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Installing Fedora Core 3 on Compaq Presario R3000Z (v1.0)
Last modified: Friday November 9, 2012

I'm trying to get as much working as possible as quickly as possible. Your continued feedback below would be greatly appreciated.

The Compaq Presario R3000Z is a low priced but fairly high performance laptop. It was available in many different configurations by special order only, so you could basically pick and choose your options to some degree. The configuration I chose was as follows.

I've also starting working on my Fedora Core 3 Tips & Tricks.

Hardware Summary

Fedora Core 3 & 4 Compatibility

Preparing for the install

The Compaq R3000Z comes pre-installed with Windows XP which I shank using Partition Magic 7.0 to a much smaller size. I'm told that Knoppix can be booted on such a system and then you can use the ntfsresize  program to shrink the NTFS file system. I just recommend you do that BEFORE booting the laptop for the first time as it doesn't work well with even a slightly fragmented filesystem.

Install Fedora Core 3 & 4

The basic concepts behind using this laptop on Fedora Core 3 and 4 are mostly the same. Both are based on a Linux version 2.6 series kernel so the issues are going to usually be identical

You should be able to install Fedora normally on this laptop. Just make sure you choose the a configuration with the development environment. You won't be able to rebuild the kernel below without it. When prompted for monitor type choose "Generic Laptop Display Panel 1024x768". Otherwise install it as you like. The trackpad does not work in the installer by default so you'll have to struggle along using the keyboard or use an external USB mouse. To make the trackpad work you can add the following to the kernel boot line:


Enable ALPS Touchpad as a PS/2 Mouse

I was finally shown the secret to making the mouse work without re-compiling the kernel. Once you have the kernel installed add the same line mentioned above to your /etc/grub.onf  configuration file. Here is an example I use. Your kernel version may be different depending on which version of the kernel you're currently using.
title Fedora Core (2.6.9-1.678_FC3)
        root (hd0,1)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.678_FC3 ro root=LABEL=/ quiet i8042.nomux
        initrd /initrd-2.6.9-1.678_FC3.img
You will notice I've also disabled rhgb . This is because if the NVIDIA drivers aren't properly installed for whatever kernel you're booting the boot process will hang shortly after rhgb fails to start. Until you have the NVIDIA drivers installed I recommend you just leave off that option. Also make sure that option is always there after you've upgraded the kernel.

Configuring the video

If you go to the NVIDIA website you will find a Version 6629 or even newer version of the drivers. That version has been nothing but trouble with a 2.6.9 based kernel, which is what Fedora Core 3 ships with. The previous version works but won't install on a 2.6.9 kernel without hacking.

Fortunately there is a modified version of the Version 6111 driver that will install successfully on a 2.6.9 based kernel. You can download it from here: http://ngc891.blogdns.net/kernel/patches/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-6111-jp1.tar.bz2. Just extract it and run the installer as root to install:

# gtar xjvf NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-6111-jp1.tar.bz2
# cd NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-6111-jp1
# ./nvidia-installer
Follow the prompts and it should install cleanly.

If you are running kernel version 2.6.10 (and presumably newer) you can use the NVIDIA driver Version 6629 but you need to add the following line to the bottom of /etc/modprobe.conf :

options nvidia NVreg_Mobile=0

With Fedora Core 4 (and probably 3 as well) and newer versions of the NVIDIA driver you should use the following line instead to make sure screen blanking works correctly

options nvidia NVreg_Mobile=1 NVreg_SoftEDIDs=1

Once you have the driver installed you'll need a different xorg.conf  if you are using a WXGA 1280x800 resolution display like I am. No guarantees this is perfect but this xorg.conf.r3000z works if you have the 1280x800 WXGA display. Just copy it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf and restart your X server. For some reason the display gets corrupted if you enable power management to turn off the LCD backlight after a certain amount of idle time. The workaround isn't too bad. When that happens hit CTRL-ALT-F1, wait a few seconds, then hit ALT-F7 and the display should come back. If anyone has any ideas how to fix this please let me know.

