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Installing Red Hat Linux 7.3/8.0/9 and Debian 3.0 on Samsung Q10


This essay documented my experience on installing Red Hat Linux 7.3/8.0/9 and Debian 3.0 on Samsung Q10. Issue on using the IEEE1394 driven CD-ROM is also addressed.


11/25/2003 - I started to become aware of the fact that this page was referenced by quite a number of people. I have not applied a counter to this page so I don't know the exact number. But I keep receiveing emails for the issue, and I accidently find my links on some referencing pages as well as in message boards. I do hope that the information can help to a certain extent.

Auh...Here is my late greeting: Thanks for visiting! Drop me a mail if you find this page useful. Recommendations and suggestions are also welcome.

I've tried installing Debian 3.0 onto my SamSung Q10 according to the instructions documented in Winfried Thalmeier: Linux on my Samsung Q10TXC. It can't work, at least on my SamSung Q10.

I used KNOPPIX 3.3 and following the instructions exactly as documented. Knoopix does successfully probed and loaded the ieee1394, ohci1394 and sbp2 drivers, but KNOOPIX just can't recognize the docking, making the installation process uncontinuable.

I've also tried the Official Debian 3.0 CDs and the Network install from a minimal CD. method. Failure is predictable as there is no firewire related drivers within.

N.B. I've seen from the Debian ToDo List that firewire driver is to be added. So let us wait with patient.

After re-installing Red Hat 9, I discovered that kudzu (for your information, kudzu is the hardware probing tools of Red Hat) will delete /dev/cdrom I manually created (which links to /dev/scd0 only), as well as the correspondent record I added in /etc/fstab on every boot (/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom auto noauto,owner,kudzu 0 0). I suspect this is attributed to the fact that kudzu is unable to probe the docking, and therefore delete any related stuff with it (correct me if I'm wrong).

My solution is to disable kudzu during startup with the help of the Services GUI tools under GNOME(Main Menu->System Settings->Server Settings->Services. You must have root privilege).

You know what? I should have done this right from my first installation! Since disabling kudzu. CDs can be mounted automatically by Red Hat 9, and Audio Player will automatically fired up when Audio CD is inserted!

Besides, I've tried the VLC media player for VCD playing. It runs fine for both VCD and Audio CD playing. (But I can't make it works with the DVD player on my Desktop, I still have to use xine.)

Some final words. I've come across that Mandrake 9.2 can also be installed using ieee1394 CDROMS. I havn't tried it before. Or it is your time to contribute.

09/17/2003 - Red Hat 9 can be smoothly installed using the Local CD-ROM method, if you are going to install Red Hat 9, information presented below are no longer relevent! it is here just for those who have to stick with Red Hat 7.3 or 80 for particular reasons(In fact I eagerly recommend to upgrade to Red Hat 9!) In fact, there is no extra work to do when installing from the 3 CDs, Red Hat 9 just probe the docking gracefully and provoke anacorda(the installation program) to guide you via the installation.

Several issues need to be note, however.

1. Do not use network install method to install Red Hat 9 on Samsung Q10. The X Window System is incapable of staring X Server probably by this way of installation, leaving you on a plain text console eventually. Please be noted that ethernet and sound still works fine just as the previous version.

2. If you are using text mode installation interface, expecting that the screen will keep flicking all the time. The screen will become normal when anacorda probed the Intel i810 vedio chip and start the Graphical Installation Interface. Please be noted that the flicking will only affect on text installation process. The screen is normal under Console mode.

3. It seems that albeit Red Hat 9 can recognize the IEEE1394 docking and install the sbp kernel module during the boot process,one still cannot mount the CD-ROM successfully. My solution is to put the following command at the end of /etc/rc.local:

modprobe -r sbp2; modprobe sbp2

then you can mount the CD-ROM using the following command(please first mkdir the /mnt/cdrom directory, Red Hat 9 does not provide this by default):

mount /dev/scd0 /mnt/cdrom

If you would like to watch VCD/DVD, please go here to download the xine RPM package. Note that this is not the xine official site, but the RPM packages I find there is easily installed and most imporant--it works! xine support VCD/DVD, quicktime, realplay, and even wmv and divx format!!!

One final word, please make a link of /dev/scd0 to /dev/cdrom by issuing the command 'ln -s /dev/cdrom /dev/scd0' at root privilege, or otherwise xine couldn't find the CD-ROM.

05/11/2003 - I've tried installing Red Hat 8.0 as it claims it is IEEE1394 CD-ROM capable. The short report is: it can't, at least on Q10 notebook.


Please refer to For a good feeling, most critical hardware like graphic controller, sound, usb, pcmcia, and network card can all be probled and configured automatically by Red Hat 7.3. X11 is running gracefully also.


Samsung Q10 has its CD-ROM and floppy drive located in the Docking. The problem is that the CD-ROM drive is connected via IEEE1394 interface, which Linux doesn't support for booting at the meantime(Sept of 2002). Although you can boot into the installation screen using a bootable Linux CD, eventually it'll show the message of "CD-ROM not found".

