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Samsung R20


This is a guide to running Linux with the Samsung R20 laptop. The R20 is a middle to higher range laptop which provides some good Linux support as well.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameSamsung R20
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.6/T7200 2.0GHz
Screen14.1“ WXGA - 1280×800
Optical DriveDVD+-RW-RAM - IDE
GraphicsATI Radeon Xpress 1250 (aka AMD 690g, RS600 series chipset)
Network10/100 Ethernet, Atheros SuperG 802.11abg Wireless, Bluetooth (optional)
Other3 x USB2.0
Card Reader1 x SD/MMC/MS/Pro/xD (USB based)

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorYesLoad kernel with lapic_timer_c2_ok enable_8254_timer clocksource=hpet if you have CPU Celeron 530
HDDYesVIA SATA compatible
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesATI Radeon HD compatible, use RadeonHD driver
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYesRTL8139 compatible
WirelessYesUse the Madwifi module
BluetoothNot Tested/not present
56K Modemyesslmodem module: snd_atiixp_modem (chip Si3054)install
SD/MMC/MS/Pro/xD Card ReaderYesSBP2 compatible
ExpressCard SlotYes Tested with BandLuxe C100 GPRS/3G modem


For the ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 graphic controller used in the R20 you have to use the radeonHD driver included with most Linux distributions.

Distribution Specific Notes


With the current kernel (2.6.20-15), sound does not work in Ubuntu. You can download these files and copy them to /lib/modules/2.6.20-15-generic/kernel/sound/pci/hda/ to get sound working. It should be fixed in later kernels.


The installation of Linux on the Samsung R20 was a very easy exercise without any unexpected issues encountered at all.


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toni, 2012/01/08 07:35

hi,i've samsung sens R20 with Radeon Xpress 1250.and iam using Fedora 14 32 to solve this.i've install kernel devel and update.and also install akmod catalyst.

Sergey, 2011/08/26 15:28

I have r20 and ubuntu 11.04 on it. Wifi have been refusing to work all that time since april 2011, but it really matters now. The networkmanager (or whatever) says “wireless is disabled by hardware switch”, but playing with that switch does nothing. I was surving the net and experimenting, so i found a solution: i turn on the hardware switch (for an unknown reason it appears to be off any time i turn on the computer) and type two console commands:
# rmmod ath5k
# modprobe ath5k
My understanding of linux tells me it is some kind of a rebooting the ath5k module (turning off and on).
Here is a question:
1. Why can't that module notice that I have just switched the wifi on and reboot itself automatically?
2. I think that if the hardware switch could be on when I turn on my laptop, the problem would no longer exist, because when the module ath5k starts it would already see the tuned-on switch and work properly. Why is it off any time I turn the computer on?
Sorry for my English. I will be happy to have an answer, how can I use wifi and not turn it on using the method i have described above any time i turn on my laptop. Does anybody know how to do that?

Paolo, 2008/12/19 17:55

Linux Mint 6 (Felicia) installed straight away, done and running within 15 minutes - all drivers already installed including Atheros Wireless; ATI driver has to be activated though. Unbelievable after all the previous troubles with Ubuntu Edgy and Hardy.

Note> make SURE to flash your bios to version 15SH, a friend with 7SH had it freeze mid install; 13SH takes a loooooooong time but eventually installs.

Albert, 2008/12/03 21:09

Ubuntu 8.04
x86 - Load kernel with lapic_timer_c2_ok enable_8254_timer clocksource=hpet

These options nucleus tested for samsung r20 with CPU Celeron 530
Laptop does not hang at startup and with a change in the frequency of the processor.
lapic_timer_c2_ok - eliminates sudden hang when changing the frequency of the processor
enable_8254_timer - to force includes the timer is turned off by default for the motherboard ATI
clocksource = hpet - еliminates not pleasant delays when loading Linux on battery power.

Jeka, 2008/11/17 01:10


x86 - Load kernel with pci=bios hpet=disable nohz=off

Jeka, 2008/11/17 01:09


x86 - Load kernel with acpi=force irqpoll


x86 - Load kernel with nohz=off

x86_64 - Load kernel with nohz=off

Jeka, 2008/11/15 11:16

Mandriva 2009.0

x86 - Load kernel with acpi=force irqpoll
x86_64 - Load kernel with nohz=off

Buzbie, 2008/08/21 11:44

First timer

Managed to get pendriver working but am stuck as to how to get the network card working? This is my test as I hvae never tried to install linux on anything before but have been told it will run on my R20 REALLY well!!
Any help?
As Basic as poss please.

