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Excellent
 
57% (12)
Good
 
33% (7)
Fair
 
5% (1)
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0% (0)
Unusable
 
5% (1)

ASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201LA

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the ASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201LA laptop. This laptop is actually two physical devices in one (i.e. like the typical Asus Transformers except better), a tablet running Android 4.2.2 and a dock that can function separately from the tablet with another OS. The two devices enable the laptop to function in three different modes: laptop, “desktop,” and tablet. Hence the “Trio” moniker.

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.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the ASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201LA specifications page.

NameASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
ProcessorIntel Core i7 4500U Processor
Intel Core i5 4200U Processor
Tablet : Intel Z2560
Screen11.6“ 16:9 IPS FHD (1920×1080)Amtel Maxtouch digitizer
RAMTablet: 2GB
Dock: 4GB
HDD500GB HDD
750GB HDD
1TB HDD
Tablet : 16GB up to 64 GB EMMC
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsIntegrated Intel HD Graphics 4400
Network Integrated 802.11ac + bluetooth Chipset RTL8821AE see (http://wikidevi.com/wiki/Realtek_RTL8821AE_Combo_Module)
Tablet Connectivity: Integrated 802.11n + bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

This compatibility list deals with installing Linux only on the pc portion (the base/dock), and not on the tablet portion.

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes The touch screen is an Amtel Maxtouch digitizer. Touch recognition works
HDDYes
Graphics ChipYes
HDMI OutYes
Display PortYes
SoundYes According to the hardware design: sound for pc side comes only from the base speakers and that from the android side only comes through the screen speakers
MicrophoneYes
Headphone PortYes
Microphone-In PortNot Tested
EthernetN/A There is a usb to ethernet cable that comes with higher end models which works
WirelessYes (see Wifi Notes below) According to http://wikidevi.com/wiki/Realtek_RTL8821AE_Combo_Module staging drivers are expected in kernel 3.14 and fully functional drivers in kernel 3.15. However as of kernel 3.13 there are no Linux wireless drivers
BluetoothYes Broadcom bluetooth radio that is physically part of the wireless card but connects via usb, whereas the wireless chip via pci-express
USBYes According to the hardware design, all ports on right side of the base are pc only ports, whereas all ports on the left side of the base can be accessed through pc and tablet sides
FirewireN/A
Card Reader Yes According to the hardware design, the micro-sd card reader is tablet only, but can be access through mtp when the tablet is on
WebcamYes Front-facing Chickony usb web cam only. The back-facing camera is designed for tablet only use, whereas the front-facing camera is designed to work on both tablet and pc sides
KeyboardYes All keys including the OS switch key work
TouchPad Yes Works as of Kernel 3.15. For earlier kernel versions, if you experience the cursor becoming unusable on OS switch, you will need to remove and reinsert the the psmouse module, run
 su -c 'echo -n "rescan" > /sys/bus/serio/devices/serio4/drvctl'

, or shut the lid and let the system go into suspend and bring it back up. See Touchpad Notes below to automate mouse fix on OS switch for Kernels ⇐ 3.14

Suspend/ResumeYes

Notes

  • In order to install linux, you need to disable secure boot. Go into the BIOS by pushing the F2/Airplane/wireless key on post screen and search for option to disable secure boot under the security tab.
  • If the system will not go into BIOS on F2 press at post. Boot into windows, run and install some windows updates, restart machine, and push F2. It seems that the system disables BIOS access by default, but enables access only immediately after Windows update or ASUS live update.
  • I installed Fedora 20 and it worked just fine. For experiences installing Ubuntu see http://www.libre-software.net/ubuntu-linux-mint-on-asus-transformer-book-trio

Wifi Notes

Will work for Kernels 3.10 → 3.13 (other kernel versions are untested)
To get the RTL8821ae wireless chip set working with the “rough” Kernel 3.14-rc staging driver you will need to do the following (Note: Since these drivers are under heavy development, it will be useful to pull the latest version from time to time):

 $ sudo cp rtl8821aefw.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/
 $ sudo yum install kernel-headers kernel-devel gcc automake (on fedora)
  • cd into the directory where you extracted/downloaded the staging driver
 $ cd rtl8821ae
  • Edit the Makefile by appending the following lines:
KDIR := /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build
PWD := $(shell pwd)
default:
	$(MAKE) -C $(KDIR) SUBDIRS=$(PWD) CONFIG_R8821AE=m modules
  • Save the file and run make
 $ make

Note: According to the documentation the driver module should be “r8821ae.ko” but I got a “rtl8821ae.ko” file. If your build results in the earlier file, be sure to substitute that file name for mine in the succeesing steps (folder names should stay the same)

  • Make the neccessary directory for the wifi module in your root directory and copy the module there
$ sudo mkdir /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/staging/rtl8821ae
$ sudo cp rtl8821ae.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/staging/rtl8821ae/
  • Run depmod and modprobe
$ sudo depmod -a
$ sudo modprobe rtl8821ae  (or r8821ae depending on what your module is named)

Touchpad Notes

In order to automatically resume proper mouse function when switching to and from android, you can write a script and a udev rule to automate the process of resetting the touchpad. The idea is to write a udev rule (01-touchreset.rules) that detects whenever the touchscreen is reconnected to the dock and have it trigger a script (touchreset.sh) that resets the touchpad device so that it functions properly.

