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Thread: Samsung NC20

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  1. #1
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    Samsung NC20

    I have been digging around the web for a while now and did not find a single thread about running linux on the Samsung NC20 netbook. So this is it!

    Please post your experience!

    I am particular interested in the following questions:
    - Are there linux drivers (maybe from via) that provide 3D and video acceleration. According to their web-page openchrome only has 2D support.
    - How is the battery life under linux
    - Does the suspend to ram work
    - Any glitches with the remaining hardware (sound, bt, wireless, etc.)

    P.S.: Anyone who is planning on starting another discussion if 12" is still a netbook - please get a life.

    Links:
    http://www.howtobemobile.com/index.p...y-samsung-nc20
    http://forum.eeepcnews.de/viewtopic....st=0&sk=t&sd=a (in German)
    Last edited by lots_of_entropy; March 11th, 2009 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
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    Re: Samsung NC20

    Update: A guy at http://www.howtobemobile.com/index.p...y-samsung-nc20 runs Linpus linux on the NC20 however does not give any useful information regarding the questions above.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    3,170
    Distro
    Ubuntu Karmic Koala (testing)

    Re: Samsung NC20

    I was gonna buy that netbook.I read a lot of blogs , everything is working pretty well however you may need some work to get some stuff working.(Some parts were not out of the box)

  4. #4
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    Re: Samsung NC20

    Do you have a few links?

  5. #5
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    Oct 2006
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    16

    Re: Samsung NC20

    Ok here i am... Im going to be short beacuse i dont have much time, but im not going on the moon so i will follow this thread

    I will describe my experience with intrepid and samsung nc20

    -Xorg live doesnt start, alternate doesnt boot. Solution: downloading compiling and installing latest openchrome to boot xorg and start installation.

    -Afeter installing xorg doesnt start again (obviously). SOlution: same of above (if you are smart put drivers in a persisten partition)

    -NO CPU FREQUENCY SCALING! PANIC!! Solution: build module e_powersaver from kernel source
    Strange things: loading module gives scaling from 850 to 1700.
    loading, unloading, reloading gives from 800 to 1600 (same as windows)
    BAD THINGS: compiling e_powersaver with 64bit kernel gave me a bunch of errors, im using 32 bit. I'it a shame but im optimistic for future kernels (maybe i was unlucky or/and not capable)

    -restriced drivers manager says wifi module are loaded, i dont see any ifconfig device and i dint have time to seek out the problem. UPDATE: wifi works using these drivers https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...Driver/Atheros Led doesnt'work, it is always ON

    -sound seems to work UPDATE: sound works without doing anything. Speakers mute when you plug earphones

    -openchrome works with no resolution problems, but REALLY slow. even with direct redering activated i get 80 fps with glxgears. Im gonna try via driver (im quite confused with via closed, via open, openchrome uargHH)

    -suspend to ram works perfectly. I activated it via menu, the screen shuts down, the power led blinks, everything ok

    -Special keyboard keys seems to work. Volume up and down works. I didnt try sleep button :\. Brightness buttons dont work (**** i hate this thing, it should be hardware embebbed like my old notebook) but luckily you can use applets in gnome and in kde4 (FIUU!)

    Thats all, forgive my shortness (uh?) and my english.
    If anybody wants to open a wiki, it would be wonderful and ill partecipate

    BTW: the machine is WONDERFUL. Everything runs REALLY smooth, i can live with poor 2d-3d drawing having wifi and sound perfectly workin
    Last edited by r4idei; March 12th, 2009 at 01:21 PM.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Re: Samsung NC20

    Yay - finally some hard info - thanks man. Did you time your battery life yet? Thanks for your time

  7. #7
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    Aug 2006
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    37

    Re: Samsung NC20

    first of all, thanks for to r4idei for his post it helped me a great deal!
    I would like to add some details and experiences of my own
    Quote Originally Posted by r4idei View Post
    Ok here i am... Im going to be short beacuse i dont have much time, but im not going on the moon so i will follow this thread

    I will describe my experience with intrepid and samsung nc20

    -Xorg live doesnt start, alternate doesnt boot. Solution: downloading compiling and installing latest openchrome to boot xorg and start installation.

