These are my notes on getting Kubuntu 8.04, Hardy Heron, running on my HP Pavillion laptop.

The Model: The monitor on this laptop says “HP Pavillion dv6000”. Looking into the fine print, however, I discovered the “real” model number is dv6815nr. This was necessary to know when looking for resources.

The End Result: I wanted to run the AMD64 distribution of Hardy Heron, and I tried many of these steps with that distribution, but was never able to get either the wireless or the video drivers working, so I’m running the i386 distribution. It still feels much snappier that Vista.

Step 1: Make Vista Recovery Disks

Quite important if you want to keep the installed Vista OS, because HP supplies no reinstallation disks. Find “HP System Recovery Disk Creator” in the Vista menu, and following the instructions from there. This took a couple of hours(!).

Step 2: Partition the Hard Drive

My first nice thing to say about Vista is that it comes with a tool that will shink its own disk partition. I wasn’t able to use the smalles size it suggested, but it let me shrink Vista’s partition to 70GB, leaving a bit more than that for Linux. I left this space unused and created my Linux partitions during the install.

Step 3: Create a Kubuntu Install disk

Download an install CD image. I used the alternate installer for i386, but I think the regular desktop installer would work also. After saving the disk image, I used the Cyberlink disk burning software that came installed with Vista to burn the image to a blank CD.

Step 4: Download MadWifi Snapshot

There may be a simpler way to get wifi working, but this forum post guided me to success. At this point, I downloaded and saved it in Vista for later use.

Step 5: Install Kubuntu

I was now able to install Kubuntu using my install CD. I chose not to configure networking, since I had no wired connection. The only other step where I went off the beaten path was the disk partitioning step. Since I wanted to keep Vista, I had to manually create my partitions. I kept it simple, one 60 GB parition, formatted ext3 file system, mounted at /, and one 6GB swap partition.

After this, Kubuntu booted at a screen resolution of 800×600 with no wireless capability.

Step 6: Install Restricted NVIDIA Driver and g++

To get my full resolution, I logged into Kubuntu. I put the intstall CD back in the drive, and ran System->Adept Manager, chose Adept->Manage Repositories, clicked the Third Party Software tab, and checked the box next to my install CD. Then I searched for nvidia and installed the nvidia-gfx-new package. Find and install g++ also for the next step.

Step 7: Use the Restricted NVIDIA Driver

Run System->Hardware Drivers Manager, and check the box next to NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver. You might have to uncheck it first. Reboot, and you should have full, beautiful 1200×800 screen resolution.

Step 8: Compile and Install MadWifi

Now I started a Konsole, and did the following:

sudo mkdir /mnt/vista
sudo mount.ntfs /dev/sda1 /mnt/vista
cp /mnt/vista/Users/me/Downloads/madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz .
tar xvpzf madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz
cd madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007
sudo make install

Your vista username (me) and path (Downloads) may be different. After doing this, wifi worked on reboot.

Step 8: Touchpad Adjustment

I’m still playing with this, but palms on the touchpad while typing are a problem for me. I’m hopeful this howto page will work for me.

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