich.

    Hier sind meine ACPI-Meldung (Auszug):

    ACPI Error (psargs-0359): [NPSS] Namespace lookup failure, AE_NOT_FOUND
    ACPI Error (psparse-0537): Method parse/execution failed [\_PR_.CPU0.PPC_] (Node ffff88015779a6a0), AE_NOT_FOUND
    ACPI Error (psparse-0537): Method parse/execution failed [\_PR_.CPU0._PPC] (Node ffff88015779a5c0), AE_NOT_FOUND

    Und das hier passiert, wenn ich snd-hda-intel lade:

    HDA Intel 0000:00:1b.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 22 (level, low) -> IRQ 22
    alloc irq_desc for 47 on node -1
    alloc kstat_irqs on node -1
    HDA Intel 0000:00:1b.0: irq 47 for MSI/MSI-X
    HDA Intel 0000:00:1b.0: setting latency timer to 64
    hda-intel: chipset global capabilities = 0×4401
    hda-intel: codec_mask = 0×1
    hda-intel: codec #0 probed OK
    hda_codec: 92HD81B1X5: BIOS auto-probing.
    mute LED gpio 1 polarity 1
    autoconfig: line_outs=1 (0xd/0×0/0×0/0×0/0×0)
    speaker_outs=0 (0×0/0×0/0×0/0×0/0×0)
    hp_outs=1 (0xb/0×0/0×0/0×0/0×0)
    mono: mono_out=0×0
    inputs: mic=0xa, fmic=0×11, line=0×0, fline=0×0, cd=0×0, aux=0×0
    stac92xx: dac_nids=1 (0×13/0×0/0×0/0×0/0×0)

    Cannot find slave Front Playback Volume, skipped
    Cannot find slave Surround Playback Volume, skipped
    Cannot find slave Center Playback Volume, skipped
    Cannot find slave LFE Playback Volume, skipped
    Cannot find slave Side Playback Volume, skipped
    Cannot find slave Front Playback Switch, skipped
    Cannot find slave Surround Playback Switch, skipped
    Cannot find slave Center Playback Switch, skipped
    Cannot find slave LFE Playback Switch, skipped
    Cannot find slave Side Playback Switch, skipped
    Cannot find slave IEC958 Playback Switch, skipped

    Und dann habe ich halt keinen Sound.

  44. warnec
    3. August 2010 um 22:56


    I cannot find the ClickPad support commit anywhere in 2.6.35 changelog, but I do not think it is something to be concerned about – most likely it is concealed in one of the few touchpad changes, as I doubt that as small a patch as ClickPad support is would be pointed out in 2.6.35 changelogs.

    You might think I can’t really be sure, but I think this post:

    “BTW, Dmitry accepted the modified kernel patch, at least, for this
    Clickpad device support. It’s likely merged in 2.6.34 later, or at
    most in 2.6.35-rc1.”

    makes it pretty sure it’s there.

    BTW, I think Takashi also wrote a patch for ClickPad’s LED support – as I see it, one should be able to double-tap a red LED in ClickPad’s upper-left corner in order to temporarily turn off the ClickPad (and turn it back on), though I’m not sure it works that way.

    PS I understand German and am concerned about the sound problems – hope it’s not only german hardware revision Envy which has sound working ootb. (and even if it is, I hope it can be resolved with manual intervention, as Felix is trying to do)

    Wonder if you pronounce “Sound” with German “Z” at the beginning, or say it as Britons and Americans, with “S” ;)

  45. Matthew Monaco
    4. August 2010 um 02:30

    As far as the Touchpad LED patch goes, I looked through the code and didn’t really see anything that would indicate a double tap would turn on that light. After all, that seems like more of a userspace/xorg thing. I think the LED would need to be toggled through some /sys/… method.

  46. Andreas Demmer
    4. August 2010 um 10:09

    Takashi just informed me, that the patches did NOT go into kernel 2.6.35 due tot potential patent fringing (Novell legal department is currently checking this). The kernel ClickPad support is the old inferior one. However, applying the patches to 2.6.35 should be rather easy: In Takashi’s 2.6.34 kernel-source.src.rpm, you can find two patches in patches.drivers/synaptics-*. Just apply them to newer kernels.

  47. Eric Donkersloot
    4. August 2010 um 12:58


    Is the backlit keyboard actually working in linux ?



  48. Andreas Demmer
    4. August 2010 um 13:06

    It is! Works without any software driver and even in BIOS, Backlight-FN Key seems to be a hardware-switch.

  49. warnec
    4. August 2010 um 21:18


    That’s a real bummer :(

    I suppose Kamal Mostafa’s backlight control patches haven’t been merged with 2.6.35 neither, or have they?

    So the procedure of applying Takashi’s patches is the same as the one for backlight control described in Your post?

    PS Andreas, do You perchance know if the patch for xf86-video-intel You mentioned in Your post is still required or there is already a newer version with this patches fuctionality ootb?

    PPS How do You know there are any legal concerns regarding ClickPad and that Novell is investigating it? Can I get a link? (Not that I don’t believe You, but I want to be able to track any updates to the issue myself)

  50. warnec
    4. August 2010 um 21:19

    PPPS Do You know if Takashi plans to release a pre-compiled 2.6.35 kernel for openSUSE 11.3?

  51. nDray
    5. August 2010 um 00:17

    Very good information here.
    Please keep posting updates, particularly on the graphics part! It’s seems that in a few releases all should be well.
    I’m planning to buy a new laptop around September, and this is the best contestant yet.

  52. nDray
    5. August 2010 um 00:20

    Ah, sorry, just one thing!

    Can you tell us something about the option of having the air run out through the back, which forces it agaisnt the screen when the laptop is open?

    Should this be a concern for heavy performance usage?

  53. Matthew Monaco
    5. August 2010 um 03:51

    Hmm, this lack of .35 patches is a bummer. Does vanilla .35 fix _anything_ for anyone?

  54. Matthew Monaco
    5. August 2010 um 04:03

    I should also mention that my Envy 14 has not been able to read DVDs (tons of io errors in the log…) Anyone experience this?

  55. Andreas Demmer
    5. August 2010 um 06:23

    @warnec: .35 kernel fixes nothing for the Envy 14. xf86-video intel patches are not upstream yet as Mostafa has not pushed any of his patches. I opened a kernel bug ticket but no response so far. You may monitor it here:

    I do hot have a link where you can read anything about the patent fringes with multitouch, just the mail Takashi wrote me:No, it’s not. Novell legal prohibits me to send patches to upstream
    due to “potential patent fringing”. We are working on it, but won’t
    be solved so quickly.

    I will ask him, if he can provide a preconfigured and patched .35 kernel.

    nDray: Airflow is fine, the display does not cover the exhaust slots fully. So heat is not an issue.

    @Matthew: My DVD drive hat no region code set! Try “regionset” for Linux or any DVD player with Windows. Though you still need libdvdcss2 to read encrypted DVDs.

  56. nDray
    5. August 2010 um 10:41

    But does hot air flow up, against the glass? If it does, do you have any concerns about it?

  57. Andreas Demmer
    5. August 2010 um 12:31

    Not really.

  58. warnec
    7. August 2010 um 04:43

    One last question, ademmer – the Takashi’s patches You mentioned are the
    “synaptics-multi-touch” (8382 B)
    “synaptics-multi-touch-modparm” (4733 B)

    And to apply them, the same procedure (the one You described in Your post) is needed as for the Kamal Mostafa’s patch?

