ASUS Zenbook UX303

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This page contains instructions, tips, pointers, and links for installing and configuring Arch Linux on the ASUS Zenbook UX303 Ultrabook.

There is a lot a models but 2 main models, UX303LN with 2 graphic cards (intel & nvidia) and UX303LA with only an intel graphic card.

Installation problems

None, but you should use the UEFI archlinux installation guide. The Asus UEFI accepts UEFI boot (which works well) and Legacy BIOS mode.

Compatibility

Hard Disk

For models with an SSD, see Solid State Drives.

For the models without a SSD as main disk, the hard disk stop/start each 30/60 seconds, add a udev rule :

 $ cat /etc/udev/rules.d/50-hdparm.rules
 # Configure hardisk power management: No more spin-down !!
 KERNEL=="sda", SUBSYSTEM=="block", ACTION=="add", RUN+="/usr/bin/hdparm -B 255 -S 0 /dev/sda"

and update the systemd hdparm service:

 $ cat /etc/systemd/system/hdparm.service 
 [Unit]
 Description=Local system resume actions
 After=suspend.target
 
 [Service]
 Type=simple
 ExecStart=/usr/bin/hdparm -B 255 -S 0 /dev/sda
 
 [Install]
 WantedBy=suspend.target

Touchpad

The touchpad is a FocalTech model, that is supported by the arch reference kernel since 4.0.1-1 update.

 dmesg | grep FLT01                                                            
 [    0.395565] pnp 00:06: Plug and Play ACPI device, IDs FLT0101 SYN0a00 SYN0002 PNP0f03 PNP0f13 PNP0f12 (active)
 cat /sys/bus/acpi/devices/FLT0101\:00/status                                  
 15 
 $ xinput   
 ⎡ Virtual core pointer                    	id=2	[master pointer  (3)]
 ⎜   ↳ FocalTechPS/2 FocalTech FocalTech Touchpad	id=14	[slave  pointer  (2)]

To get full functionality, you will need to configure the touchpad. See Touchpad Synaptics for more information.

The sensitivity settings may need to be adjusted. If touchpad is not responsive, try changing the settings:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf
Section "InputClass"
        ....
	Option "FingerLow" "30"
	Option "FingerHigh" "35"
EndSection

Touch screen

The touchscreen is an Atmel maXTouch Digitize. Simple touch works well out of the box. The 10-point multi touch works with libinput installed (tested with the tools/event-debug libinput test tool).

Webcam

The webcam is an SuYin HF1019-T838-SN03 (USB 2.0, UVC) which works well.

Wifi

The wifi chipset is an Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless N 7260, REV=0x144. It works well with recents kernel (fails with 3.2.0 kernel) with the iwlwifi kernel module and the firmware version 23.214.9.0. The device name is wlp2s0.

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth chipset is an intel N7260 model (same as the wifi chipset), which works well. Uses the intel/ibt-hw-37.7.10-fw-1.80.2.3.d.bseq firmware.

Graphics

The main graphic chipset is an Intel Haswell chipset, which works well with the i915 xorg driver. See Intel graphics for details.

 $ lspci
 ...
 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0b)

Secondary graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce 840M (UX303LN model).

 $ lspci
 ....
 03:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM108M [GeForce 840M] (rev a2)

The secondary card is combined with the main graphics in a hybrid NVIDIA Optimus configuration. The card works with nvidia drivers from the official repository. Bumblebee can be used to take advantage of the NVIDIA card.

Keyboard backlight

Four level positions (0 to 3) available with

 tee /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness <<< 3

Monitor backlight

available with

 tee  /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness  <<< 500

825 is the max value.

On kernel 3.17, max value seems to be 187

Ambient Light Sensor (ALS)

The included Ambient Light Sensor can accessed using the als-driver-gitAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] kernel module. There is also a userspace program als-controller-gitAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror], which has the purpose of automatically adjusting the keyboard and screen backlight. Usage of the Ambient Light Sensor is described in more detail on the wiki page for the ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A.

Note that the userspace program currently does not work correctly on the UX303 as the reported brightness values differ from the Zenbook Prime.

QHD monitor

Some models include a 3200x1800 screen, which display very tiny characters.

Gnome3 is able to work out the correct font size on this display, but other environments and GUI toolkits may need adjustment. See the general HiDPI wiki page for possible fixes.

Suspend/resume

Prior to Linux 4.0.1-1, this laptop had problems resuming from suspend-to-ram, and could not reliably power off. Since Linux 4.0.1-1, these issues no longer exist and suspending/resuming as well as powering off work reliably. Suspend key (Fn+F1) works out of the box with expected behavior.

On resume, the Intel GPU might hang and needs to be restarted. This happens automatically but delays the resume by quite a bit. If your resume takes a long time check dmesg for a message starting with GPU HANG. If it is present, try passing i915.enable_execlists=0 to the linux image.

Battery

Battery has a design capacity of 4429mAh, and is able to provide just over 3 hours of autonomy under normal circumstances (average load of around 0.3 and WiFi enabled, brightness lowered to mid-range) without serious power saving tweaks. Battery stops charging when it reaches near-full capacity on AC and acpi tool will show "discharging at zero rate" message. This behavior can be observed on a brand new battery. ACPI tools are able to correctly detect the battery state.

 # on AC near-full capacity
 $ acpi -i
 Battery 0: Discharging, 98%, discharging at zero rate - will never fully discharge.
 Battery 0: design capacity 4429 mAh, last full capacity 4076 mAh = 92%
 # on AC charging
 $ acpi -i
 Battery 0: Charging, 94%, 00:11:53 until charged
 Battery 0: design capacity 4429 mAh, last full capacity 4110 mAh = 92%
 # off AC
 $ acpi -i
 Battery 0: Discharging, 98%, 03:22:03 remaining
 Battery 0: design capacity 4429 mAh, last full capacity 4076 mAh = 92%

Battery life may depend on the type of LCD panel. The above values are shown for the model with QHD display.

There have been suggestions that "discharging at zero rate" while on AC is a battery calibration issue solvable by allowing the battery to fully discharge and then charging it back to full capacity.

It is also recommended to install the Laptop Mode Tools AUR package. On a UX303LB laptop (Broadwell) this increases battery life significantly.

Microphone

Microphone works out of the box. If you cannot record or use VoIP, make sure the microphone is not muted.

Function Keys

All function keys except the backlight and "plane" mode seem to work out of the box (as of kernel 3.17). To fix, add acpi_osi= as a kernel parameter. Example line from /etc/default/grub:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet acpi_osi="

On UX303LA (kernel 4.1.13) xev does not return any events for the standard brightness keys, but F3 and F4 seem to be detected as XF86KbdBrightnessDown and XF86KbdBrightnessUp, respectively.

Troubleshooting

USB 3.0

If the USB Ports are only working with USB 2.0 devices, disable "XHCI Pre-Boot Mode" in the BIOS under "Advanced" -> "USB Configuration".

Note:

Be aware, that after deactivating "XHCI Pre-Boot Mode" the ports will only work in USB 2.0 mode.