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[Discuss] Ultrabooks, UEFI, Gnome, etc...

So I just installed Fedora 18 on a spankin' new ASUS Zenbook UX31A.
Pretty sweet machine...  -

I decided on a dual boot configuration.  The use case for this machine
is mainly for writing code and surfing the net, for which I really
didn't need much disk space.  I kept Windows around because I'll
occasionally have use to run a couple of windows-only apps when I'm
out and about, but those don't require a ton of disk space either.  So
the somewhat meager 128 GB SSD is good enough for my needs.  I was
more interested in the high res display, light weight, and long
battery life.  I did, however, have to perform some gymnastics to get
windows to shrink the partition.  Nothing too unexpected if you've
done this before.  I alotted 15GB for Linux, leaving about 75GB for
Windows, roughly 51GB of which is free.  I was hoping for a bit more,
though I don't strictly NEED it.  There wasn't much in the way of
bloatware that I could remove; most of the space is actually occupied
by windows and drivers and such.  If I were being really frugal I
could probably clean up a gig or two, decided it wasn't worth it.

Once I got the install to finally boot off the USB stick, that went
very smoothly.  Interestingly the trouble I had getting the install to
boot was mostly not related to UEFI.  Note in particular that I was
able to install F18 with secure boot enabled.

My first problem was the pen drive itself had two bootable partitions,
one which was read-only and provided by the vendor.  I had to run the
utilities that came with it to remove that partition.  The second
problem was that the utilities that I used to create the bootable USB
image wrote a bad configuration for syslinux which did not match the
filesystem it wrote onto the stick.  Once I figured that out, a few
quick edits got me up and running.

Once the install was completed only a couple things were obviously
broken.  It doesn't appear that most of the function keys work, but
some do, notably the sleep and (of all things) the keyboard backlight

More importantly, grub attempted to add boot options for Windows, and
for the windows recovery partitions.  But this failed.  I can still
boot into windows but I need to use the bios menu to do so.  For now,
this is fine, as I won't use windows very much.

I haven't tried using the camera, and there are probably a few other
things that are broken that I haven't noticed yet.  I've been on
battery for four hours or so and Linux thinks I have almost two hours
left; under Windows the expected battery life was around 8 hours.  A
quick search suggests there are likely some options for improving the
Linux battery life.  I'll also look into getting grub fixed later on.
On the whole, I'm pretty happy.

Except for the UI.  Gnome has to go.  When I have the time (possibly
tomorrow, or technically later today) I'm going to take a good hard
look at replacing it.  I've used XFCE sort of minimally in the past,
and it seemed fine; I don't really care about most of what Gnome
offers.  OTOH there are a few gnome apps I do use...  I probably won't
be able to ditch it entirely.

Derek D. Martin   GPG Key ID: 0xDFBEAD02
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