  59. Matthew Monaco
    12. August 2010 um 02:07

    The backlight patch is failing for me on What’s everyone doing about this?

  60. Matthew Monaco
    12. August 2010 um 05:59

    I am also unable to figure out how to get the patch to apply to xf86-input-synaptics.

    Has anyone applied all of these patches in a generic way that isn’t distribution dependent. (I’m on Arch).

    Also, any news on the HDMI port?

  61. warnec
    17. August 2010 um 23:44

    I just ran a LiveCD of openSUSE Factory KDE (build 0011, AFAIR) and setting screen brightness with Plasma’s power applet worked like a charm.

    It seems that screen brightness patch has already been merged. I don’t know if it’s done in the stock Linus’ kernel or the Novell one, though (AFAIK, Factory runs 2.6.36)

  62. Felix
    18. August 2010 um 21:14

    I found out that booting OpenSUSE or Fedora had working sound, so it must be something else. I removed some of the “less stable” looking config options, like support for DMA remapping and mmconfig, and now my sound works fine.

    Also, I got the broadcom WLAN to work. Go to the broadcom linux site,
    and download the file and the patches. Do not apply the multicast patch, that conflicts with the other patches. Also, I needed to define CONFIG_HOSTAP or the module would not compile.

    I’m not using the 2.6.26-rc1 kernel. The brightness patch also works. Now I’m happy.

  63. Cain
    19. August 2010 um 03:43

    Hello, I come from Taiwan.

    Have you test the mini displayport in the windows 7 work or not?? I used the mini displayport to VGA adapter, but not working. The adapter is my friend who use in the macbook and can working well. I don’t know the adapter for mac can use in the other notebook or not, so have any suggestion??

  64. Andreas Demmer
    19. August 2010 um 10:04

    A MIniDisplayPort-VGA adapter works fine with Windows 7, I bought one myself and use it frequently.

  65. e2b
    20. August 2010 um 00:22

    There a four existing primary partitions:
    unallocated – 1.00 MiB
    /dev/sda1 ntfs SYSTEM [boot] – 199.00 MiB
    /dev/sda2 ntfs (C:) – 450.03 GiB
    /dev/sda3 ntfs RECOVERY – 15.44 GiB
    /dev/sda4 fat32 HP_TOOLS [lba] – 103.02 MiB

    SYSTEM is the boot partition of Windows 7 including WinRE (recovery), C: the partition with the Windows 7 data and user data itself, RECOVERY a HP specific recovery (i think it’s a complete hd image because it’s the same you can burn as “Recovery Disks”) and HP_TOOLS has some BIOS updates folders and is maybe accessible via HP boot menu. HP QuickWeb (Splashtop) is maybe located on a separate flash chip, I don’t know.

    Does anyone know what I can delete for installing dualboot Windows 7 and Ubuntu? I’ve to add an extended partition and therefore I must remove one of the existing ones or maybe try to convert one. But I don’t know how important this partitions are for example for BIOS updating.

  66. warnec
    20. August 2010 um 21:55

    I think You can delete the RECOVERY one. That’s what I did.

    You can do this from Windows 7 (search “HP Recovery” in Start menu, and there is an option to delete recovery partition). If You are afraid of screwing something up, create recovery DVDs first (I didn’t bother doing that, I just deleted the partition, then shrank the C: one to obtain 30GB for openSUSE.

  67. Hina
    21. August 2010 um 09:55

    Hi Andreas Demmer,

    Could you show me any information or website about your mini display port to VGA adapter?

    I tested Apple’s adapter cannot work, so I want to search other adapter that can work fine in the ENVY.

    Thanks a lot.

  68. Andreas Demmer
    21. August 2010 um 15:00

    I have the Logilink MiniDisplayPort-to-VGA adapter, bought here.

  69. Andreas Demmer
    21. August 2010 um 15:04

    Good news: I just tested the latest ClickPad kernel 2.6.35 for openSUSE 11.3. And it has also backlight controls fixed! Means: No more manual patching, yay! Just install openSUSE 11.3, add this repo, install the kernel-desktop 2.6.35 from there and you are good to go:

    Do not forget to also install xorg-x11-driver-input from here in order to have your ClickPad support gestures:

    This makes openSUSE 11.3 now the Linux distribution of choice for the Envy 14!

  70. Pietro
    22. August 2010 um 10:32

    Dear all,

    I am following this topic even if I don’t have an Envy because I have a latest HP dv6-30xx, and it not only looks like a cheaper version of Envy, but also hardware-like is like a cheaper version of the Envy.

    Nevertheless, I have the same problems with my notebook, also the absence of a BIOS switch to disable the intel GPU.

    But probably there are some interesting news here:

    ATI has released 2D/3D open source drivers for the radeon 5000 family, and if I am not mistaken also the 5650 one.

    Anyway: I will never buy again a notebook with an ATI card. NEVER :)



  71. Andreas Demmer
    22. August 2010 um 10:52

    You are right, support for the ATI HD 5xxx series has finally landed in the free radeon driver. But no need to be upset against ATI – at least they support the open driver with specs and man power whereas NVIDIA abandoned their inferior nv driver and stick to closed source. The noveau is completely independent.

  72. Marios
    23. August 2010 um 05:10

    Hi. If you disable the switch between the graphics cars (from bios), can you install proprietary drivers?
    I want to buy this laptop, but I need dual monitor support.

  73. Andreas Demmer
    23. August 2010 um 10:07

    You cannot disable the switchable graphics in BIOS ATM; there is no option for it.

  74. Marios
    23. August 2010 um 17:13

    One more question, please.
    If you use the intel graphics card, can you use an external monitor (laptops + 1 external)?

  75. Matthew Monaco
    23. August 2010 um 20:54

    No, you cannot use an external monitor with the intel gpu. I believe that’s a limitation of the hardware (you won’t be able to do it on Windows either).

    That said, I don’t think you’ll be able to use the external monitor with the ATI GPU either right away. There is some sort of bug with the hdmi/displayport and the screen gets all garballed.

    I’m waiting to here if anyone has noticed this resolved on upcoming kernels.

  76. Marios
    23. August 2010 um 21:49

    That is sad. I need to continue searching for laptops with nvidia gpu.
    Thank you all, you just save me spending money to something I cannot use.

  77. Pietro
    26. August 2010 um 11:02

    A new catalyst driver just appeared. Could you test it on your Envy?
    Thanks :D

  78. Pietro
    26. August 2010 um 11:19

    It does not work with my dv6-3xxx.
    I think the problem is still with the BIOS. I can not switch off the i915, unless using vgaswitcheroo, but to do that, I have to load the radeon module, and therefore I can not unload it and use the fglrx driver.

    It sucks.

    And actually I bought the core i5-450 version. If I had bought the AMD Phenom quad-core, I would have had a non switching system… hopefully working GPU and probably as much performing as mine.


  79. cody
    26. August 2010 um 17:49

    Hm… I’m missing an update to the graphics-part of your great posting.:)

    I try to get some points clear:

    - you can switch between intel, radeon and fglrx without problems, but you have to restart the X server.

    - you can control brightness with intel, radeon and fglrx.

    So the only missing feature is switching while X is running.

    Also I would be very interested in the glxinfo output of all graphics drivers. Do 3D games like Nexuiz and OpenArena run on fglrx and radeon driver without problems?

    In this case ATI would be superior to NVIDIA on notebooks, as their OPTIMUS-stuff doesn’t seam to work at all.(you can just use integrated intel graphics and unpower(?) the NVIDIA card)

    So it would be really great if you could add some 3D experience to your posting.