Note for Red Hat 8.0

Rumour has it that the Red Hat 8.0 will support booting of IEEE1394-driven CD-ROM. Although this has been confirmed in the release note, I tried but in vain. Red Hat 8.0 is managed to probe the IEEE1394 CD-ROM and install the relevent driver(you'll meet them below), but it still finally complains about the absence of CD-ROM. You are bound to be installed it by whatever means but the CD-ROM approach I think. Good news is that the CD-ROM image of Red Hat 8.0 can let you choose to install directly over the network, rather than manually making a netboot floppy. So you may substitute step 2 and 3 of the installation process mentioned below if you have the Red Hat 8.0 CD-ROM at hand.

Installing from the Internet

Since installing from the CD-ROM is not a choice, I install Red Hat 7.3 directly from the Internet. The Internet was accessed via a LAN environment, using bootnet.img provided by Red Hat 7.3.

The following are the guidelines.

1. Re-partition the 20GB harddisk into 3 partitions using GNU parted or Partition Magic, one for the original Windows, one for Linux, and the remaining for swap(swap size should no less than the amount of RAM). Of course you can get rid of Windows and left the whole 20GB harddisk to Linux, I don't recommend this as the CD-ROM may not always been accessible on Linux.

2. Access to an FTP site which contains Red Hat 7.3's full installation tree (NOT ISO image!). This can possibly be found on Sunsite's mirror (I use

3. Download bootnet.img under the images directory and make a boot floppy using either dd(for Linux) or rawrite(for DOS).

4. Connect Q10 to the LAN environment and boot it up using the floopy made in step 3.

5. The installation routine will detect Q10's 3Com 3C920 network card and load the correspondent driver. All we have to do is to setup the network parameter(IP, Gateway, DNS) so that it can access the Internet via the LAN. In my case, I use a fixed IP.

6. The installation routine will prompt you to input the URL and directory that lies the installation tree. In my case, it's:

Directory: .7/7.3/en/os/i386

The remaining steps should be the same as installing from the CD-ROM. I just chose the laptop installation package and use GRUB for dual booting. Everything runs fine after reboot.


i. The installation process will be run under text mode.

ii. I'v tried the hard disk installation method of a Red-Hat-cloned distribution, by extracting the ISO image into the original FAT32 partition, but in vain. I think it's the flaws of that distribution, but I havn't tried it again on Red Hat 7.3 after the successful installing using net install.

iii. I've also tried booting the CD-ROM using a usb-connected CD-ROM, but still encountered failure.

Dealing with the CD-ROM

The CD-ROM in the docking is still inaccessible under Linux after reboot. We have to enable the ieee1394 and the relevent kernel modules, as well as getting the ieee1394 library in order to access the CD-ROM. is an excellent resource for running ieee1394 on Linux. For the target of accessing Q10's CD-ROM, here are the steps.

1. login as root; download libraw1394 using wget:

2. compile and install libraw1394, as well as making the raw1394 device under /dev:

   tar xvfz libraw1394_0.9.0.tar.gz
   cd libraw1394-0.9.0
   make install
   make dev
The libraw1394 should installed under /usr/local/lib. edit /etc/ and add "/usr/local/lib" (without quote) at the end of the file, then run "ldconfig -v"(also without quote).

3. reboot

4. login as root after reboot and insert the relevent kernel modules using insmod:

   insmod ieee1394
   insmod ohci1394
   insmod raw1394
The order is important here! You may use modprobe but I encountered problem with it.

For the frist time you probably will receive the following error messages uttered by ieee1394:

   ohci1394_0: OHCI-1394 1.0 (PCI): IRQ=[11] MMIO=[e0200000-e0200800] Max Packet=[2048]
   ieee1394: Device added: node 0:1023, GUID 0000f041a00069fa
   raw1394: /dev/raw1394 device initialized
   SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
   ieee1394: sbp2: Driver forced to serialize I/O (serialize_io =1)
   ieee1394: sbp2: Error logging into SBP-2 device - login failed
   ieee1394: sbp2: sbp2_login_device failed
   scsi0: IEEE-1394 SBP-2 protocol driver
Although documents in says it may not be an error, IT IS at least to our Q10's CD-ROM. From my experience, the error will show up every time the module is first inserted. My solution is to unload and reload them again:

   rmmod sbp2 raw1394 ohci1394 ieee1394
   insmod ieee1394
   insmod ohci1394
   insmod raw1394
At this point, the CD-ROM should be recognized as a SCSI CD-ROM under Linux, you can view its record using the cat command:

   cat /proc/scsi/scsi
   Attached devices:
   Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun:00
   Vendor: SAMSUNG Model: CD-ROM SN-124	Rev: N101
   Type: CD-ROM			ANSI SCSI revision: 02

Mounting the CD-ROM

The final but not so intuitive step is to mount the CD-ROM. Here we mount it just like an ordinary SCSI CD-ROM:

   mount -t iso9660 /dev/scd0 /mnt/cdrom
   Current bh00:00: sense key Not Ready
   Additional sense indicates Logical unit is in process of becoming ready
Here you'll received a long list of the above error message. Don't panic! just press the eject button of the CD-ROM while the message keep coming out, then the CD-ROM will mount eventually!


Please beware of the fact that the linux driver of ieee1394 is not so mature. The CD-ROM may sometime be inaccessable even it is detected. The notebook may shut down or reboot itself when mounting.

Composed by Lawrence Yiu

from Hong Kong SAR

September 17, 2002

Update: May 11, 2003

Second Update: November 25, 2003

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