ASUS UX510UW n UBUNTU 16.04 Review / Setup

Discussion in 'Asus' started by tmar, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Overview

    When looking for a book it's not just the book but its compatibility with Linux that I am interested in so here is a summary of that and perhaps there are others who would like to know this before purchasing. There are others out there that will provide complete reviews on the book itself as they are starting to appear on Youtube.

    Intel I7 6500U (520 Graphics)
    NVIDIA GTX960M (4GIG)
    Intel 7265 Wireless
    16G Ram
    1080P IPS
    128 SSD (Replaced original 1TB).

    ** UPDATE AUG 2017

    See comment below for july 23rd.

    ** UPDATE April 2017

    Manjaro XFCE
    No GRUB edits
    Wireless tweak from below required in 20-intel.conf.
    Added synaptics driver for trackpad stop while typing.
    Only thing not working is the fn F9 disable enable trackpad.
    Cold boot with power adapter disables mouse - just unplug for boot.

    Never looked at auto sensor yet - not a big deal.





    ** UPDATEs from Ubuntu 16.04.1

    With respect to the book: very thin and light, great screen, good keyboard (flexes only if you press hard with your finger), track pad needs to be tweaked to personal preferences, runs quiet and cool so far. The 1TB is slow unless you are going to use the book for its intended design as a media book series.

    With the SSD replacement, 60% brightness (that's enough for me), and wifi I get about 5.5 to 6 hours of average use in Ubuntu 16.04.

    ** Boot time update:
    Manjaro cold boots in about 5 secs to prompt.
    Ubuntu cold boots in about 10 seconds to prompt.

    Opening the book; changing the hard drive:

    Pics: I will find a place to post them and add later but I don't think they are necessary as you can see the reviews and it's only about the mounting of the HDD.

    There are screws around the back and under the rubber mounts towards the back that have to be removed to open the case - you don't need to remove the rubber mounts on the front.

    The back cover screws are fragile, let me repeat that again, the back cover screws are fragile, and you need a small torx - I think it's a 14. I can’t stress enough to be careful otherwise you may strip something like I did :(

    There are snaps and adhesive holding the panel down towards the rear so when removing the back plate you have to use a plastic thumb key (I think that is what its called) or a plastic card (CC will do) and slide it around and play with it gently and at some point you will trigger the few snaps and it will come off. Again, be gentle and patient.

    The HDD is easy to remove and you don't have to physically remove or unscrew the battery like other Zenbook models to change it. The single notch M.2 is right above the SSD.

    Once I replaced the SSD and put the back panel back on I noticed a rattle when typing hard; I did not remember this prior too so perhaps this is where the adhesive came into play. Tap on the back plate and comment if someone has one without removing it. Other than the adhesive the mount screw tightness and snaps may have something to do with it. I will check that out later.

    BIOS updated

    Updated to ver 301 (latest at the time of this). I used the Esayflash in the BIOS itself with the bin file on a USB.

    OS Installation

    When installing from the USB do a suspend and resume and it will fix the wireless hard-blocked issue until reboot so you can connect to a wireless if you do not have a USB to RJ45 converter. More on the fix later.

    I performed a normal default installation with included updates and additional drivers and apps, etc, but did not disable the secure boot - default BIOS settings. If you are dual booting you will have to use GParted and shrink a partition, most likely the largest, to make one for Ubuntu. I replaced the 1TB with a SSD for a stand alone install.

    When finished I used software update to see if there were any other updates. I also installed gksu for gedit and config edits for the following steps.

    Wireless incorrectly identified as hard-blocked *

    Create and edit file with command:
    gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/asus_nb_wmi.conf

    Place the following file contents:

    # begin file contents
    options asus_nb_wmi wapf=4
    # end file contents

    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2181558 is the article

    After a reboot the wireless connection will persist but with any hibernate, or suspend and resume, it will result with no wifi networks being listed for the wireless in the panel and a hard link icon will replace the standard wifi but this is nothing as far as I am concerned. I am assuming this will be fixed in Ubuntu at some point - affects multiple versions.

