[clug] new install issues... well if there weren't any it wouldn't be Linux, right?

Chris B the.gredil at gmail.com
Wed Jan 11 15:09:13 MST 2012

Hi Jim,
I was away for a few months end of last year and have just been wandering
through old clug post catching up when I saw this. Yes, I am bored. I
recently had a very similar experience with a VAIO and Fedora 16 which I
thought I'd share. Better late than never right? It's interesting to know
that it doesn't matter what hardware or distro, there's always some little

As far as the tips, tricks, workarounds go I haven't really got that far
yet. I'll let you know if I get the 2nd video card working. There is also a
64 bit Skype (stop throwing things at me freedom police) workaround at the
bottom of the webpage.

Words with pictures here:

Just words:
I'll just jump to straight into how things went with the VAIO as Fedora
actually hasn't changed a great deal since 15. For a re-cap check out the
review here.

Firstly, unlike my previous Sony laptop the Webcam worked out-of-the-box
which was a welcome surprise. Unfortunately though, the SD card slot in the
laptop did not work (which did in my previous laptop, weird). Luckily I
usually use the USB connection anyway but it would be a nice-to-have.

The most important thing to note is that hot-switching the dock in/out does
not work and will crash the system. You need to power down (why is there
still no button in the main menu for that?!) completely before yanking the
dock cable out, plugging it in or pressing the blue button.

The hardest thing to adapt to was the trackpad. It is wild. The problem is
I can't remember what it was like in Windows so I'm not sure if it's
normal. For some reason when running under Linux, click and drag is done
with one finger in the bottom left hand corner of the pad. Clicking and
dragging with two fingers sends it into spasms. To right click you place
one finger on the trackpad and left click. So you need two fingers to right
click. Why? I have no idea, that's just the way it works. Again, I almost
always use a Bluetooth mouse so not really an issue, just takes some
adjusting to get used to it.

This leads me on to Bluetooth and Wireless. Both are working perfectly
without tweaking unlike 15. Bug fixed.

The Z series VAIO comes with an external dock for when you need a little
more grunt. It houses an optical drive, network point, second video card
and some extra ports. All this worked fine except for the addition video
card. If I want to go big screen(s) I have to use the HDMI and/or VGA ports
in the laptop. This was a big disappointment. I suspect that with some
proprietary ATI drivers we may have some success but, again, it's a
nice-to-have that's a little further down the to-do list.

The other big disappointment which I really did want to use was the
fingerprint reader that's built in to the laptop. I know Fedora supports
fingerprint readers but this one is not natively recognised.

That's the built in toys covered, now for the experience. When it comes to
actually using the system it is simply stunning. It laughed at everything I
threw at it. Watching media, editing photos, churning md5sums, 3D
rendering, nothing could slow it down. The i7 processor, 8GB RAM and RAID
solid state hard drives just ate it all up. I love it. This is the best way
possible to enjoy Fedora. Suspend/resume, hibernate, keyboard media
controls all worked without problems. It's very hard to get an accurate
measure of power consumption but so far, no complaints. I think it claims 5
hours on the tin (like I said, I never actually used Windows on it) and
depending on the task I get at least 3.5 to 4.5 hours out of it before it
starts complaining. That's with me forgetting to turn the screen brightness
down. Oh yes, you have to adjust the screen brightness manually in Fedora.

All in all I give it 7.5/10. It loses one each for the video and
fingerprint support and and half for the crazy trackpad. The raw power
makes up for it though.

The Good
 - The speed, the power
 - Webcam support
 - Networking and Bluetooth supported
 - Reasonable power consumption
 - Power management (sleeping, brightness controls) supported

The Bad
 - No fingerprint reader natively
 - No video support for the HDMI in the dock
 - No SD card reader
 - Freaky trackpad
 - Hot-switching the dock in/out does not work - in fact, it will crash
your system


On 24 November 2011 12:45, Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com> wrote:

> Just aquired a new Asus Zenbook UX31 with the 4Gb brushed i7 13 inch
> aluminium SSD thingy stuff... Well, it sounded impressive when the
> salesman said it...
> Overwrote the resident proprietary OS whose name I can't remember with
> the current Ubuntu Linux wotzit with the 64 bits of something... as
> one does...
> The install worked like a charm, smoothly and quickly... BUT... as
> always, there were one or two things that 'did not quite work' (tm)...
> What is it with Linux that there is ALWAYS a bit of hardware that the
> OS does not know about?
> In this case, the resume from sleep after closing the screen did not
> work (well I think it actually did, but the screen stayed blank), the
> USB to network connection dongle didn't, and the trackpad lost it
> multitouchyscrollingness that it exhibited in the other OS.
> To cut a not so long story short, with some advice and assistance,
> installed a couple of startup scripts, upgraded the kernel from 3.0 to
> 3.1, and now the sleep/resume works, the wired network works (but I
> will probably never use it) and I have a very nice aluminium sliver to
> piss off the Apple fanbois ("It's an Air rip-off - why didn't you just
> buy the real thing, it's better, it's actually BSD... blah. blah
> blah...")
> Still to go, the multitouchyscrollingness still needs attention, and
> we think the power conservation management could proably to tweaked a
> bit.
> In summary I am very pleased with this configuration so far. It is
> fast and generally feels good. If anyone has been playing with this
> (or similar) hardware, we would be interested in hearing of any
> tips/tricks/workarounds you have come up with.
> jim
> --
> _________________
> Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~ http://about.me/jrc
> 'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point
> of doubtful sanity.'
>  - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)
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