Home > Software > Install Ubuntu 12.04 on HP EliteBook 8560w

Install Ubuntu 12.04 on HP EliteBook 8560w

I got an HP EliteBook 8560w and besides Windows 7, I also wanted to install Ubuntu, specifically Ubuntu Desktop, latest version 12.04.

I downloaded the distribution image and follow the procedure from here http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows. But my findings in this article also applies if you install from a CD or SD card. EliteBook 8560w has an integrated SD card reader and you can boot from it. To create an SD card with the install image on it follow the same procedure as for the USB stick.

And now you have the CD/USB stick/SD card with the Ubuntu image on it. And now you should follow the next steps:

  1. Restart your laptop.
  2. Press F10 (or Escape and then F10) to open BIOS settings menu.
  3. Reset to default BIOS settings by selecting this option in the first tab and confirm the action.
  4. Use the left/right arrow keys to go to the System configuration tab.
  5. Using up/down arrow keys, select BIOS boot order.
  6. Make sure CD/USB Hard drive/SD card is selected, depending on your install storage medium.
  7. You can also modify the boot order.
  8. Save changes and exit.
  9. If you haven’t modify the boot order accordingly, press F9 (or Escape and then F9) and select the medium from which to boot – CD/USB stick/SD card with the Ubuntu image on.
  10. Your Ubuntu installer will start. If boot procedure is stuck after displaying one line of text, restart from step 1.
  11. Select from the Ubuntu installer menu “Advanced settings”.
  12. Press F1 and then F6. It will open a command prompt.
  13. Type live nouveau.modeset=0. It will start the Live Ubuntu on your stick.
  14. Start the installer by clicking on the icon on the desktop.
  15. Now follow the usual installer procedure.
  16. Wait until your system restarts.
  17. When you enter the GRUB menu, press ‘e’ to edit the commands. Later update: As per one of the comments below, you may need to press Shift to enter GRUB menu.
  18. Add the nouveau.modeset=0 kernel parameter to the linux command (after quiet splash)
  19. Boot your system and log in
  20. Now you have to add the nouveau.modeset=0 kernel parameter to the GRUB options.
    1. Edit the /etc/default/grub file and add the kernel parameter to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" line, like GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nouveau.modeset=0".
    2. On the command line run sudo update-grub
    3. Alternatively you can install GRUB Customizer.
  21. Install the nVidia drivers
    1. Go to System Settings.
    2. Select Additional drivers and install the Recommended one.

Just to summarize a few things to keep in mind:

  • BIOS settings needs to be reset to defaults.
  • The install medium needs to be marked as bootable in BIOS.
  • Do not start with the installer directly, but with the live Ubuntu and start the installer from there.
  • The Linux boot parameter nouveau.modeset=0 needs to be set. Alternatively you can try with acpi=off. This workaround is necessary only for the laptops that ship with nVidia chipset, which is the usual case.
  • nVidia additional drivers must be installed after the usual Ubuntu installation.

That’s it!

Categories: Software
  1. June 11, 2012 at 3:04 am


  2. June 11, 2012 at 3:08 am

    The nouveau.modeset steps are only necessary if your HP 8560w has an nVidia graphics card. Most ship with this chipset, but a few have others.

    There are a few related bugs that cause this work around to be necessary as you’ve provided.

  3. June 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I updated my post according to your comment. Thanks!

  4. Lukas
    July 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Is other HW in this notebook working ok with Ubuntu 12.04, or not?

  5. July 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    As far as I understood, there are some models with a graphic chipset different than nVidia. And I think those are working out-of-the-box. But I haven’t tried. Mine (as most of these laptops) has nVidia.

    • July 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      My elitebook 8560w has an AMD firePro graphics card. Does this mean I don’t have to reset the bios to install ubuntu? I also want to install ubuntu alongside of my win7, do you have any recommendations for making an ubuntu partition? Thanks!

      • July 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        I haven’t tested with AMD card. Maybe you can try without and if it doesn’t work, just use the above method. It would be nice to put your comments here (and I will also include them in the post).
        I’m not an Ubuntu expert, but I made one partition for Ubuntu (extfs) and one for swap – both on an extended partition.

        • August 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm

          Hello, I have a small update.
          when finally trying to install ubuntu, i found an other unseen problem with the partitioning: the 8560w comes with 4 partitions already (system, C, HP_TOOLS, HP_RECOVERY) this way I cannot make a new partition for ubuntu. Deleting one of the hp partitions could be an option but it might be a bad idea. I know this article focusses on a different problem, but how did you overcome this partition problem and how did you make an extended partition?

