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MSI Wind12 U210


If you have the MSI Wind12 U210 and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

The MSI Wind U210 is on the larger side for a netbook, and fits a bit closer into the sub-notebook category. Most modern Linux distributions should work fine on this computer, the more recent the better, mainly for graphics card support. Right now, the only setback is the RaLink wireless card, but depending on your distribution of choice, this may not be a big problem.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the MSI Wind12 U210. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the MSI Wind12 U210 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the MSI Wind12 U210 specifications page.

NameMSI Wind12 U210
ProcessorAMD Athlon Neo MV-40
Screen12.1 HD (1366×768)
GraphicsATI Radeon X1250
RAMUp to 4GB
HDD160GB to 320GB
Optical DriveNo
NetworkRealtek RTL8168D 10/100/1000
Ralink 802.11b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

GraphicsWorksWith default radeon driver
SoundworksSpeakers OK, microphone OK
WirelessWorksSee below
BluetoothNot Tested
Card ReaderWorks
WebcamWorksMust be toggled on


The AMD Athlon Neo works fine. It supports all the normal power modes and scales by default between 800 mHz and 1.6 gHz. If you want about another 10-15% battery life, you can undervolt the processor to about 80% and it will still perform well, but before you bother, consider whether an extra 40 minutes is worth the lower performance.

Screen and Power

Screen is bright, and maybe a bit on the cool side. I recommend adjusting the Gamma to warm things up. Screen brightness is supported out of the box, and works well.


The graphics card is well supported by the open source Radeon driver. Much of the support is recent, however, so running the latest version is recommended.

Dual Screen

On Kubuntu/Ubuntu Karmic, if you want to add a second screen, it is supported, but you may need to edit your xorg.conf file.

- From a terminal, type “sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf”
- Locate the section “Screen”
- Add to it:
SubSection “Display”
Depth 24
Virtual 4000 2000

- Press [Ctrl]+[x] and save your changes
- Restart the X-server (graphics server) and log back in

You should now be able to configure secondary monitors. If, after using dual monitors, your computer stops booting, simply un-install the “usplash” package from the rescue mode:

sudo apt-get remove usplash

I have used the HDMI port, but it can prove to be somewhat finicky.


Works beautifully, but you have to turn it on using the [Fn]+[F6] key combination. Nothing changes to let you know it's now on, but when you reboot, it will work just fine, even with the little red LED lighting up when it's viewing you. As long as you don't press the key combination again, it will work. If it stops working, you probably just accidentally hit the key. (This happened to me.)


Everything works well, and as expected. If you install Kubuntu, make sure you have “pulseaudio” installed. The microphone is sensitive, so turning the volume down will likely clear up the “static” you might experience when recording or monitoring.

If the sound is too quiet, even after turning the volume up all the way, open Terminal and type “alsamixer”. Adjust the settings as necessary- often the Speaker will be at zero and needs to be increased.


The wireless card is good, and gets good reception, but depending on your distribution, it may be difficult or easy to get working.

Wireless on Ubuntu

For Karmic, you can add the repository through your package manager with ppa:markus-tisoft/rt3090 and simply install the rt3090-dkms package. These directions will work for both Jaunty and Karmic, however, including adding proper authentication for updates.

1. Open a text editor as root:

KDE, Run:

kdesudo kate

Gnome or XFCE, Run:

gksu gedit

2. Open the file /etc/apt/sources.list and add to the end of it:

#RaLink Driver

Of course, replace YOUR_UBUNTU_VERSION_HERE with “jaunty” or “karmic” etc.

3. From a terminal, run:

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys 86F4C28E

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install rt3090-dkms

4. You will need to reboot your computer.


Don't forget to enable wireless by holding down Fn+F8 until the wireless indicator below the keyboard turns blue.


All-in-all, the Wind U210 works wonderfully with Linux. It is a budget netbook, especially for the performance you get, so it may not have some of the flare of some of the more expensive models, and as such, has some interesting hardware choices. There is an extra button next to the space bar, for example, that has a “| and \” on it. It prints a “<” and when shifted, a “>”. Although [Fn]+[F10] may look like a wireless switch, it's actually the strange icon on the [F8] key that turns the wireless on and off. Also, the touchpad is NOT multi-touch, so no two-finger scroll. So far, only the Lenovo netbook I have used supports multi-touch on the pad.

With the exception of some of the odder keys, everything works exactly as expected. With the DKMS build of the wireless driver, it's a once-ever process on a fresh install, and hardly any more of a bother than any sort of proprietary driver. The wireless card is expected to be natively supported in the next version of the Linux kernel. (Hopefully in Lucid){note: Unfortunately, it does not work natively in Lucid. Use the same procedure described here to add the driver and you are good to go. You will need to reinstall with each kernel update for the time being as of 7/12/2010}.

The Graphics card already has decent performance, especially when not hooked up to an external monitor, which slows it down considerably for desktop effects. AMD has been doing a good job promoting the open driver, however, and the card will support DRI2 for redirected direct rendering on the most current branch of This will be included in Ubuntu Lucid, and already works in Fedora, resulting in improved performance. I've already seen performance improve from Jaunty to Karmic, and I expect the performance to continue to improve with future driver releases.

Entry History and Author(s)

Initial placeholder entry replaced by OmniUni, 02/03/10 [ contactomni (a) gmail . com ]


Marek, 2015/05/27 20:03

I use crunchbang 32 bit. Work's great, driver for graphics card is no problem on 32 bit linux system. Every debian based linux can support drivers from debian atiwiki. This laptop can support 4gb ram ?

hrcmrpink, 2013/12/03 01:00

I actually have this notebook and lubuntu 13.10 works fine!

Srikanth, 2013/02/25 06:53

What is the current best version to use? I have installed Ubuntu 12.10. Everything except the graphics works. It has detected an unknown graphics :-(. As a result .mkv files aren't playing properly. I guess there is no hardware acceleration without the right drivers. Also, youtube videos in firefox fails for want of flash. Clicking the download doesn't seem to download anything. All I get is a continuous searching in the repositories.

Would Kubuntu 12.10 work out of the box?


TekellJ, 2011/10/29 22:46

Works great with Fedora 15 64bit

Alex, 2011/02/23 21:28

I use it with OpenSuse 11.2 x86_64 ( bluetooth module works well.

Anon, 2010/09/03 13:18

Really helpful, thanks!

Daniel, 2010/03/03 07:34

If you have experience with distributions other than Ubuntu on this netbook, please add your experience to the entry.

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msi_wind12_u210.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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