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Original topic:

Issues with Linux on the samsung book pro 360

(Topic created on: 01-11-2021 08:53 AM)
raldone01
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Computers & IT

The samsung book pro 360 really is a great laptop. Very slim and lightweight. I like it a lot.

First thing after booting into windows for the first time I tore it apart to insert a second 1TB pcie m2 drive. (Opening a brand new laptop always gets me excited.) After reassembly I installed arch linux and setup multi boot. 300% storage! Really glad they included a second working pcie m2 slot.

Issues with linux:

There are just a few. Unfortunately there are no drivers for the fingerprint reader. (Bus 003 Device 003: ID 1c7a:057e LighTuning Technology Inc. EgisTec EH57E)

As far as I know there are no drivers to configure the battery protection (It is possible from windows to limit the maximum charge). Fortunately the selected setting continues to work under linux it just can't be changed.
Unfortunately the keyboard backlight control also seems proprietary. (It may be possible to change it by sending some special keycodes but I have not yet delved into that.)

From what I could gather the keyboard backlight control and battery protection is controlled by a non public samsung uefi api. With the bricking issues of older samsung laptops I am not sure if I really want to experiment around by writing into the UEFIs memory. It would be really great to get documentation for that api or some basic drivers from samsung.

Bootloader issues:
As I often use it like a tablet I found it annoying that grub only works with keyboard input. I always had to awkwardly reach around and use the keyboard to select my os.
I searched for a way to fix my issue so I installed REFIND as it apparently has touch support. Sadly though the touch support didn't work. So I cloned its source code and added a bunch of log statements.

The UEFI provides 3 simple pointer devices and 3 absolute pointer devices.
All can be successfully initialized.
You can find the UEFI spec here: (https://uefi.org/sites/default/files/resources/UEFI%20Spec%202_6.pdf)
It's for version 2.6 and I think the laptop uses 2.7 but the differences shouldn't matter.
Relevant page: 544 - Absolute Pointer Protocol

I decided to investigate the absolute pointer devices further:
Device 0:
Can be reset successfully.
AbsoluteMaxX: 2064
AbsoluteMaxY: 1384
AbsoluteMaxZ: 0
Attributes: 2
Device 1:
Can be reset successfully.
AbsoluteMaxX: 3920
AbsoluteMaxY: 2240
AbsoluteMaxZ: 0
Attributes: 2
Device 2:
UEFI reset fails.
But this devices seems the most sane of the three.
AbsoluteMaxX: 1920
AbsoluteMaxY: 1064
AbsoluteMaxZ: 0
Attributes: 2
It's also the only device that clears the state structure when requesting the state from it.
Sadly it just zeros it out. It returns ERROR 6 might mean EFI_NOT_READY but I am not sure. In any case it should not return an error.

Actually retrieving the state fails on all three of these devices but the wait for input seems to work. So at least one of the devices properly registers the touches. How touching :D.

The UEFI also doesn't seem to work nicely with efibootmgr. New boot entries can be created but after a reboot the UEFI just removes them. Weird... Though here I might be to blame since I don't have much experience with efibootmgr.

I also found the UEFI options very limited.

I hope an uefi/bios update from samsung will rectify the absolute pointer protocol issues in the future. Till then I don't think I can do much. Also I would appreciate an acpi interface for the keyboard backlight or some documentation. Same for the battery protection and fingerprint reader documentation is all that's needed and I am sure the community would write the linux drivers.
 
It would only take very little effort to also support linux as most things work out of the box.

TL;DR:

Linux issues on the samsung book pro 360:
- Keyboard backlight can not be controlled.
- There is no driver for the fingerprint sensor.
- Battery protection can't be configured.

Boot process issues:
- UEFI boot entries are finicky.
- The touchscreen doesn't work in the REFIND bootloader.
 
PS:
The Gyroscope for rotation is working fine.
The pen input and touchscreen are working perfectly.
It really is a shame that linux isn't fully supported because only very few things are missing for a supreme linux experience.

My boot process looks like this:
Secure boot is enabled.
shim -> refind -> either arch or windows 10 pro
Windows 10 pro is configured to use bitlocker with pcr 0,2,4. It can't use pcr 7 because it won't allow MOK keys in the boot chain.
Arch is encrypted with luks2 and I enabled tpm2 with systemd-cryptenroll.
It is possible for both windows and linux to use the same tpm2 module without any issues.
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3 REPLIES 3
Members_A6khZhJ
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I have installed Ubuntu and I have experienced the same issues that you have.

Hope Samung will release proper drivers, ....

georgefst
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Yeah, the fingerprint sensor not working is annoying. It's genuinely the reason I haven't recommended this laptop to a number of people.

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fen4ri
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Did the S Pen have pen pressure/tilt etc right out of the box?  Or did you just mean that it worked the same as finger touch?  I'm wondering what kind of driver you would use for the S Pen in linux, or if there are ANY at all.

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