Friday, 26 November 2010

More ultrathin hybrid graphics laptops: Asus U31JG

Asus U31 13.3-inch ultrathin comes soon

The Asus U31 features some quite impressive specs for an ultrathin and we are looking at a 13.3-inch 1366x768 LED backlit screen, Intel's Core i3-370M/380M or Core i5-460M CPU, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, up to 500GB of HDD space, 802.11bgn WiFi, and a 6-cell battery,

The Asus U31 will be available in two versions, the U31F and U31JG. The difference is the graphics card as the U31F features Intel's GMA 4500M while the U31JG will come with Nvidia's DirectX 11 ready, Geforce GT 415M with 1GB of memory. The U31JG will of course feautre Nvidia's Optimus technology for automatic GPU switching, something that we talked about for a couple of times.

As noted, the new U31 should appear in Europe by the end of December with a retail/e-tail price starting at €799.

You can find more here.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Howto Sony vaio VPCZ13 Linux hybrid graphics

One of the sony-vaio-z-series launchpad team members has reported the way to successfully switch on/off the nvidia card in VPCZ13 models:

Re: [Sony-vaio-z-series] Ubuntu on VPCZ13*


- Installed sony-laptop-zseries-0.9np7
- Grub load options: "i8042.reset i8042.nomux i8042.nopnp i8042.noloop acpi_osi=\"!Windows 2006\" acpi_backlight=vendor"


Monday, 25 October 2010

Linux on Sony Vaio BPCZ11X9 -- Intel graphics card

As reported by one of the sony-vaio-z-series launchpad team members:

[Sony-vaio-z-series] Important notice VPCZ11X9 intel working

This laptop will not find the Intel graphics card due to the "nomoeset" parameters given by grub.

These need removing in the menu.lst if you want the intel graphic card to work.

Keep the "i8042.nopnp i8042.nomux i8042.nopnp i8042.noloop " parameters for the keyboard/touchpad.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Monday, 11 October 2010

Linux on an Asus U35JC review @

Asus U35JC review | Linux User

A versatile 13-inch notebook with a surprising amount of power under the hood and a dual-boot instant-on solution that turned out to be more useful than expected…

This article originally appeared in issue 92 of Linux User & Developer magazine.Asus U35JC review Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

Details:Asus U35JC review
OS Tested:
Ubuntu 10.04.1
Processor: Intel Core i3-370M (2.4GHz)
GPU: Nvidia Optimus: NV G310M / Intel GMA 4500MHD
Memory: 4GB RAM DDR3
Storage: 320GB (5400rpm) SATA II
Dimensions:322 x 233 x 148~246mm
Weight: 1.9 kg
Display size: 13.3” (1366 x 768)
Connectivity: Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit LAN, 0.3MP webcam, HDMI, 3x USB 2.0
Expansion: 5-in-1 card reader
Price: £699 / $825
Where to buy: or

Pros: The specification on offer is one of the most impressive you’ll see in the 13” notebook market
Cons: Nvidia Optimus is proving problematic at the moment. The keyboard and screen aren’t quite up to scratch either

Though the U35JC ships with Windows by default, there are so few computer manufacturers that actually ship Linux-equipped hardware that sometimes it’s impossible to ignore interesting configurations whenever they turn up, regardless of ‘the Microsoft tax’.

And the U35JC is certainly an interesting proposition. Sitting in the ‘versatile’ section of Asus’s massive notebook range, its 13” dimensions hide an impressive amount of power courtesy of a 2.4GHz Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of bandwidth-rich DDR3 RAM.

Weighing in at just under two kilograms, it’s not the slimmest or lightest 13” offering available at the moment, but the specification more than justifies it. If anything, its physical weight belies an otherwise lissom look and feel – we certainly wouldn’t be deterred from using it as a travelling companion, for example.

Not only does it boast a particularly flavoursome combination of 13” dimensions, Intel Core i3 hardware and an affordable price point of £699, but it also comes pre-installed with an instant-on operating system. Splashtop, based on Monolithic Linux, is capable of whisking a user to their online homepage in little over ten seconds. Though a commercial (thus proprietary) enterprise, Asus Express Gate 2.0 nevertheless is a very impressive implementation of the instant-on market Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth is working keenly to penetrate with an Ubuntu variant based on the Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Beta reviewed here.

Asus U35JC review

It’s easy to see why Shuttleworth holds the dual-boot market in such high regard too – Asus’s Monolith derivative booted in around eight seconds and we had a web browser open and usable within another four seconds. Instead of selecting the instant-on OS from a boot menu (which would completely hamstring its boot speed), the U35JC has a dedicated power button all of its own, just above the Escape key, opposite the actual power button.

Though far from pretty with its limited resolution and (what appeared to be) a 16-bit colour palette, Express Gate’s Apple-style dock launcher is certainly visually accomplished and user-friendly. Users can select to browse the web, listen to music, play games, chat via instant messaging and even view pictures and create albums.

A small document editor would have been the icing on the cake, but since there is no shortage of web solutions available it’s not a major issue. When you consider the U35JC’s eight-cell battery is more than capable of just over four and a half hours from within a full-blown distro such as Ubuntu 10.04 (with heavy use or around seven hours with light load), the battery life via Express Gate is likely more than enough to keep users surfing and blogging well into the night.

Asus hasn’t got everything right though. For example, the screen has a reflective coating that can cause havoc in brightly lit locations, and lacklustre viewing angles further exacerbate the issue. In the interest of fairness, it’s no worse than some alternatives on the market, but an issue Asus should have anticipated nonetheless.

A second bugbear made itself known as soon as we started typing our first URL. We’re not personally fans of spaced tile keys at the best of times, but we found the U35JC’s demonstrated exaggerated flexure across the entire board during use – in the end we checked to see if the keyboard tray was somehow knocked lose during delivery.

As it transpired the keyboard tray was perfectly secure, but very loose fitting. Hardly an ideal situation.
Speaking of which, our final problem comes courtesy of the Nvidia Optimus dual-GPU setup. Optimus (which is designed to automatically switch between low-power onboard graphics and a powerful 3D discrete offering on demand) simply doesn’t work in a Linux environment at the moment. Though much work is being done to remedy the situation as we speak, we don’t recommend installing a dedicated Nvidia driver for the time-being. That said, the Intel GMA 4500MHD is more than capable enough, provided you don’t intend to work in 3D.