          I did try to run ubuntu 64 version from a live cd and it worked, only thing was when I checked the graphics card in the ubuntu system, it said “unknown”. Does this mean it is not working properly?

          Sorry if I’m asking silly questions, but my own research didn’t give me the answers yet.
          Thanks again!

          • August 26, 2012 at 6:36 am

            Regarding your graphics card being shown as ‘unknown’, it may be that you still need to get the recommended drivers for it installed. I’m going to try this process to see if I can get it to boot properly..

            • August 27, 2012 at 1:07 am

              I managed to get it installed, but I had to use Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu since that one did get to the main menu and displayed the options (Try Kubuntu, F1, F2, etc.).

              In one of the F menus, there’s an option to set acpi=off. If you do that, you’ll be able to boot all the way to the desktop and then install. After you get Kubuntu 12.04 installed, then you can use “sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop” to get Ubuntu in place.

              To boot Ubuntu instead, go to a terminal and do the following:
              “sudo dpkg-reconfigure kdm” and select lightdm from the list and then “OK”.

              Restart machine.

              It should now be using lightdm as the default manager. If everything works fine up to this point, then you only need to check what you need to do in order to remove all KDE components. For example, “sudo apt-get remove kde-full –purge” might be a good one to start looking into.

              Good luck.

  6. Anonymous
    July 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks a ton!, it worked.

  7. anon
    September 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

    how do i get the fingerprint reader working

    • September 12, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Hmmm, never tried it …

  8. Anh
    September 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Select from the Ubuntu installer menu “Advanced settings”.
    Press F1 and then F6. It will open a command prompt.

    My advanced setting doesn’t have any thing and I can’t open Command prompt after press f1 and then f6

  9. jk
    September 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Between step 16 and 17: You may need to press “shift” to display the Grub loader.

    • September 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I will update the post.

  10. lurk
    December 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Did you try updating to 12.10 on it? If so, did it work fine, without problems?

  11. Dave
    March 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    ThomasBeelen :
    Hello, I have a small update.
    when finally trying to install ubuntu, i found an other unseen problem with the partitioning: the 8560w comes with 4 partitions already (system, C, HP_TOOLS, HP_RECOVERY) this way I cannot make a new partition for ubuntu. Deleting one of the hp partitions could be an option but it might be a bad idea. I know this article focusses on a different problem, but how did you overcome this partition problem and how did you make an extended partition?

    Thanks again!

    For a debian install, I shrank C: using ntfsresize, made a note of the position of the TOOLS partition, deleted it, then created an extended partition in the gap, and recreated a logical drive at the same position as the TOOLS one (at the end of the extended partition). So TOOLS is now a logical partition rather than primary. Still seems to be working, but no guarantees.

    (I actually created new logical partitions for linux first, and the TOOLS one last, so that the logical partitions would be in disk order. Not sure if that’s critical.)

  12. Anonymous
    October 18, 2016 at 3:19 am

    Hi Adrian, I want to dig up this old article because I am looking to restore an elitebook 8370w by installing ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS on it. Did you find your elitebook reliable with ubuntu 12? Anything you can tell me about relibability, here in a response to this comment, i would appreciate, thanks!

    • October 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      I used it successfully for approximately 2 years, so …

  13. August 17, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Hello sir im thankful to have found a thread on this. However, correct me if I am wrong, does this guide apply when you have windows installed in the laptop?

    • August 17, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Yes, it applies when you have Windows already installed. If you don’t, just create the USB stick/SD card image on another laptop.

      • August 18, 2017 at 7:00 am

        Great ! That’s good to hear sir. Let say, If i want to install ubuntu 17.04 instead, do you think this will work. Well I know from this thread that you haven’t try it out, but if you think it would work, let me know. Thanks!

        • August 18, 2017 at 7:04 am

          sorry i mean 16.04

        • August 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

          I suspect that this will work. If you try it, please leave a comment here if it works or not. Thanks!

          • August 19, 2017 at 4:21 am

            im lost, well i cant open command prompt, theres something called “advanced options” and i press f1 then f6 then. I will figure this out first

            • August 19, 2017 at 4:39 am

              update: everything is OK, I was able to open the command prompt using ctrl+f1, unfortunately, i have encountered an error while installing and the installation failed

              “The installer encountered an error copying files to the hard disk:

              [Errno 5] Input/output error

              This is often due to a faulty CD/DVD disk or drive, or a faulty hard disk. It may help to clean the CD/DVD, to burn the CD/DVD at a lower speed, to clean the CD/DVD drive lens (cleaning kits are often available from electronics suppliers), to check whether the hard disk is old and in need of replacement, or to move the system to a cooler environment.”

              I will update you later if it works or not, after I get a new USB drive for installation

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