Mint as a daily laptop driver

Mint 19 as a daily OS for an HP Laptop

The motivation

I’ve been recently asked from a friend of the family to help out with a few different issues to try to adopt a Mint 19 laptop as a daily driver.

He was already familiar with Mint 18 but was looking to upgrade another spare laptop - a 15-db0008. We had initially tried with Mint 18 but saw the following error when booting from the USB iso.

[ 0.025631] [Firmware Bug] cpu 0, invalid threshold interrupt offset 1 for bank 4, block 0 (MSR00000413=0xd000000001000000)

We tried fighting for a little bit but the laptop itself is not super common and fighting firmware issues is not fun.

In the end, we switched to Mint 19 and we’re able to boot and install directly. Not sure what the root cause was, but M19 seems to have better overall driver support. Especially when it comes to AMD CPUs/GPUs which seemed to pop up a lot in the threads I’ve seen with similar issues.

Post-install fixes

Wifi drivers

The HP laptop has a RTL8821 Wifi card. By default, it wasn’t detected by Mint. The fix are the following commands. I’m sure there are different ways but I was pretty surprised is wasn’t there by default.

# Make sure you have the right card
sudo lspci | grep -i rtl8821

# Install the required driver from github.
sudo apt install git dkms build-essential
git clone
cd rtl8821ce
sudo ./

You can now reboot and the wifi card should be detected right after the start up.

Installing the french language pack for Thunderbird.

The laptop user is french and it wasn’t possible to have a french interface by default - even with a french OS install. I had to install the following language pack which activated after the next Thunderbird restart.

sudo apt-get install thunderbird-locale-fr

Active windows stopped appearing in the taskbar.

A weird issue at first. Active windows did not show up in the task-bar. You could still alt-tab to switch. The fix was a reset of the taskbar settings - right click on the task bar and click “Reset settings (or something similar)”.

I think the issue was triggered when an icon was dragged to the taskbar which shifted the active window display downwards. Not a big deal but a bit confusing!

Laurent Dumont
I route packets and juggle bytes