How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
42% (5)
50% (6)
0% (0)
0% (0)
8% (1)

HP Pavilion dv8t Quad


Frank Bruno (fbruno<At>asicsolutions<dot>com)


Nice laptop. Very big. Consider the size prior to buying. It is heavy.
1TB hard drive space and 8GB Memory make this an awesome desktop replacement.
The screen is very nice.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the HP Pavilion dv8t Quad. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the HP Pavilion dv8t Quad page on LapWik.

Editing This Page

If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.


For full specifications see the HP Pavilion dv8t Quad specifications page.

NameHP Pavilion dv8t Quad
ProcessorIntel Corei7 Processor 820QM/720QM : 1.73 GHz - 1.60 GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 8/6MB On-Die L2 Cache
Screen18.4“ Full HD (1920×1080)
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GT 230M
RAMUp to 8GB
HDD250GB to 1TB - 7200rpm
Optical DriveDVD Super Multi
Blu-Ray Drive
802.11 b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorYes Not sure if the TurboBoost works. I have the 820qm. → Yes TB works with i7-720QM tested under Ubuntu 10.10 64-bits with i7z-0.25.tar.gz
ScreenYes → 1920 x 1080 with both Nouveau and nVidia proprietary drivers
HDDYes Two hard drives show up if you have dual drives. No hardware options for RAID
Optical DriveYes Have only tested DVD Reading. Have BluRay Reader, but not tested
GraphicsYes I'm using the Nvidia driver, works great
SoundYes Speaker don't mute when headphone plugged in. Switch in Pulse-Audio Preferences to Analog Headphones, or use “alsamixer” to mute the Speaker channel. Or run 'xset b off' on startup.
Workaround :create the file alsa.conf in the directory /etc/modprobe.d/ and add:
options snd-hda-intel model=hp-dv5 enable_msi=1
After this workaround the speaker will be muted when headphone plugged in
ModemNo Modem
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYesSD cards (2-4 GB) are working fine on my Debian 6.0
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNo There is no work being done on this yet as of 1/14/2010
TV TunerYesNote that it works only with digital signal, you can't plug it to your standard home analog tv socket


With the new kernel, sensors do not work. I can't see any info on temperature which is a little disconcerting. However, I run very heavy 8 processor applications without any crashes.
→ Under Ubuntu 10.10 just add the Gnome sensors applet to the menu bar.

Booting after Linux always brings up a BIOS warning that the notebook went into hibernation due to temperature. Not sure how to fix this.
→ This is fixed by updating BIOS to the latest F.25 version.


I am running OpenSUSE 11.2. Everything works out of the box as listed above. Very nice laptop. Miss having the fingerprint sensor that I had in my lenovo.

Very fast laptop.


bob herrmann, 2011/03/13 03:17

FYI: all issues with my daily lockups in ubuntu 10.04 went away with 10.10.

JoeL, 2011/01/07 18:28

Hello All,

I am owning since one year the HP Pavilion DV8-1190, a great laptop:
CPU Intel Core i7-720QM - GPU nVidia GT230M - 2 x 500 GB HDD each, BD player, etc…

After a lot of issues at the beginning under W7 64-bits which were solved during the first months of use by applying all the needed HP updates (direct nVidia driver, Bios F.25, HP MediaSmart Suite 4.1.x, HP Control Buttons, Finger Print Manager, etc.), everything is since running smoothly…

I am running on my DV8 without any (noticeable) issues the following Linux distributions in Multi-boot with W7 64-bits and WXP 32-bits (installed using nLite 1.4.x) from W7 Boot Manager modified with easyBCD 2.0.2:
- Ubuntu Desktop 10.10 64-bits (Full installation (FI) with nVidia proprietary driver,
- Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 32-bits (Wubi) with nVidia proprietary driver,
- Tango Studio 1.1 32-bits (FI) with Low-latency kernel and Nouveau driver,
- JoliCloud 1.1 32-bits (Wubi) with nVidia proprietary driver,
- Fedora 14 Desktop 64-bits (FI) with nVidia proprietary driver, and
- SplashTop OS beta (kind of Wubi) the small brother of HP QuickWeb.

