Running Linux (Fedora 29) on HP Elitebook 850 G5
Sharing some experiences about running Fedora on an HP Elitebook 850 G5 laptop.
Right now this document is only half-way finished. Hopefully I will find time to provide some more information.
Basic functionality is working (kernel 4.20.3-200.fc29.x86_64) :
- Keyboard, keyboard backlight and shortcuts
- Mouse button (to steer the mouse pointer)
- Adaptive brightness (as weird as with Windows)
- HDMI external port (up to 4K)
- Thermal sensors
I haven't tested much more than that.
What seems buggy :
- Touchpad was once stuck in scrolling mode
- Reboots often end on a black screen (fixed with boot option reboot=efi)
What is not working :
- Fingerprint sensor
- Mic mute button
To be tested :
- Thunderbolt 3 port
- WWAN LTE card (not even sure I've got one)
Customization of the laptop
The laptop configuration was like this :
HP EliteBook 850 G5 CPU Intel i7-8550U Windows 10 PRO Webcam + IR 15.6 inch UHD Anti-Glare LDE 8GB (1x8GB) DDR4 2400 512GB PCIe NVMe Three Layer Cell Solid State Drive No Near Field Communication (No NFC) Intel 8265 ac 2x2 nvP +Bluetooth 4.2 WW with 2 Antennas No WWAN ?? Fingerprint Sensor No Active SmartCard 3 Cell 56 WHr Long Life 45 Watt Smart nPFC Right Angle AC Adapter C5 1.8m Sticker Conventional Power Cord SE/FI 3/3/0 Warranty EURO No vPro AMT supported DIB HP Basic Carrying Case Country Localization SE/FI Dual Point with numeric keypad spill-resistant Collaboration SE/FI EU RED Pictogram Label Core i7 G8 Label HP 1 year Priority Management Service for PCs (1000+ seats) HP 3 year Next Business Day Onsite Notebook Only Hardware Support HP Operations Service
The laptop was delivered to me in the end of January 2019.
Short summary of hardware configuration :
- RAM : 8 GB RAM
- Operating system : Windows 10 Pro
- 512 GB SSD
- 15.6" inch screen (resolution 3840x2160)
The computer came with Windows 10 Pro installed with 3 partitions :
- EFI (360 MB) + hidden partition maybe for Windows restoration (128 MB)
- Windows C:\ (~475 GB)
- Restore tools (915 MB)
Just split the C:\ in half (~235 GB) to install Linux.
Here is the steps to reduce C:\ volume :
- In Windows, right click on Start menu logo > Disks Management
- Right click on C:\
- Reduce this volume, by default it's set on half its size
- Accept the changes and reboot
Download Fedora 29 Workstation Live x86_64 and write it on an USB drive.
If Windows was pre-installed, secure boot is enabled and you will get "Image did not authenticate", preventing you to boot any other OS.
Here is the steps to disable secure boot :
- Boot the computer
- On the boot screen displaying HP Logo "Sure boot by HP" press F10
- Go to Advanced > Secure Boot Options
- Choose Legacy support enabled and secure boot disabled
- Press F10
- Yes to save the changes
- Computer boots on a warning screen, you have to enter the displayed code :
- Press Num lock
- Enter the code
- Press "Enter"
- Computer reboots with secure boot disabled
Here is the steps to boot from the USB drive :
- Boot the computer
- On the boot screen displaying HP Logo "Sure boot by HP" press F9
- Choose the USB UEFI entry
Proceed with usual Fedora installation :
- Review the partition scheme (default/automatic was fine)
- Launch the installation
User creation will be at first boot.
Here is the partition table :
[edouard@hp850g5 ~]$ lsblk -o NAME,MOUNTPOINT,LABEL,FSTYPE NAME MOUNTPOINT LABEL FSTYPE nvme0n1 ├─nvme0n1p1 /boot/efi SYSTEM vfat ├─nvme0n1p2 ├─nvme0n1p3 Windows ntfs ├─nvme0n1p4 Windows RE Tools ntfs ├─nvme0n1p5 /boot ext4 └─nvme0n1p6 LVM2_member ├─fedora-root / ext4 ├─fedora-swap [SWAP] swap └─fedora-home /home ext4
The EXT4 file system is used with LVM, ie default partitionning scheme from Fedora.
It seems that by default, Fedora (or systemd) is not sending the right kind of signal this machine is waiting for reboot. To fix that, you need to add the type of signal at the boot options. Here are the steps, first add reboot=efi at the very end of the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX= :
You should have this content :
GRUB_TIMEOUT=5 GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR="$(sed 's, release .\*$,,g' /etc/system-release)" GRUB_DEFAULT=saved GRUB_DISABLE_SUBMENU=true GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT="console" GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="resume=/dev/mapper/fedora-swap rd.lvm.lv=fedora/root rd.lvm.lv=fedora/swap rhgb quiet reboot=efi" GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY="true"
Then you need to regenerate grub2 actual configuration file¹ :
sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /etc/grub2-efi.cfg
Then to validate that's has been taken, you reboot and check cmdline :
You must see the reboot=efi there.
[¹] If for any reason you are not using EFI and secure boot, the right output file is /etc/grub2.cfg.
Sound mute button LED
The shortcut button to mute sound is working fine but the LED on it doesn't switch on to indicate its state.
To activate the LED, create a file to /etc/modprobe.d/sound.conf with the following content :
options snd-hda-intel model=mute-led-gpio
Reboot the computer (or unload/reload module snd-hda-intel).
Powertop utiliy is a great tool to fix some power consumption issues.
sudo dnf install powertop sudo powertop
In tunables section a few setups by default are bad. Select them and press space bar to activate them. Press ESC to exit. Then enable powertop service at boot to make these changes permanent :
sudo systemctl enable powertop
CPU frequencies and TurboBoost
To have more control over performance, the Gnome Shell Extension CpuFreq is perfect. With this extension you can check the actual frequencies and choose which governor you want (powersave, performance etc).
I prefere to disable TurboBoost, because I don't really see any difference on performance. But with TurboBoost off, fans are off too !
I rebooted the laptop and went into the BIOS. From there it was possible to download and install a newer version of the BIOS.
Actual version of the BIOS :
Version: Q78 Ver. 01.06.00 Release Date: 01/03/2019
An even newer version of the BIOS is available from the HP web page :
HP Firmware Pack (Q78) 01.06.00 Rev.A 16.6 MB Feb 1, 2019
How to install it :
Output from some commands
sudo lshw -sanitize
linux@laptop:~$ sudo lshw -sanitize > output/lshw.txt [sudo] password for linux: linux@laptop:~$
See the output in output/lshw.txt
linux@laptop:~$ lsmod > output/lsmod.txt linux@laptop:~$
See the output in output/lsmod.txt
linux@laptop:~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo > output/cpuinfo.txt linux@laptop:~$
See the output in output/cpuinfo.txt
linux@laptop:~$ cat /proc/meminfo > output/meminfo.txt linux@laptop:~$
See the output in output/meminfo.txt
linux@laptop:~$ dmesg > output/dmesg.txt linux@laptop:~$
See the output in output/dmesg.txt
linux@laptop:~$ sensors > output/sensors.txt linux@laptop:~$
See the output in output/sensors.txt
Gentoo wiki also have some information here.