ASUS Zenbook UX31a and Ubuntu — seem like a fine pairing

I need to be able to do some Linux-based dev work while mobile. I’ve limped along using OSX and also using VirtualBox, but neither of them are really optimal, notably for ARM-targeted work. For instance, building a Raspberry Pi kernel and then emulating it under OSX is very very tricky, and doing it in a VM is slooooow. So I decided I need a real Linux laptop to carry around.

I’m trying out the ASUS ultrabook — the Zenbook UX31a. Awesome name, but whatever. Some tips on Ubuntu install on this machine:

* Turn off Bluetooth in the BIOS. Under Ubuntu, Bluetooth seems to interfere with WIFI. You can find several solutions. One is to turn off Bluetooth which is no loss in my book. The other is to turn of 802.11n which seems like a poorer choice. With Bluetooth off, everything seems to work swimmingly.
* I tried to install Ubuntu beside Win7 and use multiboot. It seemed problematic as the Zenbook already comes with a multiboot config for Windows, system restore, and some bag of Intel utilities. Attempting to install Ubuntu next to all this just seemed to piss the machine off, it persisted in firing up chkdsk and “fixing” the disk. There is probably some smart way to reconfig the multiboot but I gave up (oh and I see that I might have needed to use the 64bit version of Ubuntu for this to work). I ended up creating a “System Rescue CD”:, backed up all the factory installed partitions to a USB drive, and then had Ubuntu install slam the whole disk. I wanted to keep the factory installed images in case I ever wanted to drop back to Windows for any reason (for instance if I need to get warranty service).
* The “Ubuntu forums”: have a fine list of tweaks to apply to get the system fully working. I did the SSD changes, the webcam utility install, the power management tips, and the “highly experimental” touchpad support. Nothing seems to have exploded.

So, up and running. All seems well. The machine is lightweight and seems like it will serve well. I am a little annoyed with the ugly intel and windows decals slammed on the machine that seem impossible to remove, they mar the lines of the machine.