  80. cody
    26. August 2010 um 17:54

    Ah one more thing: What about suspend?

  81. Andreas Demmer
    26. August 2010 um 19:42

    @cody: fglrx does not work since you cannot disable switchable graphics in BIOS! Running with the Intel card only when unpowering he ATI card works fine. The latest stable radeon driver has no support for the HD 5xxx series which mean that 2D works fine but 3D does not work at all. Fortunally, radeon gained 3D support for the HD 5xxx series only a couple of days ago but it is still experimental and highly unstable. Hopefully, reliable 3D accelleration for the ATI card will be available in a few weeks. And since the Intel card is now your only option for 3D, game performance is poor, do not even think about it.
    Suspend/Resume work fine, though.

  82. heian
    29. August 2010 um 12:46


    Since this great site is one of the first hits when browsing for ‘linux
    Envy 14′, is it not an idea to put a link to Hp, where we can ask them to update their bios for this laptop to make the graphics switchable? The more requests they get, the more they get aware of our needs.

  83. Matthew Monaco
    1. September 2010 um 21:34

    xf86-input-synaptics 1.3.0 has been released, no clickpad support =(

  84. Marios
    2. September 2010 um 06:44

    I came back with another question…..
    I accidental found that with core i7, there is no switchable option on the graphic card. so this mean it is OK under linux?

  85. Mirel
    5. September 2010 um 11:21

    I’m using Ubuntu 10.10 and I find that without the power cord connected, the FAN is stopping and starting every couple of seconds (or at least the noise I hear points to this assumption) The temperature is constant around 36. Any tips on how I can control the fan to prevent it from stopping? This happens regardless of the BIOS option – fan always on/off. Thanks

  86. drnn1076
    5. September 2010 um 22:16

    I have a envy 15 with opensuse 11-3 and the fan noise is killing me!
    When my laptop is plugged to the energy the fan starts every two or three minutes and it is very loud. Any suggestions? I’m a non expert linux user and really would appreciate any help.


  87. e2b
    9. September 2010 um 23:36

    Even if it’s just an early version, Broadcom just released an Open Source driver including support for BCM43224. :-)

  88. korbe
    12. September 2010 um 15:28

    Good news:

    * Broadcom have release Free (like freedom) driver for many for many chips: BCM4313, BCM43224 and BCM43225. As well as providing a framework for supporting
    additional chips in the future, including mac80211-aware embedded chips.

    For more infos:

    * For the Free (as freedom) driver Radeon for AMD (ATI) GPU: The support off Evergreen (like this MobilityRadeon HD 5650) progress. It must support 2D, power managment, etc… . The only features missing are 3D, video decode bay GPU and audio under HDMI. The work for the 3D is started.

    For more info:

  89. Matthew Monaco
    17. September 2010 um 03:24

    Just thought I’d update you guys with some of my recent Envy experiences.

    I’ve built Takashi’s full patchset with syn 1.3.0 and x server 1.9. everything works pretty well. the biggest exception is that the led patch doesn’t play well with the syndaemon.

    I have also been experience a temporary freezing when starting xorg when the radeon card is “OFF”. Dave Airlie gave me a patch that I’m about to test, hopefully it’ll make it to the kernel soon if it works.

    Dave also told me that this HDMI garbling issue is probably just due to the newness of evergreen in the radeon kernel driver. Hopefully we’ll see some improvements soon.

  90. Pietro
    20. September 2010 um 14:23

    On my dv6 I have where the multimedia and brightness keys where the F-keys are. But the default when pressed is not the F-key but the other one. In order to have the F-key, I have to press “fn”+F-key.
    I find this bad, because I use more the F-key than the other ones.
    How can I invert them? Is that the same on the envy?

  91. Andreas Demmer
    20. September 2010 um 14:32

    It’s the same with the Envy, but its BIOS has an option to invert this behavior.

  92. Pietro
    20. September 2010 um 17:28

    My BIOS has none. I love HP… :-(

  93. Pietro
    22. September 2010 um 15:35

    No, I was wrong, the BIOS option is called “Action keys”. Ok I can modify that. Wow.
    Now I have only the “Insert”/”Print” key that is awfully stupid. If you press it you have Print by default and not Insert, as people should use more. I hate those people. I hate those people.

  94. Dave
    27. September 2010 um 01:35

    Hello, do you know if the same touchpad fixes are possible with the Envy 13?

  95. Andreas Demmer
    27. September 2010 um 08:54

    Most likely.

  96. Luigi
    27. September 2010 um 10:29

    Hello. I’m using HP envy 17, and after many tests with OpenSuse, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva (kernel 2.6.34) I’m observing the following:

    - Black console when the acpi is activated, the the brigthness returns to normal after the KDE splashscreen. How do you fixed this problem?

    - The wlan module generates a high pitch noise when the driver is activated. If we turnoff the bluetooth the noise is reduced. Do you have experienced similar problem with you envy 14.

    Thank you for any kind of help, nice blog.

  97. Andreas Demmer
    27. September 2010 um 10:35

    @Luigi: Blacklist the radeon (and/or fglrx) module and boot up with the intel module und KMS (kernel mode setting, should be default with recent kernels). This fixes your black console. The WLAN module in German Envy 14 is a Broadcom chipset and does not have these problems.

  98. luigi
    27. September 2010 um 13:55

    Thanks for your reply. I blacklisted radeon and fglrx modules on my ubuntu 10.04, but it doesn’t fix the black console, is there something that I’m missing?
    This problem should be considered as a linux kernel or ATI driver bug?
    Thanks again for your help.

  99. Andreas Demmer
    27. September 2010 um 14:01

    You also need to rebuild your ram disk with “mkinitrd”.

  100. Jirik
    5. October 2010 um 16:49

    Hi Andreas,

    Your blog post was very helpful. However I have the same issue as luigi. Despite having radeon and fglrx blacklisted, I am getting black screen when booting. Using nomodeset on kernel line helps, however that is not a fix I was hoping for. Also, this happens before I unlock my /, so it is definitely an issue with modules in the initrd. Any ideas? Haven’t you changed something else? I am currently on 2.6.34, however having had a 35 kernel for a while did not seem to make any difference.

    Thanks a lot for any suggestion you might have.

  101. Jirik
    5. October 2010 um 16:50

    Btw, I have rebuilt my initrd after blacklisting those modules.

  102. Jirik
    5. October 2010 um 17:50

    Sorry to spam, I am adding other issues I haven’t figured out yet. I have switched to 2.6.35 kernel from here:

    Backlight controls do not work. I have /sys/class/backlight directory containing two other directories (acpi_video0 and 1). They contain same files with same values, as far as I can tell. I can change the values, however brightness stays. Using fn keys to change brightness also changes these values, however display brightness stays.

    The other thing is that there is no vgaswitcheroo in /sys/kernel/debug directory.

    I have searched through forums, wasn’t very lucky. If you have any ideas, what might be wrong, I would be very thankful.

  103. John C
    9. October 2010 um 02:17

    Bear with me please, I’m a new Linux user. I just installed openSUSE from the installation DVD. I used all the default options, except used GNOME instead of KDE. The wireless (Intel) and screen brightness work right away, and there have been no black screens on boot-up.

    I ran YaST and went to Online Update. It lists 61 updates including: “xorg-x11-driver-input: Update for clickpad and synaptics touchpad devices” (2010-09-29). This fixes bug number 620000, that you opened on 2010-07-06.

