Navigate / search

How To: Install Ubuntu Linux on HP Compaq C700 (Part 2)

Last time I posted what will work out of the box when you install the Ubuntu Hardy Linux distro on a HP Compaq C793TU notebook. Today, I’m spending some time writing about how to make some of the other things work like for example the Atheros wifi chip on a Compaq C793TU and dual head monitors that automatically configures itself whether there is an external monitor or none connected.

On this post, I’m also writing some special setup that I have that others might be interested like using a stereo bluetooth headset and a bluetooth mouse on the Compaq Presario C793TU.

How to enable support for the Atheros wifi chip on a Compaq Presario C793TU

When I installed Ubuntu Hardy on the HP Compaq notebook, wifi didn’t work out of the box. At first I tried to install ndiswrapper and use a Windows XP driver for the Atheros wifi chip but that didn’t work and my notebook just hung.

After some tinkering on my Ubuntu setup and checking the log file by doing a tail -f /var/log/messages showed that the wifi modules weren’t loading successfully. An “lspci |grep Atheros” showed that my Atheros chip was a “AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)”

A little more googling brought me to the Madwifi web site who makes Linux drivers for the Atheros chip set and the drivers are the one being used on Ubuntu Hardy.

Some more googling brought me to an enhancement ticket on madwifi and the Ubuntu forums. I decided to give the kernel update a spin. To update the kernel you will need to retrieve some packages from the Ubuntu repository. Start up a terminal on your Ubuntu notebook and run the following command (to have internet, I initially used a wired connection to my router):

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential

After getting the build-essential package, you are now ready to update your kernel. Get the madwifi driver snapshot and update your Atheros driver by doing:

tar xvzf madwifi-hal-
cd madwifi-hal-
sudo make
sudo make install

Restart your Ubuntu notebook to load the new Atheros drivers. You can manually unload the old driver modules and load the new ones but it’s much easier to just reboot Ubuntu 😉

After rebooting my notebook, wifi should now work. I checked it from the gnome networking icon and my HP Compaq notebook was able to find my router after enabling wireless networking. Now I got rid of the RJ45 cable and started using wifi for network connections at last.

Dual-head monitor setup

Setting up dual monitors on Ubuntu Hardy was actually quite easy. When I first tried to connect my external LCD display on the Presario notebook, Ubuntu was able to detect the external LCD (I am using a Samsung LCD) but I get a cloned display instead of having a side by side xinerama setup. When I checked the display settings (System/Preferences/Screen Resolution), the problem was that both screens although detected was overlapping each other. So I rearranged the screens so that they are side by side and saved the setup. When I restarted Ubuntu, the same thing happens — they are again overlapped.

After some googling, I made the following modifications on my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file:

Section “Screen”
Identifier “Default Screen”
Monitor “Configured Monitor”
Device “Configured Video Device”
SubSection “Display”
Virtual 2560 1024

I added the three bold lines above. The problem was that when X11 starts up, the virtual screen layout was limited to the maximum size of the largest screen. In order to be able to display a “big virtual” screen, I got combined horizontal widths of my two monitors (external and notebook) and used it as the Virtual width (first number in the Virtual option). I took the higher value of the two heights and used it as the Virtual height (2nd number in the Virtual option).

I restarted X11 / Gnome (control-alt-backspace) and went to the System / Preferences / Screen Resolution setup dialog box. After moving the screen layouts to reflect my desired setup, I got xinerama dual-head monitor working. Using it right now!

Bluetooth on the Presario C700 / Ubuntu notebook


One of the things that I didn’t like about the Presario C793TU is that it didn’t have built-in bluetooth but that wasn’t going to stop me so after looking around some computer shops, I found this pretty tiny bluetooth usb dongle that fits perfectly into one of the usb ports on the HP Presario C700. It has support for A2DP stereo connections and works right out of the box with the Ubuntu Hardy – Compaq Presario C700 setup that I have.

