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Thread: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

  1. #1
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    Exclamation [REPORT] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
    on an
    HP Pavilion dv7t
    Compatibility Report
    by Deltik

    UPDATE (02 MAY 2012): Report on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin here
    UPDATE (18 NOVEMBER 2011): Report on Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot here

    In Short
    There are a whole lot of new problems in Ubuntu 11.04 that Ubuntu 10.10 did not have when running on my HP Pavilion dv7 laptop computer.


    Recommendation (issued 22 May 2011)
    If you feel that the cons of Ubuntu 11.04 (such as increased core temperature, messed-up graphics, increased boot time, missing Compiz effects, and software instability) outnumber the pros (such as Unity, updated software, and new Ubuntu Software Center features), I recommend that you downgrade to either Ubuntu 10.04 or Ubuntu 10.10.

    I shall review Ubuntu 11.10 after its release to see if the problems of Ubuntu 11.04 are mitigated.

    Finally, everyone should upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 because it is a long-term support release and is unlikely to be buggy like Ubuntu 11.04 is for HP Pavilion dv7 laptops.


    What's Wrong Now?
    Like I mentioned before, a lot. Here's an incomplete list:
    [/COLOR][/COLOR]
    • Graphics Problems
      • The ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver worked wonderfully in Ubuntu 10.10, but in Ubuntu 11.04, frame rate is significantly lower. Compiz effects are sluggish. FlightGear Flight Simulator v2.0.0 is not only noticeably slower; it also doesn't work properly.
      • Sometimes, when I click on a link, the Mozilla Firefox window opens and there's a gap about 25 pixels high across the screen from the top bar to the rest of the window. The clicking area remains the same although the display has been shifted downward. This also happens in other software, like gedit.
      • My screensaver, which is currently Hypertorus, has performance problems, even though it is a simple screensaver that even my 2006 Toshiba Satellite laptop can run beautifully. That's not the main concern, though; sometimes when I try to unlock the computer, the screen freezes along with all the controls of the computer. Processes still run normally, confirmed by continuing a Skype call in the total loss of controls. To resolve, I have to reboot the computer.
      • In Ubuntu Classic Desktop, the windows may think that Unity is running and remove the title bar. With other graphics and performance problems, Ubuntu Classic Desktop doesn't feel like GNOME on Ubuntu 10.10.

    • Increased Startup Time
      • Boot time is significantly higher in Ubuntu 11.04 compared with Ubuntu 10.10. I can now stand up and sit back down and the computer still hasn't started, whereas previously, the login screen loaded much quicker.
      • Logging in also seems to take a while longer.
      • Normally, this wouldn't bother me much, but compounded with frequent loss-of-control crashing, it gets quite annoying to wait to get back to work.

    • Increased Core Temperature
      • Ouch, hot! The fan is always spinning at near-full speed, but in Ubuntu 10.10, the fan would only spin like crazy when I was using my laptop intensively. Now, even when my computer is calm, the fan is screeching like a maniac.
      • Due to the lack of GNOME panels, I can't conveniently check the core temperature with a widget, but a few days ago, for the first time, my laptop actually overheated. It was sitting on a flat wooden surface, which would have been fine in Ubuntu 10.10, and the screen suddenly flicked off along with the rest of the system.

    • Decreased Performance
      • I used to be able to compile big programs on all 8 CPUs, run X-Plane 9 and FlightGear 2.0.0 at the same time and set to the highest quality possible, or run 5 VirtualBox operating systems (including Windows Vista) at the same time with no performance problems whatsoever. That was Ubuntu 10.10. In Ubuntu 11.04, I often watch System Monitor to make sure that I'm using less than half my 8 GB of RAM and keep the processors calm.

    • The Good Ol' Compiz Effects... Sacrificed!
      • I traded my Desktop Cube for Unity. I miss my cube. . 'Nuff said.
      • Oh, also, my Wobbly Windows feel like Corn Starch Windows. Graphics performance is poor that dragging windows feels like trying to swim through molasses.

    • Slow Software
      • Is it me, or are things in general slow to start up? I use Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Skype, GIMP, and more, and all of them seem to be slower than in Ubuntu 10.10. Even Google Chrome doesn't seem up-to-par.




    Not only Ubuntu Natty
    HP Pavilion laptops have had issues with Ubuntu 10.10 and before. They are well-addressed in this guide.


    General Problems
    Here are some problems that everybody can experience:

    • Adding Programs to the Launcher
      • Have you ever tried adding WINE programs to the launcher? ... Yeah, thought so.

    • Panel Widgets
      • Why is it so difficult to get my weather indicator?
      • Or that indicator with my CPU temperatures?
      • Or that CPU clock throttle?
      • Or Wanda the Fish?

