I got Asus N53J laptop from my employer, and I want to share experience about setting various small things up in Linux.
1. Installation - what could possibly go wrong with intact CPU, RAM and HDD? OK, working screen, DVD-RW drive and keyboard were useful, too.
A catch here is that sometimes Linux believes BIOS about recommended HDD power saving mode, which leads to frequent spindowns and, eventually, HDD failure.
hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda
smartctl -A /dev/sda
output contains line like
193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 092 092 000 Old_age Always - 16404
The last number should grow by one per reboot, and if it grows more than by one per hour, you should probably take measures.
03:00.0 Network controller : Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:002b] (rev 01)
- WiFi, ath9k driver
06:00.0 Ethernet controller : Atheros Communications AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet [1969:1063] (rev c0)
- wired Ethernet, atl1c driver
This notebook has a nice 1920x1080 screen. It also has dual video card - something integrated and less power hungry from Intel and Nvidia GeForce for providing better performance when needed. I only use Intel - I find 10 FPS as the lowest value for Menger Sponge screensaver with 300+K polygons (4th level) acceptable, and TORCS and Extreme TuxRacer work fine with Intel card. So I need to configure Intel card and switch off power to Nvidia one.
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller : Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0046] (rev 18)
i915 module handles both framebuffer and X11, thanks to Kernel Mode Setting (KMS). High resolution makes some larger console font, like iso01-12x22 desirable (using setfont). Of course, when I want full UTF-8 output in the framebuffer console along with configurable TrueType/OpenType font I use fbterm. MPlayer in framebuffer and "links -g" work fine, too; sometimes you may need to check that /dev/fb0 and /dev/tty1 are accessible to current user. XRandR works without any effort for VGA output.
For turning off Nvidia power, I use acpi_call module from https://github.com/mkottman/acpi_call
. \_SB.PCI0.PEG1.GFX0.DOFF method from the test script works; notice that \_SB.PCI0.PEG1.GFX0._OFF reports success but power is still drawn.
00:1b.0 Audio device : Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio [8086:3b56] (rev 06)
It may be that only headphones work (no sound from the speaker). To fix that, execute the following on boot:
rmmod snd-hda-intel; modprobe snd-hda-intel model=auto position_fix=0
xf86-input-synaptics driver works.
(or equivalent settings in xorg.conf) is recommended - default settings are for smaller resolution.
6. USB 3.0
xhci-hcd driver reports success and lsusb reports USB 3.0 controller afterwards. If only I had a USB 3.0 device to test.
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