    -Afeter installing xorg doesnt start again (obviously). SOlution: same of above (if you are smart put drivers in a persisten partition)
    a nice howto for the openchrome drivers can be found here:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Op...20Installation

    However with openchrome, I could not get an external monitor to work
    If anyone has a solution for this, please post it here!

    if you don't need an external monitor or 3d accelration, you are probably better off with the openchrome driver. but if you plan to install the via drivers anyway, you might as well do that now: here is a quick step by step guide:

    you first need some packages in order to be able to compile a kernel package (I am not sure if this list of packages is complete, since I had installed quite some packages before installing the via drivers please correct me, if anything is missing):
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install build-essential subversion autoconf automake1.9 libtool linux-headers-generic
    get the drivers and the kernel module from http://linux.via.com.tw/support/downloadFiles.action. select OS: ubuntu 8.10 and Platform: VX800.

    download the "unified gfx driver" and the "chrome DRM source for kernel 2.6.27"

    now install the gfx driver:
    Code:
    tar zxvf ./5.74.33.85a-44597.tar.gz
    cd   ./5.74.33.85a-44597
    sudo ./vinstall
    sudo reboot
    after this step, I had a running x system, but resolution and drm were not working.

    to get drm working, I had to compile and install the DRM driver (this is from the readme):
    Code:
    2. For VIA CN896/VN896/VX800 chipset
    (1) Copy drm-via_chrome9-2.6.27-85a-44411-src.tar.gz to your working directory
    (2) Extract the package
        # tar -zxf drm-via_chrome9-2.6.27-85a-44411-src.tar.gz
    (3) Enter the directory and build the source
        # cd drm-via_chrome9-2.6.27-85a-44411-src
        # make
        # sudo su -
    (4) Backup the VIA chrome9 DRM module
        # cd /lib/modules/'uname -r'/kernel/ubuntu/via_chrome9
        # mv via_chrome9.ko via_chrome9.ko.bak
    (5) Replace VIA DRM module by the new one
        # cp ~/drm-via_chrome9-2.6.27-85a-44411-src/via_chrome9.ko /lib/modules/'uname -r'/kernel/ubuntu/via_chrome9/
        # depmod -a
    (6) Restart (not necessary just load the module)
        # modprobe via_chrome9
    (7) Check whether VIA chrome9 DRM module is loaded
        # lsmod |grep via_chrome9
        If you get the output as:
          drm        86056  1 via_chrome9
        that means the VIA chrome9 DRM module is successfully loaded.
        Make sure the path of VIA DRM module is right.
        # modinfo via_chrome9
        The output should be like:
          filename:  /lib/modules/'uname -r'/kernel/ubuntu/via_chrome9/via_chrome9.ko
    now I had to make some adjustments to my xorg.conf:
    Code:
    Section "Monitor"
            Identifier "Monitor"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Screen"
            Monitor  "Monitor"
            DefaultDepth 16
            SubSection "Display"
                    Modes  "1280x800"
                    Virtual 1280 1824
                    Depth  16
            EndSubSection
            Identifier      "Default Screen"
            Device          "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Module"
            Load  "glx"
            Load  "dri"
            Load  "extmod"
    EndSection
    
    Section "DRI"
            Group 0
            Mode 0666
    EndSection
    
    Section "Device"
            Driver "via"
            VendorName  "VIA Tech"
            BoardName   "via"
                    #Option "PanelID" "0"    #640x480,    Single,    Dithering
            Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
            Option "SWCursor" "TRUE"
            Option "PanelID" "7"
    EndSection
    for some reason I needed to turn off the hardware cursor in order to be able to see the mouse cursor therefore the Option "SWCursor" "TRUE".

    -NO CPU FREQUENCY SCALING! PANIC!! Solution: build module e_powersaver from kernel source
    Strange things: loading module gives scaling from 850 to 1700.
    loading, unloading, reloading gives from 800 to 1600 (same as windows)
    BAD THINGS: compiling e_powersaver with 64bit kernel gave me a bunch of errors, im using 32 bit. I'it a shame but im optimistic for future kernels (maybe i was unlucky or/and not capable)
    Edit: this is how I got it working:
    You could reconfigure and compile a whole new kernel version. However there is a way to compile and install just the module:
    first we need the kernel sources
    Code:
    sudo apt-get build-dep linux-image-$(uname -r)
    apt-get source linux-image-$(uname -r)
    now switch to the new source directory and configure the kernel:
    Code:
    cd ~/linux-2.6.27
    make oldconfig
    gedit .config
    change "# CONFIG_X86_E_POWERSAVER is not configured" to "CONFIG_X86_E_POWERSAVER=m"
    now we need the Module.symvers file from the linux-headers and then we can compile and install the modules (note: I'm not sure if fakeroot is really necessary but that's how I did it and how it worked):
    Code:
    cp /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.27-11-generic/Module.symvers ~/linux-2.6.27/
    make clean
    fakeroot make prepare
    fakeroot make M=arch/x86/kernel/cpu/cpufreq/
    sudo cp arch/x86/kernel/cpu/cpufreq/*.ko /lib/modules/2.6.27-11-generic/kernel/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/cpufreq/
    sudo depmod -a
    sudo modprobe e_pwersaver
    now, after a reboot, your frequency switching should be working just fine