Time to time, I am also installing other Linux distributions after having tested them on a USB Flash key using the great MultiSystem S/W (running under Ubuntu) like openSUSE, Mandriva, Debian, Linux Mint, Puppy Linux, and less popular ones.

For the time being among all tested Linux distributions, these ones completely failed: xPUD 0.9.2 and Meego 1.1.


Raphael Avital, 2010/12/12 19:21

Hi again,

situation: Hitachi 500Gb 2.5” drive in enclosure. The enclosure has:
1. Straight USB cable for power and data - connected to USB, works fine.
2. USB Y-connector to DC round plug, plugs in to DC power connector on enclosure, provides power (blue led lights up).
3. When used with #2 above, one eSata connector, connected to USB/eSata connector on computer and eSata connector on enclosure.

The eSata, connected with options 2+3 above (proper way to provide power+data connection), has worked on this computer ONCE, and never again. I mean, during one session, I was able to issue “sudo /sbin/” at a terminal, and it nicely scanned all scsi devices (install package scsi-tools if you want to try this).

I was able to boot up with the drive connected with eSata (as in option 2+3 above) and Lucid 10.0.4 64-bit recognized the drive nice and pretty. I was able to boot up without the drive plugged in, plug it via eSata (same as above) then issue the rescan command as above, and the drive would mount.

Since then, I don't know what happened (probably some kernel update), but only the straight USB connection work. No eSata.

Anyone experience anything similar?

Thanks in advance

Raphael Avital, 2010/12/10 14:41

ctrl+alt+F8~F12 = blank screen with blinking cursor

This is a DV8T Quad-Core running Ubuntu Lucid 1.0.04 64-bit.

Pressing ctrl+alt+F8 through F12 just produces a blank black screen with a blinking cursor at the top left corner. I wait as long as a minute, nothing going on.

Maybe I don't understand how this is supposed to work? with F1~F6 I get a login prompt and I can log in correctly. ctrl+alt+F7 brings me back to my original gnome session.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

phiphi, 2010/12/11 20:07

those are places where something can be displayed. on 1 to 6 are log-in's running, on the 7 is normally the Graphical Display running, the so called X-Server. But that's just configuration. I don't think you need more than 6 concurrent text-terminals.

Raphael, 2010/09/27 15:26

Bluetooth, Processors…

Hi again all, two things to report:

HP dv8t i7-740QM Quad Core processor

1. Looking in System Monitor, it reports 8, count them, EIGHT processors, and shows activity graphs for eight. I know this is a QUAD processor. Bug in System Monitor, or am I missing something?

2. Bluetooth mouse: Works very well, but if I disable the touchpad AFTER booting up, the mouse will still move around, but clicking on menus simply highlights the menu item, does not drop the menu. If I shutdown with touchpad disabled (red led above the touchpad) and restart, touchpad stays disable, and all is well with mouse. Not asking what to do about it, just reporting. Besides, this is a real cheap bt mouse, will try again soon with a better one.

OJ, 2010/09/27 16:09

About the 8 processors. It's because of hyperthreading which makes every core show up as 2 CPUs. The same happens in Windows. It is correct. If you check, you will see that they can be at 8 different loads.

I have a PC with Intel Atom single-core. It shows up as 2 because of hyperthreading.

Sheepie, 2010/12/05 12:32

I've hit the touchpad disable button issue on this and also a DV6 laptop, on mine it kills the keyboard completely until I reboot. I can up with a couple of scripts I have put into my gaming WINE scripts and also have on my menu bar

xinput –set-prop SynPS/2\ Synaptics\ TouchPad Device\ Enabled 0

save this into a file, chmod u+x <filename> it then set it up where you want. “Enabled 1” will re-enable the touchpad

phiphi, 2010/12/05 14:31

I know this bug too. But it seems, that something with the focus is wrong, not the keyboard, as the cursor won't appear in text-fields. But Keyboard-Shortcuts work.

