Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ubuntu: Flash Galaxy Nexus with Google Firmware

Jelly Bean Logo

Android Jelly Bean logo

Some days ago I realized that Galaxy Nexus was shipped with different Firmware’s from Samsung and Google (see this post on xda). And because my Phone has Samsung’s Firmware, my Android Version is still on Jelly Bean 4.1.2. This how-to shows how to do this on Ubuntu. This procedure will clean your phone, you need to backup all data before you start! (photos, videos, music, sms…)

Install the Android utility fastboot

This utility usually comes with Android Developer Tools. But in this package only a 32-Bit version is available. Since Ubuntu 12.10 you can get fastboot directly from the repository (there are PPA’s for other Ubuntu versions, see this blog post):

$ sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot

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Ubuntu 12.10 and Windows 8 with Secure Boot mode

Installing Ubuntu 12.10 on a Samsung Series 9 Notebook has some pitfalls. My goal was to install Ubuntu 12.10 along Windows 8 while using Secure Boot too.

The first challenge is booting from an USB flash drive. You need to enter your BIOS by pressing F2 while booting the system. Change to the “Boot” tab, enter the sub menu “Boot Device Priority”  and move “USB HDD” in front of “SATA HDD” (using F5). Then, curiously, you also need to disable the “Fast BIOS Mode” (tab “Advanced”). You can also use F10 to select the boot device, but “Fast BIOS Mode” still needs to be disabled. Installing Ubuntu should then work as usually.

Even thought Ubuntu 12.10 supports Secure Boot, on my system, the first boot after the installation failed with this Error:

Secure Boot

Image failed to verify with *ACCESS DENIED*.
Press any key to continue.

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Switching Windows 7 and Ubuntu to UEFI



After upgrading my hard disk on my Laptop I planned to switch to a GPT (GUID Partition Table). But since I’ve a Windows 7 installation as well I had to switch to UEFI boot mode because Windows 7 does not support booting from GPT using the old BIOS/MBR bootmanager/bootloader (You can find a good Q&A about GPT support of Windows at MSDN). Luckily my old HP Elitebook 8530w already includes an UEFI enabled BIOS (without Secure Boot). It supports (like many others) the old boot mode as well as the new UEFI boot mode. By selecting the “UEFI” entry in the boot menu one can make sure that the UEFI boot mode is enabled. After reading some documentation (especially the once from Roderick W. Smith) I decided to use the rEFInd boot manager and the kernel provided EFI stub bootloader (part of the mainline kernel since 3.3.0). I’m using Ubuntu 12.10 which comes with Linux 3.5 and enabled EFI stub bootloader in the stock kernel… Read more »

Secure Boot implementation of Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal)

Ubuntu 12.10 supports UEFI secure boot. I did some research in order to understand the actual implementation on Ubuntu and would like to share my findings. Since Windows 8 requires secure boot, most new Computer contain Microsoft’s Platform Key. Microsoft allows to sign own binaries with this Platform Key. As outlined in the Canonical blog post Ubuntu 12.10 uses a signed version of the EFI application Shim (to maintain the chain of trust) and Grub2 as its default boot manager.

Canonicals version of the Shim EFI application

Ubuntu’s 12.10 Shim EFI application is a early version of Shim which don’t has any support for MOKs (Machine Owner Keys). Shim was made by Matthew Garrett. He wrote two blog posts how Shim works, but because Ubuntu uses an older version not all of his description apply to Ubuntu’s Shim. Matthew Garrett also published its own Microsoft-signed version of Shim. Ubuntu however doesn’t use this signed version. Read more »

Samsung Series 9 13.3″ Ultrabook (NP900X3D) Review

Samsung NP900X3D

Samsung NP900X3D

This week I got myself a Christmas gift: A shiny Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook (or Notebook, what they call it). My device came with a Sandisk SSD U100 128GB, 4GB Memory, HM75 Chipset and the Intel Core i5 3317U Processor. The device looks very nice and feels solid. I like the non reflecting screen very much, the resolution of 1600×900 feels right for the screen size (13.3″) with default DPI settings. Finger prints don’t remain on the outside of the device, but you can make them out on the keyboard. The lid shuts very well, but its a bit hard to get a grip on it to open again. The track pad is big, scrolling using multitouch gestures is very nice to use. Sometimes the track pad fires a click when I just try to move the cursor… Nevertheless, really solid hardware!

Windows 8 and some additional Software was preinstalled. After clicking through the Installer my PC was ready for the first real boot test: Boot time is really incredible, something more than 4 seconds after pressing the power button and the lock screen is visible. Well, it takes another two second to access the desktop, but still, very fast! Since I never worked with Windows 8 so far, I was happy that Samsung provided a nice Quick Start leaflets, so I know now how to access and name the new Windows 8 menues 😉 Read more »