The mere plugging it of the tiniy bluetooth dongle is all that is needed to make it work. After that, I just powered up my Logitech V740 bluetooth mouse. Went to “System / Preferences / Bluetooth” – Services Tab and clicked on Input Service. The I clicked on “Add”, Ubuntu found the Logitech mouse and clicked “Close”.

That’s it. I had the bluetooth mouse working. In fact it’s a lot, lot better than when I was using it under Windows. In Windows, I sometimes had a problem to get it working when I first open up my other notebook. I had to keep on pairing with the mouse using Logitech’s software. Under Ubuntu, it works like a charm, never misses it nor had to pair it again just to connect it. The Linux bluetooth guys surely did a great job of creating bluetooth drivers for Linux.

Well, the it doesn’t stop there, it also works like a charm with my Motorola HT820 stereo bluetooth headset. To make A2DP bluetooth work, I had to do some extra steps following the instructions at Bluez wiki How To page. First create a .asoundrc file that contains:

pcm.bluetooth {
type bluetooth
device xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

where xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx is the bluetooth address of my Motorola HT820 headset.

Next, configure alsa sound system to use bluetooth as the output device (this will make it work on the music player rhythmbox):

to route the sound to bluetooth:

gconftool -t string -s /system/gstreamer/0.10/default/musicaudiosink “alsasink device=bluetooth”

to route the sound to normal speakers:

gconftool -t string -s /system/gstreamer/0.10/default/musicaudiosink “autoaudiosink”

So that I would not be typing those commands on a terminal screen, I tried to look for an alternative and found this link for the following script:


state=`gconftool –get /system/gstreamer/0.10/default/musicaudiosink | cut -d -f1`

if [ $state == “autoaudiosink” ]; then
gconftool –type string –set /system/gstreamer/0.10/default/musicaudiosink “alsasink device=bluetooth”
zenity –info –title=”GStreamer” –text=”Switched to Bluetooth headphones.”
gconftool –type string –set /system/gstreamer/0.10/default/musicaudiosink “autoaudiosink”
zenity –info –title=”GStreamer” –text=”Switched to speaker output.”

echo musicaudiosink set to `gconftool –get /system/gstreamer/0.10/default/musicaudiosink`

I copied the script to my home / bin directory and installed it as a “Gnome Panel launcher app”. I even created a icon for it. Here it the icon that I used –


. Once I got it setup, all I had to do is click on the icon to toggle between stereo output using the notebook speakers or my bluetooth headphones.

That’s it for now, next time I’ll write something about how I made my Nokia mobile phone connect to Nokia PC Suite on a Windows XP running inside a VirtualBox.

Update: Checkout How to use Nokia PC Suite in Ubuntu Linux

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.



I’m glad I found this BLOG! Thing is, I have a c776nr and I have yet to find a tutorial that works. This one has worked halfway for wirless. Thing is, my wireless is installed but it can’t find any networks. I’m on Ubuntu 8.04 64-bit version. I have installed Ubuntu 4 times trying to resolve this issue…I don’t want to give up and go back to Vi$ta! Help me out bro. I’ve got my own wordpress blog if you want to contact me or anything. I like your blog, so expect numerous visits from me…


@geancarlo: hi, if you connect to the Net via your own router and your wifi is working you, you should be able to see it from your wifi network list when you click on the “network icon” on your launcher panel.

if it’s not there, try to go to “System / Administration / Network” and check if you have a wireless connection in the “Connections List” tab.

if it’s listed, right click on the “Network Icon” on the launch bar and check if wireless networking is enabled (checked).


Thanks for the valuable information. I have C700 laptop. I don’t know how to install the drivers for my webcam.Whenever I try to use, it throws an error “failed to open device `v4l:/dev/video0:Invalid argument`.

Can anyone help me?

Thanks for helping.


