A guide to install Fedora Core 5 on a HP Compaq nx6325

by Andreas Kleisun, e-mal: Andreas.Kleisun@t-online.de

This is still work in progress. Its main purpose is to describe the difficulties and possible solutions, I run into. 

2006/11/01: detailled description how to set up your WLAN
2006/09/12: section Firewire inserted
2006/09/11: initial document

Hardware Components Status under Linux Comments
AMD Turion64 X2 TL-60
works with smp-kernels
Nanya NT1GT64UAHA0BN-3C PC2-5300
works HP says: Maximized dual-channel performance requires SODIMM of same size and speed
15.0" SXGA+ with wide viewing angle
works VESA-BIOS provides full resolution out of the box; for framebuffer use you may try boot option vga=836
ATI Radeon XPress 1150
works X.org radeon-driver:
  • internal display: yes
  • dual-head: no
  • tv-out: untested
ATI fglrx-driver:
  • untested
ATI Radeon XPress 1150
works with sata_sil kernel module, which ships with FC5; kernels 2.6.15 and later contain the libata-passthrough kernel-module, which supports HD-power-management (SMART)
80 GB 5400 rpm SMART SATA
works udma5 enabled by default
Pioneer DVR-K16
works mdma2 enabled by default
Texas Instruments unknown device 803b
works needs some tweaking; see below
PC Card / ExpressCard Interface:
Texas Instruments unknown device 8039
works see below
ATI Technolgies Inc IXP SB400
works with ohci (USB 1.1) and ehci (USB 2.0)
Texas Instruments unknown device 803a
works see below
ADI1981HD High definition Codec
works /etc/modprobe.conf needs to be altered, see below
Ethernet PCI Controller:
Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5788
works out of the box with tg3 driver
Wireless LAN:
Broadcom 4311AG WiFi Adapter
works with ndiswrapper driver, but not until Windows XP Bluetooth driver has been properly installed
HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Technology
works with ohci_hcd driver, but not until Windows XP Bluetooth driver has been properly installed
Conexant HD Audio Soft Data Fax Modem with Smart CP
doesn't work USB interface with Vendor-ID 14f1 and device-ID 2bfa, commercial driver from linuxant installs neatly, but kernel crashes seriously when booting
Fingerprint Sensor:
AuthenTec Inc. 2501 AES
doesn't work see below


1. Introduction

I have searched quite a long time for a notebook, coming near to my efforts. It should have a high resolution with an antiglare type display of old fashioned dimensions of 4:3. It should feature a dual core processor and manufactured of solid quality. Fortunately I found the nx6325 which I compared to the HP Compaq nc6320 and the Lenovo Thinkpad T60. As with my HP model EY351T, the nx6325 comes with a 15" display with 1400x1050 pixels, an AMD Turion64 X2 TL-60 processor with up to 2.0 GHz, 1 GB RAM and a DVD-RAM capable DL-CD/DVD Multiburner. It is quite comparable to the nc6320 and has some features, the T60 lacks, although it might not be build as rock solid as the T60. Some reviews report disadvantages of the Turion 64 X2 in comparison with the Intel Core Duo, being 15 - 20 % slower than its rival. But at the moment the nx6325 costs only 1,050 € in Germany, bringing business quality to you for a consumer notebooks price. The nc6320 as well as the T60 come near to 2,000 € with equal features. So for me, it brings enough performance for a budget price.

A lot of hints I have found on Chris Wache's excellent Gentoo-Wiki.

2. Installation

2.1 Caution

The nx6325 as well as its predecessor, the nx6125, are reported often to have some thermal problems. I didn't experience these problems after I forced the kernel to look up the temperature regularly. I will proceed with this point later.

But I strongly recommend to enter the BIOS settings before the FC5 installation and to enable "Fan always on with AC adapter plugged in" option, especially for the installation process, but not only for it.

2.2 Installation

I used the FC5 DVD-ISO for the installation, which is mostly straightforward. Use the smp-kernel for installation, if you have an nx6325 with a Turion64 X2 processor. 

