Using Linux on an ASUS VivoBook E200HA

Unfortunately, installing Linux on the ASUS Vivobook E200HA is somewhat of an uphill battle. It turns out that the hardware in this inexpensive new laptop isn’t well supported by the Linux kernel or modules right out of the box.

While it may be possible to install certain Linux distributions on the E200HA, you are likely to run into a lot of problems along the way.

Getting Started

The first suggestion that I would make if you are interested in running Linux on this Asus Vivobook is to have a USB keyboard and mouse readily available. The default drivers will likely not work well with the keyboard and mouse that are installed in the system. This is a huge disappointment to me in general, especially considering what a basic interface these input devices have.

Possible Pitfalls

Some of the things you’re likely to run into problems with include:

WiFi – There ARE workarounds you can use with certain distributions of Linux. However, out of the box, your WiFi will probably NOT work immediately following the installation process. This makes it more difficult to get the files you need to implement workarounds and get additional drivers for your Asus laptop.

Trackpad – The trackpad might work, but it will likely behave somewhat badly. It is really hard to navigate using the trackpad and the scroll function will not work AT ALL.

Function Keys – Even if the keyboard works, some of the function keys are likely to fail. You probably won’t be able to do even the most basic functions like dim the screen.

Sound – It turns out that the sound chipset is so obscure that there are absolutely no workarounds currently available. A possible solution would be to find a USB sound card that is Linux compatible, although that would mean you would have to have an annoying dongle connected to your laptop just to use sound and you wouldn’t be able to use the internal speakers.

Is There Any Hope?

While support for the hardware of the ASUS Vivobook E200HA is somewhat limited in the current Linux kernel, it is more than likely that support will become available in future versions. Let’s face it, there are thousands (if not millions) of people who work on the Linux kernel and write drivers. Even hardware manufacturers create drivers for Linux in some cases.

It’s definitely possible that at some point in the future you will be able to install Linux on this laptop with no problems at all. Until then, I would definitely NOT recommend this laptop if you plan on using it for Linux.