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  #1  
Old 10th January 2012, 12:47 AM
smr54 Offline
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Asus Zenbook UX31E

Well, I went out and bought the UX31E Zenbook--I chose the RSL8, which was on sale at Office Depot.

I'm not sure of the difference between this RSL8 and the others, I'm only seeing it at stores that have a brick and mortar location.

http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...Computer-With/

The processor might be a little slower than some of the DH ones, but it's still quite nice. Very light weight. Like the Macbook Air, which I think it's supposed to challenge, there's no onboard ethernet, but they do supply a usb dongle with ethernet connection--Apple charges $30 USD for theirs. It also includes a nice little case and a connector for an external VGA monitor.

Very few negatives. There are only 2 USB ports, on opposite sides, which means that one can't always use those low end ($20-$40 USD) USB drives that have two USB connections. In my (limited) experience, sometimes, such external optical disk drives will work if you only plug in one USB connect, but other times, they need both plugged in, and the distance between the two connections is short--so in many cases of these drives, it wouldn't stretch across to plug one connector in each side. The one on the right is USB 3 which is nice, though in my case, where I don't often use external USB storage drives, probably won't make a difference.

Wireless works out of the box--I had a minor problem, as I did a minimal network install, and it didn't install wpa_supplicant. So, while I was able to install over the network, upon first boot, I had no network connection.
The ethernet connection (that is, the USB dongle to ethernet) needed a driver. So, I downloaded the wpa_supplicant rpm and its one dependency, libnl, onto another computer, put it on a USB stick then installed it. Then I was able to install the other tools I needed to build the driver. Supposedly, the driver will soon be built into the kernel.

Sound and webcam worked without problems. I don't use suspend and hibernate, so not sure about that. Same with bluetooth, I don't use it. Though the battery is reputed to last for 6 plus hours, even when fully charged, Fedora was only showing it as having about 3 hours life. I haven't investigated that very thoroughly yet.

There are apparently two possible mouse pads that you can get with it, an Elantech, which should work (with some tweaking) with typical things such as scrolling and the like, and the Sentelic which doesn't seem to work well. I couldn't, for example, get synaptics to load.

Note that I do a minimal install with openbox as my window manager, so it's quite possible that those who use Gnome or another full fledged desktop environment might have different results.


For those with an interest in it, though FreeBSD will install, I haven't yet seen anything indicating that anyone has done so--I couldn't get either network interface working with it, but didn't try that hard--a bit of googling, a few feeble attempts to load some drivers, and that was it. Linux, however, seem to work quite well with the machine and for a few hundred dollars less than the Macbook Air (with comparable specs), it's pretty easy to get Linux working on it.

A good Ubuntu write up on it

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AsusZenbook

And one from the Arch Wiki

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Asus_Ux31
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  #2  
Old 14th January 2012, 12:55 PM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

One problem I've had with the zenbook is the Sentelic touchpad. Apparently some have Elantech touchpads, which work with synaptics, while others like myself, have the Sentelic. I've not found a way to get scrolling to work with this pad. Tap to click seems to work--one problem is that as the pad is rather large, it's very easy to accidentally click it as you're typing, and there's nothing, that I've seen as yet that enables you to disable while typing.

However, Goekmen Goeksel has created a python script that will do said disabling. (There is also a driver in deb or source format at sourceforge, but I had no luck with it).

To get the script, you can use git. You will need python-xlib installed. Assuming you've gotten both (git and python-xlib)

Code:
set
git clone https://github.com/gokmen/Sentelic
This will create a directory called Sentenlic. (The new directory will be created in whatever directory you were in when you ran the command. So, if you opened a terminal while in your home directory, the new Sentelic directory will also be created in your home directory.

cd into the directory and run

sudo ./sentelic.py

The README points out that you can edit an /etc/sentelic.conf file but gives no instructions about creating it, and I don't know python well enough to add any further information. The cloned directory doesn't have a setup.py or other obvious way to create said /etc file. Regardless, one can just run the script and have the annoyance of the pad constantly reacting to accidental touching disappear.
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  #3  
Old 15th January 2012, 12:28 PM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

A little more information. The battery, in default configuration, according to acpi only offers around 3-3.5 hours of life, which is far shorter than available under Windows--in theory, anyway, untested by me. However, there are several tweaks one can add to grub, either one at a time, or adding the whole thing to /etc/default/grub then running grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg, or adding all or some to the linux line in grub when booting.