2.2.1 Partitioning

I wanted my Windows XP installation to keep alive on my notebook, and thus I looked out for an open source partition manager that could handle my preferred partition scheme with the Windows partition and the recovery partition at the beginning, followed by Fedora Core within an extended partition, containing a seperate boot partition, a swap partition, the root partition and a FAT32 partition for interaction with Windows. Gparted can resize NTFS-partitions, but can't move it. Thus, I couldn't move the recovery partition after decreasing the Windows partition with gparted. Finally I decided to acquire a commercial partition manager to be sure that I get what I want.

My partition table looks like this:

[root@localhost bus]# /sbin/fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 10337 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        5549    41950408+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2            5550        6632     8187480    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            6633       10337    28009800    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            6633        6652      151168+  83  Linux
/dev/sda6            6653        6999     2623288+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7            7000        9774    20978968+  83  Linux
/dev/sda8            9775       10337     4256248+   b  W95 FAT32

2.2.2 Windows Recovery

Maybe the first thing you may recognize after installation of FC5 and especially of grub is the fact that it seems that you have lost the accessibility to the Windows Recovery procedure, which you could acchieve by pressing "F11" before grub was installed. You can reactivate it by inserting the following lines into your file:/boot/grub/grub.conf:

title Windows Recovery
    rootnoverify (hd0,1)   # i.e. /dev/sda2 or /dev/hda2
    chainloader +1

3. Configuration

Output of lspci:

[root@localhost bus]# /sbin/lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 Host Bridge (rev 10)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 5a3f
00:04.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 5a36
00:05.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 5a37
00:06.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 5a38
00:12.0 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc ATI 4379 Serial ATA Controller (rev 80)
00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller (rev 80)
00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB Host Controller (rev 80)
00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 USB2 Host Controller (rev 80)
00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 SMBus Controller (rev 81)
00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller ATI (rev 80)
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 437b (rev 01)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-ISA Bridge (rev 80)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc IXP SB400 PCI-PCI Bridge (rev 80)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RS482 [Radeon Xpress 200M]
02:01.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5788 Gigabit Ethernet (rev 03)
02:04.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments Unknown device 8039
02:04.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments Unknown device 803a
02:04.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803b
02:04.3 Class 0805: Texas Instruments Unknown device 803c
30:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4310 UART (rev 01)

3.1 X.org

X.org runs more or less smoothly out of FC5's basic installation with the "radeon" video driver and the "synaptics" driver for the touchpad. I experienced some problems with my cursor. From time to time it stayed on top of the screen. In this case modify your InputDevice section of your file:/etc/X11/xorg.conf like this:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Synaptics"
    Driver     "synaptics"
    Option     "Device"          "/dev/input/mice"
    Option     "Protocol"        "auto-dev"
    Option     "Emulate3Buttons" "yes"
    Option     "SHMConfig"       "on"             # insert this line

For a strange behaviour of Firefox in connection with horizontal scroll, see below under 4.1

I have fiddled with my file:/etc/X11/xorg.conf some time to get dual-head output to work with the radeon driver. My file:/var/log/Xorg.0.log shows some useful output, but all I got is a squared mouse pointer, half an inch by half an inch with multicoloured vertical lines, following touchpad instructions on a black screen.

3.2 Framebuffer

The integrated RS482 graphics adapter ships with a fully implemented VESA-BIOS. All resolutions are supported and you might use the framebuffer with a resolution of 1400x1050 pixel by adding vga=836 to your file:/boot/grub/grub.conf

3.3 Cardreader

A driver for MMC/SD card support has been added to the kernel since version 2.6.17, thus, this is a good reason for updating your kernel with yum update kernel-smp. To get access to the cardreader, modules sdhci, mmc_block and mmc_core must be loaded. Furthermore, a PCI-register must be altered any time, you start your notebook by setpci -s 02:04.2 4c=0x22, where 02:04.2 is the PCI address of your cardreader. You will get the PCI address with /sbin/lspci | grep "Mass storage controller"

