ubuntu "certified" hardware misleading, and key contributor to lack of progress on bug #1

Bug #632293 reported by fuggum on 2010-09-07
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

a few related bugs: 1, 611992, 556019, 483121, 380126, 191024, many, many more, unassigned, undecided, unassigned...

synopsis: bug #1 has much to do with hardware oem's working with ms to design products to work with their 0$ and provide drivers. to make some progress on bug #1 it is critical that a ***trusted*** hardware certification program exist that can assist partners, resellers, isvs, systems integrators, support organizations and consumers in selecting hardware that just works with ubuntu, ***especially when the oem ships the system with ubuntu installed***.

case in point: dell ships vostro v13 with ubuntu 9.04 installed. cannonical lists vostro v13 as certified on 10.04 with only a note that proprietary drivers are required for wifi. cool, i buy one...

reality: there is no ubuntu support (hardy through maverick) whether supplied by dell or canonical, for the synaptics touchpad in the v13. haven't found any other linux 2.6 distro that supports it either, not even the 2.6.36 git tree. works fine with dell supplied xp driver. looking through the bug reports, it seems that most of the newer gesturing touchpads on many notebooks from various manufacturers and oems also are suffering similar issues.

potential security implications: since the touchpad cannot be configured and disabled while typing (except via Fn-F6 on the v13), heaven only knows what configuration changes you're making on your system, or the remote server or device you're configuring, or how many items you just **really** bought on that website, or what other information you've inadvertently cut-and-pasted into whatever form/site/config file. it's virtually impossible to use the keyboard without touching the huge touchpad on this machine.

notice that synaptics does indeed provide support for linux to oems: see http://www.synaptics.com/about/press/press-releases/synaptics-gesture-suite%E2%84%A2-now-available-popular-linux-operating-systems

one would think that the ability to configure a touchpad as a touchpad, not just a generic ps/2 mouse would be a critical accessibility check in a certification program.

this "certification" is quite misleading, and reflects poorly on dell, canonical and synaptics.

what will it take to be able to ***trust*** ubuntu's hardware certification?
imho. canonical needs to take ownership and:
1. the vostro v13 should be removed from the "certified" status until it really works.
2. ensure touchpad recognition by kernel, all relevant drivers and configuration capability is present by default to achieve certified status
3. ensure oem's work with component device manufacturers and canonical engineering and quality control to supply requisite patches with their own distributions of ubuntu at the very least, better to work upstream where appropriate.
4. provide a facility to rate and or refute the certifications published at http://webapps.ubuntu.com/certification/


p.s. in my case, i've exhausted all support options and am returning the machine to dell for a refund.

fuggum (fuggum) on 2010-09-07
visibility: private → public
Marc Deslauriers (mdeslaur) wrote :

Thanks for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. We appreciate the difficulties you are facing, but this appears to be a "regular" (non-security) bug. I have unmarked it as a security issue since this bug does not show evidence of allowing attackers to cross privilege boundaries nor directly cause loss of data/privacy. Please feel free to report any other bugs you may find.

security vulnerability: yes → no
Mervin Beng (mervinb) wrote :

I am also affected by this bug (Vostro V13 touchpad not recognized). Please fix it, as the V13 was purchased only for use with Ubuntu.

bitinerant (bitinerant) wrote :

I bought the V13 specifically BECAUSE of Ubuntu's certification with 10.04 and 10.10. However, the laptop is unusable because of this touchpad issue. Reading through Fuggum's research (see also http://<email address hidden>/msg00030.html) and doing a lot of my own, I have just about decided to give up and try to get a refund from Dell. I am very disappointed in both Dell and Ubuntu.

fuggum (fuggum) wrote :

@bitinerant,i was able to return mine for a full refund. i advise you to do the same. my theory is that due to the architecture of the vostro v13 and latitude 13, it will be a ***very*** long time, if ever that any linux distro will support it. the synaptics touchpad is a child of a broadcom usb hub (part of bluetooth as far as i can tell) and broadcom is notoriously closed-source. too bad, as the vostro v13 is a very nice machine, but designed specifically according to the wintel paradigm.

i've lost all faith in dell as a result of their overt lack of interest in supporting ubuntu and their horrible technical support. canonical is also fooling themselves with their sham of a certified hardware testing and certification program, and quite simply ignoring their own prime directive, bug #1.

best of luck,

bitinerant (bitinerant) wrote :

Thanks, fuggum. I DID get a hassle-free RMA number with a promise of a full refund from Dell, although it may have been easy because it has been less than 21 days since purchase. What model did you replace the V13 with?

(By the way, Broadcom is not all closed-source; they recently released their Linux WiFi code: http://linux.slashdot.org/story/10/09/09/1925214/Broadcom-Releases-Source-Code-For-Drivers )

Gursimran singh (simar) on 2010-11-13
Changed in xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low

I am also experiencing this problem.
If it were possible to configure at least a scroll zone on the right side of the touchpad - it would have been wonderful!
Maybe some one knows how to do this?

Ahmed Shams (ashams) wrote :

Thank you for taking time to report this problem and help making Ubuntu better. Unfortunately, we not always have no enough capacity to triage bugs on timely manner, so, does this problem still exist in any of supported Ubuntu releases?

Changed in xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → High
status: New → Incomplete
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

We're closing this bug since there has not been a response from the original reporter. However, the issue still exists please feel free to reopen with the requested information. If you're not the original reporter, we'd prefer you file a new bug report.

Some tips:

  * Report X.org bugs via the command: `ubuntu-bug xorg`

  * Test against the latest development Ubuntu. http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/
    Bugs marked as affecting the development version tend to get priority attention.

  * The `xdiagnose` utility has functionality for enabling debugging and
    analyzing a few common X problems.

  * Tag your bugs with the Ubuntu versions you have reproduced the issue in.

  * See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Reporting for tips on writing good bug reports.

Changed in xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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