Slaeshjag.org

Slaeshjag's place in the tubes

Home Projects Links/Friends About/Contact

Linux on the Asus Vivobook S200 (x202e)

I bought a laptop that launched with Windows 8. As it turns out, it was entierly possible to run Debian Stable on it instead.

1 Linux runs great

I am a Debian user. And getting a Windows 8 launch machine to run Debian/DWM on it felt a bit backwards. I can however say that so far, everything but the touchcreen and wired ethernet seems to work fine. The touchscreen controller in the Vivobook S200 (x202e) is an Atmel maXTouch mxt3432S. It is detected by the kernel and given a hiddev devce. There just doen't seem to be a driver there tht knows what to do with it. The Ethernet chip is an "Atheros AR8162". Might need a driver, might need a firmware. I haven't looked into this.

Okay, the display brightness buttons on the keyboard needs to be handled by software, and I haven't figured out how yet. That was easy enough to hack around though, since xbacklight can adjust the levels just fine. And I mush admit, I haven't tried bluetooth. But the device is detected fine and the kernel requests a patch-file. So it should work after installing it. I'll update this post when I try it.

Graphics is integrated into the CPU. And being an Intel one, I got working OpenGL acceleration out of the box, with the opensource drivers.

Oh, and sleep mode works without me having to do anything. Which is great.

2 Making it boot

Something that's a bit sad about it, but as it is a Windows 8 laptop, expected, is that it comes with Secure Boot enabled. And this will in fact prevent you from booting any other systems. Disabling Secure Boot was easy though, just set "Secure Boot Control" under "Security" to disabled, and you're good to go.

To install an operating system, you probably don't have a disk image with EFI boot handy. To enable legacy boot support, enable "Launch CSM" under boot. You only need this until you've installed your system, unless your distro of choise can't install EFI, you might need to leave it on. Debian Wheezy's installer detected EFI fine.

I would say it is fully usable with Linux, requiring only a few minor tweaks.


Comments belong to their respective owners. By posting a comment, you agree and give the right for slaeshjag.org to publish or reject it.

Comments for Linux on the Asus Vivobook S200 (x202e)

  • Jhhhj

    So, not compatible!

    No touchscreen? No lan?

    • Slaeshjag

      A lot has happened in 4½ years. Both touchscreen and LAN work fine for me on Debian stable (jessie) now.

  • dgrb

    I'm currently tearing my hair out trying to get linux mint 15 to boot from the hard drive on my new vivobook 202. Booting from USB was no problem, once I'd turned off secure boot. The install went fine, but then... First time: I left the original efi partition in place and it insisted on trying to boot windows 8, which I have removed, so it wanted to repair it. So then I tried the install again, this time removing the efi partition. The installer told me I needed one, so I created one. Then everything apparently went OK, but when I try to boot I get to the BIOS screen and the boot tab has no bootloaders configured. Does anyone know what is going on here? Clearly the install is aware of efi, but doesn't seem to set things up properly. This is seriously frustrating, as everything worked from the USB, including wireless and the touchscreen. Now, if I could only actually BOOT the thing properly. Any help gratefully received and greatly appreciated.

    • dgrb

      Solved! Well almost. It's what we used to call a "workaround" back when I was doing tech suppoer about 35 years ago... Booted into the live system, install Boot-Repair (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair) let it do its thing and - viola! Which does leave my slightly dubious about my next install...and why this happened in the first place, as I evidently had the BOIS/EFI setting correct. Ah well, touch screen works, ditto wireless both out of the box.

    • Slaeshjag

      There seems to be some issues with Linux Mint 15 and UEFI boot. The release notes suggest configuring it manually. See http://linuxmint.com/rel_olivia.php

      • dgrb

        Thanks for the link. I had already seen that and ignored it, as it seemed to apply only if you were installing inside virtualbox, which I wasn't. Anway, as I said, Boot-Repair is evidently my friend.

  • tf

    I was finally able to get this worked out by simply installing grub-2 (without EFI). I don't know why it works.

  • Stef

    I had some issues with high temperatures. Idle 48-52 degr C and up to 82 with high CPU load. I bought a thermal pad (for Playstation 3) and used it to attach a 42x42mm copper shim pad (1.2mm thick - also for a Playstation). This only just fits in but now my idle temps are 44 and under load about 75.

