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Samsung Q310

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Samsung Q310 laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Samsung Q310. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Samsung Q310 page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Samsung Q310 specifications page.

NameSamsung Q310
ProcessorIntel Core2® Duo T5800 (2.0GHz)
Intel Core2 Duo P8400 (2.26 GHz)
Screen13.3“ WXGA Widescreen
RAMUp to 4GB
HDD250GB to 320GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW with Lightscribe
GraphicsIntel GMA X4500
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11 a/b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorOK
ScreenOK
HDDOK
Optical DriveOK
GraphicsOK
SoundOK
EthernetOK
WirelessOK
BluetoothOK
ModemOK
USBOK
Card ReaderOK
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
WebcamNot Tested
MicrophoneNot Tested

Notes

Worth a try however if you want to run a 64 bit distribution such as Ubuntu 8.1 then be warned that there is an issue affecting the ACPI. Apparently the bios update 07SU from samsung does address this issue. However the updated 10SU firmware still has this issue. This can be worked around by adding acpi=off to the grub kernel line. As you may have guessed disabling the ACPI means you have no battery meter and removing or pluging in the power adapter causes the machine to restart. Also please be aware that the fn keys do not work and the brightness keys will cause the machine to restart. Although you can re-bind the fn keys and there are various work arounds. Hopefully the ACPI will be resolved soon which will make this a most excellent machine for Linux. I recommend using the NVIDIA drivers for linux as well.

Link to 32bit Linux video drivers
Link to 64bit Linux video drivers

Summary

I am pretty impressed with the performance of this laptop with Ubuntu 8.10. Other than the issue affecting the ACPI everything works perfectly.

Ubuntu 9.04 (64 Bit)

When first installing Jaunty, remember to turn off acpi or your computer will continuously reboot.

Ubuntu 10.10 (32 Bit)

This version of Ubuntu work almost flawlessy. The only thing that is still giving some issue is that I cannot control the brightness via the FN-key. The volume setting on the other side is working OK. Pressing the FN-key can cause the keyboard to freeze in that case just press CTRL + ALT + F1 and then go back to X with CRTL+F7. This will unlock the keyboard.

Webcam

Since q310 webcam drivers were added in the 2.6.29 kernel and Jaunty Jackelope does not come with the 2.6.29 kernel or later, if you wish to use the webcam you will need to update the kernel. This can be done easily by downloading and running the following three files in turn:

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.30/linux-headers-2.6.30-020630_2.6.30-020630_all.deb
http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.30/linux-headers-2.6.30-020630-generic_2.6.30-020630_amd64.deb
http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.30/linux-image-2.6.30-020630-generic_2.6.30-020630_amd64.deb

When you reboot, you should be able to use the new 2.6.30 kernel.

Enabling acpi

It turns out that Samsung does not support 64 bit so that at 4gb ram, there are memory problems that cause the laptop to reboot when acpi is enabled. A workaround is to add mem=4096M to the grub line.

To do this, open up /boot/grub/menu.lst with the text editor of your choice (with root privileges) and add mem=4096M at the end of the line labeled “kernel” in the relevent grub entry. From the same line, you can now remove acpi=off.

Nvidia driver

With the new kernel, the default nvidia drivers that come with Jaunty are unlikely to work. To install drivers follow the following steps (write them down or otherwise remember them as we will need to close X):

1. Download the driver to your desktop: http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/185.18.14/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-185.18.14-pkg2.run
2. Press CTRL-ALT-F1
3. Login with your username and password.
4. Get root access: sudo su and enter your username and password.
5. cd to your desktop: cd ~/Desktop
6. Close X, if you are using GNOME this is : /etc/init.d/gdm stop
7. Get rid of the default nvidia drivers : sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
8. now run the driver script: sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-185.18.14-pkg2.run
9. Follow the instructions, it will tell you that your gcc compiler does not match but this can be ignored.
10. When finished, reboot: reboot

Nvidia drivers should now be working and you can now enable special effects and manipulate the settings through System→Preferences→Nvidia X Server Settings.

Congrats, your Samsung q310 should be mostly usable. You can head over here to install the things you need to use.

Problems

Brightness keys and some other fn keys are still not working as they lock up the keyboard.


Discussion

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Davo, 2010/09/06 13:54

Any updates on the ACPI situation. Will samsung put out an upgraded 12SU bios version ?

dawez, 2010/07/23 11:12

IS there any update on the FN keys story ? Now it's July 2010 is all working fine with the latest bios update ?

dajense, 2010/05/21 12:03

Samsung has released an update for the bios. The new bios version finally supports 4GB Ram on 64bit OS. It can be downloaded here:

http://www.samsung.de/de/Privatkunden/Mobil/Notebooks/QSerie/q310aurap8400/NP-Q310-AS03DE/detail.aspx?atab=support&aguid=516fa6c0-f80b-48ff-8bd9-df916a454898&dl=firmware

I recommend using Win to flash the bios. I didn't want to test this with wine.

dajense, 2010/02/15 23:34

also, after just 6 month of use, the gpu starts overheating when using compositing. this sucks

dajense, 2010/02/01 09:44

Samsung really screwed this one. The option above (mem=4096) causes the kernel to ignore the first gig of memorey. This means, when using it, you have in fact only 3 out of 4 gigs of memory available for the OS. So the choice is in between acpi and the full 4 gig of memory officially supported by the hardware! This is due to a bug in how the bios adressess memory.

Customer support at Samsung tells me there woun't be another bios update for this notebook. They also feel, that nothing is really wrong, as officially only 32bit OS systems are installed (these usually use a maximum of 3GB RAM).

So, I say they are frauds. I am pissed and will never buy one of there products again!

ed, 2009/08/01 18:34

I have this laptop running Fedora 11 x86_64 so Samsung supports full 64bits of course. No problem with acpi. Most of the FN keys seems to work. Webcam too. The only problem is sound along HDMI, can't get it to work! Any Idea?

Tim, 2009/07/03 18:24

I'm thinking about buying this notebook.

Are there any updates related to the ACPI and fn-key issues? Is it currently possible to switch between interal display and an external monitor?

JDShu, 2009/07/11 18:49

Tim, I just updated with a guide on how to get ACPI working on Jaunty, hope it helps.

jens, 2009/05/10 23:26

acpi has been imporved a little:

suspends works after some work
working function keys:
fn-esc = suspend to ram
fn-10-12 = switch of numlock, keypad

Michael, 2009/04/19 12:59

Bought this Notebook and I wouldn't do it again:
Fn-Keys do not work
ACPI Issues
Unable to boot Ubuntu/Debian/Whatever CD on internal DVD Drive(I used an external USB-Drive to install).
Need to compile own kernel because of the NICs driver
VGA/HDMI Port only work if X is up. Externel Dislay remains dark in console mode
Additionally to the listed features above: The cardreader works

J, 2009/03/15 13:01

This lack of acpi is a real game breaker

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samsung_q310.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/12 21:26 by 86.43.211.69
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