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Ubuntu 12.04 and Samsung 9003XB Ultrabook

I bought this laptop dreading the fact that I will have to be forced to use Windows 7 with this, but by chance it turns out that the laptop was secretly designed for Ubuntu 12.04. I have got the following working:

  • WiFi
  • Brightness Up and Down using the Fn keys
  • Volume; Mute, Up and Down
  • Turn On/Off the Touchpad
  • TrackPad (Needs to be enabled, See below)
  • Mouse (With awkwardness)
  • HDMI output (Does not carry sound)
  • WiFi toggle switch
  • FnLock Key (I believe this is a Hardware controlled and nothing to do with Ubuntu)
  • Screen-Lid closing action (Was working, Kernel update seem to stop this)

Configuring the Track Scrolling

To configure the trackpad to allow you to scroll, Go to Settings > Mouse and TouchPad > TouchPad > Scrolling and enable Two Finger Scrolling. And walla, you can now scroll windows up and down using two fingers.

Configuring the Touch-Pad

Other touch-pad controls let you perform smart tasks. Tapping three fingers on your touch-pad your window it lets you resize or move your window. This is pointless if you ask me more of an annoyance really but it's there if you need it.

The default keys are a bit mixed up. Double finger tap (in the centre) on the touch-pad constitutes as a right click, and tapping on the top right of the track-pad mimics the middle mouse button. Its not to bad after a while you get use to it. There are ways to change it, However I have not bothered, and now im fluent in using the touch-pad controls.

Resuming Issues

After going into suspend mode, the screen does not seem to come back up, more accurately the light behind the screen seems to stay off, but if you tilt your screen you can see Ubuntu being rendered.

To fix this problem we need to create a script inside /etc/pm/sleep.d/ and call it 30_wakey. The number at the start controls the order the script is run and the name is just something I can relate to. I use the largest number to ensure the scripts runs last, just in case it relies on other scripts in this directory to run first.


# !/bin/bash
# This script restores screen backlight on resume from suspend 
# on Samsung NP900X3B.
case "$1" in
        # do nothing

        # brightness value is not always accurate.  Set to actual_brightness
        # to restore brightness as it was before suspend.
        echo $(cat  /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/actual_brightness) > /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness

        # Toggle to activate the screen backlight
        echo 1 > "/sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/bl_power"
        echo 0 > "/sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/bl_power"
    exit 1
exit 0

The above script runs every time a user comes back from a resume or suspend mode. The main line here to look at is the echo 1 which sets the Screen-Backlight to on.

Keyboard Backlight

The keyboard back light is solved by using similar sort of idea, You can copy the 30_wakey script for this and change the echo commands however, I just added the following lines in the 30_wakey script after the echo 0

echo 10 > /sys/class/leds/samsung\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness

Note the 10 is the brightness strength so you can change this to what you prefer. I still haven't managed to fix the problem of binding the Fn+F9 and Fn+F10 to turn the brightness up and down, but when I do I shall post it here.

Screen Lid

When installed the screen lid action to suspend worked like a charm and since I have updated my Ubuntu this action is no longer recognized. Its not the end of the world, I just have to manually turn the computer to suspend mode.

My Verdict

This computer is awesome, especially for those hardcore Linux fans. And with Ubuntu Unity in your finger tips, there is nothing more you require at any stage. If you have any suggestions or fixes to the points mentioned above, Please comment, so I can highlight them above and the world can benefit.


24th Apr 2012
© 2011 Shahmir Javaid - http://shahmirj.com/blog/26

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