  • Dany

    hi, how did you make the touchpad work properly in debian? i mean, scrolling with two fingers wont work, i think it needs some proprietary driver but cant find anything about it do you have any advice? thx for help

  • Stef

    Thanks for the info guys. Based on this I recently bought a x202e and installed Debian Wheezy. I can confirm that with the latest bios update from Asus, hotkeys for brightness & volume work. Ethernet (AR8162) worked 'out of the box'. My only problems is if there is any way to get the touch screen to work?

    • Slaeshjag

      Touch screen doesn't work for me in wheezy, but it does on Ubuntu 12.10. I'd assume support for it will come in the next release of Debian

      • Stef

        The 3.2 kernel seems to support everything except the touch screen. I compiled a 3.9 kernel and that does have an Atmel maxTouch driver. But: the wired ethernet stopped working & the brightness up/down is not working. For wired ethernet, have a look at this to get the alx driver: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/networking/alx I have not been able to get the screen brightness buttons to work with a 3.9 kernel on Wheezy.

  • Peter

    Hi guys.. I upgraded the BIOS, and now I managed to get it to do dual boot with UEIF by following the ubuntu instructions, without and problems.. Before, it was not possible to do a UEIF install.. Now also the brightnes keys work very well.. I still have very poor wifi reception though.. and it seems to be a linux driver issue that I doubt will be fixed in the near future...

  • Wes

    Nobody has come out with a fix for the screen brightness or wifi button. Though, volume can be controled through XF86 Asus vol buttons. I was also able to get the skype and webcam buttons working and linked to Skype and Cheese. Other than this, multi-touch would work, but this is a GNU/Linux limitation, not a driver limitation. There are no good multitouch optimized interfaces for any distros, this should change eventually, as the number of multitouch devices has skyrocketed. As far as the brightness and wifi button are concerned, this is a driver issue, no driver for the x202e keyboard has yet to be written, as Asus insist on keeping its drivers fr this laptop closed source, and fixed to only work for Windows, specifically 6.2.

  • gabriel

    thanks for this report. it made me decide to buy this same model. i'm dumping more information here: http://www.linlap.com/asus_s202e

  • mickeg77

    Hi all, I have a problem with my X202E. I installed ubuntu from an usb drive and it worked fine. but after a reboot all I get is a black screen (no bios post or nothing). Please help, it would mean the world to me! //Micke

  • Peter

    Hi, Do you guys have problems with the wifi reception being very low? I managed to get ubuntu installed as dual boot after two days of trying.. but now my only problem is that the wifi signal is very low and drops out quite often.. When I boot windows the wifi signal is fine..

    • Jimmy

      Hi Peter, I put Xubuntu onto a VivoBook S400CA. And the wifi signal strength on that looks really low (about 3 bars for my home network).

    • felix

      Peter, you got dual boot working? Can you please give us a step by step method? I am kinda stuck here ;-)

      • felix

        hi all, you can find lots of info on the ubuntu site: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI only 12.10 64 bit will work with the laptop, earlier is not compatible with uefi. What you need to know: you can only access the bios after booting into win8, login as administrator (default), swipe into your screen from the right. This opens a menubar, choose the "change settings" below. Goto "general", and "advanced" and then choose "change uefi settings". then you can restart the machine (insert the usb stick with ubuntu 12.10 64 bit . Disable in the bios the "secure boot" and change boot order by selecting the first and change to usb (usb will show up when booting into bios with usb stick inserted). My x202e had two partitions that I didn't need: data 250GB and demo (hidden of 32 GB). I deleted these from windows 8, this will hopefully prevent any "auto-repairing damage" and erasing my brand new ubuntu. enjoy!

    • Slaeshjag

      Nope, signal strength seems fine to me. What WiFi card did yours ship with?

      • Peter

        lspci shows Atheros Communications Inc. AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01) I get really low signal strength and get droped off the network all the time..

        • Slaeshjag

          Hm, that's the same model number as I get. Really strange then, signal strength seems normal to me :o

  • niky

    thanks for the csm tip. i have bought one of these a few days ago, and have been trying to get debian into it. So the installer loaded grub, but that was all. i hope that with csm it loads everything ok. THANKS!!

    • Slaeshjag

      If you're installing debian, I strongly recommend installing Debian Wheezy. Hardware support is *much* better in Wheezy than it is in Squeeze.

  • Frank

    Oh, and by the way, the touch screen does work somewhat in 12.10. I can move and resize windows, select menu options, block text. I haven't checked all the functions.