So, instead of rebooting, it's enough to switch the Terminal. Hit [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F1] and go back with [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F7]

Raphael Avital, 2010/12/10 14:47

Thanks, folks, this suggestion (switching terminals) works.

Raphael, 2010/09/25 07:37

I feel silly asking this question, but I've never used an eSATA port before:

Just got my brand spanking new dv8t and after playing with the virus known as win7, installed Lucid Lynx 64 bit. I have a hitachi drive in an enclosure supporting both usb and esata. It has a led on it that lights up when connected via usb. Is that supposed to light up when connected via esata? Does the esata port (doubles as usb of course) need to be set up somehow?

The thing is, it didn't work at all under Windows 7 either. I looked in the bios for a configuration screen, nothing in there to let you set up esata, usb ports, or anything of the sort.

Any ideas?

Other than that, after sneezing a bit with the original nvidia driver that came with ubuntu, installed updates and Lucid runs quite nicely so far.

Thanks in advance.

phiphi, 2010/09/26 10:22

My eSata port works, also Plug'n'Play. The drive shows up In the Places menu in the Disks section. I'm using Lucid 64bit too.

Does the drive work when connected with usb?

Perhaps your disk doesn't support Plug and Play eSata. Try booting with the disk running.
It could also be, that you need to mount the disk manually, but the entries in the Places menu should handle that.

BTW: If you use your external disk solely with Linux, especially for backups, I recommend to format it with a Linux filesystem like EXT4, since it's more powerful and compatible. NTFS is proprietary and does not support standard linux features e.g. the Owner/Rights-Properties.

Raphael, 2010/09/27 15:20

Thanks for the quick reply, phiphi,

I wasn't completely clear: My drive is a 2.5 inch in an enclosure supporting both USB and eSATA. It does not have a power supply of its own. The only way to provide it with power when connected via eSATA, is to also connect to a USB port at the same time, and I have the cabling for that. I didn't know this when I posted the question.

I still suspect my enclosure is somehow defective (because of other test results), but I guess the only reliable way to know whether this will work is to compare transfer rates while copying large files, connected via USB only vs eSATA+USB for power. Maybe you can confirm that with such a drive, you actually do need to plug in the USB cable for power?

I completely understand and agree with your point about formatting the external drive as an EXT4, but unfortunately this drive also holds Linux VMs that I need to run under Windows environments, so it needs to be NTFS for now.

Thanks again.

Oh, other than that, the computer is absolutely wonderful and Lucid-64Bit plays nice with it, as long as you have the most recent nVidia driver.

Bob Herrmann, 2010/07/19 18:30

Love everything about it, but with Ubuntu 10.04 - my laptop display locks up about three times a day. I can remote in and reboot the machine… which I what I do (since Ubuntu rocks otherwise.)

Bob Herrmann, 2010/07/19 19:11

Just bumped my BIOS from f15 to f24. Will report back if that helps.

Bob Herrmann, 2010/07/21 17:31

Didnt appear to hurt. I've had at least one lock up so far. :( ah, well.

OJ, 2010/07/19 17:52

I just bought an dv8-1190eo (18,4”). Installed Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit and it works great so far. The touchpad made the desktop freeze, but disabling the touchpad with the HW-button and then updating the system solved it.

Everything that I use seems to work excellent so far. TurboBoost works (confirmed with i7z and turbostat), and temperatures can be read by loading the coretemp module in Ubuntu (modprobe coretemp) and then use “sensors”, or for example the “sensors-applet” package for the GNOME panel. Add it to /etc/modules for it to load at boot-time.

The webcam works great. Great quality. Wifi is fast, faster than any other computer on the network.

I guess I have the newest BIOS version. I read that many people have solved problems by updating the BIOS (like temperature warnings and so on).

I have to use “alsamixer” so turn down the speakers if I use a headset. I think this can be solved by installing the latest ALSA, but I haven't tried it yet.

The bass/treble keyboard controls does not work in Linux, but the sound is great for a laptop. You can adjust the settings in Windows, but I don't know if they apply to Linux afterwards. The other touch buttons on the keyboard work nicely.