    Update: I also experienced the weird frequencies, which get fixed upon reloading the module e_powersaver.
    I suspect that the frequencies that really get set are correct and just the reported frequencies are wrong.
    The evidence for this is that the reported frequencies were 1.6 to 3.2 GHz and the system was running fine and did not even run as hot as before I installed e_powersaver.
    This probably has something to do with when the module gets loaded during boot. So the proper fix would be to delay loading e_powersaver. However, I went for a workaround:
    add the following lines to /etc/rc.local :
    Code:
    modprobe -r e_powersaver
    modprobe e_powersaver
    now the frequencies should be displayed correctly.

    -restriced drivers manager says wifi module are loaded, i dont see any ifconfig device and i dint have time to seek out the problem. UPDATE: wifi works using these drivers https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...Driver/Atheros Led doesnt'work, it is always ON
    I deactivated the default drivers in System -> Administration -> Hardware
    then I installed linux-backports-modules-intrepid.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-intrepid
    activated the atheros 5xxxx drivers in System -> Administration -> Hardware
    works like a charm!

    -sound seems to work UPDATE: sound works without doing anything. Speakers mute when you plug earphones
    One caveat: I could not get the internal microphone to work! Connecting a mic to the microphone jack works, but not the internal one. However, I haven't ever tried under windows, if there is an inernal mic behind this little hole in the screen, or if it is just a mock-up.
    If anyone has gotten this to work, please let me know how (or if there is no mic built-in).

    -suspend to ram works perfectly. I activated it via menu, the screen shuts down, the power led blinks, everything ok
    in principle works for me, too but occasionally, the computer won't wake up any more with the openchrome drivers. don't know if this occurs with the via drivers, since I just installed those.

    edit: I have been using the via drivers for quite some time now and never had problems. Also, the video playback acceleration works.

    Concerning the webcam: It works out of the box. luvcview shows a nice image albeit just with 3
    skype 2.0.0.79, seems to only use the top-right quarter of the image which is o.k. since my head fits in there, but it forces me to look at the screen from an angle. If anyone else has heard of this or knows a solution, please tell.

    edit: for some reason, skype works fine now, not sure why (maybe just a reboot?)

    Bluetooth works out of the box.

    -Special keyboard keys seems to work. Volume up and down works. I didnt try sleep button :\. Brightness buttons dont work (**** i hate this thing, it should be hardware embebbed like my old notebook) but luckily you can use applets in gnome and in kde4 (FIUU!)

    Thats all, forgive my shortness (uh?) and my english.
    If anybody wants to open a wiki, it would be wonderful and ill partecipate

    BTW: the machine is WONDERFUL. Everything runs REALLY smooth, i can live with poor 2d-3d drawing having wifi and sound perfectly workin
    same here, I the only thing I am missing is the microphone, but that can be worked around using a bluetooth headset
    Last edited by thawn; May 27th, 2009 at 11:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    7

    Re: Samsung NC20

    Quote Originally Posted by r4idei View Post
    Brightness buttons dont work (**** i hate this thing, it should be hardware embebbed like my old notebook) but luckily you can use applets in gnome and in kde4 (FIUU!)
    Can you tell me more about these applets? I have the same problem; brightness keys don't work. I am using Ubuntu Netbook Remix

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by tom09 View Post
    Fixing the brightness problem:
    1. Copy the attached file into /etc/hal/fdi/information and rename it to 99-nc20-panel.fdi
    (must be done as root or via sudo)
    2. Reboot the system
    Brightness keys should work again.
    This worked. Occasionally the brightness gets turned down automatically (at least for a few minutes after startup) but at least it works.
    As for the battery life, it should be around 4 hours.
    Last edited by Big_Philly; June 23rd, 2010 at 06:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2009
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    Re: Samsung NC20

    hi, update for openchrome : http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTMzNzI
    and update of official via driver for ubuntu 12.10
    http://linux.via.com.tw/support/begi...d=704&fid=1004

  10. #10
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    Aug 2009
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    Re: Samsung NC20

    \o/ try this for ubuntu 12.10
    gallium3d driver for chipset Via
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTM0MTI

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