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Excellent
 
12% (2)
Good
 
18% (3)
Fair
 
18% (3)
Poor
 
53% (9)
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Asus N53SN

Introduction

This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Asus N53SN laptop.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Asus N53SN. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Asus N53SN page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Asus N53SN specifications page.
This are the standard specifications the notebook comes with.

NameAsus N53SN
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7 2630QM
Intel® Core™ i5 2410M
Intel® Core™ i3 2310M
Screen15.6“ (1366×768) Widescreen OR full hd (1920×1080)
RAMUp to 8GB
HDDup to 640GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
Blu-ray
Blu-ray-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA® GeForce® GT 550M
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11 b/g/n or 802.11 b/g

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorkingAll power managers tested I'm having very high temperatures. CPU speed can be set, but fan remains at the same high speed as before and can't be set (acpi problem?). Temperatures remain high and unstable.
TouchpadOut of the box multitouch support on OpenSuse
ScreenFunctional (Brightness keys are working)NVIDIA driver may drop ball on EDID + hybrid graphics (using NVIDIA gpu through the Intel graphics isn't working very well. (You have to manually select which card you want to use. Temperatures are also very high)
HDDFunctional
Optical DriveFunctionalBesides blu-ray everything works OK
Graphics Sometimes blue and red lines appear at the startup of X.
Dedicated GraphicsNVIDIA proprietary driver functional Works; toggling on/off via /proc is beta
SoundCougar Point High Definition Audio Controller functionalWorks
EthernetRTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller functionalWorks
WirelessAR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)Works (Shared w/ bluetooth [AR9002WB-1NGCD])
BluetoothAR3011 Functional, not tested Different Tx/Rx time domain from 802.11n (effects throughput/interference [AR9002WB-1NGCD])
ModemNot Tested
USBFunctionalUSB3.0 breaks suspend2ram when enabled
Card ReaderFunctionalNon-bootable
WebcamFunctional

Notes

For school I need to use Windows too (yeah I know,… don't like it either). So my first idea was to run it in a VM. But right know I'm doing the opposite. I'm running a stripped down version (very minimal) of Windows 7 (without starting the explorer shell, and loading virtual box instead). On top of that I'm virtualizing Debian and OpenSuse. Temperatures are OK now, and I'm almost getting native speeds. I hope that I can do it the other way around in the near future (running Linux as a hypervisor os, with my operating systems on top of that).

Summary

I have tested OpenSuse 12.1 (which works best out of the box for this device, in my opinion).
Both Ubuntu 11.10 and OpenSuse 12.1 (and even Debian 6) are having the same temperature issues as described before. The SandyBridge support with hybrid graphics is ”+-working“, but for average people I would not recommend using it yet as a regular system (I don't think idle temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius are healthy. Then a few minutes later temperature drops to 40 degrees Celsius, without killing any process!). For now you can experiment adding parameters to the grub boot loader for better ACPI support, but I haven't found any setting that really makes it better (that's also the reason I don't post them right here. If you want you can find them on the web if you do a search for “SandyBridge i7 grub parameters”).

Temporary solution untill everything works

As I said before the following is possible:
I'm not a fan of Windows in any kind, but for people like me who need it for school, and are not willing to risk any hardware problems due to the high temperatures and (until now) bad ACPI support, you can do the following.

Install Windows 7 with just driver support (and antivirus+firewall,… yes it is necessary on Windows!).
This barebone system is going to be our hypervisor OS.
Install Virtualbox (or VMware if you want, but I'm a fan of Virtualbox, although VMware works a little smoother, but Virtualbox is “more” open source then VMware is, unless you use the usb support and some extra features).
You can now (not necessary, but it's faster) disable the explorer shell at startup by changing the regkey at: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon In here you will find “Shell” (with explorer.exe as the value). Change the value to the full path of Virtualbox (or VMware).
When you reboot you will be able to start your virtual machine:).

I know this is a dirty solution, but it does the job. I hope I will be able to use Linux instead of Windows as my hypervisor OS. But I'm sure there are many people (especially developers) who will do a great job.

Last Edited by

McSalty
zepman.mcsalty.4 a t gmail.com (I changed the wiki a little and added the temperature issues and my dirty hypervisor solution. Feel free to contact me if you found a solution for my problems, or if you don't agree with my findings, any updates, or any other reason. Thanks)
I own the i7 version with NVIDIA 550M, and full HD screen (1920×1080) and bought it in Belgium. The origin of the notebook is The Netherlands in my case.


Discussion

SnolahC, 2013/12/16 11:58

I posted my last comment 2 years ago.

Now, ubuntu-based distros (ubuntu, Mint), debian 7 and fedora 16+ seem to work pretty well on it.

But, as Birdie said, there is always this multi-video card problem. Actually, under linux it's not a big deal as the only video card used is the big nvidia one (pretty thought to make it work properly, by the way).

I'll let you know if there are some easy ways to have everything work on this damn good laptop under linux.

Cheers

SnolahC

Josh, 2013/12/16 04:51

Installed Ultimate Ubuntu 3.5 (Ubuntu 12.04 lts) and all works well. Didnt have time to test everything, but, seems pretty stable.

sertaconay, 2012/03/20 08:32

Download and install bumblebee for Nvidia Optimus. Nvidia driver works. Otherway it doesn't work whatever you do.

SnolahC, 2011/11/20 02:30

oguz, yes the driver can be downloaded and installed, but i never arrived to make it used by the system… Even with all installed and configured, and the intel graphic modules and drivers blacklisted in the modprobe, the nvidia graphic card is never used… in ubuntu-10 it represents a “This driver is installed but not in use” in the Additional Drivers section… In my case, the intel card is ALWAYS used by default. As i thought it would be impossible to have the choice to switch between cards, i tried to disable the intel one to use exclusively the nVidia card.
Moreover, under Linux Mint Debian Edition (debian + extra apps), the ACPI keys for the sound work properly.

oguz, 2011/11/19 20:58

Hi guys, in ubuntu-11 you can install the working nvidia driver by using “Additional Drivers” under “System Settings”. In ubuntu-10 this did not work for me but in ubuntu-11 it did.

You use nvidia card as default. To switch between intel and nvidia cards on the laptop is another issue.

SnolahC, 2011/11/13 20:50

Spent days and days on the hybrid card problem, talking with many people on IRC and looking on many forums… cannot solve this issue for now…
Running Linux Mint Debian Edition (gave up Ubuntu few months ago) pretty well excluding this graphic card issue.
What I tried was, if it was possible to use only one graphic card, to disable the Intel one in order to user exclusively the nVidia VC…
If anyone has a solution…

nabeel, 2011/11/13 20:46

i bought the same n53sn with nvidia geforce gt540m, unable ti install nvidia driver under red hat linux RHEL. any solution for this problem?..

SnolahC, 2011/10/16 01:35

Bought a N53SN due to high performances, the laptop is just excellent, great specs and screen, but under linux i have some problems :
Except Ubuntu (11.04 and 11.10), impossible to get a X server running. (hybrid graphic cards issue i think)
No ACPI buttons working at all (sound)
Unworking camera & microphone
Impossible (even under ubuntu) to use the nVidia drivers ⇒ no graphic acceleration
One day, i'll spend hours to fix all this issues and commit the work ^^

Birdie, 2011/10/03 20:36

For ubuntu 11.04 everything is exellent… But hyprid graphic card has a problem for me i cannt do acpi call whatever is a problem… Graphic card producters must solve this hyprid driver problem…. All laptops are hyprid now….

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asus_n53sn.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/07 11:18 by billg
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