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MSI Wind U100 and Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

Ubuntu Linux is the most popular desktop Linux, especially on small netbooks. Last year we bought an MSI Wind U100 for my wife. Of course I installed an Ubuntu Linux on it. The Jaunty version (9.04) was very good for this machine. The video was a bit slow, but everything worked. She wrote her thesis with that as well.

When Ubuntu 9.10 is released I upgraded immediately, because I read, that the Intel video support is better with it. I also realized that sound and Skype is better as well. Unfortunately this is not the case with MSI Wind U100 (My other computers work happily with 9.10 though).

One very annoying problem with the new release is when the maschine starts the brightness starts flashing. Also when you change the brightness the screen starts flashing. More about this bug:

The solution

After two month of searching a solution I’ve tried to solve the problem myself with success. I patched the gpm-brightness.c file in the gnome-power-manager package’s source. It was very easy indeed.

Here is a gnome-power-manager .deb package for MSI Wind U100: gnome-power-manager_2.28.1-0ubuntu1-U100_i386

After installing the above package, you can change the brightness of your netbook again. All other solutions I’ve tried make the system unusable slow.

It’s better if you lock the package in Synaptic, to prevent upgrade to a not patched version. More about this: .


My solution is not the best, it woud be better if someone could find a general solution. Maybe with a config file to tell gnome-power-manager, that the hardware will set the brightness, or maybe some detection would be much better…

The source code of the above package: I only changed the gpm-brightness.c file: gnome-power-manager_2.28.1-0ubuntu1-U100.tar



  1. Thank you! The funny thing about this is that I just got an MSi Wind U123 for my birthday, which just happened to be two days after you created this post. Your patch fixed the same exact same problem on my U123.

    Thanks again!

    Comment by Valkyri9 — Saturday January 30th, 2010 @ 05:48 PM

  2. Hey, works perfect!

    Also brightness is only 1 instead of 2 steps, each keypress – cool!
    Did you pass the fix to the folks who do gnome-power-manager?

    Thanks again!!!


    Comment by Manfred — Thursday February 4th, 2010 @ 10:56 AM

  3. I haven’t passed it to gnome-power-manager, only published the modified source and wrote to Launchpad. With this modification it is only work with MSI not other kind of notebooks. I think it is a design issue in gnome-power-manager and this is beyond my knowledge to make a general solution.

    Comment by Wedge — Thursday February 4th, 2010 @ 12:42 PM

  4. Köszönöm szépen! Szuperül működik a dolog. :)

    Comment by kk — Thursday February 4th, 2010 @ 11:50 PM

  5. Finally a fix for that flickering! Thank you so much.

    Works fine on MSI Wind U100 1616

    Comment by Wind — Friday February 5th, 2010 @ 06:05 PM

  6. Excellent solution – saved me a great deal of time and stress!

    Comment by Neil — Saturday February 6th, 2010 @ 05:05 PM

  7. Thank you very much for that solution! I have had this brightness issue on my MSI Wind for months! Now, it works fine… Great! By the way, could you tell me how to lock the package in Synaptic to prevent upgrade to a not patched version? Thank you!

    Comment by Patrick — Sunday February 7th, 2010 @ 09:24 AM


    Summary: There’s a firmware from MSI which fixes this issue.

    Comment by Oktay Altunergil — Sunday February 7th, 2010 @ 10:25 PM

  9. Patrick! I’ve modified the text with a link describes how to lock packages in Synaptic.

    Comment by Wedge — Tuesday February 9th, 2010 @ 08:24 AM

  10. Thank you very much !!!

    Comment by hoyoung yi — Sunday February 21st, 2010 @ 08:34 AM

  11. Sziasztok!
    Nagyon szépen köszönöm a segítséget,nagyon jól müködik.

    Comment by Czikora Péter — Saturday March 20th, 2010 @ 06:18 AM

  12. Thanks for a wonderful post, l ve been looking for such information, I will join jour rss feed now.

    Comment by Mike — Monday March 22nd, 2010 @ 02:06 PM

  13. Szia!
    Köszönöm a segítséget, első ránézésre működik.

    Comment by viteez — Sunday April 4th, 2010 @ 09:09 AM

  14. Isten vagy. Erre más szó nincs.

    Comment by Bálint Molnár — Thursday April 8th, 2010 @ 01:54 PM

  15. I used your gpm-brightness.c file in debian gnome-power-manager version 2.30 and recompiled and it works without flickering. Thank you very very much.

    Comment by abry — Sunday May 9th, 2010 @ 06:15 PM

  16. An other happy user here, thanks!

    Comment by Pille — Saturday June 12th, 2010 @ 02:01 PM

  17. Can you please describe how it is possible to compile gpm-brightness.c in a newer version of gnome-power-manager? I think that currently under ubuntu 10.04 it is the 2.30

    Comment by angelos — Wednesday August 25th, 2010 @ 11:38 PM

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