Also, the fingerprint reader and the remote control does not work (I tried to tweak LIRC), but you can actually wake the computer from sleep with the remote.

Performance is excellent. Running virtual machines like they where not VMs (enable VM-technology in BIOS to be able to use VirtualBox 100% with multiple CPUs pr VM).

The screen is great.

I installed Ubuntu on the second hard drive (which was empty), and it dual-boots with Windows perfectly.

phiphi, 2010/07/19 20:51

You can switch to the Headphones in the Audio Preferences (in the Panel, where Volume is). There, in the Output Tab you Switch from Analog Output to Analog Headphones.

When Ubuntu was installed on the second Partition, there was a big delay to loading GRUB, or after GRUB.
Because you can't change the boot order of the disks in the BIOS, i installed Ubuntu on the other disk. Then GRUB loaded much faster.
Problem: On the first disk are already 4 partitions, which is the limit if you dont us extended partitions. I anyways had to reinstall Windows as i didn't want the tools mess preinstalled, so i forced Windows to install on a single partition by making a third partion before assign the windows partition.
But you could also simply remove the HP_Recovery or the HP_Tools partiton, and then resize the Windows partition.

OJ, 2010/07/20 19:29

There you go :-) Thanks!

Actually, I have to switch from “Analog speakers” to “Analog output”.

My GRUB is not delayed unless I use a higher resolution for GRUB, but it's only 2 seconds or so.

This guide will give you the fancy pancy Plymouth splash screen the correct way with the proprietary NVIDIA drivers:

If you don't want Plymouth, simply remove the the word splash in /etc/default/grub and run “sudo update-grub”.

BTW: I am going to replace the second hard drive with an Intel X-25M SSD sometime in the near future. It will make it super fast (spinning hard drives really are the bottle neck in modern computers). I don't want to touch the Windows drive. I barely use it, and I HATE all the crapware that companies like HP, ACER, ASUS etc installs on their computers. I want a clean Windows install with only the necessary drivers and easy access to installation of software from HP. A clean Windows install is so much faster. The option is to either uninstall all the crap (which still leaves a lot of traces), use a pirated version or buy another copy of Windows. BTW: When I now own Windows 7 Home Premium, do I have the right to download the CD or borrow from a friend and install it? I guess the answer is no, since I don't have a CD key…

phiphi, 2010/07/20 21:12

You're right, it's not analog headphones on that machine, I am now on another Laptop, since mine get's repaired at the moment, the network card was defect.

You can simply copy another win7 home premium dvd and reinstall it with the key you have on the back of your notebook. which is what i have done and that's totally legal, as far as I know, since it's the key that you have to pay, not the medium. But windows didn't recognize the nvidia card, it says, there's a standard video card that works fine. even manual install of the nvidia driver didn't work. but i did no further investigation into this, as I'm totally fine with my Ubuntu. But could probably be solved.

OJ, 2010/07/21 17:37

Thanks for the quick reply!

I just took it for granted that there was no key on the backside (that recovery was the only option), but there it was :)

Too bad if the NVIDIA card doesn't work. I have som experience with NVIDIA on laptops, where the special driver from the laptop producer was the only one working, and only on one version of Windows.

So far I am not using Windows and if I need it I just wake one of my virtual machines with Windows (VirtualBox) and it takes like 5 seconds and I am ready to rock in Windows 7.

I'm considering buying an Intel X-25M SSD. It has great performance and will make this laptop THE BEST. Does anyone have any experience doing that? Have anyone changed the hard drive? In my experience, on some laptops, it's very easy, and on others you have to read a service manual because it's really difficult.

Christian Marcotte, 2010/05/24 06:22

Purchased Mid-Feb 2010 from Costco (gives you 2 year warranty and 90 days return policy).
Came with windows 7 home edition and I also installed Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 (32 bit desktop edition using the alternate CD).
Bought as a desktop replacement and mobile (well, luggable!) office.
Note: did not have to upgrade BIOS (was loaded w latest at time of purchase)


The machine works perfectly under win7.   Very pleased with it.
(I see someone complain about bluetooth but I have not used it.
 Keep in mind that if you like the laptop, a usb/bluetooth adapter is like $5-10 OK?)
Great keyboard.
Finger print thingy is cool.
Ubuntu compatibility:  
Everything works out of the box with ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 (See note below).
ALL features work pretty much out of the box including sleep, power saving,
fan/cooling control, sound etc... (not tested finger print scanner).
Skype works fine on Ubuntu using both the built-in webcam and a higher 
quality logitech 9000 model.


