Monthly Archives: February 2012

Quick howto for the most stable Linux kernel with Zenbook

Quick howto for everyone having Asus UX31e aka Zenbook and wants the most stable vanilla kernel with long-time battery life and working touchpad made by Sentelic.
This should work for every Debian based distro, but has been tested only on the latest Linux Mint 12 (aka Lisa).
Tutorial is aimed mainly at beginners and should work in a copy&paste manner.

Of course you have to change every occurence of linux-3.2.4 to whichever version you’re going to install.
Just make sure that all commands are entered in the correct directories, prompts should look similar to these from examples.
You will need about 10GB of free disk space.

Let’s install some dependencies first:

fenio@zenbook ~ $ sudo apt-get install build-essential kernel-package fakeroot libncurses5-dev git iasl

Now let’s download and unpack the latest kernel (3.2.4 at the time it was written):

fenio@zenbook ~ $ mkdir kernel
fenio@zenbook ~ $ cd kernel
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ wget
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ tar jxvf linux-3.2.4.tar.bz2

Now we take current kernel configuration and put in the kernel tree:

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ cp /boot/config-`uname -r` linux-3.2.4/.config

Now we have to download the latest driver for Sentelic touchpad (this is why we needed git as a dependency):

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ git clone git://
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ cp sentelic/src/sentelic.* linux-3.2.4/drivers/input/mouse/

It’s time to fix broken DSDT table (part of ACPI). This is why we had iasl in dependencies.

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ wget
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ iasl -tc ux31e_dsdt.dsl

And include it in our kernel configuration:

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ sed -ie 's/# CONFIG_ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT is not set/CONFIG_ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT=y/g' linux-3.2.4/.config 
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ sed -ie "s@CONFIG_ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT_FILE.*@CONFIG_ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT_FILE=\"`pwd`/ux31e_dsdt.hex\"@g" linux-3.2.4/.config

Now ensure that all our options are set up correctly (you can change some other options if you want).
If you don’t want to change anything then simply exit saving configuration.

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel $ cd linux-3.2.4/
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel/linux-3.2.4 $ make menuconfig

We’re ready to start compilation now!

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel/linux-3.2.4 $ fakeroot make-kpkg clean
fenio@zenbook ~/kernel/linux-3.2.4 $ fakeroot make-kpkg --jobs=4 --initrd --append-to-version=-fenio --revision=20120204 kernel_image kernel_headers modules_image

Of course you can change “append-to-version” option for something own.

In the meantime (kernel compilations takes about one hour) you can modify Grub options to enable powersaving features RC6:

fenio@zenbook ~ $ sudo sed -ie 's/GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=.*/GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="i915.powersave=1 i915.semaphores=1 i915.i915_enable_rc6=1"/g' /etc/default/grub

Be sure to do that before installation of kernel, otherwise you will have to run update-grub.

After compilation you can finally install your new kernel:

fenio@zenbook ~/kernel/linux-3.2.4 $ sudo dpkg -i ../*.deb

Reboot and you’re done!

Feel free to comment this tutorial if something went wrong.

Feński’s law

Compilation of Linux kernel takes about an hour.

Assuming you’re using recent kernel and usual hardware available on the market at that time.

Thank you for your attention.

VeriSign hacked

I wonder how many breaches never see the light of day.

Quite late but at least confirmed, VeriSign was hacked and they don’t even know what was the impact of this attack.

Comodo, DigiNotar, Verisign… did I forget some company which CA/SSL infrastructure has been compromised?

Wheezy installation

Well I thought it’s going to be more user friendly and flawless.

I’ve just tried to install Wheezy on my Asus UX31e. It was possible, but no without some glitches.

First of all this is screen with question what software I would like to use. Well… I chose only the latest option. Guess why.
I’m not sure if it is problem with i10n of Polish installer or some more general problem.

Sorry for pasting pictures from Facebook, but that was the easier way to share it using my mobile.

Second thing – this time related to i18n – is Grub screen after installation. Here it goes.
I had no idea that Grub is ready for i18n… is it at all?

Third thing. Installer was able to setup WPA-PSK wifi during installation and that was cool. But if it was able to do it during installation then why there’s no wpa_supplicant configuration after first reboot?
I had to setup it manually to be able to download more software.

Fourth thing. Where is the magic behind encrypted LVM? I chose that option and now kernel asks me to enter password to be able to mount rootfs but after booting none of LVM utils tell me that I’ve got LVM.

Of course I’m going to read about it and to fill bugs about found problems, but I really thought installer is going to be more friendly.