I made it a bit more convenient for me by

Reboot, and mount your card with mount /media/card. You will find more information at
[1] http://mmc.drzeus.cx/wiki/linux/Drivers/sdhci
[2] http://de.gentoo-wiki.com/Compaq_HP_nx6125
[3] http://list.drzeus.cx/pipermail/shci-devel/2005-November/000036.html

3.4 Sound

Your file:/etc/modprobe.conf needs to be changed. Replace options snd-hda-intel index=0 by options snd-hda-intel model=hp position_fix=1 enable=yes.

3.5 Bluetooth

The HP integrated Module with Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Technology is a USB-device with Vendor ID 03f0 and Product ID 171d. It didn't work for me until I installed the Windows XP Bluetooth drivers. This has not been taken place during my normal Windows XP installation cycle. I had to start the Bluetooth assistent within Windows XP's system administration (classic view), which leads you through the driver installation process. 

After I installed the Windows drivers, the wireless button and the wireless LED worked under Fedora. When activated, you will get  new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 3 with dmesg,  when unactivating, you will get USB disconnect, address 3 for instance. 

If not installed yet, it is now time to install the Bluetooth utilities: yum install bluez-utils. Then activate the module by pressing the wireless button and scan for existing devices, for instance your Bluetooth capable mobile phone, with /sbin/hcitool scan

3.6 Wireless LAN

As with the Bluetooth device, WLAN didn't work for me, until I installed the Windows XP Bluetooth drivers. Maybe, the devices will be flashed during the driver installation. Then, you will need the ndiswrapper and kmod-ndiswrapper packages from the livna repository. So first introduce the livna repository to your yum configuration by rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-5.rpm and browse in the correct FC5-repository for your architecture, e.g. i386, for the ndiswrapper kernel module for your kernel version.  Then install the kernel module, for instance with rpm -ivh kmod-ndiswrapper-smp-1.18- and install the wrapper with yum install ndiswrapper

Copy the windows driver files file:bcmwl5.inf and file:bcmwl5.sys to a linux directory, change to that directory with cd /your/directory, and install the driver into your FC5 environment by /usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf. This did work for me only with the Windows driver in version 4.10, but not with the updated version 4.40. Finally add alias wlan0 ndiswrapper to your file:/etc/modprobe.conf.  You might configure now the device with /sbin/iwconfig wlan0, which will bring your device up. 


  1. If you don't have a Windows installation, you might use "cabextract" and "unshield" to extract the necessary .inf and .sys files from the original  HP .exe drivers. Install them by yum install unshield cabexract from the extras repository.
  2. Install the ndis drivers properly as described above.
  3. Add the following lines to your file:/etc/modprobe.conf
        options ndiswrapper if_name=wlan0
        alias wlan0 ndiswrapper
  1. /sbin/modprobe ndiswrapper 
  2. /sbin/ifconfig wlan0 inet up (this restricts the interface to IPv4; I had problems with IPv6)
  3. yum install wpa_supplicant 
  4. edit your file:/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf like that:
      ap_scan=1    # didn't work with ap_scan=2

          # or
  1. type: /usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -D wext -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf  -B   # don't use -D ndiswrapper !!
  2. type: /sbin/dhclient wlan0 
  3. If you're loosing your network, try /sbin/iwpriv wlan0 ndis_reset
This worked for me to get a working connection to my WLAN router using WPA-PSK.

3.7 Modem

There is a commercial driver from Linuxant. A licence key will cost about 20 US$. Without it, the speed is reduced to 14.4 k and fax mode is not supported. According to Linuxants latest changelog, support for High Definition drivers has been added with their latest driver version for alsa in version 1.0.12. Currently, FC5 has alsa included in version 1.0.11. No updates to version 1.0.12 available for now. 

