Installing Arch Linux on ASUS Zenbook UX31L

Except for having to read a good portion of articles related to UEFI and GRUB, installing Arch on ASUS Zenbook UX31L was pretty easy straight forward. Since I've never used Arch Linux before, there were of course some new things to learn, as I've described in this article but as far installing Arch itself, it was pretty ok thanks to the excellent Arch documentation.

However, there are a couple of things I'd like to highlight to aid anyone wanting to install Arch on this beautfiul piece of hardware.

Installation medium

I downloaded the Arch ISO and copied it to a usb drive (my USB drive is /dev/sdc):

$ wget
# dd \
  if=archlinux-2014.03.01-dual.iso \

Before booting it, I went into the BIOS, err UEFI, and disabled secure boot so that I could boot into (any) Linux kernel. After that, I hammered one of the keys (can't remember if I hit Esc or F12 to get the boot device list menu) and selected to boot from the USB drive.

On a related note, I tried to boot a number of distros off a USB stick, and not all manage to boot. I believe it has something to do with this computer requiring the medium to be booted via UEFI. So as long as the installation medium is set up to boot via UEFI, the installation program starts just fine.


Since there's no track point (I miss the Thinkpad track point so much!), I have to use the touchpad. I found the palm detection didn't work particularly well, even when tweaking the synaptics settings back and forth. Perhaps I didn't invest enough time in it, but I went down a different route to get the touchpad to stay out of the way when I'm typing, and basically not be bloody anoying, and that's to set this in my .xsession

disable touch pad while typing

syndaemon -t -k -i 2 &

Suspend to RAM

Without installing acpid or laptop-mode-tools, Arch will (when in my case you're logged in via the SLiM login manager and run a lightweight window manager like fluxbox your laptop when you close your lid (or indeed type pm-suspend yourself).

However, I found that often, the computer would resume immediately and then re-mount my harddrive read only (!).

This problem went away after I installed laptop-mode-tools so I recommend you to install these right away. At the time of writing (2014-03-14), laptop-mode-tools must be installed from AUR, something I find strange for such a vital package. In any case, it builds and installs just fine.

Recommended reading list

I found these articles particularly helpful when installing Arch on ASUS Zenbook UX31L:

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