Another thing that's odd is that usually the nvidia  module won't automatically load for some reason. The workaround to make it work is to run the following to get the nvidia  driver to load properly:

# modprobe nvidia
# cp -a /dev/nvidia* /etc/udev/devices
# chown root.root /etc/udev/devices/nvidia*

Configuring the Wifi

This laptop includes 802.11b/g support through a Broadcom BCM4306 chipset. Unforunately there is no open source driver yet available for this chipset so until there is one available you have to use the ndiswrapper available from http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndiswrapper/ which is version 1.5 at the time of this writing then grab a copy of the Windows driver for this chipset. I have a copy of the driver I'm using successfully available at here bcmwl5a.tar.gz. Now with all this in place you can build and install the driver as root as follows:
# gtar xzvf ndiswrapper-1.5.tar.gz
# cd ndiswrapper-1.5
# make install
# cd ..
# gtar xzvf bcmwl5a.tar.gz
# cd bcmwl5a
# ndiswrapper -i *.inf
# modprobe ndiswrapper
# dmesg | tail
wlan0: vendor: ''
wlan0: ndiswrapper ethernet device 00:90:4b:97:e2:c8 using driver bcmwl5a, 14E4:4320.5.conf
wlan0: encryption modes supported: WEP; TKIP with WPA; AES/CCMP with WPA
# ndiswrapper -m
Do this last step only after everything is working

There you go, you now have a device called wlan0 that you can configure just like any other wireless device. Remember that any time you install a new kernel you'll need to go back to the ndiswrapper source code directory and do the following make clean install ; modprobe ndiswrapper to get it to work with the new kernel. It's a pain, I know.

Configuring the modem


Other Odds and Ends

CPU Frequency Scaling does work on this laptop and just needs to be configured. Just edit /etc/cpuspeed.conf and make sure the following line is in there:
This will cause the correct module for this processor to be loaded automatically when the cpuspeed service starts up. Then you can make sure it's actually working:
# service cpuspeed restart
# dmesg | grep powernow
powernow-k8: Found 1 AMD Athlon 64 / Opteron processors (version 1.00.09e)
powernow-k8:    0 : fid 0x8 (1600 MHz), vid 0x6 (1400 mV)
powernow-k8:    1 : fid 0x0 (800 MHz), vid 0x18 (950 mV)


There are a few things that don't work (yet):

If you have any leads on getting any more features working please drop me a line.

Other Useful Resources

I used the following websites describing getting this or similar laptops to work with various versions of Linux in the process of getting this laptop to run Fedora Core 3. None of them had all the answers in one place however.
Running Fedora Core on a Compaq Presario R3004 - This was the closest guide but it covered the Athlon 64 which has some other minor issues.

Installing Debian-AMD64 GNU/Linux on a Compaq Presario R3000 Laptop - Another good site, help me get wireless working quickly and easily.

Compaq Presario R3120US (R3000Z series), Linux (Slackware 9.1), XFree86 4.3.0 - Yet another site with some more low level details, obviously needed since he's running Slackware. Good info.

R3000 / z5000 Forums - A site with discussions groups containing a while variety of information about this line of Compaq laptops. Lots of good hardware hacking info here.

Comments From People Like You!
Fedora Core 3 on Compaq Presario R3000Z
Add a Comment add a comment
21-Feb-2007 18:57
Thank you for this site!  I used it a while back to set up my R3000Z on FC3 and it worked perfectly.

One question:  do you (or anyone) have a copy of the patched Nvidia driver mentioned on the site?  I'm trying to reinstall Fedora, but the site the driver is hosted on appears to be down.  None of standard NVIDIA drivers are working...

30-Sep-2005 01:31
Nice job.

I had a R3000 already configured pretty much as you had described for Red Hat 9. I just did a Fedora 3 upgrade, accepted defaults -- only problems I ran into were the touchpad and the wireless setup. The touchpad interestingly enough was not a problem in RedHat 9, your info was perfect except I would say there was a bit of chicken and egg about it -- before being able to modify the grub config file, you sorta needed a mouse to open an xterm. So, to get around it, I just edited the grub commands at boot time (using the 'e' and 'b' commands), and then once I booted and could launch an xterm, editing the grub conf file was all that remained.

