Setting up Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on a Fujitsu AH532 laptop

I always prefer developing on linux. Previously, my distro of choice had been Mint. But given Ubuntu’s direction, especially with mobile, I had been thinking about giving it another shot and being a bit more tolerant of their Unity desktop. And my first blue screen of death on my Windows 7 install just helped me to make up my mind. (To be fair to Windows, this was the first blue screen I have experienced in ages.)

Basic Installation

I had quite a bit of trouble with the disk partitions, with Ubuntu not recognizing any of my partitions! I did not want to install over Windows, and Ubuntu (and other distros) were only showing me that one disk to install on! When I was trying with Wubi, it kept telling me that the installation was almost complete, and then “bcdedit.exe” would throw an error saying “Request not supported”.

After a lot of googling, I finally figured out that the problem was because of Windows using a proprietary format to create dynamic disks, which Ubuntu and other Linux distros were unable to read! So first, I had to convert the “Dynamic” disk to a “Basic” disk. And that solved the problem!

Drivers

Next, came the drivers. Thankfully, Ubuntu picked up almost everything perfectly. Except for the touchpad, which it recognized as a simple mouse (hence no scrolling).

The problem seemed to be the drivers released by ALPS, the manufacturers of the touchpad. I found this driver which has been released by Dave Turvene, which solved the problem. Follow the following steps to use the driver:

  1. Download the tarball
  2. Unpack it with: sudo tar -xj –directory / -f psmouse-alps-dst-1.1.tbz
  3. Navigate to /usr/src/psmouse-alps-dst-1.0/
  4. Execute ./alps.sh dkms_build_alps
  5. Execute  ./alps.sh dkms_install_symlink

(In case you face “dkms command not found errors”, install dkms first with sudo apt-get install dkms first.)

Doing this enabled the “Touchpad” tab in the System settings -> Mouse and Touchpad section, and I was able to set it up the way I wanted 🙂