Zorin Forum

I need some help with my Asus 1215N (ZOS Lite)

I have installed Zorin OS Lite (64-bit) with dual-boot to W7 on my little Asus 1215N.

The installation went fine but I am running into a little bit of trouble with the keyboard hotkeys, display brightness ,performance and heat.

I'll start with the hotkeys, pretty much every single hotkey except the brightness keys are dysfunctional.

When I am adjusting the display brightness, the screen shortly flickers to a brighter/more dim state and then it adjust to the level set by the system. Is this normal? (I can live with this if this is unfixable)

It is obvious that I shouldn't be expecting god tier performance from this thing by installing a ubuntu/linux based system but it bothers me slightly that the UI runs at a low framerate with tearing and that there are some serious waiting times (between 10 to 70 seconds) when switching between apps (switching between firefox and the software store for example). This doesn't happen in W7

The thing that bothers me the most is the heat, for some reason, even in idle the temps reach high 60C while in Windows it holds a steady 38C in idle. It also causes the battery to discharge quite a bit faster than in Windows

And the last thing is: is it possible to switch between the integrated and dedicated graphics? I would like to have the UI run on the integrated and have some apps run on the dedicated. (or switch between the integrated and dedicated all together, doesn't really matter)

Sorry for the billion questions but I am a super noob when it comes to a non-windows operating system, I just don't know where to start and how to do this.

Thanks for the help in advance!

Clearly, something is not working right and it may take a bit teasing out the issues.
In running Zorin at idle, I usually see about 34 degrees C. You are seeing high temps. Performance on Zorin OS, for me has always been faster than Windows, easily.
10 - 70 seconds to switch windows is seriously abnormal.

When I tie this into the question of switching between Integrated and dedicated graphics-- It seems very likely that much of what youare describing is due to the Graphics and...

Nvidia. Your dedicated card is Nvidia, right?

If so, I think following this full guide will be a Good Start toward helping you set up your graphics and ensuring everything is running smoothly.

Windows and Nvidia work well together so they have automatic features to ensure that Nvidia works solidly on Linux. Nvidia has long stood Opposed to Open Source and as such generally likes to be a thorn in Linux' side.
Please use this thread to ask questions along the way, or to address issues that seem different from the above guide.
Then we can examine brightness and hotkeys.

My memory is a bit foggy, but the 1215N keyboard layout was also asked about on another forum (I think that was about Mint, or maybe another Ubuntu-based distro's forum) a few months ago.
What I do recall is that the answer on that other forum pointed to editing a file with "bindkeys" in the name.

Edit: A google search doesn't take me back to where-ever it was that I saw what I mentioned above, but instead a few of the results point me to forums and a help-site which are related to Arch Linux, where xbindkeysrc should be edited. If I'm not mistaken, Arch and Zorin utilize different Gnome environments, so this might not be much help if at all for your question.

For the graphics (both the switching and the framerate) Aravisian is at the very least on the right track if not already spot-on, regarding NVidia.
Even with AMD based graphics I've sometimes had to muck about, but NVidia has given me headaches more times than I care to remember under Linux.

The temps... that´s problematic, something I see a lot with older laptops, usually easy to remedy by clearing out dust, replacing the fan, and in those rare cases where I happen to be looking at an old laptop with a heatsink or fan on the CPU a fresh application of thermal paste.
I can't remember if I've actually opened up a 1215N in recent years, so I can't say if there be any point in scrounging up some thermal gel, but if you're comfortable enough opening it up, then after going through the guide that Aravisian pointed out, I'd suggest checking for dust build-up and checking the fan... also, if dust isn't an issue, maybe look into a cooling pad; even a dirt-cheap one has on occasion helped me out.

To answer your question, yes. I am using the variant with the Nvidia ION 2. I've heard about the troubles with Nvidia and Linux in the past, that was one of the reasons I was sweating while Zorin was installing on the 1215N.

Thanks for the article, I am gonna dive into it this afternoon.

As Megalith said, I've seen a thread about the keyboard in Archlinux. But I guessed since it was for a different distribution, it was probably incompatible.

Thanks for the suggestions

I've seen that article before and I guessed since it was for a different distribution, it was probably incompatible. (I should've mentioned it in the article) but I'll give it a try anyway

The temps in Windows are fine, 38C in idle isn't bad and 73C under full load isn't bad either. So I guess it isn't a thermal paste/dust problem here.

i've come a little bit closer to making it work. However, I've ran into other troubles and I am currently nuking the nvidia drivers in order to properly reinstall them again.

And there is something else, when I wanted to switch from Nvidia to intel or vice versa as test, it shows up with: "MESSAGE: Requires offloading" And not much later I get to see: "W: possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/tgl_dmc_ver2_04.bin for module i915"

That last message gets repeated for a lot of times with slightly different file names. uuhh, is this normal?

[EDIT] when opening nvidia X server settings from terminal It throws a critical error: (nvidia-settings-1725): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: 16:57:23.071: g_object_unref: assertion 'G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

Some of the issues you are having is because the firmware is slightly older than your hardware. I can attest to this because I've ran into a similar dilemma though my laptop is quite newer than yours.
The shortcut keys are handled by the acpi daemon and i covered both the screen and keyboard brightness shortcuts in the tutorial category of this forum. Screen brightness:

Unfortunately not all shortcut keys are solved this way. Depends on your hardware and and the abilities it has (manual controls for the fans and such).

At this point, since updating will still not solve your issues and any fixes you do find will be doable but troublesome and time consuming (I've tanked my system several times in attempting to get things working), you're best bet is to wait for Zorin 16 beta to be released, if not the full official release.

I was privileged in having the ability to test Zorin 16 in alpha. Though it was not complete, many of the issues you post about are resolved. The OS is faster, more responsive, runs cooler and uses less battery than the 15.3 build. Most of the shortcuts work, without modification and more hardware is recognized utilizing the proper drivers. Zorin 16 also includes utilizing integrated and nvidia graphics on a per app basis.

The beta should be released within the next week (according to the Dev group). Since they are adamant regarding testing, their beta builds are more complete and bug free than most software releases.

I know this may not be the answer you are looking for but since you have not put to much time into it yet (getting everything to work and all applications you will be using installed), will most likely have to do a full reinstall (the upgrade ability from 15.3 to 16 won't be released until later this year), a little patience will pay off.

If you choose to attempt to fix these issues, more for learning purposes, please enjoy the guides posted here, the members of this forum are willing to work with you in attempting any fixes or customizations. In your searches you can include Ubuntu 18.04, which Zorin 15.3 is based.

Thanks for the information! Out of curiosity I spend the afternoon trying to get more insight, trying a few things here and there. Even though I managed to get the switchable graphics kinda working, I couldn't get anything else working. I guess I am gonna wait until Zorin OS 16 (and hopefully a lite version) and then try it again.

For now I'll keep the installation as it is since I have installed this mostly to be able to securely browse the web and do some typing work on it.