Verdict: 4/5
We were impressed with the price-to-performance ratio Asus has achieved with the U35JC. Its slender lines and small dimensions are all the more impressive considering the power that lies within. Though some of this power is dormant due to the Nvidia Optimus debacle, this should not dissuade Linux users from considering it – a solution is likely right around the corner.

You can find more reviews from Linux User & Developer here, but don’t forget to see what else features in the latest issue

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Linux Best Seller laptops website continues growing

Linux Best Seller Laptops


After more than a year since it's creation, the website has compiled information for many best seller laptop launchpad teams.

Right now, the HP G-series Launchpad team has more than 60 members, followed by the HP Envy series and the Lenovo G-series teams. Other teams in this linux best seller laptops website are the Sony Vaio E-series, the ASUS N-series and the Lenovo IdeaPad U-series, all of them with over ten team members and growing.


Friday, 24 September 2010

Samsung QX310 Review

Samsung QX310 Reviews

The Samsung QX310 is powered by an Intel® Core™ i5 processor (i5-460M)
and runs Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system. It is
supports by 4GB DDR3 of memory, supports up to 640GB of storage space, a
13-inch HD LED backlit display that supports 1366 x 768 pixel resolution,
Hybrid Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 310M w/ 512MB dedicated RAM graphics card,
two 1.5W stereo speakers, 802.11 b/g/n and WiMax support, a 4-in-1 media
reader and True2Sound™ SRS Premium Sound™. The QX310 also features a
DVD Super Multi DL, and is powered by a lithium polymer battery that
provides up to 7 hours of battery life.


The Samsung QX310 is a 13.3-inch notebook that is designed in a 27 mm thick
form factor and weighs 1.99kg. It sports an aluminum LCD back and
edge-to-edge LCD display, side doors to hide a variety of connection ports,
and is powered by lithium-polymer battery that gives 6.9 hours of battery
life. It features a light-weight aluminum design and sports a 13-inch HD
SuperBright LED display, multi-function gesture pad with multi-finger
interface commands, is powered by Intel Core™ i5 processor and hybrid
graphics system which is optimized on-the-go based on users’ needs. The
NVIDIA Optimus™ automatically switches between the onboard Intel graphics
and NVIDIA discrete graphics which manage battery life for basic
applications, and deliver high-quality performance for intensive activities
like gaming and multimedia on-demand.

Friday, 10 September 2010

In the battle for Ultrathin Linux laptops, who is king?

Almost two years ago, we started compiling information for Ultrathin Linux laptops from the Launchpad website.

After all this time, different Launchpad teams got organized, shared useful information to get their laptop models to fully work under Linux and triggered the development for new drivers and userland tools in the Linux project.

But in the battle for Ultrathin Linux laptops, who is king?

The header in this blog page says Sony is dominating the chart with more than 280 registered Launchpad team members (20100910), but it's being followed very closely by ASUS and Acer. The almighty HP and Dell aren't summing up to large numbers, even when putting together the different teams that can be described under ultrathin models.

So what is making people decide for Sony, ASUS and Acer when going for a ultrathin Linux laptop purchase?

Sony seems to be filling the high-end market with lots of models around the $2000 mark. ASUS and Acer, on the other side, are the favourite for inexpensive ultrathin laptop models, and they are difficult to pick apart when reading the reviews and comments the Linux userbase is posting on forums and mailing lists.

The usual animosity against the big dogs, which in this case could be HP and Dell, could explain why they aren't doing better in this sector. Sony, with all the battering it's getting for its high prices, is still considered the best of the big dogs.

We will keep following the developments on this front. One sure thing is that the Ultrathin Linux laptops userbase keeps growing, even outside the academy base.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Samsung Ultrathin Q-series @

Samsung launches the hunt for the MacBook with its QX series [IFA 2010]. | Thinkcrack

Samsung has done it again. After revolutionizing the blogs of half
the world during the last week with the launch of its Galaxy Tab, is
directing his fire at Apple. Do not believe me? Then wait and see what
we have prepared the Koreans with new QX series models that have been
announced at the IFA 2010.

Do not you design something that sounds? Indeed, the resemblance to
the MacBook is evident. In fact, I would say that there is nothing like
casual, like it is no coincidence that the presentation to society
Galaxy Tab produce while the announcement of the Apple keynote last
week. That yes, the aluminum finish of the case is really attractive.
And if you liked the design, characteristics of the QX series are not
far behind.

The three new models in the series QX (QX310, QX410 and QX510) all
come equipped with Intel Core i5, but is not clear at what speed.
Regarding memory, hard drives included S-ATA 250 GB and 640 GB,
depending on the model, and mounted a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, can reach
up to 8 GB in the case of QX510.

The screen is made of LED technology and will play video at 720p,
which is surprising not because of the other features of these laptops.
The key may be in the graphics system, designed so that to save
battery power, using the integrated Intel graphics chip on the
motherboard, while for most operations that require moving graphics
will use a nVidia GeForce 310M (or 410mm in the QX410 and QX510).

Friday, 27 August 2010

Howto Linux Asus U35JC hybrid graphics

Linux Hybrid Graphics: Using acpi_call module to switch on/off discrete graphics card in Linux
Asus U35JC-RX005X with ubuntu lucid lynx:
echo '\_SB.PCI0.PEG1.GFX0._OFF' > /proc/acpi/call

The battery using rate decrease from 4200mW :

echo '\_SB.PCI0.PEG1.GFX0._ON' > /proc/acpi/call
grep rate /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state
present rate: 17808 mW
echo '\_SB.PCI0.PEG1.GFX0._OFF' > /proc/acpi/call
grep rate /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state
present rate: 13664 mW

Everything else worked fine under Ubuntu for this computer.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Asus U/UL series nvidia hybrid graphics and BIOS version

It's been reported that some of the issues with switching the nvidia card on/off the Asus U/UL series in Linux are problematic due to the BIOS version. In one case, updating from 203 to 210 solved the problem. Happy Linuxing...