    By installing this update, is there anything else I need to do to get the clickpad working optimally? Another update was installed: “Kernel: Linux kernel: Security/Bugfix update to”. Do I still need to apply Takashi’s patches to get the 2.6.35 kernel, or do these updates that I mentioned above handle the clickpad adequately? Thanks for your help.

  104. Andreas Demmer
    9. October 2010 um 10:15

    Takashi’s x11-driver-input required a patched kernel. But it may be possible that the released version works independently (which would be rather cool).

  105. Jirik
    9. October 2010 um 14:47

    @John C, as far as I know, this patch enables some functionality, not everything. For example multitouch wasn’t working for me with that patch. It is working with the patched kernel and x11-driver-input, which Andreas linked to.

    However, it is interesting that brightness is working for you out of box. I cannot make it work no matter what :(

  106. John C
    9. October 2010 um 19:56

    @Jirik. (brightness) Which BIOS version are you using? I’m running F.13 A. It worked for me out of the box on both Windows and openSUSE 11.3/GNOME. Does brightness work for you on Windows?

    @Andreas. The multitouch clickpad functionality doesn’t seem to work with just the released x11-driver-input, so I’ll try to update the kernel to 2.6.35. I want to make sure I download the correct package, however. When I go to YaST->Software Repositories, I add then go to YaST->Software Management, select openSUSE_Factory. There are checkboxes for kernel-desktop ( and xorg-x11-driver-input (7.5-9.1.1). When I select kernel-desktop, go to versions and try to upgrage to 2.6.35-2.7 (x86_64) openSUSE_Factory, I get the conflict message: “preload-kmp-desktop-1.1_k2.6.34.7_0.3-19.1.3.x86_64 requires kernel-desktop =, but this requirement cannot be provided”. When I select xorg-x11-driver-input (7.5-9.1.1) and try to upgrade to (x64_86) openSUSE_Factory, I get the conflict message: “nothing provides INPUT_ABI_VERSION = 11 needed by xorg-x11-driver-input-7.5-80.4.x86_64″. What am I doing wrong?

  107. Andreas Demmer
    10. October 2010 um 08:56

    @John C: Preload-Module can be uninstalled, I do not use it with Kernel 2.6.35. However, I use the kernel from and the drivers from However, try to use the drivers and kernel you found above (allow the preload module to be uninstalled) and tell us about your results. Would be cool if the normal packages now have all the patches. Use the repos I have given in this comment only in case that your repositories do not work.

  108. Jirik
    11. October 2010 um 02:02

    I am running the original F.06 BIOS. The brightness control is working fine in Windows. As I have previously written, in Linux it is changing the appropriate values, just the brightness does not change. I will try updating my BIOS, maybe that will help me with my other problems too.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  109. John C
    11. October 2010 um 19:09

    I finally have a usable clickpad!!! I installed the 2.6.35 kernel, uninstalling preload-kmp-desktop as you suggested. I ended up using the drivers from /repositories/home:/tiwai:/test/openSUSE_11.3 and now my multitouch functions work properly. I run a shell script with synclient commands to set the clickpad options. How do I get these commands to run automatically on startup? Putting them in /etc/init.d/boot.local didn’t seem to work.

    The only other problem I’m having now is with the video. Flash videos don’t play in full screen mode. I either get a single frozen image or about one frame every 2 seconds. I believe I’m using the Intel video driver with the ATI driver powered off (echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch in /etc/init.d/boot.local). I’m running the latest versions of Firefox and flash. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for all your help.

  110. Jirik
    12. October 2010 um 22:44

    Updating BIOS did not help. Despite the fact that values are being changed, the brightness itself stays on 100% :(

  111. Jirik
    12. October 2010 um 23:28

    Could the brightness issue might be related to the fact that I am running with nomodeset? I don’t think so, but I am running out of ideas. I also do not have vga_switcheroo under /sys/kernel/debug, so at this point, I am pretty much stuck.

  112. Jirik
    13. October 2010 um 00:20

    TADAA, got it working. Just for clarity, I will include what helped me:

    - 2.6.35 aforementioned kernel with clickpad and brightness patches
    - blacklist radeon
    - when booting, when black screen appears, try increasing brightness — this was the deal breaker for me… I always assumed the screen was turned off completely, whereas it was just the backlight completely turned off, DUH

    I was also complaining that brightness could not be changed, despite the values being changed. This was happening when I used nomodeset on kernel line when booting. Everything is working without no nomodeset.

    And the last thing, to get vgaswitcheroo to appear in /sys/kernel/debug, you first need to have debugfs mounted (in OpenSUSE it is mounted by default) and have also radeon driver loaded. And not be running with nomodeset. When I booted with nomodeset, despite having radeon loaded, the vgaswitcheroo directory would not appear.

    Now everything seems to be working as in the guide. Thanks again Andreas for the guide. Hopefully this will help to save some time to other people too.

  113. Andreas Demmer
    13. October 2010 um 08:44

    Glad to hear that it is now working for you! :)

  114. jirik
    15. October 2010 um 13:02

    Just noticed, referenced repositories are no longer available. Any news from Takeshi?

  115. Matthew Monaco
    15. October 2010 um 18:22

    The patent issues are over with so Takashi’s code should go upstream soon.

    Is there a way to update the BIOS without Windows?

  116. Anthony Foglia
    16. October 2010 um 05:13

    Where can I get the touchpad patches? I run Ubuntu, not SuSE, and would like to try them for myself. I think I’ve found some in the xorg-devel mailing list archives, but I can’t tell if I’ve found them all.

  117. Smirftsch
    22. October 2010 um 12:30

    Seems that on my OpenSuSE11.3 the vgaswitcheroo only appears after modprobing nouveau.

    I’m not having entirely overview over that all, but I hope to use vgaswitcheroo for chosing the active card in my optimus system, since I need the NVidia card most of the time and battery life time is of way less interest for me.

    Unfortunately any access like OFF or DIGD plain crashes my notebook.

  118. depeha
    28. October 2010 um 08:24

    I have HP Pavidlion dv6-3040ec (same specs as your envy). By default Kubuntu 10.10 eats ~50W. using powertop, switcheroo (echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch) and all other tweaks I can get down to ~25W. (still not ~15W)
    Windows on this laptop can run more than 4 hours, but Kubuntu holds around 2 hours.

    Can someone advise some another tweak for solve this problem?

  119. butterfingerz
    6. November 2010 um 19:12

    Hello I am kind of new to Linux and was wondering if anyone could assist in helping with doing the following;

    “Fixing this is quite simply: Simply put the unneeded module (e.g. radeon) on the blacklist in /etc/modprobe.d and recreate the ramdisk with mkinitrd. Reboot to check whether it woked out.”

    I did chose a Gnome install, just do not understand how I can edit the modprobe.d if I cannot get any display afterboot and also how to recreate the ramdisk with mkinitrd?


  120. Switchable graphics - how do I disable one of the video drivers?
    7. November 2010 um 18:17

    [...] mkinitrd command after changing /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf ? References: Testbericht: Linux auf dem HP Envy 14/ [...]

  121. Andreas Demmer
    8. November 2010 um 09:03

    Try to boot with “nomodeset” parameter in Grub. This should keep the intel module from loading and bring back the display. When the display keeps black, check that the display brightness is greater zero.