(Note that the line above was originally mistyped as grub2-config. The error was caught by another poster, and I fixed it aftewards.

Some very casual testing indicates that adding all of them adds at least an hour to battery life.

Post 20 in
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1874306&page=2

gives some of the standard tweaks.

According to the Internet, so it must be true, the Ultrabooks are the Next Big Thing (TM), so perhaps others will have helpful tips for this one--for what it's worth, there's a thread on the Ubuntu forums that goes on for over 50 pages

Last edited by smr54; 21st November 2012 at 03:07 AM. Reason: mistyped command
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  #4  
Old 5th February 2012, 03:02 PM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

Well, as no one else seems to have this, figure I'll keep commenting as things change, so there's some Fedora reference.

The power saving issue may or may not be improving. In rawhide, it's still relatively low--some of the suggestions in the long running Ubuntu thread linked above might help. Rawhide does now have drivers for the wired ethernet dongle, there should be no need to compile a driver.

My big issues (using openbox or other window manager) continue to be the mouse, though the bug is filed so that soon, hopefully, one can use synclient or the GUI tools to configure it. However, as of writing, to get it working, you'll have to custom compile your kernel, which isn't a big deal if you're familiar with it, but still, more work than someone might want to do to get something as basic as typical touchpad functionality.

So....I can't really recommend this (yet) as Linux friendly, though, thanks to some folks, it's gradually getting there.
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  #5  
Old 20th February 2012, 02:05 PM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

I've found that dimming the screen (with Fn+F5) makes major difference in battery life--for example, if I boot it up fully charged, it will say about 3-3.5 hours remaining. Dim the screen, even if I'm working in text mode, and it goes up to 5-7 hours.
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  #6  
Old 21st April 2012, 06:02 PM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

I've found another blog posting on this ultrabook, and as it lists this thread as the sole Fedora reference, figure I better keep it a little more up-to-date.

With F17
Both wireless and the USB>eth dongle work out of the box, and the dongle can be used for a network installation.

The touchpad can really be a nuisance if one has the Sentelic, which doesn't yet work with Synaptic, though there are people working on it. One useful thing is to add an rc.local. As some folks know, Fedora no longer ships with rc.local, and the recommended way to use is to create an /etc/rc.d/rc.local script, being sure to have #!/bin/sh as the first line. In my case it reads

Code:
#!/bin/sh
echo -n 0x90 0x80 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio4/setreg
echo -n c > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio4/flags
exit 0
This works to disable it while typing, Make sure to make your /etc/rc.d/rc.local executable

chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.local

After rebooting, check that it works with grep local /var/log/boot.log In my case, it was failing because I'd left out #!/bin/sh.
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  #7  
Old 22nd April 2012, 05:00 PM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

While on the mouse, I find I'm not able to paste with right mouse with my usual urxvt terminal. There are two fairly easy options
xclip and sselp. Highlight text, then type xclip -o or sselp and the highlighted text should appear in the terminal.

To use the standard shift+insert to paste, you have use the function (Fn) key. Insert is on the del key, so it would be shift+fn+ins.

Last edited by smr54; 22nd April 2012 at 05:18 PM.
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  #8  
Old 23rd April 2012, 11:03 PM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

And, still on the mouse, the nice developers have, in rawhide, fixed the Sentelic issue. No longer necessary (in F18 so far, they're going to see about backporting to 16 and 17) to add an rc.local file, two finger scrolling works out of the box, synaptics sees it so one can add tap to click if desired with synclient. In addition, it automatically seems to disable tap while typing, so no more of the REALLY annoying mouse losing focus if the heel of your hand hits the touch pad.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=705366
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  #9  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:18 AM
smr54 Offline
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

The Sentelic mouse now works well in F17 as well, with the latest kernel updates. It seems that just about any distribution using relatively recent kernels will now work well on the machine.
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  #10  
Old 8th July 2012, 10:39 PM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

A bit more information--with thanks to forum member Yellowman, it turns out that to get the SD card working one needs to install kmod-staging, which provides a driver for it.

