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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    western PA

    Question Fedora on Galaxy Book?

    Anyone have knowledge of running Fedora on a Galaxy Book (model SM-W620)?

    I was recently tasked to create a fullscreen Qt operator console application and the target tablet (chosen before I arrived) is the above model. I am not a windows programmer and trying to do this in mingw/win32 is way too high risk, given the time constraints.

    What is the level of support for the Galaxy Book? What peripherals do not have working kernel drivers? I need at a minimum touch-screen, wifi, xbox-similar gamepad, sound, bluetooth.

    I just read that earlier this year folks were bricking Galaxy tablets by trying to USB boot Linux on them. Apparently an incompatibility between the kernel and the Samsung UEFI implementation. What is the current "safety level" with regard to this problem?

    Doesn't look like the Galaxy itself has any host USB ports accessible. For those of you that have have run linux on it, what mechanism are you using to boot and load? There were online references to not even being able to select USB boot from the BIOS setup. Will it boot to the micro-sd port?

    Does the Galaxy Book have a removable/swappable SSD, or is it hard soldered to the board? Ideally I'd yank the windoze SSD and and put in a clean one to try Fedora on. Is it even possible with this tablet?

    Last edited by tempest766; 4th December 2017 at 10:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Re: Fedora on Galaxy Book?

    what works out of the box on fc27:
    - with i915, display resolution is correct and has HW acceleration
    - touchscreen works with finger and S-pen, with GNOME it detects this and gives you on-screen keyboard
    - keyboard has working backlight toggle/touchpad toggle/monitor toggle
    - bluetooth works

    what does not work out of the box, but you can get working:
    - wireless (atheros QCA6174)
    - brightness control in X (not Wayland or ACPI)

    what does not work and I don't know why/haven't looked into it:
    - sound (speakers and headphone jack)
    - accelerometer/rotation detection

    USB ports:
    - I use a USB-C hub and it works fine. also detects the Ethernet jack attached to my hub

    boot select/MicroSD boot:
    - press F10 or F12 on startup (I don't exactly remember), and it gives you a nice UEFI prompt

    hard drive/RAM:
    - I looked up the SSD model in my 12 inch and it was removable M.2 SSD. but good luck opening the tablet...
    - RAM is BGA soldered

    UEFI bricking:
    - if you used to rm -rf / or /sys/var/efi/efivars (i dont know why you would have...) it would brick the system. these are now default mounted as (chattr +i)/immutable, so you will be ok even if someone tries this

    Windows partition:
    - I used gparted from the Fedora LiveUSB to wipe the Windows bootloader and C: drive, but kept the Samsung recovery partitions. I'd recommend this method if you want to be able to go back, as there is no other install media provided and the 10 GB Samsung partition makes it a 2 click process to go back to Windows
    Last edited by kabeero; 4th December 2017 at 10:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    western PA

    Re: Fedora on Galaxy Book?

    Thanks much.

    If I go this route then I'm thinking more about putting Fedora on the micro-sd, since it doesn't have to be fast only running one app (from ram)...and as long as I can tell the BIOS to boot the micro-sd, then I dont want to screw with the windoze disk at all. So, the plan would be to boot a Fedora netinstall image on USB, and select the micro-sd as the target disk, then mod the BIOS to boot the sd card. The sd card image would need much hacking though to do stuff like RO root partition, logs go to tmpfs and die upon reboot, no swap, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Re: Fedora on Galaxy Book?

    might be easier to install a live usb OS to the microSD card and tweak it to launch your app/save logs or configs to persistent partition

    if the microSD is GPT partitioned and has a UEFI loader you should be able to set it to be the default boot device

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