Matt, 2008/05/19 07:58


It is only possible to install Ubuntu Hardy Heron on this laptop with the text/alternative cd. You then have to install the propriatory ATI drivers on the command line. See for details of how to install.

If needed, aticonfig is a tool provided by the drivers that can configure your xorg.conf for you

Tom Chiu K. C., 2008/03/15 05:18

Installation does not work on most Linux distros

Have tried several distro. Mostly display problem:

  • Ubuntu 7.10 cannot display
  • Fedora 8 cannot start X

The only version working is Knoppix 5.1

Albert, 2008/03/07 23:09

Kernel and acpi

Load kernel with option pci=nommconf

Wingnuts, 2008/01/05 14:50

ATI now works perfectly

Mandriva 2008 LiveCD (acpi=off) demonstrates how for the (previously problematic) ATI drivers have come. This makes the R20 a perfect linux machine.

Jakobe Palazioberri, 2007/12/31 15:08

The best for this laptop: Sabayon

I have tested this laptop here in Europe (Basque Country) with different distros like Mandriva, Kubuntu… and the only one that has worked fine in the configuration and X Window system has been Sabayon Linux, although there is a problem with the audio and goes very slowly with Firefox. Lots of problems with this laptop and the ATI driver.

Stian Haklev, 2007/10/06 10:42

Lot's of problems

I've had so many problems with this, and I quite regret buying it. First of all, build quality is horrible. Lot's of stuff jutting out everywhere, whis is annoying when you carry it in a bag. The CD drive is already beginning to rattle.

Most of the distros I tried didn't even want to boot because they couldn't configure graphics (Sabayon was an exception). Finally got Ubuntu alternative to install and managed to install fglrx manually. It mostly suspends to ram, but cannot always wake up. Sometimes it crashes completely. Battery time in Linux is max 1 hr 20 minutes! No Compiz etc

ole2, 2007/12/12 04:36

got mine as “display unit” after few month being “killed” (aka evaluated). still stand solid, no jutting.

CD drive is easy to replace with slot load one (if necessary). Even marked, where to unscrew for this. (possible 2nd battery in DVD bay place?)

most of distros unaware about new PCI ID: 1002:7942 (ATI Radeon x700 compatible), that's why uncapable to show-up nice looking GUI (still no problem to install in text mode)

SATA is VIA compatible, so use that one if necessary.

Battery time in Linux is equal to battery time in Vista if not in “no-wireless/document only reading” mode

Oliver de Peyer, 2007/08/10 17:07

Fedora 7 and co-booting tips

Yes, I got Fedora 7 running on it in the end. To begin with I had no GUI because ATI's fglrx module did not support FC7, but now it does. Also, if you want wireless then you want the kernel release, not the more recent, because the Madwifi module does not work with the latter.

I agree with you, Vista is absolutely diabolical running on this laptop, quite the very worst, slowest, easy-to-crash computer experience I have ever had, ever.
I am very glad to say that Linux works much, much better - Vista uses up almost 400megs of memory for instance and Linux needs less than 300.

To install Linux on this laptop but retain the option to co-boot into Vista (although I don't know why you'd want to!), set the partition size of the 'C' drive to the smallest possible (25 gigs) when you first start up the laptop. Samsung's setup software create another D partition in the remaining disk space.

Then completely remove the D drive - i.e unallocate the partition - from the Disk Manager in Vista. This should provide just enough space for Linux to install itself. I used a bootable Fedora 7 DVD.

Nick57, 2007/07/26 23:08

FC3 ?


We have FC7 or 8 don't you think 3 is a bit old anyway?

I am sure 7 or higher will do fine.
I am at moment installing Opensuse 10.2 on it. bloody Vista is load of CRAP

Oliver de Peyer, 2007/07/22 14:58

The R20 also comes in another configuration with a Celeron M 1.8Ghz processor. I have been trying to install Fedora Core 3 on this. This does not work because it cannot locate the R20's hard drive. Presumably therefore the hard drive drivers for this model are not present in older Fedora distributions. Of course, the next thing I will try is to obtain and install a more recent version of Fedora such as Core 7.
Bottom line - the R20 may not work with older Linux distributions unless you can find the relevant hard drive drivers (I was trying Fedora Core 3 since that is the specified host environment for developing applications for an embedded Linux box I am using)

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samsung_r20.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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