Latest ndiswrapper didn't compile: ndiswrapper-1.4rc1, but I had a copy of 0.11 that worked just fine already unpacked in my home dir from when I set up RedHat 9, and that worked well here too.
16-May-2005 17:52
Jay, How do you get the wirelss to work with x86-64 linux.. where do you find the x86-64 drivers and how do you install it.

Thank you
Jay Slay
07-May-2005 14:17
Hey guys,

I finally got everything configured and working on my Compaq R3160US running a x86-64 bit kernal.  3D Video in 1280x800, Alps touchpad with side scrolling, sound buttons, wireless...the whole nine yards.  This site was a great resource to tap and I appreciate the author and all the users comments; they helped out tremendously.  I would me more than happy to show anyone my config files and all the steps to get stuff going...just let me know.  FYI I am running CentOs 4, but everything should work the same with Fedora Core.

04-May-2005 13:05
Alejandro Paz,

A copy of your xorg would be great if you still have it.  I fixed this a while back, but I cant remember how!!! :/

14-Apr-2005 17:15
now wait what about the touchpad mouse thinngie?
Derrick W
11-Mar-2005 13:57
just compiled the newest 2.6.11 kernel on my r3240us and the advanced features for the touchpad are working great ie the scroll feature on the right side of the touchpad.  Looking forward to see how this newest 7167 nvidia driver works with the 2.6.11 kernel.  great site u have here.
Alejandro Paz
08-Mar-2005 01:10
Hey Jay, i was working with that problem you are having almost for 1 month, and i finally made it work with the help of this page and some others, If you succeed on compiling the nvidia module with the kernel, so, you are done, you can even use xcomposite extension to add shadow and effects to the whole X-Windows system, you just need to configure your xorg.conf in the correct way. I have the Compaq Presario R3240US with AMD 64 Processor too, im running FC3 i386, and i want to try the FC3 64 bit but i have had not time, if you are interested i can give you a copy of my xorg.conf file.
16-Feb-2005 11:07
Hi thaks for great page, but do you someone how make the shit modem. I have tryed to find some drivers but it isnt. I reali need the modem because i have just dial up and i cant do nothing with out modem. thaks much
Edward B
13-Feb-2005 01:02
FYI for you guys. You mentioned that the Knoppix boot disk with the ntfsresize might now work with a fragmented drive. I purchased mine, reformatted/reinstalled and used Windows XP a lot since I bought it. When it came time to dual-boot with Fedora, I defragged, tossed in the Knoppix CD and hoped for the best. I didn't have any issues with it and it was smooth sailing with the ntfsresize. I can't say that this will always work, as anytime you're monkeying with the partitions it's touch-and-go at best, but I figured I'd at least mention it.
Simon Clift
09-Feb-2005 17:47
Thanks for  a great page!  Most of this information has been applicable to my Presario R3210CA, which is an Athlon XP-M 2800+ model.

The NVidia drivers work well for me with 2.6.10 and Fedora Core 3.  I didn't need to put the module.conf line in.  From NVidia's web site


it says the option is no longer required (Appendix K of that document).
20-Jan-2005 21:59
You absolutely rock!  I had spent numerous hours attempting this
and WHAM...your guide had me up and running in about 2 hours

I wish that everyone who writes how-to's would be as thorough as you!

I'm running on FC3-test3 and everything works great (w/ ndiswrapper-0.12)

thanks a million,
16-Jan-2005 14:26
This page is an awsome resourse.  Thanks again.

I was wondering if anyone had FC3 fully functional on an R3160US AMD 64 laptop running the x86_64 kernel.  I have got everything going except video so far.  I was even able to get the crappy Broadcomm NIC working with wpa_supplicant and linuxant in 64 bit.  The NVIDIA drivers, on the other hand, are a different issue.  I am having the same problem that I did on the 32 bit kernel before this old nvidia driver was posted here on this page.  The corrupted display when starting X is the main problem.  
If anyone gets it going, please let me know, and I will do the same.