Friday, 13 August 2010

HOWTO Sony Vaio Z Series (2010) and Ubuntu Maverick alpha-3

Re: [Sony-vaio-z-series] vpcz12 and maverick alpha-3
On Thursday 12 August 2010 15:49:06 Justin Karneges wrote:
> I tried booting from the latest Ubuntu alpha live CD. The initial menu
> sometimes appears, where you can choose to install or do a memory test,
> etc. However, more often than not it doesn't appear and a timeout will
> cause the system to go on ahead with booting the live desktop.

It seems if I press an F-key (e.g. F1, F2, or F3, etc), I can get the menu to
appear most of the time. There have been a couple of occasions when this
doesn't work but the majority of the time it does work. It might be a timing
thing. I think you have to press a key rather quickly.

> The initial menu has the wrong colors (pink-ish), as well as X once it
> loads. Under X, the color distortion is more severe.

If I press F6 and add xforcevesa and nomodeset to the end of the kernel
parameters string (so that the string ends looking like "-- xforcevesa
nomodeset"), color is fixed in X. I'm not sure if the "i915.modeset=0"
option suggested by Martin has any effect. It doesn't seem to for me.

However, X resolution remains incorrect (1024x768, stretched to 1600x900,
looks pretty terrible!). Also, I still can't say for sure if the physical
graphics switch does *anything*. I get the exact same results whether it is
set to speed or stamina at cold boot. I have a feeling this means that I'm
using the same card every time, no matter what I have selected with the
physical switch. At least, this feels more likely to me than both cards
having the exact same color distortions with the exact same kernel params
fix. I wonder which card it is using?

> Once X loads, the touchpad does not work.

Solved by adding the i8042.nopnp kernel param. I don't know if the touchpad
is getting used in its full capacity but it seems to work well enough, and I
can even slide along the side for a wheel effect.

> I can flip over to the VTs and back to X no problem. The VTs have the wrong
> colors but otherwise seem to work fine.

Once the desktop loads, using the above fixes for X, the VTs have the correct

> I tried suspending (via keyboard in X, mostly blindly) and the system
> appeared to go into suspend, but on wakeup I was greeted with a blank
> screen.

Maybe this was a graphics issue. With the above fixes for X, suspend and wake
now works. Strange behavior I noticed: when X restores after waking, the
screen is no longer stretched, and instead the 1024x768 desktop is centered
1:1 in the middle of the display. Flipping to a VT and back to X will cause
the stretching to restore.

Now that I can actually use the computer, I'll note that wifi also works.

> So that's the current "out of the box" experience with bleeding edge
> Ubuntu.

And just three added kernel parameters later, a usable Live CD experience!
Not too shabby.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Acer Timeline 3810T down to 5.8W with Linux

[ubuntu] Acer Timeline 3810T - Page 90 - Ubuntu Forums
Re: Acer Timeline 3810T
I just found another 1.2W of power saving trick in my 3810T, bringing my minimum power usage down from 7.0W to 5.8W.

Powertop used to show the Intel graphics chip as generating 60 interrupts/second:
51,3% ( 60,0) [i915@pci:0000:00:02.0]
But if I do a Suspend-to-RAM (Fn-F4) and wake it up again the 60Hz interrupt from i915 disappears and my power usage drops 1.2 Watts.

Now, the odd thing is that if I start a new instance of Powertop the 60Hz i915 interrupts returns and power usage goes up by 1.2W again. It seems that Powertop is probing the hardware and triggering the i915 60Hz interrupt.
The i915 interrupts is described on Powertop's homepage but the documented fix (setting "NoDRI" in xorg.conf) doesn't seem to do anything.

My 3810T is configured as follows:
Ubuntu 10.04 with kernel 2.6.32-24 and backports for wireless and alsa.
Compiz configured to minimum bells and whistles.
Core2 Solo CPU U3500@1.40GHz; Harddisk replaced with Intel SSD.
Fan disabled by disconnecting it from the motherboard. (I'm running a temperature monitor that will hibernate the laptop if it reaches 75°C).

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

How to fix flash related lock-up problems in Asus UL30vt models

Re: [Asus-ul30] UL30vt and freezing Xorg
Installing the newer mainline kernels (2.6.35rc5+) will fix lock-up problems in the UL40vt models:

Also, one of the users has been using a newer kernel (installed from the guiodic repo) on a ul30a and reports this has fixed his flash-induced system freezes:

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

best-intel PPA for improved Linux Intel graphics

One of the Launchpad members has produced a PPA for improved performance with Intel graphic cards, which should be of benefit for people using Asus U/UL Series laptops, Acer Timeline/TimelineX, Sony Vaio Z-series09 and 10 laptops, Dell Adamo, Dell Latitude E-series, Dell Vostro Thin series, HP dm3 series and Toshiba T100/T115/T135 series laptops, as well as Sony Vaio Y-series and certain HP Envy series models.
best-intel : Guiodic (Guido Iodice)
Packages in order to have better performance with Intel graphic cards.

Install the latest kernel in this ppa and upgrade intel driver and mesa.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Acer Timeline/TimelineX Launchpad Linux team reaches 200 members

The Acer Timeline/TimelineX Launchpad Linux team has now reached the landmark of 200 registered team members. This team started about a year ago to cover the needs of Linux users for the Acer Timeline series of laptops, including the 3810T, 3810TG, 4810T, 4810TG, 5810T, 5810TG, 5820TG, Acer TravelMate 8371, 8471, etc, and recently also the TimelineX Linux users, including the 3820TG and 4820TG models.

Over the last year, the active and engaged community of Linux users in this team has brought up the level of compatibility with new modules, like the hybrid graphics cold switch module. This module has recently been reported to work for one of the latest models, the Acer Timeline 3820TG. We expect the numbers to keep increasing once the latest round of models reaches worldwide distribution. Only the Sony Vaio Z-series Launchpad Linux team has more registered users, and the Acer Timeline/TimelineX team is quickly catching up.

Linux Toshiba T135 (T100 Series) Headphone Jack howto

options snd-hda-intel model="olpc-xo-1_5"



Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sony Vaio Z11 Kubuntu with Nvidia card working

Reposting from the sony-vaio-z-series Launchpad Linux mailing list:
[Sony-vaio-z-series] VPCZ1190X Speed mode install working! (So far)
Following thunderbee's recent invaluable guide, I was able to get
Kubuntu 10.4 installed on the VPCZ1190X.

