Linux HowTo for Samsung VM 8100 Laptops

1. Preparation

2. Installation

3. Configuration

4. Notes

5. Links


Update 5: Installinstructions for Mandrake 9.2 . In order to use the whole functionality of the Samsung Laptop you have to do the following steps:

a) Do the regular installation

b) ACPI: in order to get ACPI working you have to edit the file /etc/lilo.conf and change the option acpi=ht which is included in append=".." to the value acpi=force, since the new kernel now checks for certain acpi implementations. After you done that, you have to write lilo again, this can be done with command "/sbin/lilo" as root. Now you just have to do two more things, add the right modules into /etc/modules , so edit /etc/modules and add at the end:




Last thing to do is to install acpid, this can be doine with command as root: urpmi acpid . After that enable acpid by running command: drakxservices

Now mark acpid to be started at boottime and disable apmd to be started at boot time, you are all set now, reboot and setup the acpi control in kde for example.

c) The kernel has a little bug, which will cause some apps to show 6 cddrives instead of the one in there, to fix this, just add to append line in /etc/lilo hdclun=0 and run lilo again /sbin/lilo .

d) Modem, since I never use the modem, I don't have any special infos on how to install the drivers. In case you want to use the modem, here are drivers that should work:

e) If you want to use those function keys, just install the programm acme, with command as root: urpmi acme Then setup a acme.desktop file in .kde/Autostart which calls acme everytime you start kde, first time you have to do a setup of the keys.

Note: I wasn't able to test suspend to disk, since I didn't have enough space left to create a swap partition with the neccessary size. In order to have suspend work, you need at least a swap which is as big as the size of your physical RAM. Then you have to add a link which points to the correct suspend command, I guess that is another bug, that may be fixed.


Update 4: With the latest suspend patches and XFree it is now possible to also use suspend modus. The functions keys can be used also. If I have enough time I will extend this HowTo so you know how to get all those features.

Update 3: Mandrake 9.0 installs fine and except suspend  everything is working. There is a driver package out there on the web that makes even the modem work, just google around:-)

Update 2: For all you Mandrakeusers and maybe other Linuxusers. The standard Mandrake kernel does not include any apm, acpi features, therefore you have to recompile your kernel. If you don't know how to compile your kernel I can send you a detailed How To. I have just compiled the Mandrake 2.4.18 kernel with acpi and bingo everything works fine you just have to install the acpi rpm thats it. Power features, like batterie display worked after that.

Update!!! Since I installed the brandnew Mandrake 8.2 I have some good news. Xfree4.2 now works correctly with the Sis 630 graphikchip even with 3D acceleration. Moreover sound works absolutely perfekt with the newest kernelversion, in my case 2.4.18. So if you use Xfree4.2 and a new kernel you are good to go and you should run into none of the problems described below.
Installing Mandrake 8.2 therefore was easy, the Sis 630 graphic chipset, internal network interface, DVD combodrive,and the soundcard were automatically recognized and worked well.

1. Preparation:

Note: I have tested this Installation with Mandrake 8.1, but there is no reason why it shouldn't work with other Distributions. I will try to explain whenever neccessary what you have to bear in mind when installing on other Distributions.

First step is to check your Bios version. I found out that you may encounter problems with APM, ACPI with Kernel 2.4.x and Bios version 13gk, 16gk therefore I recommend to upgrade your Bios to version 21gk from Samsung Website. There was no problem installing Linux with Kernel 2.2.19 with Bios version 16gk

The Bios update and instructions on how to update can be found here:

2. Installation:

Note: Since I had problems using an external Mouse while setting up Mandrake I recommend that you do not connect a Mouse on the external Mouseport before you have completely finished your installation.

It's time now for installing. If you choose to keep Bios version 13gk, 16gk you will have to choose Kernel 2.2.19 therefore you will just have to go to advanced view in packagesetup menue and to choose kernel 2.2.19. Now you can go on and let Mandrake install the selected packages.

3. Configuration:

Now the important part. After packages have been installed you will have to answer a few questions. Sound, network and bootconfiguration. If you use Kernel 2.2.19 there will be no sound available since the Sis 7018 audio controller is only available with Kernelversion >2.3.4. The network interface is automatically recognized by the Mandrakesetup and can be configured in this stage of setup.

Note: Other Distributions should have no problem recognizing the integrated network interface.

Now after this is done you will have to configure the Linux Loader. You can choose Grub or Lilo, but you should disable Aurora style boot ( only important if you use Mandrake).

The most important setting here is the vga option as shown in this picture . Since the integrated Sis 630 graphic card does not work with the provided XFree 3.3.x or 4.x Drivers (although they are supposed to work according to Xfree documentation) you will have to add 791 here. The option 791 will tell the kernel at bootup to provide framebuffer support for resolution 1024x768. To choose this option you just have to edit the standard kernel in the boot menue you will see the boot menue popup after you have setup the destination of the Linux Loader.


Picture 1

Attention: It is neccessary to setup framebuffer and this has to be done with all the other Distributions also. If you try to check out the Sis 630 driver provided by Xfree you might loose your display. It almost burned away when I tried to test it.

The setup will try to determine your graphic card and you will have to choose the monitor. Here you just choose a monitor that can do 1024x768. The graphic card can be left with the Sis 630 setting. !!!! Now as I told you before don't test these settings !!!! This is why you will have to answer the setups question to test the settings with no. This messurement is to configure just a basic XConfig-4 file which can be altered later on.

The question to start up KDE has to be answered with no.

Note: With other Distributions you will have to do exactly the same. You might have to compile frambuffer support in order to enable frambuffer at startup.

Now you can start your Linux and test the configuration. Start X with "startx" at the boot prompt.

The following actions may not be neccessary, but if you encounter any problems these changes will do the trick.


After login you will have to alter the link to the graphic driver to make sure the framebuffer device is loaded whenever you startup X. Therefore delete the link X (located in /etc/X11) which points to the SVGA_Driver and create a new link for the framebuffer driver. This is done by punching in ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/XF86_FBDev /etc/X11/X at the prompt. Now you just have to alter the XF86Config-4. You can choose any editor you like. For instance vi. The XF86Config-4 is located in /etc/X11. Just change the driver from vga to fbdev. Other Distributions may have different file paths so check the file locations before you do the changes.


After you successfully tested your installation you can setup Mandrake to startx ervery time you boot, this can be done in the Mandrake Control Center.


If you want to use a different screen resolution you can alter the vga option.

If you have problems or you want to contribute tips for other Distributions feel free to contact me.


Suspend page of Florent Chabaud : Suspend

Samsung Support :

Sis Drivers:

My XFConfig-4 file: XF86Config-4

Richard Schneidt