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How To: Install Ubuntu Linux on HP Compaq C700 notebook

I recently bought an HP Compaq C700 notebook (Presario C793TU) and installed the Ubuntu Hardy linux distro. Before buying the notebook, I made some checking on Linux support for the Presario C793TU and it turned out great! I’ve gotten every device on the HP notebook to work under Ubuntu including 3GB of memory (published specs of the C793TU is only 2GB).

A summary of what works on my Ubuntu on the HP Compaq C700

I’ve actually made all the devices — ethernet, webcam, synaptics touchpad, card reader, usb, sound, DVD and even the Atheros-based wifi card (I initially thought the C793TU had an Intel Pro wifi card but it turned out that it was an Atheros wlan and had some initial obstacles).

I was also able to setup dual-head monitors using the notebook’s VGA port to attach an external LCD monitor.

Aside from Internet access via wifi, I have also setup broadband Internet access via my Motorola Razr V6 cell phone. I’ve even gotten bluetooth with A2DP working on the notebook enabling me to listen to wireless stereo via bluetooth on my Motorola HT820 headphone . My Logitech Bluetooth Travel mouse works flawlessly and better than when I was using it on Windows.

Afaik, the only thing that I haven’t setup is the modem simply because I currently don’t use it anyway.

The HP Compaq Presario C793TU (C700 series) notebook


The Presario C793TU has a very decent specs. The notebook’s base configuration is an Intel Core Duo CPU clocking at 1.86Ghz. It comes with 1GB of memory and the published maximum supported memory is 2GB. It has an Intel X3100 graphics processor and a 15.4-inch LCD with a 1280×800 resolution.

The HP notebook comes with a 120GB hard disk, DVD/CD reader/writer, 802.11b/g wifi, ethernet port, sound with Altec Lansing speakers, memory card reader, 3 usb ports, svideo output, mic/headphone jacks, a web cam and built-in mic.

It only comes with the FreeDOS OS which makes it cheaper because you don’t have to pay for a copy of Windows — perfect if you want to install Linux!

When I bought my Compaq C700, I tested it first with the vendor if an additional 2GB (making it 3GB total memory) would work and it did. The bios was able to detect all 3GB so I bought the extra 2GB thinking that I could always have it replaced later as per my arrangement with the computer shop.

New notebook, what next?

It has been several years since I had Linux as my main computer. I’ve been using Windows XP on my older computer for quite a while mainly because my work, and my love for PC games ;-), made it necessary to use Windows. I was determined that I am not about to waste all that processing power on Windows Vista so I decided to go back to using Linux.

So I installed a copy of Ubuntu Hardy on my trusty old usb flash memory and started installing Linux on my new Compaq C793TU notebook. If you have downloaded an ISO image of Ubuntu, you can actually do an install from a usb stick instead of burning the ISO on a CD. I found some instructions on how to do it from the Ubuntu Help site.

Installing the vanilla Ubuntu distro

The installation of Ubuntu Hardy on the Compaq Presario was finish in about 15 minutes without any hassles. After the install, Gnome was up and running, the touch pad is working including the on/off button for the touch pad. Hot keys for the volume control was working, including keys for the web browser and music controls. The Ubuntu Hardy distro was able to detect the Intel X3100 graphics hardware and loaded support for 3D graphics.

Power management was also working. The two processor cores were detected and throttling was enabled. Suspend and hibernation modes are also working. The Compaq Presario C700 internal card reader is also working and so is the DVD reader/writer. I put in an audio CD and the music player sprang into action with no fuss at all. I then checked the USB ports and everyone of them was working. By running the Ekiga softphone, I was able to quickly verify that the built-in webcam was working. Also verified the built-in mic by recording my voice.

At this point, my notebook is pretty much usable with 3GB of usable memory and 120GB of disk storage running the Ubuntu Hardy Linux distro. The only thing left was wifi and a dual monitor setup. Stay tuned on my next post while I write about how I was able to make my wifi and dual-head setup worked.

Update: Here’s part 2 of How To: Install Ubuntu Linux on HP Compaq C700 notebook

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.


anil bhattacharji

Waiting for the rest .. Will try installing only after reading


thanks gerry,
your article gives me enough confidence to try ubuntu in my laptop. will try it and post my comments soon.


@nana, glad to hear. post your questions anytime if additional help

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