As expected, I have to boot an older kernel each time to get the speed
switch set, and I used the xorg.conf file at the end of the document
(works great!)

A couple points of note (quite obvious to most linux users, but still
useful toward the intended goal of creating a guide for the 'new' linux

for the commands:
wget -nd <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>
wget -nd <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>
wget -nd <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>
dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.34-020634-generic_2.6.34-020634_i386.deb linux-
headers-2.6.34-020634_2.6.34-020634_all.deb linux-

in the guide, replace all instances of 'i386' with your processor
architecture ('amd64' for mine, and I think most new Z series laptops,
or any 64 bit processor)

if you are sshing into the computer to install Kubuntu as recommended,
remember that you'll have to login as the main system account (not root
like in the recovery console), and use 'sudo' before most commands.
Remember to either make a strong password or disable ssh password
authentication after you're done installing Kubuntu and have a GUI.

if you need to copy/paste the xorg.conf file from the guide (i.e. you
don't have one from a previous install), you'll also need to get a
commandline text editor - vim works:
copy file text, then in terminal (minus the 's)
'sudo apt-get install vim'
'sudo vim /etc/X11/xorg.conf'
'i' #enter text insert mode
#(paste text)
'esc' #back to command mode
':wq' #save and quit

I now have Kubuntu working fine with the nVidia card!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Fedora 12 ASUS UL50Ag report

Reposting an installation report for Linux Fedora 12 on an ASUS UL50Ag laptop (with no nvidia card):
Re: [Asus-ul30] UL50VT
I have an UL50Ag running Fedora 12. The battery life is usually between 6-7 hours (powertop squeezes out maybe another hour), using wifi, highest brightness and all. The function keys are all working, except the brightness control. I managed to 'unflip' the camera in skype with the workaround suggested on this list. Microphone doesn't seem to be working, but I haven't rechecked in some time now.

I've already seen some improvement with recent kernels (power-management wasn't working initially), so I'm confident that the other stuff will also be resolved soon :)

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Skype for Linux on Asus U/UL Series using Lucid 64-bit

Reposting from the Asus U/UL Series Linux Launchpad team on how to set up the webcam and skype:

Re: [Asus-ul30] Asus UL30Jt
I'm running Lucid 64-bit on the UL30VT (BIOS 210) - here's how I set
up skype. Note that this works with both the stock kernel
2.6.32-22-generic and also with 2.6.34-rc7. I've also tested it using
both the intel and nvidia cards.

1. Download and install Skype for Linux Beta
<a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>

2. Add the 4l2ucp package (not sure this is necessary)

sudo apt-get install v4l2ucp

3. Add the libv4l-PPA, update package lists and install libv4l-0

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libv4l

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install libv4l-0

4. Create shell-script to start Skype by opening the gedit Text Editor
and pasting the following inside:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype

5. Save the file as "" and give it executing rights with:

sudo chmod +x

6. Start Skype by double-clicking on the script and selecting "run"

And that's it. I borrowed most of these instructions from
<a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>

Saturday, 29 May 2010

First Linux installation report for most awaited ASUS UL30JT

Reposting from the Asus U/UL series Linux launchpad team mailing list:
Re: [Asus-ul30] Asus UL30Jt
I have run Ubuntu 10.04 on my UL30JT, and everything works well except:
* The webcam shows the picture upside-down in skype
* The Nvidia video card is not fully powered-down so the battery time is 3 -4 hours only, compared to 6 - 7 for windows.
There might be fixes for these two issues, since they have been discussed in other forums. Screen brightness, wifi, sound and bluetooth works very well though, without any specific patches. I have not tried the HDMI connector so there might still be problems lurking ...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Linux Intel core i5/i7 GNOME frequency applet with Turbo mode

Reposting from the sony-vaio-z-series mailing list. The applet tar.gz is available here:
[Sony-vaio-z-series] core i5 / i7 display frequency applet
Hi everybody

you might have noticed that the CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor 2.30.0 applet of gnome

doesn't show the real freq of the processor when in turbo mode...

i have written a gnome applet to print the current speed of the cpu (using the msr module and a c code form intel

however take care with the cpu Frequency Scaling Monitor as it control only one processor

(I now have 4 applets of Frequency Scaling Monitor, one per logical core))
because at first i though it wasn't working, but it is :)

Sunday, 23 May 2010

HP Envy 15 core i7 -- Linux current bug reports

HP Envy 15 core i7 Linux - Howto resume after suspend

Bug #557072 in linux (Ubuntu): “system does not power off”
The following script works for me (saved as /etc/pm/sleep.d/5_quick-fix-drivers)
NB: The atl1c module is there because otherwise the ethernet controller didn't work after a resume. Remove it from the list if you aren't experiencing that problem.



MODS="xhci_hcd atl1c"

case "${1}" in
for m in $MODS
modprobe -r $m
for m in $MODS
modprobe $m

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

An Installation HOWTO for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx on Sony Vaio VPCZ11X9E

Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx on Sony Vaio VPCZ11X9E - Frederik Questier

Installing Ubuntu Linux is most often a piece of cake. Not so it seems on Sony latest laptop, the Vaio VPC-Z11-X9E. It’s a wonderful machine, with many new advanced features, but some of the design options seem to be made with only MS Windows in mind (e.g. advanced EFI Bios is crippled towards the end-user and the switch between the 2 GPU’s is badly designed or documented.) That made it a bit of an adventure to get Ubuntu installed. As I am one of the first ones that succeeded, I share my experiences. However I could never have finished this without inspiration from the brightest people, mainly active in the Sony Vaio Z-series Laptop group.
I hope installing Ubuntu will also be easy on this laptop in a few weeks or months. If you can’t wait and love a technical adventure, read on…

Vaio VPC Z11

So how did I get Linux running on the Sony Vaio VPCZ11X9E with most basic features working, including nvidia driven graphics at 1600×900?

All Linux distributions and versions I tried (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora) have a failing installation in someway on this (very new) laptop. The newer distributions fail on the graphics (blank screen, except Kubuntu 8.10). The older versions fail to enable the WiFi. All need a little help for the touchpad. Some distributions can’t handle the RAID disk (2×64GB SSD). So I deleted the RAID config (in BIOS enable ‘Show Raidinfo’ and use the delete option in the RAID configurator).