  122. John C
    8. November 2010 um 21:29

    Is there any way to unpower the radeon graphics card without the radeon module installed? If I blacklist the radeon module followed by mkinitrd, then vgaswitcheroo disappears, and I can no longer turn off the radeon card and my core temps remain high.

  123. Matthew Monaco
    8. November 2010 um 22:36

    You need the kernel modules for *both* cards to be loaded in order for vgaswitcheroo to appear and allow you to powerdown the card. I suggest you make sure that you load both modules as early as possible in your init scripts, echo DIS or IGD and then OFF into the debugfs interface.

  124. Arpego
    13. November 2010 um 16:06

    Hi guys, i bought a HP dv6 3080br with switchable vga cards. I tried to use Linux on it (aptosid, sabayon, ubuntu …) but i cant turn on the dedicated 5650 radeon using the fglrx driver, with the ´radeons´ opensource drivers works, but its so more slow than fglrx (more than 20x slow). And for my surprise the bios dont have the option to select the dedicated vga. Anyone knows a way to mod the bios or select someway the dedicated vga with fglrx??

  125. jirik
    24. November 2010 um 20:33


    do you happen to have the kernel-source package of Takashi’s modified kernel? The repo is no longer available and it would come in handy.


  126. Andreas Demmer
    24. November 2010 um 22:21

    @jirik: Takashi’s patches went into the official openSUSE kernel, so the recent 11.3 kernel update sources should do.

  127. Matthew Monaco
    25. November 2010 um 14:36

    Andreas, what’s your current experience with controlling the backlight? Can you do it with the Intel and ATI gpus? Do you need to do any patching on your own, or is it all in the openSUSE kernel/xorg-drivers? I had exchanged a couple emails with Kamal Mostafa about his patches a while back and he said they’d be changing quite a bit — I subsequently lost track of the status of it.

    Anyway for those that are interested, you can find the latest versions of the clickpad patches here: Look within the kernel-source package and the xorg-x11-driver-* packages.

    The multitouch kernel and xf86-input-synaptics stuff is no longer there. I think once Takashi was able to release his patches, it opened the door for a lot of public discussion and the various devs/maintainers are working out a newer, more thorough way to accomplish the multitouch functionality more correctly.

  128. Matthew Monaco
    25. November 2010 um 14:38

    Oh, I forgot to mention. With 2.6.36, I’ve been able to use an external monitor through the HDMI port.

  129. Andreas Demmer
    25. November 2010 um 14:44

    I am running openSUSE 11.3 with Takashi’s kernel and driver, although no updates are to expect. BUT the patches have gone into the official factory kernel and driver that will arrive with openSUSE 11.4 in March 2011.

  130. Andreas Demmer
    25. November 2010 um 14:46

    @Matthew: Have you gotten to run the external monitor connected with HDMI in parallel with the internal display? This would be quite an improvement. ATM I have to disable the internal display in order to make HDMI work. :(

  131. Matthew Monaco
    25. November 2010 um 15:36

    I just don’t see any backlight related patches in the openSUSE Factory kernel-source or xorg-x11-driver-video packages. I’ll check out Takashi’s stuff. (I’m not that experienced with all of this openSUSE build system stuff — I’m an Arch user).

    No, I’m using the HDMI monitor _without_ the internal monitor. But I considered this an improvement over not being useable at all at first. I can do both at the same resolution, but to run the external at a native res, lvds must be off.

  132. jirik
    27. November 2010 um 14:19


    I tried to boot a current live cd from:

    And as far as I can tell there might be some clickpad patches, but definitely not the same patchset as in Takashi’s kernel. Multitouch did not seem to work for example. This is just from an empirical observation, I did not look into the commit log.

    Oh and it was running 2.6.37 rc1 kernel afaik.

  133. Lexlex
    28. November 2010 um 20:58

    Andreas, jirik,

    but do you think that any reasonable solution will be found: I really would like to use proprietary drivers in Ubuntu (I use HP / switchable graphic, no feature in BIOS).

    Is there a way to use any alternative / custom BIOS on HP?

  134. Lexlex
    28. November 2010 um 21:35

    Hope, somebody will try and share experience in making custom BIOS with Phoenixtool so user could switch (or block) 1 card.
    People already do that (sorry it’s in Russian):

  135. abhinandh
    11. December 2010 um 17:28

    Hi, just wanted to know if xorg in open suse uses a config file. If it does, please post the file as I’m having issues with xorg on arch linux.

  136. Anton
    11. December 2010 um 23:00

    Hello Andreas,

    I’ve a Pavilion DV3 4070ss, which seems to have more or less the same hardware as your Envy (i5 but 450, Ati/intel …) and never had your brightness problem.
    After booting I can see all, and when X starts screens turns black, but it’s only a brightness issue, as Fn+F3 and Fn+F2 are fully working for me.
    I think that I ‘ve changed the default use of F keys to have F[1-12] without having to press Fn in BIOS, but I’m not sure about if this was on this computer…
    I can send you any further info you need (DSDTs, test commands…) if you want

  137. Mirel
    13. December 2010 um 02:02

    Hi, I have tried all the tricks above, ATI card is powered off but I still can’t get more then 2 hours battery life with 30% brightness.

    I’m running Ubuntu 10.10 and the CPU is an i5 2.4Mgz. Powertop shows about 20W power usage and it stays in C3 state. I’m wandering why there is no C4 state and if this could be the reason why I only get 2 h? Do you guys see the same problem on Suse?

    Cn Avg residency P-states (frequencies)
    C0 (cpu running) ( 2.8%) Turbo Mode 0.0%
    polling 0.0ms ( 0.0%) 2.27 Ghz 0.0%
    C1 mwait 0.5ms ( 0.8%) 2.14 Ghz 0.0%
    C2 mwait 2.2ms (13.5%) 2.00 Ghz 0.0%
    C3 mwait 2.1ms (82.9%) 1199 Mhz 100.0%

    Wakeups-from-idle per second : 479.1 interval: 15.0s
    Power usage (5 minute ACPI estimate) : 23.2 W (0.4 hours left)

  138. romu
    17. December 2010 um 10:44

    Hi there,
    I ‘ve bought my Envy because of this thread…and because I’ve had interesting prices. Just an advice: dont’ buy an Envy 14 from France, it’s shame, the Core i7 is available only with the bling-bling Beats Edition…

    Anyway, I run Ubuntu 10.10 64 bits and everythings runs well “out of the box” or nearly.

    Brightness: out of the box
    Wifi: install the driver
    ATI: FGLRX runs perfectly

    What doens’t work:
    - Unable to get the right click on the trackpad working yet, and that’s a real problem
    - Skype crashes when using the webcam, I’ll try some tricks later
    - the mute button: no effect at all, but sound up and down work well

    Haven’t tried yet:
    - Playing a video DVD
    - Using the HDMI output for my external monitor
    - The battery life

    Won’t try : the GPU switch.

    I’ll post here my future progresses.

  139. romu
    18. December 2010 um 13:59

    My previous message has been deleted, why? Strange.

    I tried the HDMI output, strange too. It well recognized my Dell 2007 WFP external screen, I have some display, but it is unable to detect the right resolution which is 1680*1050.

    Clickpad fixed with the info got from here:

  140. Mirel
    21. December 2010 um 22:15

    I think I know why I only get 2 hours of battery life … power consumption increasses from 12-16W to 20-25W or more after I close and re-open the lid. The only way to fix this is to do a reboot. Here is a similar post.

