installing linux zephyrus g15

Zephyrus G15 Installing Linux

Disclaimer!
I have discovered Linux in 1999 and used it ever since. Recently, I’ve replaced one of my older machines and upon using Windows 10 Pro for a few days, decided to partition the SSD and install Linux on my new laptop. This post features my notes which I am sharing here for those who are researching this topic. In no way shall I be held responsible if you decide to follow the instructions and as a result of, experience data loss or worse. So proceed with caution.

Zephyrus G15 EndeavourOS compatibility

Many have written posts and articles about installing Linux on an new ASUS Zephyrus G14 or G15 laptop but after reading the relevant information, I have decided to simply post what I did in order install Linux.

installing linux zephyrus g15
Reading the Cloud Privacy Policy made me try Linux

A quick THANK YOU to ASUS for coming up with such a nasty Cloud Privacy Policy. Right after reading a bit into it, I have reached for my Linux USB drive.

Here is a short snippet:
ASUS Cloud will collect your e-mail address to use as your member account, as well as your nationality and date of birth…..
Here is a link to ASUS’s Cloud Privacy Policy
Do keep in mind that agreeing is NOT optional. No agreement, no registration.

Which distribution is best for Zephyrus G14 or G15

If openSUSE Tumbleweed had a live preview option, then it would have been my first choice but I didn’t feel downloading several Gigabytes of data and wasting an hour with configuring so I moved on to EndeavourOS.
Many users have documented that they had successfully installed Fedora Workstation but I would have only done so if EndeavourOS failed in some way. Luckily, I didn’t have to.

Encrypted Linux install

All of my machines run Linux on an encrypted hard drive and none have issues. Since I am installing Linux on a laptop, encryption is a must. If it ends up in the wrong hands then at least I am losing only the hardware.

Disclaimer (again)
PLEASE understand that there is no such thing as encrypting and security for us “normal” computer users. EVERY computer runs a backdoor which gives the government (or governments) unrestricted access regardless if the unit is running or not. Just like our smartphones listen 24/7, our desktop and laptop computers do the same.
If this is new to you then google “Intel management engine”. In a way I even understand why they do that but still, I’d prefer if the authorities trusted me unless they have a reason not to but we are all in the same boat. C’est la vie
.

Installing Linux

Installing Linux has become so easy that pretty much anyone can do it. Make a bootable USB stick or use Ventoy and boot off of that medium. Voila, you have a live Linux desktop to evaluate hardware compatibility and Linux in general. YouTube has everything you need.

Since I have EndeavourOS running on other machines, I proceeded with partitioning the SSD in order to make room for Linux. The Zephyrus G15 came with an one Terabyte SSD which gave me plenty of space to shrink the C drive by about 300+ Gigabytes. Once finished, I started the installer. Everything went as expected and upon rebooting, I was asked to enter the password to decrypt the hard drive and shortly after I got to choose which of the two operating systems to boot.

I’ve picked Windows 10 Pro for the first boot just to see if it booted and it did. I then backed up the eSupport directory which would be needed if I wanted to reinstall Windows. Please do some research and learn why making an external copy of this directory is a must as the contends can not be downloaded from ASUS. Be smart and back up.

Configuring battery charge and graphics processor usage on the Zephyrus

If you happen to have an ASUS Zephyrus then you know about all of the fancy hardware and custom software which come with the laptop. The first setting I started to fix was the display resolution. Since I use the Gnome desktop under X11, I started with opening the Gnome Terminal and entering:

yay -S mutter-x11-scaling
yay -S gnome-control-center-x11-scaling

After logging out I picked X11 instead of Wayland and proceeded to change my display resolution to 125% which is perfect for the 1440p panel @ 165 Hz.

With the display configured, I’ve again used the terminal to install:

yay -S asusctl
systemctl enable –now power-profiles-daemon.service
yay -S supergfxctl
systemctl enable –now supergfxd

Please note that the above lines are four separate commands which each must be confirmed with ENTER before continuing.

The asus-linux.org website has a lot of information regarding setting the battery levels but I like things the simple way and installed a gnome extension called asusctl-gex which adds two small icons in the panel at the upper right corner of the display. Clicking those buttons will trigger a drop-down menu which was all I need in quickly configuring EndeavourOS on my new Zephyrus G15.

Connecting an external display to the Zephyrus G15

Zephyrus usb c displayport cable
USB C to DisplayPort cable from amazon

I am not really planing to connect the laptop to an external display but you never know so I decided to test this feature. I’ve ordered an USB C to DP cable from amazon and as expected, EndeavourOS quickly powered the second display which is an ultrawide 1440p panel. I’ve done a few minor adjustments but nothing different that I wouldn’t do on a desktop. Everything run flawless and if I had to, I could use the laptop with the lid closed as a desktop replacement. Because of the beautiful NVIDIA RTX 3080, it’s definitely tempting.

Zephyrus Temperature and other Linux issues

I was disappointed when I learned that Fedora is pretty much the only recommended distribution for my laptop and that installing EndeavourOS was tricky. Luckily, who ever wrote that ether hadn’t tried lately or simply just wanted Fedora and move on. I personally don’t mind Fedora but found that it loves to install gigabytes of “something” in order to just run the chrome-gnome-shell. Thanks but no thanks! I love my lean and mean EndeavrouOS and should there be any reason to switch, openSUSE Tumbleweed would be my next choice.

To test if there was an overheating issue, I’ve rendered the classic Blender BMW scene and unlike under Windows 10 Pro which was set to Turbo mode (Armory Crate), I did not hear excessive fan noise while performing the Blender render tests. While the GPU render times have been identical, the CPU render was much faster.

Final thoughts

If one does not need proprietary software to work then Linux is unbeatable. I do mainly three things on my computers.

  • Graphics design
    Blender 3D, FreeCAD, CURA and 3D printing
  • Audio production
    YAMAHA GENOS Workstation
  • Programming
    VSCodium for Python, JavaScript, PHP, LAMPP and WordPress

I also make generous use of virtual machines in order to keep my main installs clean. Once such example would be installing software to remove the annoying Razer keyboard and mouse lighting effects. Although reinstalling Linux takes only a few minutes, VMs are awesome for testing new stuff.

Zephyrus G15 Uninstalling Windows 10

In a way, I don’t mind Windows. Seeing that Microsoft grabs about 4 – 5 Gig of my 32 Gig system memory is a bit strange and even applying Chris Titus’s script to remove most of the bloat helps, still, I will most likely delete Windows 10 Pro and run only Linux. Should something go wrong, I can always reinstall Windows from scratch but there is a good change that this won’t happen. Linux is getting frequent updates which makes the new hardware perform better and better. For now, I am happy and glad that I got my ASUS Zephyrus laptop at a good deal. Special kudos to the Canadian Post Office which managed to deliver it one day ahead of time and in pristine condition.

Thank you for reading. If you have questions regarding installing Linux on your new Zephyrus then feel free to ask and I will do my best to point you towards working solutions. When I have more time, I will make a video which shows how well Linux works on ASUS hardware.

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