Monday, July 13, 2009

Ubuntu installation on recent hardware

Last January I bought a new laptop (HP DV7), and of course Windows Vista was included. My first actions on my new laptop was reinstalling the machine with Ubuntu.
The installation is easy and straight forward, except for getting sound out of the machine (Intel's ICH9 chipset). After googling and exploring ubuntu, I finally got it working.

Here's my installation procedure:
  1. Install Ubuntu
  2. When installed update and upgrade your complete installation:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    Never mind any nvidia driver settings, do this afterwards.
    Most likely you will have to perform this step twice.
  3. Update the Hardware drivers: System > Administration > Hardware Drivers:
    Use the Ubuntu recommended driver, enter password when asked for.
  4. Sound might not work (stuttering, no sound, ...): add "irqpoll" to kernel command
    1. open "/boot/grub/menu.lst"
    2. look for the following lines:
      title Ubuntu hardy (development branch), kernel 2.6.24-16-generic
      root (hd0,5)
      kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=UUID=8k4o3ilj-3fff-dfae-943j-4332lkj52kl43 ro quiet splash
      initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic
    3. add "irqpoll" at the end of the line "kernel"
    4. save and reboot the pc
  5. Mic might not work:
    1. remove pulseaudio and install esound:
      sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio
      sudo apt-get install esound

      sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio (You may want to back this up)
    2. Under System -> Preferences -> Sound make sure they are all set to 'Autodetect'.
      The only one you will have to set manually to ALSA is 'Sound Capture' under 'Audio Conferencing'.
      Note at this point Pulseaudio is now no longer an option under these drop menus.
    3. Under System -> Preferences -> Sessions
      Deselected or Remove the Pulseaudio Manager
    4. Remove and asoundrc config file from your home dir (~/):
      rm .asound*
    5. Remove pulseaudio packages:
      sudo apt-get --purge remove pulseaudio

      sudo apt-get autoremove

      sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio-utils
      sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio-module-conf
      sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio-module-hal
      sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio-module-x11
      sudo apt-get remove libpulsecore5
      sudo apt-get remove gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio
      sudo apt-get remove libpulse-browse0
    6. Reboot
    7. Check Alsamixer settings, master may be reset to zero:
      $ alsamixer -Dhw
  6. Install the following software:
    • thunderbird
    • skype (see
    • compizconfig-settings-manager
    • avant-window-navigator
    • subversion
    • banshee
    • amarok
    • acroread (see
    • gnome-do
    • eid card reader (see
    • k3b
    • virtualbox (
    • gvim
    • optional:network-manager-vpnc, xchat, bittorrent/deluge, gFTP
    • openssh-server (see

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