10-Jan-2005 22:14
I love this guide, it has helped me a lot with finally getting my laptop working almost perfectly with linux :)
20-Dec-2004 07:33
Thanks very much, this is a fantastic resource.  I've been trying for some time to get my Nvidia graphics working for some time with no sucess.  I really appreciate the information on this page.

Thanks again,

02-Dec-2004 14:29
Just wanted to say thanks for the great resource-I check it almost daily for updates.

Anyone out there in R3000Z land have any success with PCMCIA modems?  I haven't had any getting my Linux-friendly modem to function; it gets assigned /dev/ttyS4 but that's the end of it.  I know Cardbus is working-after tweaking pcmcia's config.opts I'm able to use Orinoco WiFi cards, but so far no go with the modem.
20-Nov-2004 15:39
Thanks Greg. The hacked 6111 did the trick. I'm Presario works perfectly now. Great reference you have here. All systems go. Now if I can just get my Tascam US-428 working with Linux, I'll be very happy. :-)
17-Nov-2004 15:02
No luck at all for me with the nv driver. The screen just starts to scroll quickly and I can't recover it. For me, it's nvidia 6629 at 1024x768 or nothing.
16-Nov-2004 18:18
Well I gave the new nvidia drivers another try using 1024x769, but still no luck.  If I run 1280x800 with nvidia I get basically 2 screens separated horizontally down the middle. :)  That be a bad thing.  nv is still working though.
16-Nov-2004 16:03
I guess I will try 1024x768 with the new nvidia drivers.  I am currently running in 1280x800 with nv without issues.  3D however doesn't work of course.  

I couldnt get nvidia working at all on my R3160US, but I think I only tried 640x480, 800x600, and 1280x800.  

15-Nov-2004 22:24
check out my thread here.

I'm having the same problem. 6611 won't work with the kernel sources . And 6629 will make my X desktop look all weird as described in the thread above.
15-Nov-2004 11:07
I use the nvidia driver (6629  currently since I can't get 6111 to compile correctly with FC3 and it's stock kernel,) and I'm currently running 1024x765. I had 1280x800 running perfectly with FC2 and 6111. I've never had much success with the nv driver. I think I tried it for about 10 minutes before downloading the nvidia driver. :-)
14-Nov-2004 14:46
So what resolution are you running FC3 with Nvidia drivers in sucessfully?  Am am using the xorg.conf above as well, but using nv drivers.

14-Nov-2004 14:38
The xorg config listed above works fine for me. Mine was pretty much just a subset.
Jay K. Slay
13-Nov-2004 22:20
I am having the same issues on a R3160US, but I haven't found a good xorg setup to run the nvidia drivers at all--in any resolution.  How were you able to run them without WXGA?  The nvidia module compiles fine, and I can load the latest version without problems, but the display is screwed up when X starts.   I am still running with nv.  

13-Nov-2004 14:52
Using FC3 with the stock 2.6.9-1.667 kernel, I can use nVidia's 6629 driver, but WXGA doesn't work (worked fine with FC2 and 6111. Config has not changed.) The reason I can't go back to 6111 is that while it builds, the kernel module complains that it's not the correct kernel version when it tries to load. I haven't done anything at all custom to the kernel. I even uninstalled it, removed /lib/modules/2.6.9-1.667, then reinstalled it. Still no joy. If anyone has seen this problem and has a solution, please add a comment.
13-Nov-2004 10:28
Nice info. The kernel shipped with FC 3 release is 2.6.9-1.
I'm having trouble of building proper source for it. I don't want new grub entry, just want to have source available so nvidia drivers can be installed.
10-Nov-2004 09:19
wow, very usefull, even if i dont have a laptop i've learned something about building a kernel. i want to ask you if it would be possible to make a kernel build for a normal pc? this would be very nice.

thx marco
Jason Brower
22-Oct-2004 06:41
You site is comming along great, may I mimic the layout for my fedora core install on my laptop?

Please E-mail Me with any questions, comments or corrections.