Linux on laptop: Fedora 16 on Asus A54C

 Install Fedora 16 on an ASUS A54C notebook

Build-In hardware overview

Hardware overview taken from manufacturers description or Windows 7 hardware info (this one in „“):
Vendor: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Model: A54C-SO325V, version K54C
Display: 15″ NON-GLARE, resolution 1366×768, LED-Backlight
Battery: The battery is quite tall. I don’t know the capacity but my Dell Latitude E4300 has a bigger battery and I knew this is a 6-cell battery.
CPU: Intel B940 (2 x 2,0 Ghz)
RAM: 4 GB / 1333 MHz
Mainboard chipset: „Systemdevices“: „Intel(R) HM65 Express Chipset Family LPC Interface Controller – 1C49“ + „Intel(R) 82802 Firmwarehub“
Graphic chipset: „Intel(R) HD Graphics Family“
Sound: „Audio-, Video- und Gamecontroller“: „Intel(R) Display-Audio“ + „Realtek High Definition Audio“, on the case is „ALTEC Lansing“
USB: USB 3.0 is available says the sticker on the notebook. The left hand USB port has a blue plastic part inside, the right hand port a black one. Left port = USB 3.0 and right port = USB 2.0? Windows 7 tells: „USB-Controller“: „Intel(R) 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller – 1C26“
Ethernet adapter: „Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20)“
WLAN: „Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter“
Hdd: Windows 7 tells only the Device Model thus here is more info by Linux/GSmartControl: Model Family = Seagate Momentus 5400.6, Device Model = ST9320325AS (same as Windows 7 tells), capacity 320 GB
DVD-RW drive: „TSSTcorp CDDVDW SN-208BB“
SD-Card drive: I don’t know.
Mouse: „Synaptics PS/2 Port TouchPad“
Webcam: „ASUS USB2.0 WebCam“
OS: sold with pre-installed Windows 7
Price: 379 EURO (Germany April 2012)
Additional hardware tested here:
 – usb surf stick (usb device for UMTS connection): „XS Stick (r) W14 / http://www.4g-systems.com“ (there is „klarmobil.de“ printed on it)

Notebook

This machine is not made for shining but for working. I use it mainly for developing and office. It has a NON-GLARE display. Even the case and the frame around the display are „non-glare“. The display provides a bright, sharp picture and text is good to read even if some sunlight is shining on it. Usually I turn down brightness. The case is made of black plastic with a surface which comes with a texture so that it is not smooth („it has grip“). The case is stable. Touch pad buttons are of black plastic (also not smooth) which make an audible click sound when hitting it. This sound could annoying people around you. Mouse clicks can be – with Fedora 16 – send only by this buttons. Think twice before using it in the „Ruhebereich“ at Deutsche Bahn :-) The fan is audible when I use the nootebook in silent room but not when there is other noise e.g. in a office. The keys on keyboard has some space between – good for typing. „Delete“ key is above backspace key and „End“ (go to end of line) key is in the upper right corner. The arrow keys (move up-down-right-left) are far away from page-up and page-down.
Size: The size of screen and case is suitable for work in the ICE-trains of Deutsche Bahn (= German Railways).

Operation System

First i installed and run the pre-installed OS to see if all components are working. Everything was fine. Windows 7 (without additional software) runs fast und boots quickly. Then I tried a Fedora 16 live system because an article in the press (c’t 2011, Heft 20, Thorsten Leemhuis: „Arbeitspinguine“ used Fedora and Ubuntu to test some laptops and found that Fedora has better results). It worked fine especially the x-Window system worked fine. The whole screen was used to display. Then I installed Debian testing snapshot (dated by Debian to be of 2012-04-23). I toggled the XFCE desktop to install and the „expert mode“. After install the system booted only into text login. Command „startx“ seems to lock the termial but no X-Windows system appeared. (Did I make a mistake during install?) I logged in on another terminal and shut the system down. The I rebooted Fedora 16 live demo again. It worked fine and due lack of time to try other options I installed it. After installing I found all the hardware listed above working perfectly even webcam and microphone.

