published on

Installing Manjaro on an Asus Zenbook Duo

  • Manjaro 20.0.3 (gnome3 version)
  • Asus Zenbook Duo UX481F

First impressions

  • Huge surprise when booting the USB live version of manjaro : the second screen is immediatly recognized with its touchscreen capability, as are wifi and bluetooth.
  • During the 10 minutes I wasted doing the windows init (which I haven’t even finished), the system fans were active and annoyingly audible (I don’t know if they were at max speed though). I never heard the fan under Manjaro. After hours of searching, it turns out that linux wasn’t able to detect the fan. A BIOS upgrade from 203 to 300 fixed the issue.
  • Most of the keyboard functions keys are ready to go : volume, brightness, screen settings, keyboard backlight, touchpad toggling. Missing keys are : second screen toggling, front cam toggling, and obviously, “my asus” shortcut. The screen capture (F10 function) and “switch current window screen” are easily configurable within gnome settings.

Install instructions

Whatever the distribution, attempting to install linux on recent hardwares requires the user to mandatory tweak some bios settings.

BIOS settings

  • Disable secure boot
  • Change SATA controllers from Intel Optane to AHCI (without that the SSD won’t be available from within the live installer)

UEFI boot : disk partitioning

A specific partition is mandatory for UEFI boot : Fat32, mount point /boot/uefi, 512 mo recommended, flagged as bootable. And then the classics : /, encrypted /home and swap space

If you do not need an encrypted and separated /home, just pick the default partitioning proposed.

After that, installation is fast as hell, and as is loading time.

Misc : Solving bluetooth headset issue

I had an issue when using my headset Sennheiser PXC550, bluetooth connection was correctly established, but was switching automatically from A2DP to HFP profile, which resulted in a very poor audio quality output.

The solution was found here, by editing /etc/bluetooth/main.conf with the following modification :

# (Multi Profile Selection support)
MultiProfile = multiple

Conclusion

I’m honestly quite surprised that the linux system detected most of this new laptop features. Actually, it’s the reason I choosed Manjaro among other linux distributions, I was hoping to minimize compatibility issues by getting the most recent kernel/drivers available.

The only remark I could make is the placement of the right shift key, just at the right of the up arrow. Quite annoying, but I guess it’s a matter of days to get the habit.