It’s been almost a couple of months since I wrote a quick review on the ASUS UX305, so I decided to write up a follow up to the review and share a few things I’ve been doing with this fantastic piece of machinery since then.
Fedora 22 (beta) came out late last month, and I went ahead and re-isntalled fedora on my laptop. I just wiped it clean (minus the Windows partition and factory restore), and re-installed the OS. To be perfectly honest, I have noticed little difference (as a regular user) between F21 and F22 (that is not a bad thing :-)). The major difference is that ‘yum’ has been officially deprecated and F22 uses dnf instead. For a list of the changes on Fedora 22 see: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/22/ChangeSet
After installing Fedora 22 (beta), I played around with the i3 window manager, and had quite a bit of fun customizing it to my preferences. Adam Miller, from Fedora, suggested I use some of the Mate applets to make i3 a bit more user friendly and that worked like a charm. The specific commands I added to the bottom for my ~/.i3/config were:
# Run mate-settings-daemon for gnome-keyring
# gnome-keyring-daemon is handled by ~/.profile
exec –no-startup-id /usr/libexec/mate-settings-daemon
# Run polkit-mate-authentication-agent-1 for polkit
# For notifications
Given that I’ve already gotten used to GNOME 3, it actually took me a bit longer than I would have liked to find the RPM packages to have the above commands working. The two non-obivous RPMs were:
- mate-media #for mate-volume-conrtol-applet
- network-manager-applet #for nm-applet
The other thing I’ve worked/played with was with KVM. First I created a RHEL7 VM on Fedora 22, and the performance on ASUS UX305 is actually pretty reasonable. I am managing the VM with libvirt/virt-manager.
I also took virtualization one step further, and decided to give Windows 8.1 on KVM a shot. The installation was pretty straightforward and I was pretty happy to see that quite a few Windows 8.1 drivers for KVM have been made public online since the last time I tried this last year.
Latest Display Adapter Driver for Windows 8.1: http://people.redhat.com/vrozenfe/qxlwddm/
Latest VirtIO Windows Drivers: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Windows_Virtio_Drivers#Direct_download
I made sure to tune the Windows for better visual “Performance” rather than “Appearance” and that made quite a bit of difference on how the VM behaves. Again, given how “low powered” the ASUS UX305 laptop is, I have been pleasantly surprised with the performance of the both VMs: RHEL 7.1 and Windows 8.1.
I did set up the Windows 8.1 VM to use 2 cores and 4 GB of RAM to guarantee enough resources for OK performance. The RHEL 7.1 VM I have 1 core with 1 GB of RAM.
Two months have gone by, and I am still very much impressed by this sub-US$700 laptop that is as thin as the new Macbook Air, and powerful enough to allow me to do most of the things I need to do on a laptop for work and personal stuff.
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