    ** UPDATE: it appears the behavior of the wifi list and missing icon does not persist in .1 version.

    Function keys require GRUB edit

    Modify GRUB using command:
    gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

    change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
    to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi="

    Update the GRUB with command:
    sudo update-grub
    Then Reboot

    This will take care of all function keys except the events for the brightness keys...

    ** These do not appear to be required in .1, except for the flight mode fn + F2 key enable disable.

    Brightness keys

    Create a config file using command:
    gksudo gedit /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

    Place the following file contents:

    # begin file contents
    Section "Device"
    Identifier "card0"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight"
    BusID "PCI:0:2:0"
    EndSection
    # end file contents:

    Touchpad

    The touch pad can be adjusted using the command line; easy tool but extensive options here.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SynapticsTouchpad

    I find myself touching it while I am typing in Ubuntu but in Manjaro you can install the synaptic driver and you will have disable while typing.

    In Ubuntu, but not in Manjaro, after a suspend resume it will be deactivated for about 10 seconds; I am assuming the mod above may require an additional conf tweak for what happens post suspend. I don't think this is a notebook issue but an Ubuntu issue as has been reported in various forums.

    ** Update: touchpad still a bit buggy. If booting with a power cable plugged in it may not work but suspend resume and all subsequent reboots will work until cold booting again with the cable - not a big deal at all. Using a BT mouse always works.


    Headphones

    I used pavucontrol to activate the headphones.
    sudo apt-get install pavucontrol
    Then run pavucontrol from the command or hit the super key and enter pav and "Pulse Audio Volume" should show up. Select the output device for headphones and even though it says "unpluged" is will work. Just does not automatically happen. There should be a way to get the commands being used from the GUI and apply them to shortcut keys.

    Additional Drivers

    Enabled processor microcode: done by default in .1

    ** NVIDIA **

    With the regular install it added NVIDIA dirvers ver 361 but I don't think it's working. I don’t play games or do anything graphic intensive and power consumption is more a concern so the NVidia driver is a last priority.

    On prior notebooks and towers I just had to purge and install, and at worse edit xorg , but nothing like this. Eternal login loops, black screen, 100% CPU, and TTY issues should let you know it may not be possible to get it working until further updates from Ubuntu or NVIDIA. I will wait and hope someone else can provide the exact steps for this SPECIFIC book to be added here for others to know. Thanks in advance.

    Tip: rather than mess around with a good install make another partition for another installation so you can mess around with mods till you get it right and then port over to a good installation.

    ** Update: In .1 I have not seen any change with respect to video but I am not using anything to require the card. I may try some utility to see if things work as expected.

    Intel Graphics Update Tool

    I installed the Intel graphics update tool to run the update and see if it would cause any problems and I don't notice anything.

    https://01.org/linuxgraphics/downloads/intel-graphics-update-tool-linux-os-v2.0.2

    And if you do execute the following command to prevent a certificate error when running sudo apt-get update, as the certificate is not signed. Note you will get a warning but that's it.

    sudo wget --no-check-certificate https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg-4 -O - | sudo apt-key add -

    Syslog PCIe error

    Noticed a lot of PCIe errors and confirmed this was a bug but required a GRUB entry.

    Modify GRUB using command:
    gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi= pci=noaer"

    Update the GRUB with command:
    sudo update-grub
    Then Reboot

    ** Update: In .1 this also happens again.

    Summary

    At this point I have a working Ubuntu 16.04 notebook with all function keys, a great display, good keyboard, and about 5-6 hours battery. Been looking a while and once tried a N240JU Clevo that does not have the build like this.

    ** Update: In .1 the only issues are the fn+F2 flight mode key if no grub mods are used.

    I have both Ubuntu and Manjaro installed and am trying to use Manjaro, which works really well, until I experience a deal breaker.