Eventually I used the Ubuntu 10.04 amd64 Release Candidate DVD in text installation mode.
I created a software RAID with LVM on top of it.
Once installed, the system failed on the graphics (blank screen, totally frozen, no text terminals). Holding the Shift key during boot gives access to the Grub menu. Replacing kernel parameters ‘quiet splash’ with ’single nomodeset i8042.nopnp’ gives a single user (root) mode that does not suffer from a blank screen (nomodeset) and will be able to use the touchpad (i8042.nopnp) once the graphics are running.
At that point it’s clear that Ubuntu 10.04 has working wired and wireless network on this VPCZ11. I tried apt-get upgrade without further success. Installing nvidia driver through Ubuntu sources or from the nVidia website helped neither. nvidia-detector said ‘none’. Starting X on nvidia driver complained about not finding an nvidia device.
The Intel driver failed with a blank screen without nomodeset and with a kernel panic with nomodeset enabled.
With nvidia-xconfig I created a basic /etc/X11/xorg.conf. When I set in that file ‘Driver’ to ‘vesa’ I get graphics working! But limited to 1024×768, which is probably the limit of the vesa driver. I read Sony is very special in how the LCD screen describes it self (with EDID), which could be the reason of the failing graphics. I did apt-get install read-edid. get-edid|parse-edid gives a monitor section which you can enter in xorg.conf. But this didn’t help me.

lspci always show both the intel and nvidia graphics, no matter if the hardware button is on Stamina, Speed of Auto. The hardware graphics selection lights almost never follow the button’s settings. The only way to get it really running in a certain graphics mode, is by running first an older kernel into that graphics mode. I did that first by running my Kubuntu 8.10 CD in between. UPDATE 5/5/10: I found that booting the 2.6.31-10-rt kernel (included in the Ubuntu Lucid Lynx repository) will also do the trick on the next reboot.

UPDATE 6/5/10: Based on the suggestions of Atrawog hereunder in the comments, it is possible to configure one kernel that does all the basics for nvidia (graphics switch is always ok, 1600×900, network, sound, hibernate).

Add to /etc/apt/sources.list :

deb  karmic main
deb-src karmic main

As root do:

apt-get update
apt-get install linux-image-2.6.31-20-generic
apt-get install linux-backports-modules-karmic-generic
apt-get install linux-backports-modules-2.6.31-20-generic
apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.31-20-generic
apt-get install linux-backports-modules-alsa-2.6.31-20-generic

Update grub to take the 2.6.31-20 as default with i8042.nopnp option

To sum up:

  • with nvidia driver (speed mode) I get 1600×900 graphics!
  • with the intel driver (stamina mode; which I would prefer) I get kernel panics or blank screens (with or without nomodeset).
  • I’m still searching for a way to change the brightness of the screen.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

VPCZ11X9 Linux details

Reposting from the sony-vaio-z-series10 launchpad mailing list:
[Sony-vaio-z-series] share my experience
just to share my xp with the new sony vaio VPCZ11X9 :)

what is working for me (with the rebooting hack see below) :
nvidia 330M with the driver given by "Hardward Driver" of ubuntu 10.04
i.e. 195.36.15
vga output:ok
hdmi output: ok
powermizer : ok
cpu clock changing from 1.2 to 2.4 with 0.13 scale
wifi :ok
temperature sensor: cpu + gpu , no harddrive
bluetooth : ok
ethernet :ok
backlight key board : ok
raid0 : ok
webcam: ok
SD card reader: ok
sleep : no (graphic card not selected after wakeup )
hibernation: no

to do that:
install ubuntu alternate 9.04 (with grub 1 for hard raid support ...)
and upgraded to 9.10 and then 10.04 (may be not a crutial point but
10.04 wasnt out yet)

problem : to boot i need each time to boot first an old kernel already
installed (2.6.28-11) (i guess it was in 9.04 cause i didn't installed
it) (which will fail with my nvidia xorg)
and then reboot. at the next reboot the led for speed is on from the
begining (bios screen) i guess the problem comes from the
fact that linux don't activate the card by itself and booting with an
old kernel make the trick (but why ?). the funny thing is that the led
isnt active
at the boot of the old kernel but after reboot.

here is the kernel line of my menu.lst (hehe still grub 1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-22-generic
root=/dev/mapper/isw_ddfjeaeijb_Volume02 ro nomodeset i8042.nopnp
acpi_osi=\"!Windows 2006\"

still didn't manage to make the intel graphic works....

i guess flashing the bios and make the selection of the card static
would resolve the pb of non-activation of the gpu
but i need to see if it works for my vaio before :)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Improved touchpad drivers for Asus U/UL-series models in Linux

Blogging this email from the mailing list (edited):
Re: [Asus-ul30] No Touchpad tab in mouse preferences
After building a kernel with Florian's patches to enable the elantech driver:
the touchpad tab appears in the mouse preferences.

Running ubuntu 10.04 amd64, kernel 2.6.34-rc4 (from Linus's git). Touchpad much better, not perfect, but there are far fewer spurious taps.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Brightness keys UL30VT Ubuntu 10.04

Seen in
Scratch from myself: Brightness Key ASUS UL30VT
  1. Make a file called brightness under /bin or /usr/bin and give an executed permission on it.
    this the code:

    1. #!/bin/bash   
    2. export SEED=7   
    3. export BRIGHTNESS=`cat ~/.brightness`   
    4. case "$1" in   
    5.         "up")   
    6.                 export BRIGHTNESS=$[$BRIGHTNESS+$SEED];   
    7.         ;;   
    8.         "down")   
    9.                 export BRIGHTNESS=$[$BRIGHTNESS-$SEED];   
    10.         ;;   
    11.         *)   
    12.                 export BRIGHTNESS=1;   
    13.         ;;   
    14. esac   
    15. if [ "$BRIGHTNESS" -gt "0" ]; then   
    16.         echo $BRIGHTNESS &gt; ~/.brightness   
    17.         sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=$BRIGHTNESS   
    18. fi   
    19. if [ "$BRIGHTNESS" -lt "0" ]; then   
    20.         echo "This makes your screen off";   
    21. fi  
  2. Then append brightness up to /etc/acpi/ and brightness down to /etc/acpi/ you could use this command
    sudo echo "brightness up" > /etc/acpi/
    sudo echo "brightness down" > /etc/acpi/
  3. Then try to push your Fn+F5 again...
  4. hahaha it's darked.
it's tested on ubuntu 10.04 LTS and ASUS UL30VT

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Asus UL30VT hybrid video card

A user has posted the following instructions on the page:

[ubuntu] Asus UL30VT hybrid video card - Ubuntu Forums
Re: Asus UL30VT hybrid video card
you can check the /etc/X11/xorg.conf if you have any.

you probably use the intel card.

to get the nvidia card to work you have to do this:

this is how you get g210m to work on ubuntu 9.10 / 10.04.

