Kubuntu 6.10 on Asus F3Jc Laptop

This document describes how to install Kubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) on an Asus F3Jc laptop.

Un version en français et probablement plus à jour se trouve sur le site Ubuntu Fr


Ubuntu Live CD (aka Ubuntu Desktop) works perfectly, there's no need to use the Alternate one.

To boot on the CD, change Bios settings:

The laptop originally comes with Windows XP on a restore CD and 3 partitions:

  1. Restore partition (invisible when using Windows)
  2. Partition C: (FAT32) containing Windows
  3. Partition D: (FAT32) empty

The QtParted software provided on the Kubuntu CD is enough to resize and tweak partitions. If you want to shrink a Windows partition it's advised to defragment it before using Windows software.

Configure Graphic Card

This laptop contains an nVidia Geforce Go 7300 and a 15.4" screen (1280x800 pixels). Open-source drivers are automatically installed by default and work.

If you need 3D/Open GL capabilities, proprietary drivers are required. To install them:

  1. Backup your xorg.conf file:
    cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf xorg.conf.backup
  2. Install proprietary nVidia drivers:
    apt-get install nvidia-glx
  3. Correct the screen resolution by editing the xorg.conf file and adding "1280x800" on the "Mode" lines of the "Display" sub-sections of the "Screen" section:
    Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

To use the TV or CRT output, read carefully the nVidia driver documentation. This feature is called TwinView and works perfectly. The "nvtv" tool doesn't support this grapics card model but you won't need it.

Configure Audio Card

This laptop contains an Intel 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller and a Realtek High Definition Audio (ALC861, S/PDIF for digital output)). Both are recognized by Edgy, but the computer is dumb by default: it is a known bug

There are many solutions to solve this problem:

  1. Tweak the provided Alsa 0.12rc1 provided by Edgy:
    1. Edit the "/etc/modprobe.d/alsabase"
    2. Add at the end
      options snd-hda-intel model=uniwill-m31
    With this solution, integrated speakers will work but not the jack output.
  2. Setup Alsa 0.14rc1 (or more recent):
    1. Download it on www.alsa-project.org,
    2. Compile and install.
  3. There is also a Linux driver on Realtek web site, but I didn't test it

Configure Network Cards

The wired card (Realtek 8168) works by default.

The wireless card works by default, but the computer doesn't start when the power cable is not plugged in and the "Wifi kill switch" is turned on. The computer startup stops after file system check with an error message "BUG: soft lockup detected on CPU#0". Again, it is a known bug that can be fixed by replacing the ipw3945.ko kernel module, by a patched one (read bug comments for more information). Hopefully, the bug is fixed in recent kernel releases.

Configure the Touchpad

The touchpad works by default, but if you want cool features like scrolling and tapping you'll need to:

  1. Install Synaptics:
    apt-get install libsynaptics xserver-xorg-input-synaptics ksynaptics
  2. Edit your "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" file
  3. Add an input device in the "ServerLayout" section:
    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "Default Layout"
    Screen "Default Screen" 0 0
    InputDevice "Synaptics TouchPad"
  4. Add an "InputDevice" section:
    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Synaptics TouchPad"
    Driver "synaptics"
    Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
    Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
    Option "TopEdge" "1200"
    Option "LeftEdge" "1200"
    Option "RightEdge" "5800"
    Option "BottomEdge" "4800"
    Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "0"
    Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"
    Option "SHMConfig" "on"

Configure ACPI, hibernation, power management...

Ubuntu 6.10 provides an Asus ACPI driver 0.30 which is not recent enough. If you look in kernel logs, you'll see an error message: "model F3Jc not supported".There are many solutions:

Concerning hibernation (suspend to disk), it didn't manage to make it work perfectly. All I can advise to you:

About the Webcam

The computer contains a D-Max USB 2.0 1.3Mpx webcam based on Syntek STK1135 chipset, it is successfully recognized as an USB device but doesn't work. A driver for Syntek based webcams is currently being developped.

About the RTC modem

The computer contains a Motorola SM56 Speakerphone modem which doesn't work. There is an old binary driver on Motorola web site, but I didn't test it and it's not packaged for Ubuntu. Update: these binaries where removed from Motorola web site.