    • The Dash for Slow Typers
      • Some people like Unity but don't like the disorganization of piling all the applications onto one page. Typing into a search box feels a lot like way back then when you had to type commands into the console to do anything. I'm fine with it; others might not be.

    • "Move to Another Workspace"
      • Maximized windows no longer have this feature in Unity. Why?


    Just my two cents.


    Solutions?
    I was well aware of many problems in Ubuntu 11.04's development iterations. Initially, I had thought that, knowing Ubuntu's awesomeness, the problems would be worked out. Nope. Didn't happen.

    The only reason now that I use Ubuntu 11.04 is Unity. Unity is amazing, and I sacrificed performance, quality, speed, and more for it.

    If anyone has solutions for these issues, please reply and let me know! Ubuntu needs to stay as the best operating system ever, and I don't want problems with an HP Pavilion laptop to hinder my opinion.
    Last edited by Deltik; May 3rd, 2012 at 05:06 AM. Reason: Update for 12.04 LTS: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=11900678

  2. #2
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    This topic got pushed back quite a bit. I broke forum etiquette by double-posting to bump this topic.

    So... I contacted the IRC community at #ubuntu, and I have finally decided to reinstall Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

    Findings

    1. The performance problems are caused by the new Linux kernel.
      • Increased Startup Time — The Linux kernel 2.6.38 series performs worse on HP Pavilion dv7 laptops.
      • Increased Core Temperature — The new kernel also increases power consumption by a lot for this kind of laptop. It appears that this issue is under high priority investigation by the Canonical Kernel Team.
      • Decreased Battery Life — The new kernel is demanding on the battery and therefore reduces the battery life.
      • Decreased Performance — Also a kernel problem...
      • Slow Software — You guessed it: caused by the new kernel

    2. The graphics problem could be caused by the proprietary driver being incompatible with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.



    What I'm Doing
    I have faith in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. After I reinstall it, I'm going to wait for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. I shall have a compatibility report for Ubuntu 11.10 available to you all when it gets released in October 2011.

    I will do an upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10, either by reinstalling or hopping on Ubuntu 11.04.

    If the issues are not resolved enough in Ubuntu 11.10, I intend to install Ubuntu 10.04.1 Lucid Lynx LTS and camp on that operating system until Ubuntu 12.04.

    No matter what the situation is on Ubuntu 12.04, I will be using it and no older release. Ubuntu LTS releases have always been dependable in the 4+ years I've been on Ubuntu.

    • Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron was a great upgrade from Ubuntu 7.10 and is one of my favorite releases of Ubuntu.
    • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx saved me from leaving Ubuntu as my operating system by the problems in Ubuntu 9.10. I had lived in Ubuntu 9.04 for six months, waiting for Ubuntu 10.04.
    • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.



    More Information
    For more information from me or if you have information for me, just ask me either through this forum topic or by my many methods of contact in my Ubuntu Forums profile.

  3. #3
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    I have an HP Pavilion zv5000 and I have been experiencing alot of crashing with Firefox lately, and not being able to update from synaptic for about a month or so. I have some detailed posts about what the terminal says about why it rejects updating.

    I have been with Ubuntu since 8.04 with a different laptop, and with this laptop since version 9.04. I also lost my Windows boot option from the boot loader( yes I must dual boot) 3 months ago and have not been able to figure out what to do about it. I admit I am not at all skilled in code solutions, I can copy paste code into the terminal though if a solution is found. But who can't? lol

    Any advice?

  4. #4
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    .[/QUOTE]

    What I'm Doing

    I have faith in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. After I reinstall it, I'm going to wait for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. I shall have a compatibility report for Ubuntu 11.10 available to you all when it gets released in October 2011.

    I will do an upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10, either by reinstalling or hopping on Ubuntu 11.04.

    If the issues are not resolved enough in Ubuntu 11.10, I intend to install Ubuntu 10.04.1 Lucid Lynx LTS and camp on that operating system until Ubuntu 12.04.

    No matter what the situation is on Ubuntu 12.04, I will be using it and no older release. Ubuntu LTS releases have always been dependable in the 4+ years I've been on Ubuntu.

    .[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the in depth rational.

    I do have a question-

    Why would you go back to 10.04 when you say that 10.10 Maverick is what you have faith in? Is the LTS release the deciding factor?
    What is LTS anyway?

    I am new to UBUNTU and trying to understand.

  5. #5
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    Quote Originally Posted by Windwoodtrader View Post
    Thanks for the in depth rational.

    I do have a question-

    Why would you go back to 10.04 when you say that 10.10 Maverick is what you have faith in? Is the LTS release the deciding factor?
    What is LTS anyway?

    I am new to UBUNTU and trying to understand.
    LTS stands for long-term support. So far, all the LTS releases have been amazing, and I am very confident that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will be the best Ubuntu yet.