  141. e2b
    30. December 2010 um 02:20

    Did anyone already upgrade to BIOS version F.23 (2010-12-03)? Maybe some improvements? A gleam of hope for graphics card switch option …

  142. Andreas Demmer
    30. December 2010 um 08:34

    Not yet! What does the changelog say?

  143. romu
    30. December 2010 um 10:07

    The mute button works out of the box indeed with Ubuntu. The trick is you must do a long press.

  144. Juaquin
    30. December 2010 um 13:30

    thanks for all your work on resolving software issues. helps us all out.

    i just got an hp dv7-4180. thought it would be nice with good battery life, and good color screen. it has the graphics card switching, with intel graphics and amd/ati 5650.

    was all excited. 17″ screen, to view reams of code.. as i was intending to do some OpenCL programming, and data analasys on large data sets.

    i do only use linux.

    immediately installed 10.10, couldnt even get the fglrx drivers to work at all. seems i cant use this laptop for OpenCL gpu computing.

    there are no options in the bios. you dont think there is a chance to get it to work? anything you have heard?

    such a shame. i think i should get a different laptop..

    i do appriciate your efforts to resolve the software issues.
    .. and i also saw your name in the mailing list archives.

    cool photos and blog.

  145. Juaquin
    30. December 2010 um 13:38

    i wonder about the hp screens? they look realy nice.
    does anyone know characteristics of the color gamut on the screens hp uses?

    for example the acer CineCrystal displays seem to have 60% NTSC Gamut. the hp looks better.

    seems like the consumers are interested mostly in other features, but the hp screens look good. even the inexpensive models.


  146. e2b
    30. December 2010 um 16:56

    @Andreas Demmer: There is no changelog available. Even I think they just did some minor bugfixes, it’s interesting to see that HP is still working on it. To offer criticism on the hybrid graphics problem may still change something …

    @romu: I’m using Ubuntu 10.10 (64-bit) on my HP Envy 14 (1010-eg) and I’m very satisfied. Mute works fine here like, as one would expect. With the Mainline Kernel (at the moment I’m using v2.6.37-rc5-natty, rc8 has some bad graphic bugs) it’s possible to use vgaswitcheroo and the HDMI/MDP works fine then. But the Touchpad fix didn’t work anymore due to the kernel version 2.6.37. Do you really use fglrx (seems impossible to use with hybrid graphics) or is it just installed?

    The German LinuxUser magazine (issue 10/2010) published an article (PDF, page 25 in this file) about an other HP notebook with some similar hardware, having the same problems with ATI dedicated graphics and Synaptics ClickPad. Interestingly, both companies promised to fix this. Hopefully that wasn’t just some hollow promise.

  147. romu
    2. January 2011 um 10:37

    @E2B: for the mute button, I’ve added a new message saying it works well indeed, but with a long press, trick I missed before.

    Regarding the graphic driver, I don’t use the graphic switch but only the ATI adapter but with the fglrx. And yes, it works well, when I see the horrible startup screen, I know fglrx is activated :-))

  148. Andreas Demmer
    2. January 2011 um 11:09

    Which fglrx version and where did you get it from? When I tried some weeks ago, fglrx refused to load because of an unknown BIOS. What is your BIOS version?

  149. e2b
    2. January 2011 um 20:03

    fglrx is now able to handle hybrid graphics? Sounds great.

    By the way, I’ve read Recovery Disks don’t work anymore due to BIOS upgrades. Shame on you, HP. I’m glad that I’ve saved a full HD image.

  150. romu
    2. January 2011 um 21:08

    I don’t know the PC bios version, but I’ll try to look at soon.

    FGLRX GUI returns: Driver version 8.78
    Ubuntu Synaptic returns: 2:8.780

    Indeed, this is the driver provided directly by Ubuntu.

  151. Juaquin
    5. January 2011 um 03:47

    i never had fglrx working on the hp dv7-4180.

    bios update and nothing i did would make it work.

    i felt bad but decided to send it back to hp where they gave me a friendly refund.


  152. romu
    6. January 2011 um 13:16

    My Envy Bios revision is F13, I never updated it, just got the PC like this.

  153. James Brechtel
    8. January 2011 um 19:59

    @ROMU – Does FGLRX work for you with an external monitor? If so, can it drive both HDMI and MDP at the same time?


  154. romu
    9. January 2011 um 20:44

    Hi James,
    Last time I tried (some Ubuntu updates were published since this try), it works but failed to recognize the right external screen resolution. It well recognized brand and model indeed. I tried only through HDMI, I don’t have a MDP cable.

  155. Matthew Monaco
    10. January 2011 um 21:41

    The BIOS update supposedly fixes some issue with the wireless card not coming back after suspend… Can’t test anything else because trying to upgrade the BIOS without windows has proven to be very time consuming… Does anyone know how to do this?

  156. romu
    14. January 2011 um 13:38

    It seems I finally got the external monitor well recognized. I don’t really know how I did, just playing around, plug/unplug the HDMI cable and play with the Monitors applet. Weird.

  157. Matthew Monaco
    15. January 2011 um 16:13

    With 2.6.37, the external monitor works fine in any configuration (clone, just the external, or side-by-side each at their native res)

    Now if only I can resolve my vga_switcheroo issues. I can’t resume while using the ATI card. Xorg hangs, or even fails to start some times when the other card is OFF.

  158. Matthew Monaco
    15. January 2011 um 17:03

    Oh man this is a never-ending nightmare. I just updated my BIOS to v23, now I can’t boot without “nomodeset” on the command line. The screen just goes blank when KMS engages =(

  159. Matthew Monaco
    15. January 2011 um 17:13

    Sorry, I’m guilty of stream of conscience posting!

    The backlight is all the way down by default. And I can only control the backlight when the other card is ON. Is there a fix for this?

  160. romu
    21. January 2011 um 22:04

    hi guys, major improvement on my side by using no the new ATI Gallium free driver. Pretty simple to do: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/radeon

    Now install mesa and xservser_xorg_ati packages, disable fglrx and reboot.

    Finally, you get 3D acceleration, compiz effects and the normal Ubuntu splashscreen!

    External monitor works with HDMI except I have a dark area somewhere on my external screen, but as this driver is not final, don’t worry.

    Excellent news in my opinion!

  161. Meu
    25. January 2011 um 21:29

    After contacting HP support, asking about a BIOS option to switch integrated/discrete graphic card, they told me that it will be included in future BIOS versions, but no info about when it will be available. (If even happens …)
    I will let them some time, but I’ve contacted my supplier to return the HP laptops if we have no the upgrade in a month.

  162. GHoltz
    27. January 2011 um 20:59

    Romu, what did u do after istalling ubuntu 10.10??

    did u use the VGA Swtcheroo?? did u turned off the Intel Graphics??
    or u simply installed the gallium free driver in a fresh ubuntu and ATI Graphics ans 3D acceleration started to work?

    I really want to use ubuntu 10.10 on my envy 14 but i want a decent 3d acceleration, otherwise ill have to keep my windows. -_-

  163. romu
    1. March 2011 um 12:33

    @GHoltz: I just installed 10.10 and started to use it with FGLRX. No use of switcherro, I only use the ATI adapter.

    Then, I found the way to install the new PPA to use the gallium driver and it just works perfectly.

    Very simple actually.

  164. Mario Pastorelli
    19. March 2011 um 14:58

    I can confirm that on Debian unstable the external monitor works with open source radeon drivers. It works with both kernel 2.6.37 and 2.6.38 and with I can use the external monitor together with the internal one at the correct resolutions. I’m using xserver-xorg 1:7.6+4.

