Linux on the HP Pavilion g6-2210us: Part 1 — Trouble with Fedora 18

So I’ve had this HP Pavilion g6-2210us for less than a week now. I knew it had Windows 8 when I got it, but I reconciled myself to the “challenge” of getting a Secure Boot-aware Linux distribution working on it.

I did boot Fedora 18 (aka Spherical Cow) from a live disc today. I had no problem with the Secure Boot (which I want to keep turned on so I can dual-boot Windows 8).

But once I got Fedora’s GNOME 3 desktop on screen, it was all graphics problems. First there were artifacts, then a total inability to read any text or see any images clearly. Plus lots of flashing … things.

FYI, this HP Pavilion g6 has the AMD A4-4300M processor with AMD Radeon HD 7420g graphics. I guess Fedora 18 isn’t terribly compatible with it.

I suppose I could install F18, then add repositories to see if AMD’s proprietary drivers make a difference, but I’d rather explore my options. I’m bringing down the Ubuntu GNOME 13.04 Beta live image right now with a torrent. (I can’t do a direct download because I am bandwidth challenged, and using torrents enables me to start and stop the download at will, even between reboots.)

So I guess I’ll be waiting for Fedora 19 and giving the Ubuntu family a try. As I say above, I’m going to start with the GNOME edition (very formerly called Ubuntu GNOME Remix but probably called simply Ubuntu GNOME right now).

This reminds me of the trouble I had with graphics when I first got the Lenovo G555 in May 2010, and how Fedora 13 ran great until a new kernel pretty much ended things.

This laptop is definitely too new to be a comfortable fit for the majority of Linux distributions (most of which aren’t playing along with Secure Boot, either just yet or … ever).