Welcome to the Asus UL Series ("UnLimited") home page. This page aims to help setting up and using Ubuntu on Asus UL Series notebooks.

The Asus UL Series refers to a wide range of notebooks models and variants designed for mobility and strong battery life, with 12.1, 13.3, 14 or 15.6 inch screens.

Except for instructions dedicated to a given model, Asus UL will be used to refer to any of the existing UL Series notebook (U/UL/UX - 20/30/50/80).

Asus UL Launchpad Team

Many thanks go to the Asus U/UL Launchpad Team and all its members, where a lot of information has been gathered and checked. Asus UL Ubuntu users are encouraged to join the team mailing-list for latest live informations and discussions.

Ubuntu Compatibility Overview

These are common results applicable to the Asus UL Series notebooks. More information for some specific models may be found in dedicated pages.

  • Feature

    Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

    Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)




    Display (Intel)



    Display (NVidia)






    Network / Ethernet



    Network / Wireless


    warning_small.png (Unstable, slow) fix

    Card Reader



    Webcam (with Cheese)


    warning_small.png (Flipped upside-down)

    Keyboard Hotkeys

    warning_small.png (Notably screen backlight) fix

    warning_small.png (Notably screen backlight) fix


  • check_small.png works

    warning_small.png works with tweaking

    dont_small.png does not work

    query_small.png untested

Other known areas that may require some attention on several models:

  • Dual video cards (integrated Intel / NVidia) handling: switching, power consumption
  • Touchpad (disabling)


Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) and 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) may be installed on Asus UL Series using the graphical installer of Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Many Asus UL models have been tested with the 32 bits and 64 bits flavors.

View installation instructions.

General Tips

IconsPage/IconNote.png The General Tips section applies to many Asus UL models, and is not related to a specific Ubuntu version.

Hard Disk parking potential issue

Depending on various computer BIOS and hard disk drive manufacturer, model and firmware, any notebook may be faced to high frequency of hard disk load/unload cycles. This issue may in some cases shorten the hard disk lifetime. It appears particularly on battery power, due to default aggressive power management settings. Such settings cause the hard disk drive heads to be parked too quickly, while the Operating System will read or write to disk on a regular basis. This results in the heads being parked and awaken frequently, while such operations are hardware limited in number.

IconsPage/IconNote.png This issue is not specifically related to Asus UL Series and Ubuntu, and may be experienced with many other notebooks and Operating Systems (has been reported by users with Fedora, Mac OS X, Windows). As a general rule, desktop computers hard disks are not concerned.

It has been observed with following Asus UL Series hardware:

  • Asus UL30A, Hitachi 320 Go hard disk drive, Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) and 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

View the Check and Fix instructions.

Sources: Bug #59695 (Explanations), Ubuntu Forums,

Screen Backlight Hotkeys

Out of the box, the Fn+F5 and Fn+F6 shortcuts do not work to change the screen backlight, and needs the following fix:

  1. Open up a Terminal window (Accessories > Terminal)

  2. Backup the current GRUB options:

    sudo cp /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.dist
  3. Edit the /etc/default/grub file:

    sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

    modify the line



  4. Update GRUB's settings:

    sudo update-grub
  5. Reboot. Screen Backlight Hotkeys should now work. If not, try again with following value at step 3:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="acpi_backlight=vendor acpi_osi=linux"

This fix is known to work on several Asus UL models with Ubuntu 9.10 (with recent kernel) and Ubuntu 10.04, but may fail on some.

Set Screen Backlight from the Command Line

First check if the "setpci" method works on your Asus UL model:

  1. Open up a Terminal window (Accessories > Terminal)

  2. Run:

    sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B
    this should read the current backlight setting and display an hexadecimal number
  3. Change the screen backlight to another level
  4. Again, run:

    sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B
  5. If it displays another hexadecimal number, different from step 2, chances are good the setting will work.

To change the backlight setting, run the following command:

sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=XX

where XX must be replaced by the wanted value.


sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=29

XX theorical values may range from 0 to ff. On an Asus UL30A, using the backlight Hotkeys, XX varies from "1a" (dimmest) to "ff" (brightest).

Random screen flickering with Intel 4500MHD Graphics Card

Some random flickering may occur in the lower part of the screen with the Intel 4500MHD integrated graphics card and Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and previous releases.

This issue has been reported in Launchpad, Bug #538648.

Workaround: add "i915.powersave=0" option to the Kernel parameters (see Launchpad post for details).

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Tips


If experiencing poor wireless stability or performance, try to install backports modules:

  1. Run System > Administration > Software sources

  2. Enable "Unsupported Updates" (karmic-backports) if needed (will require to reload the packages list)
  3. Install linux-backports-modules-karmic package

  4. Reboot

Asus UL Specific Models Notes

Asus UL30A

View Asus UL30A dedicated page.


This page supersedes the old Asus UL30A Laptop Testing Page

AsusUL (last edited 2010-10-25 11:08:10 by ip-163-225)