ASUS X56Se Linux

| ASUS | Install | Linux

My girlfriend just purchased a ASUS X56Se from eBuyer and I wanted to install Linux on it.

If you google for this laptop you won’t find many pages about it, in fact I could find no information about the laptop on all of ASUS’s website. However, there is the ASUS M51Se which looks very similar in the photographs. I’ve even asked on the ASUS forums if anyone know more information.

Using Vista (which was pre-installed) I was able to get this list of hardware, which should help me with the installation process:

Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Wireless 3945ABG
JMicron JMB36X
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470
Intel ICH8
Intel(R) 82801HBM/HEM I/O controller hub (ICH8M) SATA Controller
Intel ICH8M Ultra ATA Storage Controller 2850
Realtek HD Audio
Intel(R) GM965 Express Chipset
Intel 82GM965 Memory Controller
Intel(R) 965GM Graphics And Memory Controller Hub(GMCH)

Regardless of knowing if Linux would install or not, I went ahead and tried Debian lenny beta 2. However, as it was booting it would crash and fill the screen with “pretty” colours. I then tried a old Debian disc I had lying around, then a new and old Ubuntu disk, and all these failed to load. So then I tried different kernel options, and eventually I found this command worked:

acpi=off

To make it clear, at the Debian boot menu for the installer, you select “Install”, but then press tab instead of enter. Then select the 2nd line, press e, and then type the command on the very end. After this press enter, then b to boot the installer.

This command disables most power management controls, but at least allows Linux to be installed and boot. Here comes the next problem, X won’t start. When X attempts to start it again dies either with pretty colours, or with just a full black screen. I haven’t finished debugging this, but I’ve tried the Radeon driver, the Radeonhd driver, and the official ATI fglrx.

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