Omnibook XE3


Linux RedHat 6.2 and 7.0

With kernel 2.4.3 at least :

Linux RedHat 7.1 or Mandrake 8.0 or Suse 7.2 or Debian Woody or...

Vous trouvez ici la version française de cette page
Important : I'm not concerned if your computer has a problem after using this page !!!
Philippe Depouilly

Important: HP has changed Omnibook Motherboard !

It's now based on i830MG Intel chipset  (with eepro100 network card),
Good and bad news:

- network card works out of the box
- video card works with frame buffer only (it's expected to work with XFree86-4.2.0 but I have no more information than this)

For frame buffer configuration (help from Anne):

She said:

Here is what I did, knowing that the resolution is 1024x768 (redhat 7.1, kernel 2.4.9-12 from redhat-updates and XFree86-4.0.3):

        Card -> i810
        Monitor -> Generic Laptop Display Panel 1024x768
        Video Memory -> 8 mb
        Video Modes -> 16 bits 1024x768
    Accept to quit with error for probing
Edit /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and replace
Driver "i810"
Driver "vesa"

I also add vga=791 in /etc/lilo.conf

Everything is fine now. Will look nicer when the i830 driver will be there...

Time are changing, there's a patch for i830MG agp in the 2.4.18-pre2 kernel... it will work soon...

For older Omnibook

The Kernel 2.4.3 has audio, network and APM integrated, so with distributions which offer at least 2.4.3 kernel, you have nothing to do, just install ! (it works fine with 2.4.5 kernel)

Important : When you create partitions KEEP the first partition : /dev/hda1. You'll  need it for hibernation (suspend mode with APM : FN+F12)
(for instance, my first partition with fdisk :
/dev/hda1             1        35    281106   a0  Hibernation Thinkpad IBM)

Recent distributions offer at least XFree86-4.0.3, so video card is recognised ! (really nothing to do)

But what is the reason of such page !... I don't know....

It was the old page (before 2.4.3 kernel) :

New : Play with the 2.4.2 kernel, it works fine ! You can have sound and network (with a little patch) and you can suspend the box...

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

Kernel configuration
NEW : Kernel 2.4.2
First : get the last source at

- It works fine, remeber to add the lp module (Parallel Printer Support in Character devices section)
You'll find other modifications in network, sound and APM section

Kernel 2.2.16 :
- Nothing change for the RedHat-7.0
- Update the kernel for the RedHat-6.2 (problem with pcmcia), here are the files.

- To improve hard-disk perfs you can add this line at the end of /etc/rc.d/rc.local :
/sbin/hdparm -d 1 -c 1 -k 1 /dev/hda # to improve Hard Disk performance
/sbin/hdparm -d 1 -c 1 -k 1 /dev/hdc # to improve CD-ROM performance
To test it :
just do that :
/sbin/hdparm -t /dev/hda (I've got 4.30 MB/s on a XE3-PIII 700)
/sbin/hdparm -d 1 /dev/hda
/sbin/hdparm -t /dev/hda (I've got  15.30 MB/s !!!)

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

The graphic board is a Savage3D/IX :
- Configure as a generic SVGA with a 1027x768 (70Hz) screen.
- Download this and run the "" script (it will replace the current XF86_SVGA with a new one)
- In this package you have a new tool : s3switch to switch between LCD/VGA/Composite (man s3switch)
- Put in your /etc/X11 this XF86Config file (REM : if you have correctly configured the video with Xconfigurator you don't need this file)
- Enjoy.

The driver file comes from S3graphics driver site, the file is here
There's another archive here

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

Network integrated
NEW : Kernel 2.4.2 :
First :
- Add the tulip driver as a module (DECchip Tulip in Network device section)
You need this line in /etc/modules.conf file :
alias eth0 tulip

And :
- Here is the new tulip_core.c, just put it in the drivers/net/tulip kernel source directory and compile the kernel !

Or :
- And before compiling modify the drivers/net/tulip/tulip_core.c like this :

diff result betwenn the new and original tulip_core.c file:
< /* Added for HP Omnibook XE3 */
<   { "EN2242 tulip work-alike", 128, 0x0801fbff,
<     t21142_timer },
<  /* Added for HP Omnibook XE3 */
<  { 0x1113, 0x1216, PCI_ANY_ID, PCI_ANY_ID, 0, 0, COMET },
< {0, }
>  {0, }

That's all for the network card on 2.4.2 kernel !
Thanks to J. Krause for the patch !

For 2.2.16 kernel :

The chip is a Accton EN2242 minipci (on-mother-board chip)

It works with the last tulip module slightly modified (this is an ADMtek Comet/Centaur series chip).

Here is a compiled version for the kernel 2.2.16 (for RedHat-7.0 and RedHat-6.2 updated), to install :

Here is the information to compile it from scratch.

First : you need the kernel sources
(you need to execute once make config or make menuconfig or make xconfig to generate a first .config and select tulip driver as a module driver)
For RedHat-7.0 you need to have the kgcc-1.1.2-40 installed to recompile the kernel

Thanks a lot Mr D. Becker !

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

NEW : Kernel 2.4.2 :
First :
- In the first section of kernel configuration, say Yes to "Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers" (in code maturity level options section)

And :
- Add the Maestro3 driver in Sound section (as a module) and just be sure you have this line in /etc/modules.conf :
alias sound maestro3

Compile the kernel and listen music !

It works much better than Alsa Project driver : you don't need to remove it when suspend the system (see APM section)

Kernel 2.2.16 :

This is an ESS Allegro (1989)
- Maestro3 driver available from alsa-project !!! Now you can play freely music !
Also :
- A driver is avalaible at opensound (not free).

Step by step ALSA driver installation :

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

Modem integrated
It's a ESS56CVM : a winmodem... so... nothing to do yet....

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

Kernel 2.2.16 and 2.4.2 :
APM works : you can press FN-F12 to Suspend (no standby) but remeber to uncomment this lines in /etc/sysconfig/apmd :

CHANGEVT="7" (to restore X11 at resume)

- If you use the maestro3 driver from or the maestro3 in 2.4.2 kernel : That's all !
- If you use alsa-project sound modules uncomment this :

SOUNDMODULES="snd-card-maestro3 snd-pcm snd-timer snd-ac97-codec snd-mixer snd soundcore"

I had this file /etc/sysconfig/apm-script/apmcontinue file to restore network at resume if needed :
(i use the RH-PPP-Dialer applet to start or stop the net card on my Gnome panel)


case "$PROG" in
        /sbin/ifconfig |grep eth0
        if [ $? ]; then
        touch /tmp/.eth0.lock
        /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifdown eth0 > /dev/null
        /sbin/ifconfig |grep eth0
        if [ $? ]; then
        touch /tmp/.eth0.lock
        /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifdown eth0
        if [ -f /tmp/.eth0.lock ]; then
        rm /tmp/.eth0.lock
        /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup eth0

According to Mad Matt you need to correct /etc/rc.d/init.d/halt :
COMMAND="halt -p"
to power off the computer when you want to shutdown

Kernel 2.2.16 :

For a correct reboot i've modified the kernel :

a portion of my /usr/src/linux/.config :

# CONFIG_APM_CPU_IDLE is not set
# CONFIG_APM_RTC_IS_GMT is not set

[Kernel]  [Video][Network][Audio][Modem][APM][Misc]

New : Here is an ISO image of this site with all files (for 2.2.16 kernel) , easier to use without network.

Thanks a lot for Bruno Cornec for is Howto-HP
Anne Possoz for i830 chipset
And D. Becker for is help
A lot of information about Linux on laptops

Any questions : a mail ?