So my parents offered my a Laptop, a quite good one judging by my other computers (for example my Desktop is still stuck on CDQ), and it is always sort of rude to return a gift in any situation, but it has serious trouble with drivers.
The laptop is an Asus GL552V, which has fairly standard components:
- Intel 6700HQ APU
- Nvidia 960M
- Intel 7265 Wireless
- Atheros (or Realtek, not sure now) ethernet
- A Samsung SSD
- An HGST HDD
Basically nothing fancy or from a brand known to have serious driver issues (such as Broadcom). The problem is that Skylake only has proper kernel support from 4.3 on (4.2 is experimental and had to be toggled), besides one or other little details like the touchpad not working (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1520519), and the fan being always at full speed.
Im an Arch user, and simply thought "I'll have to use dev versions for a while, but it will work". Note that out-of-curiosity I booted several distributions, such as a daily Ubuntu 16.04 snapshot, but none booted, not even after disabling modeset on the nouveau driver and enabling skylake support.
So I installed Arch with the default 4.2.5 kernel, bumblebee, mesa 11.1, and Nvidia blob (guess I had no choice). With
i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 it works, not ideal but at least manages to boot.
Tried to install both Gnome, KDE and XFCE.
From GDM only Gnome on Wayland works, Gnome on Xorg or XFCE and the computer just frezes after logging in (cant even get past the GDM backgroud).
SDDM already worked (it works no longer for some reason), and when it did, so did Plasma.
LightDM doesn't work at all (just freezes the computer). Also any of the previous combinations eventually hangs even Wayland Gnome or Plasma.
The logs say nothing, when the computer freezes it isn't some SW error, its probably with the HW.
Kernel 4.3 from the testing repo just halts on boot, and the same goes for mainline 4.4rc6 (can't get past
Triggering uevents) and have no idea on how to debug it. Yet there are more people with trouble booting newer kernels on this APU (https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=109081)
I've read somewhere that most of my problems (GPU, Touchpad, maybe fan speed control) is fixed on 4.4, but being unable to boot it I can't even test.
I'm undecided, I'll not leave such an expensive laptop on a corner till some day (maybe never) it has a solid support, but would prefer to avoid refunding it. What options do I have? What can I try? Where can I look for useful debug info?
Right now I'm not really tied into any particular distro, anything that gives some hope is good.