  6. #6
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    This is a very important issue guys, unity should unify the components and hardware, not hinder the performance.

  7. #7
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    Quote Originally Posted by Deltik View Post
    What I'm Doing
    I have faith in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. After I reinstall it, I'm going to wait for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. I shall have a compatibility report for Ubuntu 11.10 available to you all when it gets released in October 2011.

    I will do an upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10, either by reinstalling or hopping on Ubuntu 11.04.

    If the issues are not resolved enough in Ubuntu 11.10, I intend to install Ubuntu 10.04.1 Lucid Lynx LTS and camp on that operating system until Ubuntu 12.04.
    Hi, I hope you have time to answer this.

    I just installed Ubuntu 11.04 on my dv7t with the 1GB ATI 5650. I opted to use Gnome instead of Unity because it's just more comfortable for me as an old-school Windows user.

    Everything's going more-or-less fine, but unfortunately it doesn't detect my external LCD hooked up to the HDMI port. I installed the ATI/AMD proprietary drivers, but that hasn't helped at all.

    So, should I downgrade until 12 comes out? If so, could you tell me specifically which version of Ubuntu 10? Also, should I do a full reformat/reinstall or is it possible to "overwrite" 11?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    Quote Originally Posted by austintexican View Post
    Hi, I hope you have time to answer this.

    I just installed Ubuntu 11.04 on my dv7t with the 1GB ATI 5650. I opted to use Gnome instead of Unity because it's just more comfortable for me as an old-school Windows user.

    Everything's going more-or-less fine, but unfortunately it doesn't detect my external LCD hooked up to the HDMI port. I installed the ATI/AMD proprietary drivers, but that hasn't helped at all.

    So, should I downgrade until 12 comes out? If so, could you tell me specifically which version of Ubuntu 10? Also, should I do a full reformat/reinstall or is it possible to "overwrite" 11?

    Thanks!
    Hello Austin, my nearby stranger,

    Yeah, you should downgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 or Ubuntu 10.10. It's completely up to you. I've never actually tested Ubuntu 10.04 on my HP dv7t. If you're waiting for Ubuntu 12.04 and want to skip Ubuntu 11.10, you should definitely downgrade to Ubuntu 10.04.

    There is no way to "downgrade" Ubuntu, actually. You're going to have to reinstall over Ubuntu 11.04. The Ubuntu installer should be able to assist you with that.

    I'll go over the advantages and disadvantages of Ubuntu 10.04 and Ubuntu 10.10 as far as I know.


    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx LTS
    Advantages

    • Long-term support. You can be sure that Ubuntu will be stable for you for a while.
    • Direct upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Ubuntu has never messed up an LTS before, and I don't think they will next time.

    Disadvantages

    • Many software will not be the latest. You need to add apt repositories to update some of the software to the latest version, for example, Mozilla Firefox 5 will not be included in the default updates of Ubuntu 10.04, so you're going to need to run:
      Code:
      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get upgrade
      to install the latest version of Mozilla Firefox.


    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
    Advantages

    • The software, although somewhat outdated, is newer than Ubuntu 10.04 LTS by default, and I'm not having issues with any of them except for Eye of GNOME, the image viewer.
    • It includes the font "Ubuntu", which is a nice-looking font.

    Disadvantages

    • The software is still not the latest. Ubuntu 10.10 has MuseScore 0.9.6 and FlightGear 1.9.1 by default, although Ubuntu 11.04 includes MuseScore 1.0 and FlightGear 2.0.0.
    • To upgrade, you'll have to do multiple of them to get to the latest Ubuntu. When Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is released, you'll have to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04, then upgrade again to Ubuntu 11.10, and upgrade one more time to Ubuntu 12.04. It's quite a hassle.


    I don't know. Ultimately, I think that Ubuntu 10.04 is a better choice for you.

  9. #9
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    Thanks Deltik! I think I'll go with 10.04.

    Last question: do you think this will solve the issue of my external LCD not being seen on the HDMI port? (I got the Radeon 5650 for my dv7t, btw.)

  10. #10
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    Re: [Report] Ubuntu 11.04 on HP Pavilion dv7

    It might. After all, the graphics problems I experienced with Ubuntu 11.04 were caused by the changes they made from Ubuntu 10.10.

    A comment in this older post from Ubuntu brainstorm indicates that HDMI did indeed work on an HP Pavilion dv7 laptop computer.

    I would test HDMI on my computer to my TV if I had time, but I'm leaving for a vacation tomorrow.

    Besides, even if your external display problem doesn't get resolved, you'll still get the following benefits for going back to Ubuntu 10.04:

    • Other graphics problems won't be present.
    • Faster booting
    • Stabler and cooler internal temperature
    • Increased performance
    • If you're fancy, you can also get cool Compiz effects.

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