1. download and install nvidia drivers. (i have only tested the ones in the repos)

2. make sure you got an Xorg.conf that is correct. ( if not, run nvidia-xconfig )

3. reboot into bios (press delete while booting)

4. change the SATA option in the bios from enhanced to compatibility. ( yea, this makes sense? NOT! )

5. boot into linux and smile!

suspend/resume fixes for nvidia_g210m_acpi in ASUS UL30 models

This was reported to the mailing list. Click to the link to see the full email:
[Asus-ul30] suspend/resume fixes for nvidia_g210m_acpi.c

I have an UL30VT-A1. I was happy to find nvidia-g210m-acpi, but I found that it was causing problems across suspend/resume cycles. I made some simple changes that seem to make it work better:

1) catch post suspend event so that module doesn't need to be unloaded/reloaded after suspend 2) unregister power notifier on unload, so that power events don't cause kernel panic after module is unloaded.

Hope someone else can benefit. :)

Modified code is attached. Maybe the deb can be updated accordingly?

Kernel parameter i915.powersave=0 fixes screen flickering/blinking lines in ASUS UL30vt

Reposting this information from the mailing list:
Re: [Asus-ul30] UL30vt and screen flickering/blinking lines
Kernel parameter i915.powersave=0 in grub fixes this issue and I'm very pleased by that.

Kernel 2.6.34 fixes wireless and improves battery life in ASUS UL30A models

See here an extract of an email sent to the mailing list:
Re: [Asus-ul30] Asus UL30A - Ubuntu 10.04 - Function Keys
After upgrading to some more recent kernel (.33, .34rc6 atm) all the issues with non-working brightness controls / Fn keys were gone as well. You can get recent kernel from the Mainline ppa: As a sidenote, i think my battery lasts way longer with .34 - powertop shows power draw below 6W sometimes. I never had such figures with 9.10 / kernel .31.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

ASUS PL30JT to hit Europe next month

TechConnect Magazine - Asus to release PL30JT Calpella-based business notebook next month
Asus this week has announced the upcoming (European) introduction of the PL30JT-RO030X, a 13.3-inch business laptop that makes use of Intel's Calpella platform and supports Nvidia's Optimus graphics switching technology.

Weighting in 1.7kg, Asus' portable PC has a brushed aluminum palm rest, a multi-gesture touchpad, a 13.3-inch (1366x768) LED-backlit anti-glare display, and packs a 1.06 GHz Core i5-520UM processor, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, Intel integrated graphics backed by an Nvidia GeForce G310M with 1GB VRAM, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a 5-in-1 card reader, a HDMI output, and an 8-cell battery.

The PL30JT-RO030X runs Windows 7 Professional and is set to hit stores next month priced at 999 Euro.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Friday, 16 April 2010

Toshiba Satellite T115 strikes gold @

One of the best-selling ultra-thin laptop in the market, the Toshiba Satellite T115, has reached #9 in the Amazon best-sellers list.

As of today (20100416), there are 18 members in the Toshiba Satelllite T100/T115/T135 Launchpad team. Apart from initial problems with the Realtek wireless drivers, it looks like people is happy using Linux on this laptop series.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Battery Life is in the eye of the beholder @

The advertised battery life for many laptops is usually not even close to what ends up being in reality. For example, Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro line and advertised 10 hours of battery life in the announcement. Now has reviewed the laptop and it turns 10 hours in Apple's labs mean 5:18 in the real world, which is a mere 53 extra minutes more than the Sony VAIO Z.

MacBook Pro Core i7 review -- Engadget
Battery Life*

MacBook Pro 15 - 2010 (2.66GHz Core i7, NVIDIA GT 330M) 5:18
Sony VAIO Z (2.53GHz Core i5, NVIDIA GT 330M) 4:25
HP Envy 15 (1.6GHz Core i7-720QM, ATI HD 4830) 2:00

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

New Macbook Pro 13-inch stays Core duo -- "seamless" hybrid graphics only for 15- and 17-inch models

It turns out the rumors were wrong, and there *is* an update MacBook Pro 13.3-inch model. It features a Core 2 Duo CPU and a 320M NVIDIA graphics card. For the 15- and 17-inch models, with i5/i7 core CPUs, Apple's press releases describes the hybrid graphics capabilities as:

"Apple's new automatic graphics switching technology that toggles seamlessly between powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and energy efficient Intel HD Graphics processors."

But again, that is only for the 15- and 17-inch models with the NVIDIA 330M cards.
So from the looks of it, the new Macbook Pro 13-inch will be competing for price/features with the low-end Sony Vaio Z model. The high-end Sony Vaio Z models, with newer Intel CPUs, powerful hybrid graphics GPUs and Quad-SSD options, remain unchallenged.
Also unchallenged in the sub-$1000 are going to be the powerful new U/UL lines from ASUS and the TimelineX series from Acer: ASUS UL30Vt, ASUS U30Jc, ASUS UL30Jt and Acer 3820TG.
ASUS remains king of the hill for battery life with the ~12 hours in UL30A models, and >10 hours for the hybrid models, like the UL30Vt and the yet-to-be-released UL30Jt.
Acer follows closely with more CPU and GPU power with the announced 3820TG, very competitive prices and decent battery life.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro Line
The 2.4 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US), includes:

