Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fedora 19 Installation on the ASUS X401U

If you want a great budget laptop that runs Fedora with no issues, look no further: 
ASUS X401U - Best Buy

It's not a speed demon, but:
  • Great form factor, thin and light
  • AMD processor - more bang for the buck
  • ASUS build quality
  • Open Source compatibility
  • Bright sharp display, supports desktop effects
  • Perfectly fine for web surfing, word processing, watching videos, music, light gaming, etc.

What's the negative?  It comes bundled with Windows.  Well, it's easy to fix that by installing Fedora 19.

First you'll need to download the Fedora Network Install Image

Then put that image on a USB stick.  You only need 512Mb.
Making USB Media

Insert the USB stick in the laptop.

Disable the UEFI secure boot - you don't need it.  If you want to read more about it:  UEFI Secure Boot Guide

When powering on your system for the first time, you will be presented with the boot menu.

Please select boot device:
Windows 8
Enter Setup
 Select:  Enter Setup - to enter the BIOS settings

Go to the Security tab, scroll down until you ave selected:
System Boot Control                    [Enabled]
When you have selected, you will notice the text is now white, and on the right side of the screen you will see the text:

Secure Boot flow control.
Secure Boot is possible only if System runs in User mode

Press enter, a blue menu will pop up, with the word Enabled in a black background.  Use the down arrow to select:  Disabled

Press enter, then press F10 to save and exit.

When the system boots again, select the inserted USB stick to boot the Fedora Network install.

Follow the prompts.  When you reach the part about the installation media, select the entire drive and tell Fedora to reclaim the space.  The other installation defaults are fine.  Be advised if you reclaim the entire disk (which is what I did) there is no going back.  ASUS ships the disk with a recovery partition, and if you reclaim the entire disk, you've erased that partition.

You may wish to plug in a network cable rather than using wireless for the install, that would be faster.  The network connector on the laptop has a latch that you may need to manually pull down a bit if you have problems removing the Ethernet cable.  You'll notice it moves downward when you first insert the cable, then snaps back up somewhat to lock the cable in place.