Asus F5rl Dancing With Linux

Prepare yourself to see new hardware… use your instinct and relate them to the lspci and lsusb outputs. Note down the pciids and usbids. Go on the internet and look for the right drivers. Load the (experimental) drivers and watch dmesg as your kernel happily integrates the new drivers or pukes it out.


A summary of what works and what doesn't

Audio ATI Azalia works out of the box
Wired ethernet controller Attansic L2 Ethernet driver is present on some systems by default (eg. Ubuntu Gutsy) but not in others like Debian GNU/Linux. Ubuntu has a binary driver and I can't locate the source for. I used an unofficial experimental driver that didn't compile. Commented out some code to make it compile. The link to the driver provided in this article is the final result of the modifications.
Wireless card Atheros AR5007. The patch found in ticket 1679 on MadWiFi seems to be promising but didn't work for me
Webcam Works right away with experimental Syntek driver
Hotkeys asus4acpi didn't work right away for me. Looks like some kernel tweaking is necessary in addition to asus4acpi

Diagnostic dumps

These dumps are useful in determining what kind of hardware you have. Remember to update pci ids and usb ids to the latest possible. This process is distribution specific. For example, in Debian GNU/Linux, use update-pciids and update-usbids.


00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Unknown device 5a31 (rev 01)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:04.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:05.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:06.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:07.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS480 PCI Bridge
00:12.0 SATA controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 Non-Raid-5 SATA
00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI0)
00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI1)
00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI2)
00:13.3 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI3)
00:13.4 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI4)
00:13.5 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB Controller (EHCI)
00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 13)
00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 IDE
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia
00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 PCI to LPC Bridge
00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RC410 [Radeon Xpress 200M]
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5006EG 802.11 b/g Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
06:00.0 Ethernet controller: Attansic Technology Corp. L2 100 Mbit Ethernet Adapter (rev a0)


Bus 006 Device 003: ID 174f:6a31
Bus 006 Device 002: ID 0bda:0116 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.


First roadblock: The Attansic L2 Ethernet adapter: without a driver for this, you can't even browse the internet looking for one. I'm going to give you a headstart by spoonfeeding you: Here's the archive: atl-l2.tar.bz2. Just extract it make && make install. The driver should work out of the box.

Next, get audio working. No issues with this one- should work right away. Video: just get the nonfree ATI driver and it should work quite easily too. Forget about the wireless card for now- I haven't managed to get it working yet and it's better to wait a bit and save yourself some pain.

The webcam comes next. It's the 174f:6a31 device you see in the lsusb output. Get the driver for the Syntek webcam from the CVS like this:

$ svn co

and replace the provided Makefile with this file. Then make && make install. You should be video chatting in no time at all.

Responses and comments


I'm the happy owner of an Asus F5RL and would first like to thank you for your linux-laptop entry, which was useful to me. Perhaps you'd like to know that I have the Wifi working on mine (and also, to some extent, the hotkeys).

I'm using a stable Debian (etch) distribution, with kernel version 2.6.18-5-686, and downloaded the madwifi snapshot madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007, as instructed in madwifi ticket #1679. I don't know what prevents your Wifi from working; maybe the ACPI is interfering somehow.

Concerning the hotkeys, I noticed that with asus_acpi loaded, acpi produces events for hotkeys, with the exclusion of the « Media player », LCD brightness control, and « Camera » keys. The association is as follows.

00000050 Fn+F3
00000051 Internet
00000061 Fn+F8
0000006b Touchpad
00000032 Mute
00000030 Volume up
00000031 Volume down
0000005c Lock

This allows you to use those with acpid, either via a premade package (acpi-support worked partly), or with a custom script, which I did. This settles the volume keys, power button, and sleep key; the start/stop-Wifi and start/stop-LCD keys work natively. (Which is a pity, by the way, as this Wifi key interferes with the Wifi switch on the side). I did not manage to make the LCD brightness control work, bud did not try too hard.

Best regards,

Jérôme Plût

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