HP 2133 on Linux

History

I purchased a HP 2133 Infiltrator 1200 a while back and am still using it. I ran into a few problems in upgrading, and am exploring possibilities of other distros, so decided to share my info here.

Linux on HP 2133

There's a lot of interest, judging from this Google query.

Problems I've Encountered

Drivelock Password

If you enable this, the first time you come back from power-off, the drive doesn't get ready in time, and you get "error: no disk" and have to ctl-alt-delete reboot. It always works the second time.

Wifi

Comes with a Broadcom card, works with b43 driver, but it sucks for pentesting.

Suggestion for most people: use external USB Alfa with the rtl8187 drivers.

For me: I paid HDM to put in an atheros-based chip. He says:

Check dmesg, my guess is the revision of atheros card you are using is only supported by an older madwifi HAL - I had to backport patches to and otherwise mangled that version into building on new kernels. The solutions are to make the tarball below compile (might work, not sure), use an external card like the Alfa, or switch out the internal card for one supported by ath5k or newer madwifi:
Try this tarball first:
http://metasploit.com/users/hdm/tools/madwifi-r3726-061708-03-hdm-2.6.26-rc8-wl.tar.bz2

However, that tarball doesn't work under the latest 2.6.27 kernel. On that note, he suggested:

You can try the latest madwifi-ng, but I haven't owned one of these in quite a while

Synaptics Touchpad under X

After a recent upgrade (from hardy->intrepid->karmic), the trackpad stopped working under X. Here are the details:

During the upgrade, the relevant lines were commented from xorg.conf, stating that HAL took care of it now.

If I started X, the trackpad simply didn't respond, but the keyboard worked. The logs say:

SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad The /dev/input/event* device nodes seem to be missing
Query no Synaptics: 000000
(EE) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad Unable to query/initialize Synaptics hardware.
(EE) PreInit failed for input device "SynPS/2 Synaptics Touchpad"
(EE) config/hal: NewInputDeviceRequest  failed (8)

If I added the lines back into xorg.conf, the devices it mentions (/dev/input/mice) don't appear to exist while X is running.

I found a page on the touchpad which links to some debugging pages that aren't very helpful.

After further searches, I found this bug report which suggests that the problem is an older kernel. I looked at the installed packages, and lo, the kernel I was using (from a custom repo) is rather old. I tried upgrading it, and apparently it put the wrong root device in grub's menu.lst, since it failed to mount the root device and dropped me to an initramfs shell.

Xchrome and X display

HD warned me about problems with xchrome and xorg.conf and PanelID.

I found a page on X.org configuration that seems relevant.

Installing Distros

Installing on this device can be challenging, since there's no (removable) disc drive. Thus, installing a new OS or booting a "Live!" distro must be done via USB. I used the excellent unetbootin tool to create the USB images.

HDM said this about later distros:

The power management and Via-C3/Padlock code should both be merged into newer releases of Ubuntu and don't require special patches (or at least shouldn't). The only thing you may have trouble with is integrating the xchrome driver; the PanelID in the xorg.conf is really important.

Backtrack 4

I'm currently testing out running Backtrack 4. I'm using these instructions for creating a bootable USB drive from the Backtrack 4 Final ISO, though from the looks of the latest unetbootin, you don't actually need to download the ISO ahead of time. I'll test it out and report back my results.

Last time I spoke with the backtrack guys, they said that the "chrome" driver, which I understand to be the X display driver, needs to be replaced.

Testing results: So far, it boots into command-line mode, but any attempt to start it graphically or start X manually, it hangs the entire system.

Kubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook

A few annoying bugs:

Laptops Supported by Ubuntu

Other Linux HP 2133 Pages


Go to this level's index
Travis's Homepage travis+web@subspacefield.org
Original date:
Updated: