I’ve spent the last week tweaking my new Samsung Series 9 ultrabook and setting up a minimal Linux environment for development and daily use.
This post will describe various components of the setup process that I had diifficulty with.
Starting the Ubuntu Install
After creating the USB, I had a hard time booting into the installation disk. Firstly, I had to figure out how to get into BIOS. Hitting the F2 key repeatedly during startup enters into BIOS
Booting from USB
Changing the device priority of the USB drive in BIOS did not let me boot into the Ubuntu installation disk. After trying multiple times and multiple disks, I simply disabled the hard drive as a boot device (using Shift + 1). This started the standard Ubuntu installation.
Once I got Ubuntu 12.04 up and running on the machine, I saw that there were some issues with drivers for the touchpad and brightness on the machine.
Adjusting the Brightness
On the default Unity installation, I noticed that the screen would continuously flicker when I tried to increase or decrease the brightness. However, changing the backlight through ACPI worked just fine.
I was able to
and change the brightness. So to setup a robust solution for adjusting brightness, I created a quick bash script to increase/decrease the brightness value in the file.
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Create this file in a directory containged in your PATH, and you should be able to run
to adjust your brightness. Now to change brightness via the function keys, you’ll need to bind them to this script in your window manager. I use Awesome WM for window management, so I was able to quickly add brightness control to my keybindings. You might also want to check out my entire awesome configuration file.
Getting the touchpad working
The touchpad on the Samsung Series 9 very feature rich on Windows, but its drivers don’t work perfectly out of the box. After a fresh Ubuntu install, I was able to left click and right click on the machine, but I wasn’t able to click and drag, and I wasn’t able to two-finger scroll.
In order to fix this I needed to add the Synaptics configuration file below.
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I found the above configuration file on the Ubuntu community site for Samsung Series 9, and tweaked it before getting two finger scrolling, two finger tap for middle click working, and right clicking working properly.
To see the effects of the configuration file above, you’ll need to restart X.
Note: I would not recommend creating the psmouse.modprobe file as described on the Ubuntu community site. It disabled the synaptics driver and got rid of two finger scrolling entirely when I tried it.
In a later post, I will discuss my minimal window manager and development setup.
Feel free to let me know if you’re facing issues with this setup.