* 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
* 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 1066 MHz front-side bus;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
* 250GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
* a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
* Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
* AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* iSight® video camera;
* two USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
* SD card slot;
* combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
* glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
* built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
* 60 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

The 2.66 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:

* 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
* 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 1066 MHz front-side bus;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
* 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
* a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
* Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
* AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* iSight video camera;
* two USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
* SD card slot;
* combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
* glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
* built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
* 60 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Apple will not update 13inch MacBook Pros this time @

Macrumors has published a piece that indicates new product numbers for Macbook Pros are limited to the 15 inch and 17 inch models. These are meant to be updated next week, suposedly with new Intel Core i7 and i5 CPUs: The 13inch model doesn't show up in the list. This probably means Apple hasn't been able to super-charge its 13inch Macbook Pro with a real discrete graphics card or a newer Intel CPU. Only ASUS seems to be able to design a ultrathin laptop with serious GPU oomph, with their U30Jc model, and the upcoming UL30Jt and PL30Jt laptops. Acer is behind, with an updated 3820TG model, featuring ATI's Mobility Radeon HD.

ASUS U30Jc skyrockets to Amazon bestsellers list @

Only a week after its release, the ASUS U30Jc has skyrocketed to the bestsellers list at Amazon.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Howto Touchpad Sony Vaio Z series 2010 and Linux

Inserting the kernel parameter:


will make touchpad to work the Vaio Z 2010 (VPCZ11Z93), kernel version is 2.6.31-21.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Fake RAID in Linux: Sony Vaio Z11 series with 4x64 SSD

Some of the laptops in the market, like the Sony Vaio Z-series 2010 (e.g., Z11) come with a RAID hard drive that looks like it's 4x64GB, but it actually behaves more like a 2x128GBs configuration. Sony has engineered its own software layer for this, and this hasn't been implemented in Linux at the time of this writing (20100330). Since Linux cannot recognize this kind of Fake RAID at boot time, it will cause problems when trying to install Ubuntu with default options (other distros may have slightly different behaviours).
The good news is that there *are* workarounds, like the dmraid module, which can be found here:

But for the Z11 sony-vaio-z-series case, it's been reported that what *does* work is to follow the instructions in this youtube video:

This will set up an Ubuntu Karmic with a soft RAID 0, with the Fake RAID disabled by the BIOS.

Other users have commented that disabling the onboard RAID is probably the best solution, even once Linux dmraid supports the chipset. The argument is that Linux software will often give at least as good performance as most onboard 'RAID controllers'.

There is a caveat to the RAID0 configuration: losing any drive can potentially destroy all your data. So another suggestion is to use
RAID10 (or RAID5) for speed/redundancy, or alternatively, to add all the drives to a linear LVM volume, giving you access to all the
space. This means you only lose what's on a single drive if it dies.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Updated chart of Ultrathin Linux laptops -- Sony Vaio Y Series Linux makes an entry

We have added the Sony Vaio Y Series Linux launchpad team to the chart of Ultrathin Linux laptops. See below the updated chart:

Linux on Sony Vaio Y series Launchpad Team

The sony-vaio-y-series Launchpad team is a group of Sony Vaio Y series owners and/or developers interested in getting it to work 100% under Linux.

Please subscribe to this team if you are new by clicking on the
"Join Team" link at the right. Also, please participate to the poll

You can check the model and version of you laptop with this command:

sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name

sudo dmidecode -s system-version

lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/'

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

HOWTO Linux Acer Timeline Suspend

One of the Acer Timeline Linux users has found a solution for successfully suspending in Linux:

Change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="" to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="i8042.reset=1" in
Run sudo update-grub.<br />Reboot.<br /><br />

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Current Ultrathin Linux laptops by category and release date

It's been over a year that we started compiling Linux-specific information about Ultrathin Linux laptops, and there are now about a dozen different laptop models with Launchpad teams. Since we are comparing laptops that have been released during a time lapse of about 15 months, we made a little plot to show when where the different models released and where do they stand in terms of their market segment. We've even included the latest Asus UL30JT, that hasn't been officially released but looks like end of 2010Q1 or beginning of 2010Q2.

This is how it

Acer TimelineX @

Preparing for the debut of the Acer TimelineX updated line, we have updated the Launchpad Acer Timeline website to reflect the existance of the new models. If you have a TimelineX laptop and you use Linux on it, subscribe to the Launchpad group now!

Acer to globally debut Calpella Timeline notebooks March 22

Acer will unveil its Calpella Timeline series notebooks
equipped with Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors for the global
market on March 22, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

series will have display sizes ranging from 13- to 15-inch with a
running time of eight hours, the same as the company's Timeline
ultra-thin models.

Although Acer's Calpella Timeline
notebooks will be as thick as the Timeline models, they will be
slightly heavier due to the cooling modules.

Calpella Timeline series will feature a 9-cell battery instead of the
Timeline's 6-cell battery to enable an eight-hour battery life, the
sources noted.

The Calpella Timeline will have three
different display sizes: the 13-inch model is made by Wistron, while
the 14- and 15-inch models are produced by Quanta Computer.

Lin, president of Acer Taiwan, confirmed that the Calpella Timeline
will be launched by the end of March, while Acer Taiwan will officially
launch the product on March 30.

Lin, citing GfK's
figures, said that Acer surpassed its major competitor Asustek Computer
and became the largest notebook and desktop vendor in Taiwan in terms
of sales in 2009. Acer had 33-34% of the notebook market in Taiwan, and
25% of the desktop segment.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Current Ultrathin Linux laptops by category and release date

It's been over a year that we started compiling Linux-specific information about Ultrathin Linux laptops, and there are now about a dozen different laptop models with Launchpad teams. Since we are comparing laptops that have been released during a time lapse of about 15 months, we made a little plot to show when where the different models released and where do they stand in terms of their market segment. We've even included the latest Asus UL30JT, that hasn't been officially released but looks like end of 2010Q1 or beginning of 2010Q2.

