ASUS Eee PC 1015pn

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Asus 1015PN is a dual-core netbook with Nvidia IOn graphics for better gaming. It works fine with Linux OSs. This article provides some information on hardwares specs and some knowledge base about it.

System Specs

  • CPU: Intel Atom Dual-Core N550 (1.5 GHz)
  • RAM: 1GB 1066MHz DDR3 (up to 2GB 1333Mhz)
  • HDD: 250 GB, 5400 RPM
  • GPU: nVidia GT218 ION2 with Optimus (Intel GMA 3150 built into the CPU)
  • Display: 10.1" 1024 x 600 pixels LCD display
  • Wireless: BCM4313
  • Bluetooth: Working (confirmed in linux 3.6.5)
  • Webcam: Working (remember to add yourself to video group)
  • Card Reader: Working
  • Extras: 3 USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth 3

HDD important issue

See Laptop#Hard drive spin down problem.

nVidia ION 2 with Optimus

Optimus doesn't work at all but it is possible to choose which graphical card will be used on next reboot.

You can get 2 'modes' :

  • By default (if you do not do anything) the machine starts with the Nvidia beeing the only VGA controller visible (so it will use the ION chip).
  • Using some tools you can start with the Intel and Nvidia VGA controller visible. In this mode the Intel controller is used and it is possible to power-down the Nvidia part.

To switch between those modes you will need the acpi_call kernel module.

Installing acpi_call kernel module

This module is provided by acpi_call-gitAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror], or its dkms version, acpi_call-git-dkmsAUR. Both are available in AUR.

Build and install on of these packages and then load the module.

Make sure you add acpi_call into /etc/modules-load.d/, in order to have the module available in every reboot.

Selecting Video Card

The ACPI method \OSGS is used for selecting the video card for the next boot. The first argument to it determines the card(s) to be enabled. Only the two rightmost bits are used. If bit 0 is enabled, the intel card is enabled as well. Bit 1 correspondends with the nvidia card. If no bits are enabled, only the nvidia card will be enabled. Hence:

  • \OSGS 3 - enable Intel + Nvidia (Optimus mode)
  • \OSGS 2 (or even \OSGS 0x00) - enable Nvidia only (discrete mode)
  • \OSGS 1 - enable Intel only (integrated mode)

Using the acpi_call module, you can execute these commands. Example: to select Intel + Nvidia on next reboot:

echo '\OSGS 3' > /proc/acpi/call


Note: You will need to do this at each boot as long as you want to stay with the Intel part (If you do not do this the Eee will start with only the Nvidia Ion VGA controller). Adding the above command to /etc/rc.local will run the command on every boot (for the next boot). This is ideal if you want to run X on the Intel VGA controller.

You can check the current mode with :

echo "\AMW0.DSTS 0x90013" > /proc/acpi/call
cat /proc/acpi/call

Substract 0x30000 from the result and interpret the remaining two bits as the first argument passed to \OSGS. Thus:

  • 0x30003 - intel + nvidia are on (Optimus mode)
  • 0x30002 - only the nvidia card is on (discrete mode)
  • 0x30001 - only the intel card is on (integrated mode)

After reboot you can see which controllers are enabled with:

lspci -nn | grep '\[03'

You can now power down the ion part with (you'll need the acpi_call module loaded):

echo "\_SB.PCI0.P0P4.DGPU.DOFF" > /proc/acpi/call

Note: when the nvidia card is the only enabled card, the above function does nothing.

Note: When leaving suspend you need to do this again because the Nvidia part reactivates itself.

rc script to disable nvidia:

 #!/bin/bash
 
 . /etc/rc.conf
 . /etc/rc.d/functions
 
 
 if lsmod | grep -q acpi_call; then
         stat_busy 'Swith per ACPI_CALL to Optimus'
         echo "\OSGS 0x03" > /proc/acpi/callrayt5
         echo "\_SB.PCI0.P0P4.DGPU.DOFF" > /proc/acpi/call
         echo "\AMW0.DSTS 0x90013" > /proc/acpi/call
         result=$(cat /proc/acpi/call)
         case "$result" in
         0x30003)
                 stat_done
         ;;
         *)
                 stat_fail
         ;;
         esac
 else
         stat_busy 'ACPI_CALL mod not loaded'
         stat_fail
 fi

Check consumption

You can check consumption with:

cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/current_now
  • Before disabling: ~1700mA.
  • After disabling: ~1000mA.

As you can see this method saves a lot of battery!

ACPI

As of kernel 3.1, appending acpi_osi=Linux to the kernel line in your bootloader configuration file (e.g. grub, lilo, syslinux...) is no longer necessary to enable ACPI. The proper modules should be automatically called at boot.

Wireless

For BCM4313 there are the following drivers available:

  • open source brcm80211 driver directly included in the Linux kernel, since version 3.0.0 (recommended)


In case you use the open source brcm80211 driver provided by Linux kernel, make sure you add bcma to a blacklist file, otherwise you will have a conflict between drivers which will block the brcm80211 driver and that will make your wireless card be unavailable.

Bumblebee

The 1015pn can be configured to run automatically on the Intel video card, turn on and use the Nvidia part for specific processes when requested, and otherwise leave the Nvidia part turned off.

First, install acpi_call-gitAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] from the AUR. Add acpi_call module into /etc/modules-load.d/.

Lets make use of systemd's tmpfiles to ensure that the Intel VGA controller is used on every subsequent boot.

/etc/tmpfiles.d/acpi_call.conf
w /proc/acpi/call - - - - \OSGS 0x03

Next, install and configure Bumblebee. Finally, remove any automated or otherwise scripted acpi calls to turn off the Nvidia VGA controller.

Power management of the Nvidia VGA controller can also be handled by Bumblebee. Please note, however, that Bumblebee support for power management is currently experimental. To use automatic power management of the Nvidia card, first go to /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf, and change ENABLE_POWER_MANAGEMENT=Y and STOP_SERVICE_ON_EXIT=Y. This gives Bumblebee permission to turn on and off the Nvidia card. Stop service on exit means that the Nvidia card will be turned off when not currently being used by any process.

Next, two new files, cardon and cardoff, must be created in /etc/bumblebee/, with the following contents:

cardon
\_SB.PCI0.P0P4.DGPU.DON
cardoff
\_SB.PCI0.P0P4.DGPU.DOFF

These are the acpi calls that Bumblebee will use to dynamically control the power of the Nvidia card. Now if bumblebee is included in the MODULES section of /etc/rc.conf, Bumblebee will automatically power down the Nvidia VGA controller unless it is being used with the optirun command.

To Do

  1. Manage to get the xf86-video-intel, and xf86-video-nouveau or nvidia packages installed (specific libgl being used by each one)
  2. Fix notes about rc.conf and initscripts.

 Links