@sunil: What specific Compaq C700 laptop do you have? Or would you know what the web cam chip set it uses? Noticed you were using a v4l driver. Did you try if the web cam works in video4linux 2 drivers?


Successfully installed Ubuntu Hardy in my Compaq Presario C767TU laptop,,

problems are:

some of the function keys are not working like the brightness (F7 and F8)
mute is not working when using headphones
atheros AR5007 wifi ( had to install madwifi )


all other components working OOTB,,

built in webcam not supported by pidgin and kopete although Ubuntu detected it,,

need to test other devices..


didn’t know pidgin has web cam support. where can i get it?

Yup brightness seem to stop working in mine too.

headphone mute only works if you mute PCM channel


Installed Ubuntu Hardy on my C700 almost everything worked well. Thanks for the tips!! BTW, sound coming out of the speakers seems weaker compared to the vista trial. Did you notice that?


@potch: Good to hear. Never had the chance to compare to vista – wala kong Vista eh. 🙂


Hi Gerry,

Thank you for helping me. I am newbie to this linux so don’t know much. I have tried this command ‘dmesg’ and got this output
“[ 58.360075] Linux video capture interface: v2.00
[ 58.444483] NET: Registered protocol family 10
[ 58.444663] lo: Disabled Privacy Extensions
[ 58.448833] MadWifi: ath_attach: Switching rfkill capability off.
[ 58.500529] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 UVC PC Camera (174f:5212)
[ 58.521205] wifi0: Atheros AR2425 chip tfound (MAC 14.2, PHY SChip 7.0, Radio 10.2)
[ 58.545218] uvcvideo: Failed to query (135) UVC control 1 (unit 0) : -32 (exp. 26).
[ 58.554172] ath_pci: wifi0: Atheros 5424/2424: mem=0xd1300000, irq=21
[ 59.023192] usbcore: registered new interface driver uvcvideo
[ 59.023197] USB Video Class driver (v0.1.0)”

And I haven’t tried any other drivers since I was not sure how to do that.




You’d need to find out what chipset your web cam uses. The ID of your web cam is 174f:5212 from the dmesg output.

Try issuing the command “lsusb” you can also try googling for the the keywords “UVC PC Camera (174f:5212)” and see what comes out

Once you know what it it, you’ll have to check if it’s supported and what drivers to use. You can also try the “UVC video for linux site” – try google for the URL.


Hi Gerry, I’ve installed Ubuntu 8.04LTS on my Compaq C772 Laptop……everything is working fine but the inbuilt webcam is not working. Pls guide…


Hitesh, pls provide some info about your notebook’s webcam.


gerry, laptop specifications say that it is a onboard VGAcamera….nothing else


Try issuing the command “lsusb” and find the unique identifier for the camera. Check if it’s supported or not.


This is what it says on using lsusb command

Bus 004 Device 004: ID 04f2:b057 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd
Bus 004 Device 003: ID 0bda:0158 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 062a:0000 Creative Labs Optical Mouse
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000


Your webcam is the Chicony entry (line 1). Try to search for it on Google. You can also check if (pls verify site name, not too sure) lists it as supported.

If it’s supported, you can try recompiling an updated kernel driver.

Also you may want to do a “dmesg |grep video” to check for error messages and clues on why your webcam doesn’t work


now my webcam is working….its working with ekiga and cheese both….thanks for your help gerry. 🙂


@Hitesh: you’re welcome.


gerry di ko masundan ung sa wireless thing
umaabot lang me dito
cd madwifi-hal-
eto ung error
Could not open location ‘file:///home/ryan/cd%20madwifi-hal-’
ung nadl kpo na.tar.gz nasa desktop ko..sensya na la ako lam sa
ubuntu or linux..heheh


@chicksme: You’ve probably downloaded it using your browser instead of using wget kaya nasa desktop. You need to open a “terminal session” (Applications | Accessories | Terminal).

