June 14, 2008

Status of Linux on the Asus U6S

Filed under: Hardware, UNIX & Linux — Tags: , , — martin @ 7:26 am

Here’s the first report about the installation of Linux (Ubuntu “Hardy Heron” 8.04) on my new Asus U6/U6S, which seems to be identical with the Asus U6SG, without the 3G/UMTS Modem:

Working perfectly out of the box:

  • Installation (Alternate install with full disk encryption)
  • Graphics after Installation of the Nvidia driver from Ubuntu (Update, 2008/06/15: Dual-Screen magic works as well.)
  • Ethernet
  • Wireless LAN with WPA
  • Sound
  • Touchpad incl. Scrolling
  • Fn-Keys for Brightness, Volume, Play, Pause, Skip
  • USB
  • Bluetooth (basic browsing for devices)

Tried and not yet working:

  • Wake-up from stand-by seems to be globally broken in Ubuntu at this time
  • Bluetooth mouse, even after manual intervention
  • Camera image is upside-down, due to the Linux UVC driver not supporting the vflip Option. (Updated 2008/06/15) (Solved! – 2008/07/08)
  • SD-Card reader doesn’t show up as mass storage in the output from lsusb and doesn’t work. (Updated 2008/06/28.)

Not tried:

Slightly flawed:

  • Interaction with the WLAN/bluetooth “switch” on the left side of the case seems to be erratic.
  • Ocassionally hangs in initrd stage, complaining about failed initialization of some USB device. Could be related to the WLAN-bluetooth switch. (Update, 2008/06/15: Re-installed with only /home encrypted, to reduce the potential impact of problems during initrd.) (Update, 2008/06/26: Unplugging the mouse usually makes the boot process proceed.)

Solved issues:

  • I seem to notice occasional situations where the display goes to full brightness when it should remain dimmed. (Update 2008/06/26: Resolved by unchecking the brightness options in Gnome’s power management control.)
  • Webcam. See above.

So far, this is the most complete Linux support I’ve seen in a laptop. All neccessary features are working flawlessly. The one flaw I dislike the most is the missing Standby/Resume functionality.


  1. Yes, it works fine. And if you could provide me with details about:
    1. the built in camera _not_ upside down
    2. the built in fingerprint reader
    3. the built in TPM implementation
    I woud sure aprechiate it


    Comment by G. — June 14, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  2. i’m also keenly interested in this topic as i have been running linux on an old L4000H and it’s time to buy a new notebook – another ASUS of course. we can get any configuration we want because we live in Taiwan.

    Comment by MJ Klein — June 26, 2008 @ 5:20 am

  3. It is a very good laptop,
    but did you get the SD reader card working in linux ?


    Comment by Nicolas — June 27, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

  4. The hdmi is working like a charm with nvidia-setting tools.

    Comment by Nicolas — June 27, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  5. Nicolas: No, the SD-card reader is not working. Which is not that much of an issue for me personally because my Camera uses Compact Flash and I therefore always have an external card reader with me.

    Comment by martin — June 28, 2008 @ 7:42 am

  6. uh-oh! i just bought a new M70S and it’s going back to the store tomorrow! nothing works with Hardy64. no wifi, sound, webcam, fingerprint scanner, but that’s not what worries me so much. apps like Kino aren’t functioning properly, and neither is Digikam. what a waste!

    Comment by MJ Klein — July 2, 2008 @ 8:03 am

  7. I have been running my u6s with ubuntu for awhile and have noticed the same issues. But I’m still happy with it. I upgraded to the server kernel to pass the 4GB barrier. I’m wondering if you still have the slot for a sim card, and can a 3g modem be added. I never checked for the modem, I just assumed I had it, now I will have to investigate

    Comment by kuyote — July 2, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  8. kuyote: Yes, the SIM slot is there and I also read elsewhere that there’s a vacant slot inside the machine for a 3G modem. Also, I know that “G.” from comment #1 has requested a quote for the 3G modem from his PC trader, but doesn’t seem to have received it yet.

    MJ Klein: You will encounter the same problems with every other machine. Just install 32 bit Linux and everything will be fine. As long as you don’t need the additional RAM, there’s no reason to go 64 bit at all.

    Comment by martin — July 2, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

  9. […] (the first one, patch_solution1_mirrored.txt) against the stock uvcvideo driver fixes the upside-down issue with the U6S built-in webcam on […]

    Pingback by Asus U6S/U6SG webcam orientation fix on Linux « #!/bin/blog — July 8, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  10. The fingerprint reader btw. is peanuts in Ubuntu (Debian etc.):
    1. as root edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add:
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/madman2k/ubuntu hardy main restricted universe multiverse
    2. apt-get install fprint-demo libpam-fprint
    3. as the user: fprint-demo and swipe your fingers as requested
    4. as root edit /etc/pam.d/common-auth and add
    auth sufficient pam_fprint.so
    auth required pam_unix.so nullok_secure
    5. reboot and log in with your fingertips


    Comment by G. — August 1, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

  11. My experience with this notebook, compared to what this page says, on Gentoo and most recent kernel (2.6.28)

    – SD card reader works, but it acts as a “SCSI removable storage”
    … Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:0158 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
    The drive /dev/sdb is permanently attached, but acts like empty when there is no card in the slot. When i plug one in, it detects partitions and starts working normally

    – Hotkeys seem a bit problematic. Turning brightness up/down does not work at all, however, i’m using asus_laptop, that creates a device deep in /sys/ which correctly sets the brightness, so this is a hotkey problem only. Also, when waking up from standby, the backlight is always off, regardless of what it was before standby. When i want to turn backlight back on, i have to first disable it (doing nothing) and then enable it with the hotkey, ie. press fn+f7 twice.

    All in all, great linux support for this notebook.

    Comment by Rain — January 1, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

  12. I just got a U6 Bamboo (!). Hibernate didn’t seem to work until I turned on the nvidia restricted driver. Suspend worked after I made the POST_VIDEO=false change described at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=5162564. (I didn’t have to make any other changes.)

    Comment by Joshua Tauberer — January 21, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

  13. /me just migrated from 8.04 to 8.10 – I needed the support of sierra which came with kernel 2.6.27, so that’s why I ugraded.
    Upgrade itself went smoothly (as usual in Ubuntu…) but for one little problem: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/156496 – I was stupid enough to upgrade the firmware and I had to get the original drivers for the LAN card from http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=13&PFid=5&Level=5&Conn=4&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false

    Now I am a happy user with working:
    – Sound (yuss! Peanuts in Linux -> pointing to Martin!)
    – Nvidia graphics
    – WLAN
    – LAN
    – UMTS (modprobe sierra)


    Comment by G. — February 21, 2009 @ 11:30 am

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