Build-In hardware test

Function keys like making screen brighter/darker, sound louder/quieter, switch wireless network devices on/off: works.
Touch pad: Scrolling by moving the finger on right border doesnt work but gestures works! To scroll just put one finger on touch pad and move another finger up-/down or legft/right. Mouseclicks works only by touch pad buttons which produce a noticeable „click!“-noise when hit. This could annoy other people next to you.
Battery: The manufaturers says the laptop should run about 3 hours. Running XFCE4 with reduced display brightness let it run out of power after 2 h. No tweeks were made. My Dell Latitude E6400 with 13″ Screen has a bigger (6-cell) battery and runs 4.5 hours with XFCE + debian testing (coming Debian 7). Compared to screen size (15″ vs. 13″) and prize the 2 hours seems a good deal for me.
The battery applet works. Runtime seems to depend very on screen brightness. Loading the battery while the notbook is running (with reduced screen brightness) takes about 1.5 hours.
Hdd: The hard disk runs quiet. I can’t hear any noise from it. There was no „click-clack“ noise with default settings. The Advanced Power Management was set to 128. (As I understood it this value came from hard disk and Linux is not in duty to change it.) The value of „193: Load / Unload Cycle“ reached 1000 in about 24 hours running (value of „9: Power-On Time“). The 24 h splits in running 22 h on AC and 2 h running on battery. Its about 42 Load / Unload Cycles per hour. This means a runtime of about 14286 hours until reaching the value of 600k which some people see as being maximal number of Load / Unload Cycles which most hard disks can reach before get broken. Assuming that you are using your laptop 10 h per day and 360 days in a year that would mean you can use it about 4 years. Basing on this calculation there seems to be no danger that this hard disk running Fedora 16 will die prematurely when using Linux. „Linux User“ 2012-01 „Bund fürs Leben“ page 66 ff. provides an article about it. There is an easy way to turn the power management less aggressive. I will describe it for Fedora 16 in the next article on this blog.
Usb surf stick: The usb surf stick works out-of-the-box. When the usb surf stick is sticking on left usb port I need to remove it before power-off the notebook since I the notebook reboots instead going power-off. When the reboot finished the system runs stable. When power-off it reboots again running stable after reboot! I tried same with this usb surf stick sticking in the right usb port: When I select power-off the notebook is going power-off. Another issue with this usb surf stick: When first trying it didn’t work. I found the reason to be as the SIM Card wasn’t sticking deep enough in the stick. I used a knife to push it deeper into the device. Then it started working.
External VGA connector (analog): Very good result on a flatscreen @ 1920×1080.
SD-card drive: Tried 16 GB SD-card: Worked out-of-the-box.
Sound: Internal speakers and external headphones are working. Internal speakers are off when external headphones are plugged in.