I tried to install the hsf drivers from their download site, using the rpm-package as well as their source tarball according to Linuxants INSTALL instructions. The drivers installed neatly, but at boottime the kernel crashed seriously. So for now, the modem does not work with FC5.  

3.8 Finger Print Sensor

There are currently efforts to get the device to work, but none has been successful yet.

3.9 PC Card / ExpressCard Interface

You will need the PCMCIA utilities, so, if not already done, install them with yum install pcmciautils. When you have inserted your PCCard, you must notify the subsystem of your card. So type /sbin/pccardctl insert. You might now load a corresponding kernel module for your device. This worked for me with PCcards. Due to lack of equipment, I couldn't test it with the ExpressCard socket. Before you eject your card, you should notify your subsystem once again by typing /sbin/pccardctl eject.

3.10 Firewire

Updated 2006/09/12: This device works out of the box. If for instance your camcorder has not been recognized correctly by the kernel modules, you might remove and load them again with /sbin/rmmod dv1394 && /sbin/rmmod raw1394 && /sbin/rmmod ohci1394 && /sbin/rmmod ieee1394 and then /sbin/modprobe dv1394. dmesg should show now something like this:

ieee1394: Initialized config rom entry `ip1394'
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:04.1[A] -> GSI 20 (level, low) -> IRQ 177
ohci1394: fw-host0: OHCI-1394 1.1 (PCI): IRQ=[177]  MMIO=[d4011000-d40117ff]  Max Packet=[2048]  IR/IT contexts=[4/8]
ieee1394: Current remote IRM is not 1394a-2000 compliant, resetting...
ieee1394: Node added: ID:BUS[0-00:1023]  GUID[00008500009b6349]
ieee1394: Host added: ID:BUS[0-01:1023]  GUID[00023f9929512c0c]
ieee1394: raw1394: /dev/raw1394 device initialized

You might capture now some video material with /usr/bin/dvgrab -i foo-001.avi.

4. Hints

4.1 sendmail services

If sendmail and sm-client services need approximatly three minutes each to pass when you boot, you likely have given a non-qualified hostname to your network. Alter your configuration with /usr/bin/system-control-network and rename it with a fully qualified name like "jupiter.universe.org". 

4.2 Horizontal scroll issues with Firefox and synaptics-driver

Unlike the synaptics touchpad behaviour with Windows XP, the synaptics driver in the standard configuration does not only have a vertical scroll zone on the right side of the touchpad, but also a horizontal scroll zone at the bottom. I like this behaviour very much, but you can disable it, if you don't like it. Look at the possible settings with man synaptics. If you have added the option "SHMConfig" "on" into your file:/etc/X11/xorg.conf, you can read out the actual settings with /usr/bin/synclient -I.

What might annoy you mostly with the horizontal scroll activated with the synaptics driver is a strange behaviour in firefox: when you scroll horizontally, firefox browses back through its history. This is a setting within firefox and not a problem with the synaptics driver. To disable this behaviour, start firefox, enter about:config in the address bar and change the following settings:

4.3 Thermal Problems

As mentioned earlier, it is reported that the nx6325 and the nx6125 run into thermal-runaway. Leon Lessing reports on the Gentoo-Hardware guide that he is running into those problems after a cold boot on batteries. 

I added the following lines to my file:/etc/rc.local and forced the kernel to look regularly and often on the thermal behavour of my notebook:

--- snip ---
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/TZ1/polling_frequency
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/TZ2/polling_frequency
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/TZ3/polling_frequency
--- snip ---

4.4 Links

[1] HP specs from US website
[2] HP updates

[3] LAPTOP Magazine
[4] PC Magazine
[5] eWeek Channel Insider

Installing Linux on the nx6325:
[6] http://gentoo-wiki.com/HARDWARE_Gentoo_on_HP_Compaq_nx6325
[7] http://www.puchalla-online.de/nx6325.html
[8] http://www.wolframschenck.de/nx6325.htm
[9] http://thinksilicon.redprohosting.de/index.php?page=39