I've been informed that the latest devices from Samsung using UEFI mode can be permanently bricked if Ubuntu, and probably other distros too, is installed without taking some precautions.
Here is a transcription of the email I've received from an user (thank you!):
There has been a long thread on Launchpad on the issue of Samsung
laptops being bricked during the installation of Ubuntu 64-bit in the
It is an extremely serious bug. In my view, it is not just critical. It
is nuclear. As the thread shows, many people have been affected. About a
month ago, "samsung-laptop" kernel module was found to be the likely
cause of the bug. The proposed fix involved the removal of "samsung-
laptop" kernel module if the UEFI mode was detected. A few days ago I
was able to successfully install Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit on my Samsung
laptop using the proposed fix, and thereby confirm that the "samsung-
laptop" kernel module was the likely cause of laptop bricking.
Could you please clarify the relationship between the "samsung-laptop"
kernel module that is part of Ubuntu, and your ppa? I am tempted to
install and use your ppa because I would like to have my keyboard
backlighting and wifi keys work properly. But after what we have
observed with bug #1040557, I am afraid to try it -- bricking a laptop
is no fun.
Any comments will be much appreciated!
and this is my answer:
The 'samsung-laptop' package on my PPA is built from the latest sources available at the time on this git repository from iksaif, the current maintainer of this kernel module:https://github.com/iksaif/samsung-laptop-dkms
It was intended to replace the kernel module found in the official ubuntu 12.04 kernels which was badly broken at the time.
Since then, the sources from this git repo have been merged into the vanilla kernel, and this is why the 'samsung-laptop' package is no more available on my PPA for ubuntu 12.10.
After reading the bug report you linked, I suspect the 'easy-slow-down-manager' and 'samsung-backlight' kernel modules from my PPA may be affected by the same problem.
They are an alternative to 'samsung-laptop', but they work mostly as the latter (ACPI commands), so I'd suggest to avoid them as well.
The only other package available on my PPA is 'samsung-tools'. It's a set of commandline and graphical tools to handle devices through the control interfaces provided by samsung-laptop and easy-slow-down-manager.
Without these control interfaces, it's pretty useless I'm afraid.
I agree with you when you say this bug is nuclear. It's ridiculous that a machine can be permanently bricked in such an easy way.
These are the "beauties" of UEFI i guess.
So, if you own one of these machines and you are planning to install a GNU/Linux distro on it, be very careful and follow the discussion in the bug report #1040557 linked above.
If any news, I'll post in this thread.
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