  165. Andreas Demmer
    19. March 2011 um 15:05

    Meanwhile, I installed openSUSE 11.4 and the radeon driver version that is shipped with it provides working HDMI and DisplayPort output. Tested successfully. The radeon 3D performance is also excellent. Yeah, the last real glitch of the Envy 14 under Linux is now finally resolved! Kudos to the developers which were working on it!

  166. Matthew Monaco
    20. March 2011 um 02:21


    Can you suspend while using the radeon gpu?

    Can you control the backlight while using the radeon gpu with the intel gpu off (I need the intel card to be on for radeon backlight to work).

  167. Andreas Demmer
    21. March 2011 um 16:55

    Argh, I can confirm that neither resume works (suspend does) nor brightness controll while running the radeon driver. Well, not too band: I need the radeon driver only for running external projectors and ocasionally playing 3D games. So not a deal breaker for me…

  168. Matthew Monaco
    21. March 2011 um 17:30

    Andraes, if you set the ON option in vga_switcheroo when using the radeon gpu, then you should be able to control brightness.

    This doesn’t seem like too big of a deal because it’s with the intel gpu that you really want the power savings, and with the intel gpu, the DIS side can be off.

    Suspend/resume I’m still working on with radeon. At first I thought it was a backlight issue, but now I’m not sure.

    Also, FYI to anyone, there seems to be a bug in 2.6.38, you will lock up your screen if you send the current card into vga_switcheroo (so don’t echo IGD if already on the intel…) You can fix it without rebooting if you have remote access.

  169. Lexlex
    17. April 2011 um 11:21

    AMD provided Canonical with a Catalyst 11.4 driver pre-release for proprietary Radeon / FirePro support under Ubuntu 11.04, there’s more than just support for Linux 2.6.38 kernel and X.Org Server 1.10. This Linux driver update also provides support for AMD PowerXpress with dual-GPU notebooks.

  170. Jonathan Grimaldi
    19. April 2011 um 16:22

    Any luck getting suspend / resume to work with radeon drivers ?

    Thanks for all the above help…

  171. sudeepn
    29. April 2011 um 06:08

    LenvyX is a linux distro optimized for the Envy 14.
    Join the community. Check it out.

  172. tp
    29. April 2011 um 22:36


    Ich bin gerade den Ati Catalyst 11.4 am testen.
    Nach der Installation kann man im Catalyst Control Center die Grafikkarte wie unter Windows auswählen. Um die Grafikkarte zu wechseln muss das System neu gestartet werden.

    Die integrierte Grafikkarte
    Wenn auf die integrierte Grafikkarte gewechselt wird, hängt sich Ubuntu 10.10 beim booten auf. Ubuntu 11.04 schaltet in die Gnome classic umgebung um, weil die integrierte Grafikkarte keine 3D Unterstützung hat. Die diskrete Grafikkarte lässt sich nicht mehr einschalten weil das Catalyst Control Center nicht mehr funktioniert. Aticonfig gibt nur folgende fehlermeldung aus: “aticonfig: error while loading shared libraries: /usr/lib/ file too short”

    Die diskrete Grafikkarte
    Die diskrete Grafikkarte bringt mit “glxgears” ca. 3000fps in 5 sec.
    Im Fullscreen Modus gibt es bei Spielen wie Neverball und Briquolo extreme Bildstörungen.

    Hat wer bessere erfahrungen mit dem Ati Catalyst 11.4 gemacht?

    Mfg TP

  173. tp
    6. May 2011 um 22:25


    Ich habe nun eine Lösung gefunden wie man die Hybrid funktion beim ENVY 14 im Bios abschalten kann. (Vieleicht wurde es hier schon gennant. Hab nicht alle Beiträge gelesen) Dazu braucht man die Bios Version F.23. Um an die Einstellungsmöglichkeit zu gelangen muss man in den Advanced bereich vom Bios freischalten. Der ist leider standartmässig versteckt. Er lässt sich aber mit einem kleinen Trick freischalten. Beim Bootscreen F10 drücken und die Taste “A” gedrückt halten bis das Bios erscheint. Danach sind die Reiter Advanced und Power freigeschlatet. Um die Hybrid funktion abzuschalten geht man unter “Advanced” auf “Video Configuration”, unter dem Eintrag “Display Mode” kann man zwischen iGPU oder dGPU oder Hybrid auswählen.

    Alle Änderungen am BIOS geschen auf eigene Gefahr!

    In English

    I have found an possibility to disable the hybrid function on Envy 14.
    To do that, you need the Bios Version F.23. The hybrid function switch is on the Advanced part of the Bios. But this part is in the standart configuration not available. To enter the Bios with this part press F10 followed by ‘A’ on seeing the hp logo at system start up (keep hitting ‘A’ until you enter bios). Then you will see an Advanced part in the Bios. Go on it. Then go to “Video Configuration”. Now you can set “Display Mode” to iGPU or dGPU or to Hybrid. In the standart Configuration it should be on Hybrid. Now you can install the normally Catalyst driver on your Linux System. Enjoy it.

    Please note that you do all changes in your bios settings at your own risk

    Sorry for my bad english

    Mfg tp

  174. Andreas Demmer
    9. May 2011 um 13:52

    I switched to the discrete GPU like you described it, did not know that this is possible with the latest BIOS. Unfortunally, even then the latest ATI driver refuses to load because of an unknown GPU BIOS code.

    Nevertheless, the latest open radeon driver is so good and supports all features of the card, that I really do not see any reason to use the proprietary driver. And I can switch GPUs on the fly with a quick restart of Xorg which is quite handy!

  175. Conradv
    9. May 2011 um 14:28

    The BIOS solution works however the changes are not saved. Every time you switch on the laptop or do a restart, you still have to do the same procedure again.

  176. t.p
    11. May 2011 um 22:28


    I can’t save the settings in the BIOS too. But this is not longer necessary. With the new Catalyst 11.5 you can switch now from the diskrete GPU to the integrierte GPU. Unfortunately you must reboot your System to switch the GPU.
    But it works.

    I have some problems with the touchpad. The linux 2.6.38 kernel supports now the Clickpad which is in the Envy installed, but “Disable touchpad while typing” no longer works. And this is annoying to type. Now someone a solution to fix this?

    mfg tp

  177. DZOLO
    18. May 2011 um 16:58


    I use Catalyst drivers in version 11.5 on my ENVY 14 with Ubuntu 11.04.
    Has anyone get external monitor working with this drivers?
    In Catalist app menu for display settings is missing.

    Thanks DZOLO

  178. Hayden
    27. May 2011 um 02:53

    Hello. I have an Envy 14 also and am using openSUSE 11.4. Your guide has been very helpful. I have everything working perfectly except for the graphics, which seems to be the most common issue :-) I put blacklist radeon in the 50-blacklist.conf file and it starts fine, but the dedicated card is still being powered. Because of the radeon module not being loaded, I cannot use vga_switcheroo, but I cannot load the radeon module or else it will not start (black screen after boot). I have read most of the comments, but I cannot seem to understand if there is a working way to use the dedicated graphics, which would be my preferred choice. If there is not, how could I power off the dedicated graphics? BTW, I don’t have too much experience in linux, but I know the basics. Thanks in advance for any help :-)

  179. John C
    31. May 2011 um 02:33

    To use the integrated graphics only, blacklist the radeon driver like you have done. This will allow the system to boot successfully.

