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.