Fedora 34 Setup Guide

🔗 Fedora 34 and asusctl Setup

The recommended flavour of Linux by asus-linux.org is Fedora, for its ease of use for new users, friendly community, and good support for the latest hardware. This guide is written for Fedora 34.

This guide does not cover the choices of running Windows and Linux, or only Linux on your device, and their respective partitioning requirements.

For additional information, see the installation instructions: Official Fedora install guide

For simple USB stick flashing: Fedora Media Writer

🔗 Preparations

🔗 Disable Secure Boot

To make sure Nvidia drivers and the necessary support modules work without issues, Secure Boot must be disabled in the UEFI.

  1. Press DEL repeatedly during boot to enter UEFI setup screen
  2. Press F7 for advanced mode
  3. Security → Secure Boot Control → Disable
  4. Save and exit

🔗 Use the Laptop Screen

Due to display signal routing on Asus ROG laptops, and the setup process dealing with multiple graphics devices, having external screens connected during setup may result in unpredictable behavior. Please follow this guide with all external displays disconnected.


🔗 Installation

  1. Download Fedora 34 Workstation ISO file from getfedora.org and write it to a USB stick.
  2. On booting from USB, in the Fedora boot menu, select: Troubleshooting → Start Fedora in basic graphics mode
  3. Follow the steps of the installer, and remove the USB stick when you reboot

🔗 Setup

🔗 Update the System

System update should be done after setting up the repos and copr.

🔗 Using the Terminal

This guide requires typing terminal commands. To type them, start the Terminal application, which opens a window that has a command prompt.

To open the Terminal, simply press the Windows/Meta key to bring up the Activities view, and start typing "term" in the search box. Click on the search result.

Terminal in search bar

Commands that have sudo in front are administrator commands, and may require you to type in your password.

🔗 Edit Default Package Repositories

First, edit the package repositories to exclude kernel updates from Fedora; asusctl uses a copr to get updates:

  1. Edit the package repos:

    sudo gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-updates.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-updates-testing.repo
    

    NOTE: The above command opens three files, each in their own tab. All three files must be edited according to the instructions below.

    At the end of the block of lines starting with [fedora], [updates], and [updates-testing] respectively in each file add this line at the end of the block:

    exclude=kernel kernel-core kernel-devel
    

    The end result will look similar to:

    [updates-testing]
    name=Fedora $releasever - $basearch - Test Updates
    #baseurl=http://download.example/pub/fedora/linux/updates/testing/$releasever/Everything/$basearch/
    metalink=https://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/metalink?repo=updates-testing-f$releasever&arch=$basearch
    enabled=0
    countme=1
    repo_gpgcheck=0
    type=rpm
    gpgcheck=1
    metadata_expire=6h
    gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-$releasever-$basearch
    skip_if_unavailable=False
    exclude=kernel kernel-core kernel-devel kernel-modules kernel-modules-extra kernel-modules-internal
    
    [updates-testing-debuginfo]
    

    Note the new-line after the exclude= line.

    Save the files and close the editor.

  2. Add the copr for asusctl and rog kernel

    sudo dnf copr enable lukenukem/asus-linux
    

🔗 Do Update

  1. Open Software store

  2. Navigate to Updates tab

  3. Click the Refresh-button in the top left corner

  4. Download all available updates

    Software Updates

  5. After the updates have been downloaded, click the "Restart & Update" button

    Software Updates

  6. When the updates have been installed, reboot your computer

NOTE: Upon restart the device is still possibly running in software rendering mode, symptoms:

  • Laggy desktop
  • Black screen after reboot
  • Suspend on lid close not working
  • Screen brightness control not working
  • Multi-touch gestures not working This will all be addressed in the later steps.

🔗 Install Nvidia Graphics Drivers

The next step is to install the drivers for the Nvidia GPU.

  1. Open Software store

  2. Enable 3rd party repositories

  3. Click on the hamburger menu, select Software Repositories

    Software repositories menu

  4. Enable RPM Fusion for Fedora 34 - Nonfree - NVIDIA Driver

    Nvidia repository

  5. Input the following terminal commands:

    sudo dnf update -y
    sudo dnf install kernel-devel
    sudo dnf install akmod-nvidia
    sudo dnf install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-cuda
    

🔗 Update System Boot Configuration

  1. In Terminal, launch the text editor to edit the system boot options.

    sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
    

    Edit the file to look like below.