    Then, to turn off the Radeon card, you can load the radeon module (so that vgaswitcheroo gets enabled), then use vgawitcheroo to depower the Radeon card. On Ubuntu, I know you can put the following commands in /etc/rc.local. I think in openSUSE the equivalent is /etc/init.d/boot.local

    modprobe -i radeon
    echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    modprobe -r radeon

  180. Hayden
    3. June 2011 um 22:46

    @John C
    Thanks for the reply. So would it be possible to instead blacklist the integrated graphics module and have it power off and only use the dedicated? If so, which is the integrated module; is it something like i915 ( I cannot remember clearly and don’t have the computer with me).

  181. Hayden
    6. June 2011 um 00:47

    Ok, well I found a way to switch between the GPUs. First I installed the official ATI driver which allowed be to un-blacklist radeon. The in terminal:

    init 3
    echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    echo DDIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    init 5

    To switch back, I would assue I could replace DDIS with DGID. I guess I could put this in a shell script also.

  182. Tinux
    9. June 2011 um 08:40

    Two questions:
    1. I’ve found out that on my Fedora 15 install changing the brightness with the buttons changes the value in /sys/devices/virtual/backlight/acpi_video1/brightness which does nothing
    BUT if I manually change the value in
    /sys/devices/virtual/backlight/acpi_video00/brightness then it works. The fix is of course to just ‘watch’ the file but I’d rather have a more elegant fix, any ideas? I can’t figure where in the kernel source to fix it.

    2. Is the way Hayden is restarting his X-server the easiest/best way to do it? I get artifacts when I start the GUI again.

  183. Andreas Demmer
    15. June 2011 um 13:57

    @Conradv: Switching to dGPU in advanced BIOS as you described causes the Envy to hang on “save and reboot”. Any suggestions?

  184. Meu
    28. June 2011 um 11:50

    For those using i386 distro, and mainly for SuSE, there are drivers available from:

    They are for ProBook 4250s, that is sold with drivers for linux (SLED11 i386)

    You can modify the rpms for other distros, but not luck if you use x64 or AMD64…

  185. Andreas Demmer
    28. June 2011 um 12:24

    Is the ATI driver there compatible with switchable graphics? It seems so because the ProBook comes with switchable graphics, too! Unfortunally, I run a 64bit distro. Is anyone able to check this?

  186. DZOLO
    28. June 2011 um 16:26


    Catalyst 11.5 and 11.6 works on envy (tested on Ubuntu 11.04), but you cannot use HDMI or Mini Display Port, part of Catalyst application which manages displays is missing… :-(

  187. Drew
    26. July 2011 um 05:36

    For switching b/t graphics cards
    look for ‘switch_between_cards’

  188. Perry Bhandal
    8. August 2011 um 19:40

    I swapped from Windows to Ubuntu on my Envy recently, and I ran into the same hang on boot issues other users have mentioned in this thread.

    In my case the open source radeon driver was crashing on boot, so if the system attempted to boot using the radeon card the system would hang on a black screen. Adding “radeon.modeset=0″ as a boot parameter fixed the issue, but that caused vga_switcheroo to disapper; vga_switcheroo is needed to power down the discrete card.

    The solution I’ve found — though it’s admittedly a bit hackety — is to do the following:

    - Blacklist the radeon module on boot by entering the following:

    sudo echo blacklist radeon > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-radeon.conf

    - Ensure the radeon module is loaded once you’re done booting so you can use vga_switcheroo. To do that add the following to your rc.local:

    modprobe radeon

    If you wish to power down your discrete card in your rc.local, ensure that your vga_switcheroo commands are below modprobe radeon: vga_switcheroo will not exist until the radeon module has been loaded.

  189. Nils
    24. August 2011 um 18:42

    Dang, I just found the same solution that Perry reported. All by myself, I promise! :-)

    Anyways, I can confirm that it’s working fine for me!

  190. Tinux
    7. September 2011 um 21:38

    After people discovered that disabling the gpu in bios fixed the power consumption problem when coming out of suspend I remembered that there was some problems with vgaswitcheroo making it necesarry to switch the dGPU on at shutdown so I thought maybe this problem could also be fixed by swichting the dGPU on at suspend… and yes it fixed the problem.
    I put a script in my /usr/lib/pm-utils/sleep.d which switches the discrete gpu ON when suspending and turns it back OFF (if it was OFF when suspending). Now my power consumption is the same before and after suspend. Just like when disabling the discrete gpu in bios. I first tried putting the script in /etc/pm/sleep.d, that didn’t execute on my system (Ubuntu 11.04/lenvyx 64-bit + ugr). Not sure where to put it on other distros.
    You can get the script here if interested, use at your own risk. I’m not especially good at linux scripting so my solution for saving the state of the discrete gpu across the suspend-resume was to put it in a file at suspend and then read it at resume and delete it again. Certainly not a very elegant solution, you’re very welcome to come up with a better solution (I’d love to hear about it and any other improvements… and whether it works for others).

    I stole the part of the script that’s reading the state from vgaswitcheroo from RM’s “” over at, if he or anybody else has a problem with that, let me know. Anyway thanks to RM and to everybody working to get our envys running perfect… almost there :)

  191. iffi
    16. September 2011 um 12:34

    I tried Linux Mint 11 and everything works. Using HP Envy 14-1101eg.

  192. Greg
    2. November 2011 um 17:49

    Also installed Linux Mint 11 and it works smoothly. The mouse is not a good as with Lenvyx and I did not try HDMI, anyone did ?

  193. ecsil
    7. December 2011 um 01:11

    Strange. Running Linux Mint 12 on my Envy 14 and i cant change brightness. Why should this work with Mint 11 and not with 12? ^^

  194. Adrien Jarthon
    10. January 2012 um 18:04

    Hi, I’m currently using my HP Envy with lenvyx, that’s the best distro for the HP Envy I found. It’s kind of dead but i would really like it to reborn. I recreated an ISO from my CD and uploaded it to megaupload so everybody can try it (the original website and link is dead):

    Is there any people able to extend and enhance Lenvyx ?
    I can build and host a website, i can also host a git repository for the project, but i can’t really modify the system ^^

  195. Florian
    23. January 2012 um 01:01

    Hi Andreas,

    thank you very much for your review! I just bought the HP Envy 14-1101eg a week ago (only 600€ now :D) and your blog helped me a lot!

    I was wondering if none of you encountered the “hard disk clicking” when in battery mode. As I’m using Ubuntu I found an article on the “laptop hard disk bug” that causes a big amount of hard disk park/unpark cycles: (German) and I’m quite sure that the HP Envy has got the same problem as described in these articles. To solve it in Ubuntu minimize the park/unpark cycle rate by executing sudo hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda

  196. Adrien Jarthon
    28. May 2012 um 17:22

    Hi, I just want to give some news about Lenvyx, it’s reborning at, check it out !

  197. Zaknife
    29. August 2012 um 07:25

    I’m using 12.1 but, my battery life sucks. I’m unable to disable ati adapter with switcheroo because my kernel version do not posses it. Do you have any ideas how to disable ati adapter ?

  198. maris
    18. September 2012 um 08:56 good thread for graphic card fix

  199. Chris
    2. February 2013 um 18:17

    @Adrien Jarthon

    I have tried several time downloading Lenvyx with the link you supplied, and I always get an “Decryption Error” message from Mega website. Why don’t you make it available via torrentz or something?
    Is this the same lenvyx that was available from 2010-2011, I believe I have a copy somewhere.

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