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Asus G74SX A1 on OpenSuse 12.1 and Suse 12.3 (64 bit)

All of the critical functions work, but some of the secondary features require some tweaking to make full use of this wonderful portable workstation behemoth.

I had been happily using my Alienware m11x R2, but I had two years of music theory to take, and trying to write music notes on the little 11 inch screen when not at home with my external monitor, was problematic.

I needed a large screen for the music composition.

Best Buy had a floor model of this Asus, that they were about to replace with the next version (A2?) that was identical in all specs as far as I could tell.

So, because it was a floor model and sales going on, I was able to get this VERY loaded system for the least I have yet to spend on a laptop since the 90's, only about $1,100 (plus protection/warranty extensions (that I ALWAYS end up using since I am so hard on my systems running them maxed out most of the time).

The big screen was just what was needed for music composition. The only that could have made it better would have been with a touch screen.

Here are the wonderful specs to this system (I've had it now for about a year?):





System Specifications


CPU:  Intel i7-2670QM @ 2.20 Ghz (double 4 core, shows as 8 cores)


Hard Drive Disks: WD5000BPKT-8 x2 (I setup as RAID1 mirrored array)

Display: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M  (1920x1080 24 bit) (Nvidia proprietary driver from suse repo, 64 bit driver version 304.64)

CUDA Cores: 192

VBIOS Version:

Total Dedicated Memory: 2047 MB (used at this moment, 233 MB - 11%)

Bus Type: PCI Express x16 Gen2

PCI Device ID: 0x1251, Bus ID: PCI:1:0:0     PCI Vendor ID: 0x10de

Max PCIe Link Width: x16

Max PCIe Link Speed: 5.0 GT/s

Thermal: 38C


Monitor: N173HGE-L21 - Chi Mei Optoelectrionics corp (DFP-0)

Mouse: Synaptics SynPS/2 TouchPad

Network Card:

Intel WLAN

NIC: RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet (driver r8169)


Intel Audio device (driver: snd_hda_intel)

nVidia Audio device (driver: snd_hda_intel)


















Backlit Keyboard Backlight

OpenSuse includes the correct kernel functions to enable the keyboard backlight, but for whatever reason it doesn't normally work until you put the laptop into sleep mode, and then come out of sleep mode, then it will work.

However, I came across a script from the good folks at Gentoo that does actually work to control the keyboard backlight without having to put the laptop to sleep first.

Here is the script:


function enable_backlight() {

echo 0x00050021 > /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/dev_id
echo 0x82 > /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/ctrl_param
cat /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/devs


function disable_backlight() {

echo 0x00000000 > /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/dev_id
echo 0x00000000 > /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/ctrl_param
cat /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/devs


function status() {

cat /sys/kernel/debug/asus-nb-wmi/devs


case "$*" in
            echo -e $"\nUsage: $0   { --enable-backlight | --disable-backlight | --status }\n"
            exit 1


chmod +x /usr/local/bin/ --enable-backlight --disable-backlight --status

I then added it to run automatically early when boots up. Then used the script in the power management settings turning it off for aggressive powersave.


Hibernation / Sleep




Video Card (NVidia)






Enable Screen Brightness Control

Enable screen brightness control by editing xorg.conf. WIth Suse 12.1 it is

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-screen.conf by putting the following in the Screen section:

Section "Screen"
Identifier     "Screen0"
Device         "Device0"
Monitor        "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth    24
#    Option         "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"
#    Option         "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
#    Option         "RenderAccel" "true"
#    Option         "DisableGLXRootClipping" "true"
Option         "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder" "CRT-1"
Option         "TwinView" "1"
Option         "metamodes" "DFP: 1920x1200 +0+0"
Option         "CoolBits" "5"
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       24

Then reboot, and the Fn-F5 (screen dim) and Fn-F6 (screen brighten) should work (it wasn't working before doing this).


UPDATE: Apr 14, 2013 10:20 AM

A quick note, OpenSuse 12.3 is even easier to setup. Everything works out of the box. The only little glitch I had (and noticed this on my Alienware as well) is that the NetworkManager had networking disabled by default after the install. I had to put a checkbox in it, AND THEN REBOOT, then networking (including wireless) worked on bootup. With the Alienware m11x R2 I needed to do the same, then boot up with the ethernet cable connected, and look in /var/log/messages for the link to download the wifi driver and install, then it worked too. I think I have detailed this in the article on the site about suse and the m11x though. Anyhow, the Asus works beautifully out of the box with 12.3, including hibernation/sleep, screen and keyboard backlights (including the function keys for brighter/dimmer, etc. (this was all under KDE, can't stand Gnome, so your experiences may vary if you choose a different desktop). Enjoy!




Resources / References

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