Linux boot doesn't smash Samsung laptops any more
Penguins console tearful owners of shiny new bricks
Samsung laptops will no longer be irreparably destroyed when their users try to boot Linux on them, kernel chieftain Linus Torvalds made certain today.
The brainboxes down at Ubuntu-maker Canonical penguinery issued a warning over the incompatibiity and have been tackling the nuclear bug that destroyed the whole Samusung laptop after just a single attempt to boot Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10.
Reports from distressed owners detailed how the laptops would completely corrupt and black out after attempts to boot Ubuntu in UEFI mode. Samsung laptops in the 300E5C, NP700Z5C, NP700Z7C and 530U3C series were affected.
Linux Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman who helped develop the original driver described what went wrong in a post on his Google+ profile:
Who would have thought that just randomly poking memory of a laptop would brick it. Long ago Samsung told me that it was just fine to be doing this, and that there would not be any problems (I based the samsung-laptop driver on code that Samsung themselves gave me.)
If you have this hardware, just blacklist the Samsung-laptop driver and all should be fine.
It may take several weeks for the changes to work into the distribution trees of the affected OSes so it's recommended that users should always use the UEFI firmware's Compatibility Support Module (CSM), which emulates a BIOS mode, when booting on affected laptops.
Re: Sorry, wrong.
Samsung (Or whoever makes the firmware for them) wrote an off-spec implementation and probably tested it only using Windows. Determining that it booted Windows fine, they apparently decided that it was done.
We've been here before. Exactly the same issue was had years back with the early days of ACPI: Many mainboards used not-fully-compliant implementations that worked for Windows, and didn't bother to test for any other OS. It's the unending curse of linux. Outside of the server space, it is such a niche OS still that there is little to no incentive for manufacturers to even test if their hardware works, much less go to the expense of releasing drivers.
Re: Sorry, wrong.
There may be a minority who want the effectiveness Linux can give to a system admin's, developer's or ISP operator's desktop, but Linux is still used on more desktop hardware than it is installed on. If a Windows using friend asks for help with a broken system I'm likely to boot it from a Linux USB or CD just in order to test that all the hardware works. If it does, it generally indicates a software problem, and if it doesn't it generally means hardware is at fault. Saves much wasted time. How long would it otherwise take to do a full reinstallation of Windows + applications if you needed to do this just to find out whether it's a hardware or software problem ?
Re: Sorry, wrong.
"... I mean, how sorry are they? On their knees sorry?..."
You do realise that, every time someone hits that downvote button, El Reg's masters launch a full internal enquiry, inevitably resulting in some poor trainee reporter being scapegoated as the cause of the "reader disatisfaction".
Subsequently manhandled from the building and thrown into the street, said hacklette will be lucky to ever work in
journalism copy/pasting from other websites again and often ends up descending into a world of crime, prostitution and premature death.
This carnage has taken such a toll that El Reg has recently begun sending civilians into the frontline, in its increasingly bitter war against the forces of balanced reporting.
So think, before idly hitting that button. OK?
It seems that the Linux community is pretty quick to respond to problems. At times I wish other vendors were as good, but it will take a while.
Who would have thought that just randomly poking memory of a laptop would brick it.
Has randomly poking anything every worked out well?