  • Frank

    I just bought one. I successfully booted Kubuntu 12.04 from a USB flash drive. I successfully installed Kubuntu 12.04 on the hard disk in a dual-boot setup with Launch CSM disabled. However, when I reboot from the hard drive, only Windows comes up. In the BIOS, Secure boot is disabled. Launch CSM was originally re-enabled. I tried booting from the hard disk again with Launch CSM disabled this morning. Windows update appeared. It may be removing my Linux install as I type this. FWIW, in the boot options, when I plugged the flash drive in, it was seen as a boot option, and would boot from that. When it is removed, the only boot option is the Windows Boot Manager. It would appear that there is a way to enter another boot option, but I don't know how to set it up. In the "Save and Exit" screen there is a setting on Boot Override which again specifies the Windows Boot Manager. I am unable to turn this setting off, near as I can tell. So, basically, what did you do to make it boot Linux from the hard disk? The BIOS in this machine is AMI 2.15.1226. I have screenshots of various parts of the BIOS that I can send. Thanks for anything you can share with me. I like the machine, and I want to keep it, but it has to boot Linux.

    Frank.

    • Slaeshjag

      I didn't really do much. I installed Debian Wheezy, and the installer detected EFI by itself. The boot options in BIOS is for EFI boot only. When the installer installed grub-efi, debian showed up automatically as a boot option. You should try installing the newest release of Kubuntu, maybe it has EFI boot support? Also, use guided partitioning to make sure that the EFI boot partition is set up correctly.

      • Frank

        OK, I'll try 12.10 and see. However, AFAIK, 12.04 supports EFI as well. What specific model do you have, and what BIOS is in it? Mine is X202E-DH31T with AMI BIOS 2.15.1226. Does your BIOS show a Boot Override selection in the "Save and Exit" page? I'm not sure what that means, but the Windows Boot Manager is selected, and I can't see a way to turn it off. I installed to the hard disk with Secure boot off, and "Lauch CSM" enabled. Is this what you did as well? Much thanks for the help.

        Frank.

        • Slaeshjag

          I installed to a new disk, so I don't have dual boot. I don't know if I have that option in my BIOS, and I don't really want to turn my laptop off at this time. I remember reading something on the net about different BIOS versions, and that the number ends with a 3-digit number. In my case "204". When you install, make sure it created an EFI boot partition (or uses the one windows should have created.) I have not tried to dual-boot EFI and non-EFI systems (or any dual-boot what so ever,) so I'm afraid I can't give you any answers there.

          • Frank

            OK, I'll try 12.10 and see. However, AFAIK, 12.04 supports EFI as well. What specific model do you have, and what BIOS is in it? Mine is X202E-DH31T with AMI BIOS 2.15.1226. Does your BIOS show a Boot Override selection in the "Save and Exit" page? I'm not sure what that means, but the Windows Boot Manager is selected, and I can't see a way to turn it off. I installed to the hard disk with Secure boot off, and "Lauch CSM" enabled. Is this what you did as well? Much thanks for the help.

            Frank.

            • Paco268

              Frank I'm facing similar problem with X202e running W8. My finding is that when post bios pops up press esc key then choose your boot device. This is caused by Bios that doesnt keep the setting order you set...thanks to W8 uefi framework overwritting it i guess. BTW Can someone confirm that CSM disable means setting "legacy boot"?

              Paco

              • Frank

                Correction. It does resume if you close the lid, then open it again. However, the volume and brightness hotkeys do not work. Volume can be adjusted with the volume slider in KDE. Screen brightness can be adjusted with xbacklight, which is available in the Kubuntu repository. These are both workarounds until a solution that fixes the hotkeys is found.

              • Frank

                I have Kubuntu 12.10 64 bit installed and running on the laptop, and am using it now to post this. AFAIK, it is not necessary to change CSM setting. Just disable secure boot, and the installation will take place -- if you use a new drive. I read somewhere that there is an issue trying to make Linux share the EFI drive that Win8 is on. It supposedly can be done, but I'm not sure of the details. If you want to avoid any hassle, change the drive. The SSD really speeds this little unit up anyway. I bought and installed a Samsung 256GB 840 series slimline drive. Must be a 7 mm thick drive, as the more common 9 mm will not fit. Once I had the new drive in, installation went normally with no problems. Volume hot keys do not work, but can be set with system tray software slider. Brightness hotkeys do not work. Haven't found a way around that yet. Shutdown only goes to suspend to RAM. I have to hold down the power key to force the unit to quit. Closing lid and opening again does not resume. The machine is functional in Linux, and I like it much better than the Acer S3 that I tried first, and which had its own issues with Linux.

                Frank.