    GRUB_TIMEOUT=5
    GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR="$(sed 's, release .*$,,g' /etc/system-release)"
    GRUB_DEFAULT=saved
    GRUB_DISABLE_SUBMENU=true
    GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT="console"
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau modprobe.blacklist=nouveau nvidia-drm.modeset=0 rhgb quiet"
    GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY="true"
    GRUB_ENABLE_BLSCFG=true
    

    There are usually only two modifications to make:

    1. Change the value of nvidia-drm.modeset=1 to nvidia-drm.modeset=0. This change is needed to allow switching between graphics devices without needing a reboot.
    2. Fedora installer may create duplicates of rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau, modprobe.blacklist=nouveau, and nvidia-drm.modeset=1. These duplicates can be safely deleted.

    Optionally, if the install guide has been deviated from, the same line of text that contains the previous changes may also contain a standalone word nomodeset. This must be removed or graphics acceleration is disabled.

    Save the file and close the editor.

  2. Update grub:

    The edits made to the grub file need to be updated to the system. This is just a single terminal command.

    sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /etc/grub2.cfg
    
  3. Reboot

🔗 Install asusctl

The final section is to install asusctl, which enables controls for the Asus ROG hardware on the laptop.

  1. Install asusctl

    sudo dnf install asusctl
    sudo dnf update --refresh
    
  2. Reboot

    After the reboot, you should have a fully functional Fedora laptop, with ROG hardware features enabled.

Please note that asusctl is under continuous development, and will improve in capability over time.


🔗 Optional Steps

🔗 Keyboard Backlight

If the keyboard backlight does not work automatically, set a mode in asusctl:

asusctl led-mode static

🔗 RGB Backlights

If an RGB capable laptop has no led modes available, then the /etc/asusd/asusd-ledmodes.toml file needs adjusting:

cat /sys/class/dmi/id/product_family # provides the prod_family var,
cat /sys/class/dmi/id/board_name # provides name to be added to board_names.

Edit the configuration file and add the needed values:

sudo gedit /etc/asusd/asusd-ledmodes.toml

Save the file and close the text editor.

🔗 Switching from Nvidia GPU to AMD Integrated

If the laptop has booted in Nvidia mode, switching to AMD integrated graphics and the Wayland desktop requires a reboot. To fix this so the switch only requires a logout/login, change the following:

sudo gedit /lib/udev/rules.d/61-gdm.rules

Edit this line of text to have a hash in the front, as in the example. This will disable the setting.

# DRIVER=="nvidia", RUN+="/usr/libexec/gdm-disable-wayland"

Save the file and close the editor.

Reboot to enable the change.

🔗 Hide an Unnecessary Boot Message

When booting the computer in integrated mode, a message displays "Nvidia kernel module not found. Falling back to Nouveau." This is harmless and normal for asusctl integrated mode, but may feel distracting. To disable the message, input this terminal command:

sudo systemctl mask nvidia-fallback.service

🔗 Desktop Wigdets

A desktop widget to operate asusctl is currently in development: asusctl Gnome extension

🔗 Known Limitations

🔗 Nvidia Graphics on Wayland desktop

Current Nvidia drivers do not support the new Wayland desktop. This is the default desktop of Fedora 34, and works well with asusctl set to integrated mode. Whenever Nvidia graphics are enabled, in either standalone or hybrid mode, using the X.org desktop is necessary.

If Wayland desktop is started with Nvidia graphics enabled, the result may be fallback to software, a black screen, or even a crash. Using an external display with Wayland and Nvidia is likely to crash. The situation will only be improved by updated drivers from Nvidia.

To select the correct desktop environment for Nvidia, click on the gear icon in the bottom right corner of the login screen. Select "Gnome" with AMD graphics to run Wayland, or "Gnome on Xorg" when Nvidia graphics are enabled.