The file is in the Desktop directory of your home dir. I’d suggest you move it in another location before unpacking it so it won’t clutter your desktop.
(The command on a terminal for move is “mv”, you can do a “man mv” to read the manual.

Once you’ve move the downloaded file to a “compile director of your choice” you can continue with from the “tar” command instruction.

(Note: Your email doesn’t exist so posted it here)

Hope that helps.


Hi Gerry,

I followed your steps above and looked at the networking icon for wireless it is enabled. I also went to System>>Administration>>Network>>Connections tab it was there also. However, when i unlocked it and clicked on properties all the fields are disabled and I could not see my ESSID.

This is the area that you haven’t explained that you need to untick the Enable Roaming Mode box so that the Wireless and Connection Settings fields are enabled and enter manually your ESSID, password and configuration. After that, I pulled out my wired connection and my wireless is working. Anyhow, you did a good job Gerry…the best support so far for untrained linux user like me….Genius talaga ang pinoy. Mabuhay ka Gerry…Tumakbo ka nga nang Presidente.

Good on you mate.


LOL, Thanks achilles, I’d rather write something about Linux. 🙂


In relation to my earlier e-mail Gerry, I noticed that whenever I turned off and reboot my laptop the wireless icon is still there . However, I could not connect to the internet. When I tried to click the properties of the Wireless Connection and re-enter my password the connection is refreshed and I can then connect afterwards. Please help.



@achilles, the way i did it on my network is different. First, I didn’t disable “Roaming”. Second, my notebook boots up and I login, the wifi would search for available wireless networks and find my home’s wifi network. It will then connect automatically.

If your home wifi network is secured with a password (eg. WPA2), just do the following:

– setup the password by doing a “right click” on the wifi icon.
– click on “Edit wireless networks”
– select the name of your home network from the list on the left
– modify the parameters (security type/password) on the right
– Click on “File / Quit” from the menu.

That should save your setup for the home network. You can also do this for
other wifi networks you connect to. If “Roaming” is enabled, it will try to find a wifi network to connect to from your list of saved wifi connections

I’ll try to post an article about it and also how to connect using a mobile phone. You can just subscribe to my blog to read more details about it.

Hope that helps.


Hi Gerry,

I updated my laptop Compaq C742TU’s ubunto 8.04 with 8.10 and the wifi is dead and i could not make it work again.

Please help.


@achilles, just do the same procedure for recompiling the madwifi drivers. Also make sure that the non-working driver modules are not loaded by doing:

# rmmod ath_hal ath_pci wlan

before installing the new recompiled drivers. This is what I did when I tried Ubuntu 8.10


Hi Gerry,

I have a compaq presario c772tu. I have most of the devices working except for webcam.

Following is the output of my lsusb on
Bus 004 Device 003: ID 174f:5212 Syntek
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0bda:0158 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Mass Stroage Device
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

Please advice me how should i fix this.



@vinod first you need to check if your device is supported by the Linux drivers. try googling for your webcam’s ID. Also check what the error is using the “dmesg” output. Also check which linux driver is being loaded.


kuya how can i make my wifi work for my c700 please email me


Hi kice, pls post the concern you have on your c700 wifi


now if only i had wireless to run apt-get…..


hi mark, use your wired (ethernet port) connection first


Awesome, I have been fighting, as an all-ignorant-newbie, all day with verious tutorials to get my wifi to work, and now it is. Thanks


Well, this would be great if the links worked.


Sorry about that but the site moved the pages and didn’t do a redirect 🙁

Jason Kruschke

I am usually not the kind of person to write my opinion on people’s blogs, but for your article I just had to do it. I have been cruising in your website a lot nowadays and I am super impressed, I think you could really emerge as a main voices for this topic. Not sure what your schedule is like in life, but if you started commiting more time to posting here, I would bet you would begin seeing a mass of traffic eventually. With affiliate stuff, it might emerge as a nice passive income stream. Just something to think about. Good luck!

Leave a comment


email* (not published)


Blog Library