quick review – linux on asus ul30vt

Here’s what you need to be aware of if you’re  looking to run Linux (tested on Ubuntu 10.04/Backtrack 4 Final) on this laptop:

Fake auth attack doesn’t work with the aircrack-ng suite, there’s a workaround available though. Using wpa_supplicant to do association works well, if not a bit tedious, but it works. I do not know whether the fault lies in the driver or the aircrack-ng suite. I’d bet on aircrack-ng though.
If you’re looking for battery life you’re better off with UL30A and buying a USB wireless adapter, like Alfa AWUS036H. The reason for the USB WIC: The UL30A suffers from bad connectivity, some users report, because the WIC only got one antenna; whereas two are the normal case for a normal laptop. The UL30A doesn’t come with a dedicated graphic card but it has a better battery.  If you’re a pen-tester then UL30A is the laptop to choose between the two. I chose UL30VT because I wanted to be able to play hi-def movies smoothly. It was questionable whether an integrated card would handle this well enough.
The trackpad works well enough. Most multi-touch stuff work OTB, horizontal scroll doesn’t but I can live it it.
Some function keys works. Screen brightness adjustments doesn’t work, there’s workarounds for this though.
The CPU is scaling between 800MHz and 1,3GHz. In Windows, Asus provides an application that clocks the cpu to 1,9GHz. Called Turbo something. The CPU running quite hot, ~72-76 degrees, when under maximum load. I’ve been unable to find a Linux application that is capable of overclocking Intel processors. Please let me know if you know of one.
Additional note on the wireless: It took some tinkering to get the WIC to work in Backtrack 4. I had to download compat-wireless and add support for the driver. Then I went to Intel’s website and downloaded the driver and put it into my firmware dir. Those steps worked for me. However, I recommend that you run a dist-upgrade in BT the first thing you do instead. You’ll get a newer kernel and hopefully, support has been added.
I ended up running BT 4 as guest OS with Ubuntu 10.04 being the host OS. I’ve bought myself an ALFA AWUS036H. It works well with Backtrack running in a virtual environment.All in all, I really enjoy this laptop. It’s light, the battery is good and it looks good as well. Feel free to contact me for further enquirers.
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