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Asus M50Sa


This is a guide to running Linux with the Asus M50Sa laptop.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Asus M50Sa. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Asus M50Sa page on LapWik.

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NameAsus M50Sa
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo
Screen15.4“ WXGA+ or WSXGA+ Widescreen
HDD120GB to 500GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW or Blu-ray
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
NetworkEthernet, Intel 3945ABG 802.11abgn or Intel 4965AGN 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

ScreenYesScreen brightness must be manually controlled.
KeyboardYesThe keymap may need to be altered to allow proper use of Shift-PgDn and Shift-PgUp to control the console scrollback buffer.
Optical DriveDVD - Yes
GraphicsYesUsing ATI proprietary driver.
SoundYessnd_hda_intel. (see note)
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
Card ReaderYes
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested


The backlight control, keyboard keymap, and sound sections have been verified on Gentoo Linux. Minor modifications to these instructions may have to be made for your distribution. (These entries were made by Chris Snow)

Backlight Control

The default light level is set to zero. This results in the screen brightness being very dim. You may set the backlight level (ls_level) anywhere from 0 (least bright) to 15 (brightest).

$ sudo echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/asus-laptop/ls_switch  # make sure the switch is 'on'.
$ sudo echo 15 > /sys/devices/platform/asus-laptop/ls_level  # set the backlight brightness.

I added the above command, minus sudo, to a startup script so that the screen is set to the brightest level on boot.

Keyboard Keymap

Generally speaking, the keyboard works without issue. Two caveats: Most “Fn” keys combinations do not work; Default keymaps for Shift-PgUp/Shift-PgDn do not work to control the console scrollback buffer.

There are several ways to correct the keymaps to allow for proper control of the console scrollback buffer, I chose to do the following:

$ sudo sed -i 's/shift keycode 104/shift keycode 73/g' /usr/share/keymaps/i386/include/
$ sudo sed -i 's/shift keycode 109/shift keycode 81/g' /usr/share/keymaps/i386/include/
$ sudo /etc/init.d/keymaps restart


The laptop speakers will not mute when external speakers or heaphones are plugged in. A quick fix for this is to add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa (create the file if it does not exist):

options snd-hda-intel model=haier-w66


You can enter a summary of how well the Asus M50Sa works with Linux here.


julia, 2014/08/05 09:53

I am trying to implement your solution but i am getting a stack overflow error at line 403, I presume this is in the jester.js file but I am not sure why it is happening.
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Tom, 2009/08/06 07:57

setting ls_switch to 0 enables the fn-f5 and fn-f6 brightness control's
setting it to 1 lets you manually set the brightness between 0 and 15 with ls_level
setting it to 3 enables the auto-brightness i think.

savigm, 2008/10/11 15:11

Screen Brightness

Such as M50Sv, M50Sa have problems with brightness. It fix such easy as in M50Sv: to fix dark screen disable the ambient light sensor like so:

sudo -s
echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/asus_laptop/ls_switch

But how make work brightness control and sensor?

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asus_m50sa.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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