Hardware info, generated by lshw

(Please understand that i replaced any personal inforamtion like serial numbers by „*****“)
sommer
    description: Notebook
    product: K54C ()
    vendor: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
    version: 1.0
    serial: *****
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-2.6 dmi-2.6 vsyscall32
    configuration: boot=normal chassis=notebook family=K uuid=*****
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       product: K54C
       vendor: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
       physical id: 0
       version: 1.0
       serial: *****
       slot: MIDDLE
     *-firmware
          description: BIOS
          vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
          physical id: 0
          version: K54C.203
          date: 01/02/2012
          size: 64KiB
          capacity: 2496KiB
          capabilities: pci upgrade shadowing cdboot bootselect edd int13floppy1200 int13floppy720 int13floppy2880 int5printscreen int9keyboard int14serial int17printer acpi usb smartbattery biosbootspecification
     *-cpu
          description: CPU
          product: Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU B940 @ 2.00GHz
          vendor: Intel Corp.
          physical id: 4
          bus info: cpu@0
          version: Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU B940 @ 2.00GHz
          serial: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
          slot: CPU 1
          size: 2GHz
          capacity: 4GHz
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 100MHz
          capabilities: x86-64 fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx rdtscp constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer xsave lahf_lm arat epb xsaveopt pln pts cpufreq
          configuration: cores=2 enabledcores=1
        *-cache
             description: L1 cache
             physical id: 5
             slot: L1-Cache
             size: 32KiB
             capacity: 32KiB
             capabilities: internal write-back instruction
     *-memory
          description: System Memory
          physical id: 3f
          slot: System board or motherboard
          size: 4GiB
        *-bank:0
             description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1333 MHz (0.8 ns)
             product: EBJ41UF8BCS0-DJ-F
             vendor: Elpida
             physical id: 0
             serial: 00000000
             slot: ChannelA-DIMM0
             size: 4GiB
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 1333MHz (0.8ns)
        *-bank:1
             description: DIMM [empty]
             product: [Empty]
             vendor: [Empty]
             physical id: 1
             serial: [Empty]
             slot: ChannelB-DIMM0
     *-pci
          description: Host bridge
          product: 2nd Generation Core Processor Family DRAM Controller
          vendor: Intel Corporation
          physical id: 100
          bus info: pci@0000:00:00.0
          version: 09
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 33MHz
          configuration: driver=agpgart-intel
          resources: irq:0
        *-display
             description: VGA compatible controller
             product: 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 2
             bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
             version: 09
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
             configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
             resources: irq:48 memory:dd000000-dd3fffff memory:c0000000-cfffffff ioport:e000(size=64)
        *-communication UNCLAIMED
             description: Communication controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 16
             bus info: pci@0000:00:16.0
             version: 04
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list
             configuration: latency=0
             resources: memory:dfc0b000-dfc0b00f
        *-usb:0
             description: USB Controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1a
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1a.0
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm debug ehci bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=ehci_hcd latency=0
             resources: irq:16 memory:dfc08000-dfc083ff
        *-multimedia
             description: Audio device
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1b
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1b.0
             version: 05
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=0
             resources: irq:49 memory:dfc00000-dfc03fff
        *-pci:0
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.0
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:40 ioport:d000(size=4096) memory:df200000-dfbfffff ioport:d2100000(size=10485760)
        *-pci:1
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.1
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.1
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:41 ioport:c000(size=4096) memory:de800000-df1fffff ioport:d1600000(size=10485760)
           *-network
                description: Wireless interface
                product: AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
                vendor: Atheros Communications Inc.
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
                logical name: wlan0
                version: 01
                serial: *****
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
                configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath9k driverversion=3.3.2-6.fc16.x86_64 firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
                resources: irq:17 memory:de800000-de80ffff
        *-pci:2
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.3
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.3
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:42 ioport:b000(size=4096) memory:dde00000-de7fffff ioport:d0b00000(size=10485760)
           *-usb
                description: USB Controller
                product: ASM1042 SuperSpeed USB Host Controller
                vendor: ASMedia Technology Inc.
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
                version: 00
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: msi msix pm pciexpress xhci bus_master cap_list
                configuration: driver=xhci_hcd latency=0
                resources: irq:19 memory:dde00000-dde07fff
        *-pci:3
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.5
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.5
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:43 ioport:a000(size=4096) memory:dd400000-dddfffff ioport:d0000000(size=10485760)
           *-network
                description: Ethernet interface
                product: AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet
                vendor: Atheros Communications
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:04:00.0
                logical name: p5p1
                version: c0
                serial: *****
                capacity: 1Gbit/s
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vpd bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
                configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=atl1c driverversion=1.0.1.0-NAPI latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=twisted pair
                resources: irq:50 memory:dd400000-dd43ffff ioport:a000(size=128)
        *-usb:1
             description: USB Controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1d
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.0
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm debug ehci bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=ehci_hcd latency=0
             resources: irq:23 memory:dfc07000-dfc073ff
        *-isa
             description: ISA bridge
             product: HM65 Express Chipset Family LPC Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.0
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: isa bus_master cap_list
             configuration: latency=0
        *-storage
             description: SATA controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family 6 port SATA AHCI Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.2
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.2
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 66MHz
             capabilities: storage msi pm ahci_1.0 bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=ahci latency=0
             resources: irq:44 ioport:e0b0(size=8) ioport:e0a0(size=4) ioport:e090(size=8) ioport:e080(size=4) ioport:e060(size=32) memory:dfc06000-dfc067ff
        *-serial UNCLAIMED
             description: SMBus
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.3
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.3
             version: 05
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             configuration: latency=0
             resources: memory:dfc05000-dfc050ff ioport:e040(size=32)
     *-scsi:0
          physical id: 1
          logical name: scsi0
          capabilities: emulated
        *-disk
             description: ATA Disk
             product: ST9320325AS
             vendor: Seagate
             physical id: 0.0.0
             bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
             logical name: /dev/sda
             version: 0003
             serial: *****
             size: 298GiB (320GB)
             capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
             configuration: ansiversion=5 sectorsize=512 signature=e3102a4b
           *-volume:0
                description: Windows FAT volume
                vendor: MSDOS5.0
                physical id: 1
                bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,1
                logical name: /dev/sda1
                version: FAT32
                serial: *****
                size: 24GiB
                capacity: 25GiB
                capabilities: primary hidden fat initialized
                configuration: FATs=2 filesystem=fat
           *-volume:1
                description: EXT4 volume
                vendor: Linux
                physical id: 2
                bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,2
                logical name: /dev/sda2
                logical name: /boot
                version: 1.0
                serial: *****
                size: 500MiB
                capacity: 500MiB
                capabilities: primary bootable journaled extended_attributes huge_files dir_nlink recover extents ext4 ext2 initialized
                configuration: created=2012-05-01 06:05:26 filesystem=ext4 lastmountpoint=/boot modified=2012-05-02 17:18:41 mount.fstype=ext4 mount.options=rw,seclabel,relatime,user_xattr,acl,barrier=1,data=ordered mounted=2012-05-02 17:18:41 state=mounted
           *-volume:2
                description: Linux filesystem partition
                physical id: 3
                bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,3
                logical name: /dev/sda3
                serial: *****
                size: 272GiB
                capacity: 272GiB
                width: 512 bits
                capabilities: primary encrypted luks initialized
                configuration: bits=512 cipher=aes filesystem=luks hash=sha1 mode=xts-plain64 version=1
     *-scsi:1
          physical id: 2
          logical name: scsi1
          capabilities: emulated
        *-cdrom
             description: DVD-RAM writer
             product: CDDVDW SN-208BB
             vendor: TSSTcorp
             physical id: 0.0.0
             bus info: scsi@1:0.0.0
             logical name: /dev/cdrom1
             logical name: /dev/cdrw1
             logical name: /dev/dvd1
             logical name: /dev/dvdrw1
             logical name: /dev/scd0
             logical name: /dev/sr0
             version: AS01
             capabilities: removable audio cd-r cd-rw dvd dvd-r dvd-ram
             configuration: ansiversion=5 status=nodisc
Germany, May 2012

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