See http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=281988

Last edited by smr54; 8th July 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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  #11  
Old 27th July 2012, 12:18 PM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

Thanks for keeping track of this info - I've had my UX31E for a while and was running a Fedora VM under VMware, but am now happily running Fedora directly on the hardware.

However, I've noticed one particularly weird (and annoying) problem: if I boot it with the HDMI connected, it doesn't start the laptop's own screen. (My home "dock" setup is just a USB3 hub with keyboard/mouse/network attached, the laptop's power cable and a HDMI connection for the monitor)

As far as X and KDE are concerned, they seem to believe both outputs are there, but when I hit "Identify Outputs" in Display Settings, both eDP1 and HDMI1 are displayed on the HDMI monitor.

Hitting Fn+F8 has no effect.

If I boot with the HDMI disconnected, and only connect it later, then everything is fine and it all behaves as expected, so my current workaround is to just unplug the HDMI cable whenever I shutdown or hibernate the laptop.
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Old 27th July 2012, 12:40 PM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

Thanks for the added info. I don't use it with the HDMI, but as I think I mentioned this thread is the only thing I've seen whenever googling the UX31E and Fedora.
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Old 27th July 2012, 01:35 PM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

Ah, just noticed that the Ubuntu page for the Zenbook reports the same problem with having to plug in the HDMI after the laptop has started in order to use both screens (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AsusZenbook). Definitely a bug somewhere, since Windows brought up both screens correctly with the HDMI plugged in. The issue appears to occur well before starting X though - otherwise restarting the X server with the HDMI unplugged would fix it, and that doesn't happen. Instead, I have to restart completely to get it to switch on the internal LCD.

---------- Post added at 10:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:53 PM ----------

One more piece of info, since I *do* use suspend & hibernate: with current F17 (kernel 3.4.6) suspend and hibernate are somewhat broken, most likely courtesy of https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=42728

I haven't noticed any memory corruption problem, but I plan to fire up memtest86+ to check.

On a happier note, that bug has been fixed in the 3.5 kernel, and that has been built in Fedora's build system (https://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/...buildID=344324), so it will hopefully appear in the F17 yum repos soon.
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Old 5th August 2012, 04:02 AM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

Sleep/hibernate status update following the rollout of the 3.5.0 kernel (which included the fix for kernel BZ#42728) to F17:

1. Upon returning from sleep or hibernate, the USB Ethernet adaptor doesn't wake up properly. I need to unplug the USB3 hub and plug it back in again to get NetworkManager to reactivate the Ethernet connection (the connection to the hub itself is fine, as the USB mouse and keyboard connected to that hub work just fine).

2. I haven't noticed any problems other than that with sleep mode

3. Hibernate still has a glitch where it doesn't actually power off the laptop after writing the system state to disk. Pre-3.5, it would get to a point where it was spinning its wheels and the CPU fan would start winding up to full speed. Holding down the power button would then forcibly switch it off and the next start up would be as if you had powered it off. Post-3.5, it hangs at the same point, but does so without firing up the fan. I still need to hold down the power button, but the next startup is now a recovery from hibernate as expected.

I also reported a Fedora bug for the HDMI out problem: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=844985 (I'm fortunate enough to work with a couple of kernel devs, and have already mentioned that problem to them. I'll be taking my laptop to work this week to demonstrate the misbehaviour and let them poke around a bit to see if they can figure it out)
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  #15  
Old 14th August 2012, 07:38 AM
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Re: Asus Zenbook UX31E

Current status (14th August, 2012):

Forcing the internal monitor to a different mode (e.g. 1024x768) before switching it back to the normal resolution is a workaround for the HDMI out problem (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=844985) where the internal monitor remains disabled. It appears there's some problem where, when the mode is the same as it was before the monitor was deactivated, X and/or the kernel is skipping the step that turns the monitor back on.

There's an upstream kernel patch for the not-quite-hibernating problem (https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=45811), but no ETA yet for when that will land in a kernel release (and subsequently in Fedora)

I also submitted a bug report for the Ethernet problem, but no progress yet: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=845791
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