  • Create a file called 01-touchreset.rules and include the following:
SUBSYSTEM=="video4linux", KERNEL=="video0", ACTION=="add", RUN+="/usr/local/bin/touchreset.sh"
  • The above created udev rule listens for when the device front facing camera is connected and uses that as a trigger to run the reset script below.
  • Copy 01-touchreset.rules to /etc/udev/rules.d/
$ sudo cp 01-touchreset.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
  • Create a file called touchreset.sh include the following:
#!/bin/bash
isup=0
isup='xinput --list | grep -c id'
if [ ${#isup} -gt 0 ]; then
    exec `echo -n "rescan" > /sys/bus/serio/devices/serio4/drvctl`
fi
  • Make touchreset.sh executable and copy it to /usr/local/bin/
$ sudo chmod a+x touchreset.sh
$ sudo cp touchreset.sh /usr/local/bin/
  • When done with the creation and copying of the files to their proper locations, switch to Android, do something on android, and then switch back to linux. If all went well, the touchpad should function normally.

Summary

ASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201LA works very well with Linux provided the tweaks provided in the notes above are included.


Discussion

John, 2014/05/12 01:40

@trowa
You do not need to pull the entire rep. Simply use the web to browse the tree and download the necessary folder. For instance try the following link

https://kernel.googlesource.com/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/next/linux-next.git/+archive/v3.14/drivers/staging/rtl8821ae.tar.gz

trowa, 2014/05/04 18:38

Install a 300mb git repo to install a wireless driver~ how bout nO?~

Ti, 2014/05/04 09:41

Enable touchpad multi-touch on ubuntu:

http://www.evilcodingmonkey.com/2014/01/23/ubuntu-activate-multi-touch-on-elantech/

François, 2014/03/21 08:36

The latest Daily of Trusty makes the wifi works without any problem. There are still some problems, like if you switch to Android them back (the touchpad becomes crazy), and the brightness buttons are not always working. Except that, it seems to be working fine, sound is ok. And with a SSD drive, it's lightning fast !

jane, 2014/02/12 05:15

It looks like a possible solution for the touch pad issue has been submitted to the kernel see https://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/3445601/ . There is some ongoing discussion related to it at https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1051668

John, 2014/01/26 03:25

Apparently the experimental wireless driver is available on Steam OS. See http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/558746088887100821/

bugzy, 2014/01/26 02:48

It seems that I cannot edit this page, so I have inserted all relevant findings as a comment.

Specs

Ram 2GB – on tablet / 4GB –on dock
Network Integrated 802.11ac + Bluetooth – Chipset RTL8821AE see (http://wikidevi.com/wiki/Realtek_RTL8821AE_Combo_Module)

Linux Compatibility

This compatibility list deals only with installing linux on the dock portion and not on the tablet portion.

Processor works
Screen works This is a touch screen (Amtel Maxtouch digitizer) and it works out of the box
HDD works
Graphics Chip works
HDMI Out Not Tested
Display Port works
Sound works note that sound for the base (pc side) only comes from the base and that from the android side only through the screen
Microphone works
Headphone Port works All ports on the left side of the base are work on both android and pc mode
Microphone-In Port Not Tested headphone and mic are the same port but I do not have a headset
Ethernet N/A There is a usb to ethernet cable that comes with higher end models which works
Wireless Does not work Chipset is RTL8821AE which has no linux drivers. According to http://wikidevi.com/wiki/Realtek_RTL8821AE_Combo_Module drivers are expected in kernel 3.14 or 3.15
Bluetooth works This is a Broadcom bluetooth radio that is physically part of the wireless chipset but connects via usb, whereas the wireless chip via pci-express
USB works Usb port on the left side of the dock works in both android or linux mode. Note ports on right side are dock (linux) only, whereas those on the left side are share between dock and tablet
Firewire N/A
Card Reader N/A
Webcam works Chickony usb web cam. Note that the backfacing camera is android only. The front facing camera works on Android and linux
Keyboard works All keys including the OS switch key work
TouchPad works partially It is recognized as an Elantech touchpad device but is usable only as a mouse. Also when the os is switched to Android and back, the cursor goes crazy with middle clicks when the touchpad is used. To get it to function properly again you will need to remove and reinsert the the psmouse module or shut the lid and let the system go into suspend and bring it back up. This is still the case as of Linux Kernel 3.13 (even though additional support for newer Elantech touchpads was included in this kernel)
Suspend/Resume works

Installation notes:

* In order to install linux, you need to disable secure boot. Go into the BIOS by pushing the F2/Airplane/wireless key on post screen and search for option to disable secure boot.
* If the system will not go into BIOS on F2 press at post. Boot into windows, run and install some windows updates, restart machine, and push F2. It seems that the system disables BIOS access by default and only enables acces immediately after a windows or ASUS live update.
* I installed Fedora 20 and it worked just fine. For experiences installing Ubuntu see http://www.libre-software.net/ubuntu-linux-mint-on-asus-transformer-book-trio

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asus_transformer_book_trio_tx201la.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/14 22:49 by 38.96.34.9
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