    Thanks to all those who make posts and provide tweaks and comments. I hope this helps at least one person setting up Ubuntu 16.04 on this book.

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    chaugab likes this.
  2. chaugab

    chaugab Newbie

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    Thank you for this tuto but did you upgrade to 16.10 since your installation? Me yes and brightness control don't properly anymore. I only have the two highest levels and when I try to reduce lite, the screen flickers
     
  3. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Sorry for the delay - have not looked at this in a while. I have tried 16.10.1 but it was not stable at the time - you don't have to install 16.10, just update the kernel - I will keep trying stuff. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has been solid applying the above.

    Are you using XFCE by chance? If so I am working on that right now as I only have the top two brightness settings. It's a parameter issue I assume.

    There are a couple ways you can control brightness like from the command line and various utilities that you can install (google). The command I know that works.

    xbacklight -set N

    where N is a number between 0 and 100.

    Note: Manjero XFCE worked well with the wifi, function, and brightness settings tweaks above. I hope to find a solution this weekend; will post back my findings.

    Thanks,

    TMAR
     
  4. chaugab

    chaugab Newbie

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    First I was in Ubuntu studio with XFCE but I recently changed for elementary os. I still have brightness problems but I installed xbacklight and I created a shortcut with super + f5 and super +f6 with commands xbacklight -inc 5 and xbacklight -dec 5. So I can control backlight but still not with fn keys
     
  5. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello again, Good to hear.

    Update *** The headphone jack works but it always says disabled. This must be from a missing event hook to trigger the status for the gui. As long as it working I am fine.

    Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  6. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Another update:

    I have been messing around between Manjaro and Ubuntu; here are more comments on each with this book.

    With Ubuntu I sometimes experience a bug where the cursor is not present from a cold boot. Suspend/Resume solves this.
    With Manjaro I see the cursor, it just does not move. Moving the mouse during the login in manjaro is a fix there, or Suspen/Resume.

    With Ubuntu I sometimes experience a delay in shutdown.
    With Manjaro I experienced a lock up on boot immediately after the swap was initialised.

    With Ubuntu there is no disable touchpad while typing feature - may have to change driver or special configuration.
    With Manjaro the trackpad enable disable function key (fn F9 in this case) do not work.

    If I get more time to try different things, I will add more comments.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  7. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yet another update.

    4.10.1 kernel appears to have fixed the need for grub entries and the brightness entries above in Manjaro; only mod required for Manjaro is the wireless block update.

    This also appears to prevent the random boot crash from the video card periodically. Ubuntu never had this issue.

    I assume the 4.10.1 kernel holds for Ubuntu as well but I can't be 100%. Might get to that some day and report back.

    Thanks
     
  8. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Latest update:

    No mods to grub, nor any file fixes, for kernel 4.10.17-2. and Manajro XFCE

    The touchpad tap to click has the problem of not having disable while you type work well - I just can't help but trigger a mouse jump. Forcing to use the buttons eliminates that and I must admit I prefer it now unless there is a real fix.

    Synaptic driver is not installed by default, and if you install it you will want the pci=noaer entry noted above as suspend will freeze the touchpad, but I am not sure that is a proper fix.

    One function key not working is the touchpad lock (F9).

    Manjaro appears to be working well but I am curious what Canonical switch will do to GNOME and it's overall improvements. Manjaro GNOME on this book works fine but there is sometimes a hang when shutting down.

    Thanks,
     
  9. tmar

    tmar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Another update for screen tearing and intel driver. Never really bothered me but I wanted to resolve it for the Intel driver so after some searching around with the following I believe it is fixed as I don't notice it anymore. With Intel Driver in Manjaro - guess it would be the same thing in Ubuntu or any other distro with intel.

    # /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Intel Graphics"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "TearFree" "true"
    EndSection

    Thanks
     
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