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The ASUS X550CA laptop works properly with Linux. Laptop tested is an ASUS R510C, but is an ASUS X550CA as reported by dmidecode. Tested on Debian Jessie with UEFI booting enabled, in addition to Ubuntu 14.04. Windows 8 / 8.1 dualboot works fine, as along as grub is installed correctly into the efi partition (usually the first partition on the hard disk) through the 'something else' option in the installer.
For full specifications see the ASUS X550CA specifications page.
|Processor||Intel Core i7 3537U Processor
Intel Core i5 3337U Processor
Intel Core i3 3217U Processor
Intel ULV Pentium 2117U Processor
Intel Celeron 1007U Processor
|Screen||15.6“ 16:9 1366×768 Glossy Display|
|HDD||320GB HDD 5400
500GB HDD 5400
750GB HDD 5400
1TB HDD 5400
500GB HDD 7200
750GB HDD 7200
|Optical Drive||Super-Multi DVD|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Network||10/100/1000 Base T
|Processor||Compatible||Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3337U CPU @ 1.80GHz|
|Graphics Chip||Compatible||Bug in Intel driver causing periodic GPU hangs see below for workaround!|
|VGA Out||Not Tested|
|HDMI Out||Compatible||May use NTSC color space 16-235 per channel vs PC RGB 0-255, workaround noted.|
|Display Port||Not Tested|
|Optical Drive||Not Tested|
|Microphone-In Port||Not Tested|
|Wireless||Compatible||Ath9k based 1×1 card. RFkill issues: asus_nb_wmi kernel module needs wapf=4 option|
|USB||Compatible||1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 Ports, Located on LH side of laptop|
|Card Reader||Compatible||Tested with 3.15 kernel|
|Suspend/Resume||Compatible||No issues with suspend/resume, nor hibernate|
Wifi Rfkill issues:
By default the wifi PHY is hardware disabled by rfkill. Fn+F2 does not enable it. Fix it, by executing the following command as root:
echo “options asus_nb_wmi wapf=4” > /etc/modprobe.d/asus.conf
Intel GPU Hangs:
A bug in Mesa 10.1 periodically causes the GPU to freeze, followed by graphical corruption. An argument is needed on the kernel commandline to enable a workaround.
Set the following variable in /etc/default/grub (debian/ubuntu systems).
Then run update-grub as root, then reboot.
Intel HDMI using wrong colorspace, run this command. Root not needed:
xrandr –output HDMI1 –set “Broadcast RGB” “Full”
One the RFkill and Intel GPU bugs have been corrected, this laptop runs well on Linux and is stable.
The major drawbacks of this laptop are the clickpad which is very annoying and is impossible to middle click for paste, the single spatial stream 2.4 Ghz wireless N card is limited to 72 Mbps, and the lack of integrated bluetooth.
Clickpad mouse buttons are on the sensor area, which can be problematic as the synaptics driver prevents the mouse being moved if a finger is resting on either button, as of this bug. This patch resolves the problem, but in Ubuntu 14.10 and onwards it no longer works due to changes in the synaptics driver. For this case, mtrack could be used with this config in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-mtrack.conf and install xserver-xorg-input-mtrack.
Sound quality is mediocre and hollow sounding due to the lack of front facing speakers.
Occasionally, sound will fail to output through the headphone jack (at least, in Ubuntu 14.04) though continues to work through the speakers. Rebooting into Windows and back into Ubuntu again resolves it temporarily. The cause of this problem is unknown but could be something to do with these bugs 1, 2
Wifi card can be upgraded to something decent like an Intel 7260 which is fully compatible with this laptop and may add bluetooth support if the right model is ordered. Warning: Wifi card is located under the keyboard on this model, and changing it may void all warranties.
Suspend/Resume and hibernate works perfectly. No UEFI related issues noted.