Installing Elementary OS Juno on Razer Blade Stealth QHD+ (late 2017)

Screenshot from 2019-02-09 12.03.37@2x.png

Be sure you backup everything you need

Download Elementary OS Juno

You can download Elementary OS Juno (5.0) from their official site hitting the Purchase Elementary OS button. They are doing an amazing work, so don’t be mean and pay something for it. If your economy is a sensible topic, you can also get it for free.

Create a bootable USB disk with the downloaded file and install

At this point, you will have a file named similarly to elementaryos-5.0-stable.20181016.iso. A tool to create a bootable disk is needed. Personally, I am going to use Startup disk creator. It is in the Ubuntu repositories. If you are using Windows then you can use Rufus. For Mac users, Etcher does a good work. Etcher also works with Linux and Windows, by the way.
I am not going to get redundant. Elementary OS have an excellent getting started guide about how to do this here.
My choice: use encryption, erase full disk, allow third party software and install updates.

A few (fixed) problems

Flickering screen

During the installation you will appreciate a super annoying screen flickering. The good news: it can be fixed. It also affects other Linux distributions and sadly it is a known problem for more than 2 years now that nobody has fixed yet.

Touchpad freezes

This also happened in Elementary OS Loki (0.4). The fully patched kernel to fix this problem was introduced in the version 4.17. Juno ships with 4.15. Out of the box it works way better than in Loki, but if you want to fix it, continue reading.

Suspend loop after closing laptop lid

Again, a problem also happening in Loki and that nobody has fixed yet. Continue reading….

Errors in system logs (dmesg)

computername kernel: pcieport 0000:00:1c.0: PCIe Bus Error: severity=Corrected, type=Data Link Layer, id=00e0(Transmitter ID)
computername kernel: pcieport 0000:00:1c.0: device [8086:9d12] error status/mask=00001000/00002000
computername kernel: pcieport 0000:00:1c.0: [12] Replay Timer Timeout
These errors don’t seem to affect the laptop performance or crash the system at all. However, there is a simple fix for them.

The solution for the four problems above

  • Install the Long Term support of the Linux Kernel (4.19) and reboot your machine. This is actually very easy thanks to a tool called Ukuu.

Screenshot from 2019-02-09 12.15.42@2x

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ukuu
  • Install Kernel 4.19 with Ukuu.
  • Reboot.
  • The flickering should still be thereafter reboot.
  • Tweak grub booting parameters:
    • Open grub configuration with Elementary code editor:
sudo io.elementary.code /etc/default/grub
    • Find the line with content
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
    •  and change it to
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pci=nomsi i915.edp_vswing=2 i915.enable_rc6=1 button.lid_init_state=open"
    • Update grub
sudo update-grub
pci=nomsi: fixes the log errors.
i915.edp_vswing=2: in combination with the LTS Kernel fixes the flickering.
i915.enable_rc6=1: additional power saving settings.
button.lid_init_state=open: fixes the suspend boot loop after closing the lid.

Get the best of your laptop battery

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
sudo tlp start

Get your fancy control of keyboard lights back

To get the RGB craziness or a sweet cute rainbow on your keyboard, get RazerComander. While in Loki, I was using Polychromatic. But with all the madness around the support (of lack of it) for System Tray (aka Indicators), Polychromatic is a bit more tedious to use. You can also control the back ligh logo.

OpenRazer

# Install OpenRazer daemon first:https://github.com/hectorm/elementary-dropbox
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openrazer/stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install openrazer-meta

RazerComander

You can use the latest ”’.deb”’ or ”’.flatpak”’ from RazerComander. If you need to set up FlatPak, this is the original guide.

Screenshot from 2019-02-09 12.18.26@2x

A sensible topic: indicators

An intensive battle between users and developers about the System Tray (aka indicator area) and compatibility with some applications is in the air. Well, maybe it isn’t, as Elementary OS is dropping support for ”ayatana indicators” following similar moves from other desktop environments.
But, while in Gnome, for example, you can get an extension to render those ”legacy” indicators, on Elementary OS Juno, this is not an option. Applications like Skype, Dropbox, Polychromatic, PIA (Private Internet Access), KDE Connect, … become difficult to use, if not impossible.
And I have to say that I do understand Elementary OS decision, even if it is a pain in the ass for most of us. But in the meanwhile, there is an ugly, ugly workaround source:

Screenshot from 2019-02-09 12.24.13@2x

Special mention to Dropbox

Dropbox is another pain to install. Actually, I am seriously considering pCloud as an alternative. Don’t follow the Ubuntu or other .deb based system guides. This works seamlessly: https://github.com/hectorm/elementary-dropbox.

Thank you

That’s all folks! I will try to keep this article up to date with any peculiarity that I might find.
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