I'm not a big fan of the deep black reflective surface of the screen, 
a bit too much glare... but this is a minor gripe.
Haven't tried to get the finger print scanner on ubuntu yet.
I don't believe that the speed booster (cpu frequency goes from 
1.60 to 2.xx on demand) works yet on linux/ubuntu.
But I'm sure it's just a matter of getting the patches in the distributions...
(i.e. a few months down the line).

Ubuntu installation:

Used the desktop-alternate (e.g. non-graphical) CD installation CD) and then
allowed Ubuntu to enable the latest proprietary Ndivia drivers (195.x I believe).

Dual Monitors:

At home I use two external monitors:

  Main: hdmi samsung 24" at 1920x1200 resolution,
  Secondary: 23" Asus monitor connected to VGA connector and running at 1920x1080
   (I cheaped on the second monitor but could have used two big samsung ones just fine).

You can (only) have two displays working at once. One external screen and laptop screen OR turn off laptop screen (in ndivia control app) and two external monitors (one hdmi and one vga). It works nicely on both windows 7 and ubuntu lucid lynx 10.04.

Extra info: Very few bags available for these 18” laptops. CaseLogic (from Amazon) has one or two that work fine.

Great buy!

Raphael, 2010/09/03 22:20

Regarding bags - if you don't mind a backpack, try SwissGear Pegasus, I have one, it's excellent, and very protective of the laptop.

phiphi, 2010/04/24 08:52

@scott: How did you upgrade your BIOS? Do you have a Link? Did you do it with Windows?

Scott, 2010/04/24 00:28

I'm running Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit and encountered the temperature warning during reboot as well. Upgrading the BIOS eliminated the warning.

Bob Herrmann, 2010/04/14 11:46

With Lucid Lynx on the DV8T - beta 2 (Ubuntu 10.4), when plugging in the headphones - sound appears to continue to go to both speakers and headphones, unless you:

1. bring up the “Sound Preferences” (click on the speaker in the panel)
2. select the output tab
3. change the connector to “Analog Output”

It would be nice if Ubuntu just did this, as it took me almost a week to find this.

phiphi, 2010/02/27 20:45

With the most recent nvidia driver 195.. the problem with the image noise is solved.

In Ubuntu you can install the driver from following ppa:

phiphi, 2010/02/05 20:25


On my new HP dv8-1190ez I installed Ubuntu 9.10.
Pre-Summary: This notebook is just a bit too new. With recent drivers for WLAN and Audio, it works almost perfectly.

Problem: Only the Subwoofer-Speaker was working.
Solution: Installing the most recent ALSA-Drivers with the ALSA Upgrade Script.

Problem2: After the Upgrade, it still does not recognise when a Headphone etc. is plugged in. As a workaround, I created a shortcut of alsamixer on the panel, where you can mute Speakers (0-9 keys)

With the compat-Drivers from the Linux Wireless Project, it works perfectly.
I worked with this tutorial (German):

With the proprietary nvidia-driver it works well, but when changing the X-Screen, I get an ugly image noise. Only a reboot helped in those cases.

On the Model in the store on which i could start the Ubuntu-Live-CD seemed to have no problems with sound.

Let's wait half a year and see what new drivers will bring.

This notebook is very similar to HP dv8-1180ez, HP dv8-1090ez resp. HP dv8-1080ez.

Enter your comment. Wiki syntax is allowed:
If you can't read the letters on the image, download this .wav file to get them read to you.
hp_pavilion_dv8t_quad.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/13 02:12 by
Contact Us Sister Sites Privacy Policy Terms of Use
Copyright © 2006-2013 and other authors