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This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Samsung NP305E5A laptop. If you have the Samsung NP305E5A and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.
This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Samsung NP305E5A. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Samsung NP305E5A page on LapWik.
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For full specifications see the Samsung NP305E5A specifications page.
|Processor||AMD Quad-Core A6-3420M Accelerated Processor, 1.5Ghz|
|Screen||15.6” 1366×768 Widescreen|
|RAM||Up to 8GB|
|HDD||Up to 500GB|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon Graphics|
Atheros AR9485 802.11 b/g/n
|Graphics Chip||Yes||FGLRX recommended to increase battery life|
|VGA Out||Not Tested|
|Microphone Jack||Not Tested|
|Card Reader||Not Tested|
I don't really this recommend this for GNU/Linux because of the problem with AMD requiring proprietary drivers to work better. Anything with Intel integrated video might be a better choice. But if you have to use this, you can make it work, but I recommend dual booting with the original OS so you can be safeguarded if something works bad.
I tried Debian Wheezy and it worked, but now out of the box. The initial boot would not work, because the graphics would be scrambled upon boot. I had to edit the GRUB startup line to add radeon=nomodeset and then install linux-headers, so it would install the piece of firmware needed to make it work. It is needed even for the free video drivers. I then proceeded to instal proprietary ones to make the battery last more, and it is now working. Bluetooth doesn't work out of the box because of firmware too, but Debian has documentation on how to install this. The init daemon shows no errors whatsoever now.
I tried quickly other distros like Ubuntu 12.10 and Fedora 18 and it seems to work too. I had some occasional crashing, but Wheezy is Debian testing branch right now, I can't be sure if distros with newer packages will fix this. I believe the FGLRX 12.6 version is responsible for the crashes, so if you have problems it probably will be fixed if you remove it and revert to the free drivers, but your battery life won't be good. A bleeding edge distro might carry a FGLRX version that will work better.