This is how it looks so far:

Monday, 8 March 2010

Asus PL30Jt @

ASUS debuts business-minded PL30JT laptop -- Engadget

If there's one company that goes all out at CeBIT
each year, its ASUS, as evidenced by the fact that we're still catching
up with new products from the company the week after CeBIT. This one
slipped under our radar at the show, but the folks at Softpedia
managed to get a bit of hands-on time with the company's new PL30JT
model, which looks more than a little like ASUS' previously announced UL30
series. The big news with this one is the inclusion of NVIDIA GeForce
310M graphics with Optimus technology, which is complemented by a Core
i5-520UM processor, a 13.3-inch 1,336 x 768 display, up to 8GB of RAM,
a max 640GB hard drive, and ASUS' own Turbo33 technology, which
promises to "enhance performance by up to 33%." No word on a price or
release date just yet, but this wasn't one of the models promised in
ASUS' initial batch of Optimus-enabled laptops.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Linux on the Toshiba Satellite T135 (e.g. T135-S1310RD) Toshiba Satellite T135-S1310RD TruBrite 13.3-Inch Ultrathin Black/Red Laptop - 9 Hours 22 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium): Computer & Accessories
The Toshiba Satellite T135-S1310RD TruBrite 13.3-Inch Ultrathin Laptop has been in the market for a good 3 months at the time of this writing, and Linux users around th world have been testing its Linux compatibility since then.
The Toshiba Satellite T100/T110/T135 series Laptop Linux Launchpad team has since then grown to 15 members (Mar 4 2010), and apart from some minor needed tweaks to get sound working, everything else work Out of The Box in Linux.

Here is a list of Reported issues and solutions so far (Mar 4 2010):

Realtek wireless drivers. Reported solutions here:

Screen brightness. Reported solution here:

Microphone/audio. Reported solutio here:

For more information, go to

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Asus UL30JT @

Asus UL30JT with i7 to be Released Soon! » Expert Laptop Review

Big news comes down to us from CES 2010. Asus will be releasing the
UL30JT, which will sport the exact same chassis as the UL30VT but will
house an ultra low voltage i7 quad core processor instead. It is
reported that the UL30JT will have the same 12 hour battery life of the
UL30VT and will also have a Nvidia 310M, which should perform
identically (if not a little better) than the 210M. It’s
crazy to think that they are stuff quad threaded dual core processors
in laptops so small these days. Mind blowing. If you were thinking
about buying a UL30VT, it might be a good idea to wait a month or two
for this bad boy to come out. But then again, new technology is always
coming out so you might be waiting forever.

Here’s a link for more info:

Here’s a hands-on video:

Friday, 19 February 2010

Taking Ubuntu Lucid for a testdrive @

From the Canyon Edge - :-Dustin Kirkland: Have you taken Lucid for a testrive yet?

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx is in Feature Freeze, and Alpha3 is right around the corner, releasing next week.

If you're running Ubuntu 9.04, 9.10, or 10.04, it's trivial to testdrive Lucid in a virtual machine, without modifying your current installation!

If you're already running Lucid, congrads! All you need to do is add the testdrive ppa, and install testdrive, and either kvm or virtualbox-ose.

Just pop open a terminal and run:
  sudo add-apt-repository ppa:testdrive/ppa && \
sudo apt-get update && \
sudo apt-get install testdrive
Then you can either run testdrive from the command line, or use the menu, Applications -> System Tools -> Testdrive.

a menu will pop up, with a menu of Lucid daily images. If you have
previously downloaded any of these, you should see a timestamp of the
cached file. If you run testdrive everyday, your cache will stay up-to-date, and the incremental download will be much faster!

one of the offered ISOs, or enter a URL to another one of your
choosing, and you should be off and running. Help us make Lucid Lynx
the best Ubuntu to date!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Linux on Asus UL30/UL50/UL80 laptop

A great success story of Linux compatibility is that of the Asus UL30/UL50/UL80 laptop series. In less than 4 months, the Launchpad team of Asus UL series laptop owners and/or developers, those running Linux on e.g. ASUS UL30A-A2, ASUS UL30A-X5, ASUS
UL80Ag-A1, ASUS UL30JT, ASUS UL80JT, Asus UL50Vt has amounted to 82 members.
The projected memberships make the Asus UL series the most popular ultrathin Linux laptop around, followed by the Acer Timeline and Sony Vaio Z-series laptops.
A big success we hope will just keep growing in numbers and achievements!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Switch off nvidia Linux Asus ULx0Vt models debian package

One of the Linux users has found a solution to switch off the nvidia card in the ULx0Vt models.
For Ubuntu Karmic, download and install this package:

Then once installed, run the following command on a terminal:

sudo modprobe nvidia_g210m_acpi

Howto Dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 on HP dm3-1010ed @

[ubuntu] [HOWTO] Dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 on HP dm3-1010ed - Ubuntu Forums
Explains how to create a dual-boot configuration without a CD/DVD.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Solution for Asus UL30A Skype flipped camera

[Asus-ul30] HowTo: Running Skype Video without the flipped webcam image (UL30A) Ubuntu 9.10 (x64)
On an ASUS UL30A:

1. sudo apt-get install v4l2ucp (I don't know if it's really necessary but I did it first while looking around for fixes)
2. Adding the libv4l-PPA, update package lists and install libv4l-0

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libv4l
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libv4l-0

(Thanks to:

3. Starting Skype with a shell-script e.g. called containing:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype

(Open a text editor, copy&paste the text above, save the file as "" and give it executing rights (by sudo chmod +x

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Switchable graphics in Linux: who will use it?

The new switchable graphics feature in Linux is great news for a lot of Linux users. We've been compiling information about Ultrathin Linux laptops for a bit more than a year now, and the four most successful laptops have hybrid graphics configuration:

The first one is the Asus UL30/UL80 line. The UL*0Vt models have an intel/nvidia configuration, with a physical switch button.
The second one is the Acer Timeline. The 3810TG and 4810TG models have intel/ATI configuration with no switch button.
The third one is the Sony Vaio Z-series. There are 193 subscribed members in the Launchpad team. All of them with intel/nvidia configurations with physical switch.
The fourth is the HP dm3 line. The dm3z models have intel/nvidia confs.
The seventh is the HP Envy line. These are intel/ATI configurations.

All round up to around ~500 users, many of them with hybrid graphics configurations. The 12 month projections since Launchpad team creation are now at ~900 linux users of these ultrathin laptops. So all the work David and Matthew have done will be greatly received!!

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