Samsung N210

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Description

The Samsung N210 is a 10" netbook based on the Intel Pinetrail platform. It was introduced in January 2010.

The native screen resolution is 1024x600. The screen is matt (or non-reflective). The hard drive is 250 GB, and the memory is 1 GB. There is no cd or dvd drive.

The machine arrives with Windows 7 Starter installed, set up to dual-boot with HyperSpace.

HyperSpace is a Linux-based OS which is designed to load quickly but to offer limited facilities. It is incompatible with GRUB (and also with WinBCD).

Preparations before installing Mepis 8.0

If one wishes to set up the machine to dual boot Windows 7 and Mepis, one should, before installing Mepis, uninstall HyperSpace. This can be done in Windows via the Control Panel.

One should also use the Windows 7 partition utility to resize the last Windows partition, and thus create space for a Mepis partition.

Installing Mepis 8.0

Mepis can be installed from a usb-key, created by means of the Mepis System Assistant. To install, one must set the bios to boot from a usb-drive (rather than a usb-key, which the bios distinguishes from a usb-drive). The machine will then boot from a Mepis usb-key.

Mepis install should be allowed to install GRUB to the MBR.

After installation one should load Windows from sda2 (not sda1). Mepis will probably be loaded from sda6.

Running Mepis 8.0

At present (in May 2010), the Pinetrail graphics chip, X3150, is not fully supported by the xorg driver from Debian Lenny used in Mepis 8.0 and 8.5. Thus it is not possible to use the native resolution of 1024x600 in Mepis.

Mepis sets the screen to 800x600. The result is that characters are slightly stretched in width. In the context of a netbook, this is a minor issue which many users will feel able to live with until a full driver is available.

Wireless connection

The wireless device (on the machine which was tested) is a Realtek RTL8192E.

A Windows XP driver for this device can be downloaded from the Samsung website at http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/detail/supportPrdDetail.do?menu=SP01&prd_ia_cd=05013600&prd_mdl_cd=NP-N210-JA01UK&prd_mdl_name=NP-N210&prd_ia_sub_class_cd=P

The driver can be installed to operate in Mepis under Ndiswrapper. Installation should be carried out using the Mepis Network Assistant.

Mepis 8.5

It seems probable that most of the above also applies to Mepis 8.5, but this has not been tested.

Antix 8.5

  • Antix 8.5 can be installed on the Samsung by means of a usb-key created with Unetbootin.
  • AntiX 8.5 uses the xorg driver from Debian Squeeze. Thus, when antiX 8.5 is installed with the Intel graphics option, the Samsung's native resolution of 1024x600 is available.
  • The Windows XP wireless driver can be installed to operate in antiX 8.5 under Ndiswrapper. One should install Ndiswrapper from the Mepis 8.5 repository, rather than from the Debian Squeeze repository. One should also install Ndisgtk, and use Ndisgtk to install the wireless driver.
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