[SOLVED] ASUS GL553VE no keyboard backlight control

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[SOLVED] ASUS GL553VE no keyboard backlight control

Postby astronos2007 » 2018-02-03 06:34

Hello, everybody!

I am an old Debian fan who has just purchased a new laptop, an ASUS GL553VE. Of course, I experienced problems with the function keys at first, but after deep searches, I found that upgrading the kernel fixes some things. Done, I upgraded to the latest kernel possible in the backports, 4.14-3-bpo and I have some functionality now, but: enabling / disabling touchpad does not work, airplane mode does not trigger the LED, no control over the keyboard backlight, but the rest of the controls (Fn+Fx keys) work fine.

My main problem is controlling the ASUS keyboard backlight, which I found to be a pain in the butt for many folks on the internet.

From what I researched, it appears I should have the file /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness
but I don't. All people from the internet forums talk about this file and all scripts written in python or some other fixes I found rely on this file I don't have... and I am very frustrated I didn't find a kernel patch or something to enable the damn thing.

I managed to install an experimental build of kernel 4.15-rc8 which appears to have control over the backlight, but no headers for it, as it requires gcc-7... that's awful, I can't upgrade half of my system just to install the headers, so I can build modules (like NVIDIA driver). So, I can't use and rely on that kernel. I need NVIDIA and Bumblebee.

Does anyone know a fix for this? I am just tired of searching, I searched for days and days and nothing worked. I tried everything, from changing kernel parameters (acpi_osi=<everything_I_found_online>......) to installing scripts and the ACPI daemon.

I use Debian Stretch 9.3 64 bit.
Thank you!
Last edited by astronos2007 on 2018-02-03 11:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ASUS GL553VE no keyboard backlight control

Postby bw123 » 2018-02-03 09:54

I am very frustrated I didn't find a kernel patch or something to enable the damn thing.


Looks like a couple people have managed it on 4.10 and 4.12 so maybe you could get it working somehow on a debian kernel?
https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=194557

I am an old Debian fan who has just purchased a new laptop, an ASUS GL553VE.


Just curious why you picked this one with all the problems involved?
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Re: ASUS GL553VE no keyboard backlight control

Postby astronos2007 » 2018-02-03 10:54

Thank you for your response!

I tried with another kernel, I installed some from the Debian repos, but to no avail. So, I decided to compile my own kernel from kernel.org. Version 4.15 works like a charm!

So, for other people who face the same problem, it is fixed in kernel 4.15 stable. You may compile it like this:
1) Download the .tar.xz archive from http://www.kernel.org
2) Unpack it with
Code: Select all
tar xf ./linux-4.15.tar.xz

3) Change directory to the extracted folder:
Code: Select all
cd ./linux-4.15

4) Copy your old config file from the current kernel you are using. In my case, I did:
Code: Select all
cp /usr/src/linux-headers-4.14.0-0.bpo.3-amd64/.config ./

5) Build the kernel:
Code: Select all
make dpkg-deb

It will ask you for some new config settings in the first phase. I left everything at default, except for that stupid patch for kernel memory addresses separation which I set to "NO", because I don't want performance issues.
If you get into errors, check that you have all the dependencies installed (packages like build-essentials, libssl-dev etc.)
6) Install the kernel and its headers:
Code: Select all
sudo dpkg -i ../linux-headers-4.15.0_4.15.0-1_amd64.deb ../linux-image-4.15.0_4.15.0-1_amd64.deb

7) Reboot and enjoy controlling your keyboard lights :)

Just curious why you picked this one with all the problems involved?

I picked this model because it had great reviews and great benchmarks on performance behaviour. I am in need of CPU power and GPU power for my studies and my work. I do not need it for gaming (although is a gaming laptop), but its specs are perfect for a student like me :) Didn't know about the problems when I bought it though :(
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