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Brain dump: Huawei MateBook X running Debian Linux
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README.md

GNU/Linux on Huawei MateBook X (2017)

Brain dump: MateBook X running Debian Linux

Background

First Huawei MateBook X was released in 2017. It came with proprietary Microsoft Windows 10 and there was very little information available on its Linux support.

I am running Debian on it. This repository documents what works and what does not.

Linux Support Matrix

Device Model Works Notes
Processor Intel Core i5-7200U 💚 Yes 4 cores (2 real ones), power states etc work out of the box (TODO: document)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620 💚 Yes via standard kernel driver (TODO: document)
Memory 8192 MB 💚 Yes
Display 13.3 inch 16:9, 2160x1440 (2K) 💚 Yes resolution is correctly detected by xrandr, backlight control does not work via native function keys, but works via additional scripts (see Display Backlight)
Storage LITEON CB1-SD256, 256 GB 💚 Yes via standard kernel driver (TODO: document)
Soundcard Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio with Dolby ATMOS 💚 Yes via standard kernel driver, it also works fine with pulseaudio (TODO: document)
Speakers "Dolby ATMOS" 👁️‍🗨️ Kinda Right now only left speaker works, but it is not noticable as the sound feels quite "centered". I'm hoping a kernel update or some other fix for it will come out eventually to address this.
Ports 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2 💚 Yes USB-PD works only via left port, but it is a hardware limitation of the laptop
Fingerprint Reader proprietary sensor made by Huawei 🚫 No It is located on the power button, which itself is fully functional
Wifi Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac) 💚 Yes requires kernel 4.12 and firmware from Debian Testing (TODO: document)
Bluetooth Intel (idVendor:0x8087, idProduct:0x0a2b) 💚 Yes (see details below)
Airplane Mode Wifi+Bluetooth 💚 Yes (see details below)
Battery 40 Wh Lithium-Polymer 💚 Yes Everything works: current status, chargin/discharging rate and remaining battery time estimates
Lid ACPI-compliant 💚 Yes Works as expected: I can just close the lid and it sleeps
Keyboard 👁️‍🗨️ Mostly Some function keys do not work (eg. display brightness control), but there is ongoing dev in aymanbagabas/Huawei-WMI/issues/2
Touchpad 💚 Yes Tap-to-click can be enabled via libinput (see details below)
Port Extender USC-C dongle included with laptop 💚 Yes Full-size HDMI works as expected

Power Management

Been testing it with Debian Stable + backported kernel 4.12. I've installed laptop-mode-tools (instead of TLP) and minimalist i3-wm (instead of Gnome). With this setup and my workflow (mostly browser + ssh) the battery lasts for around 6-7 hours. Switching to more intensive things like code compilation or video encoding for prolonged time cuts battery to around 4 hours.

TODO: document laptop-mode-tools

Touchpad

I prefer natural (reversed) scrolling and tap-to-click. Both behaviors are disabled by default, but can be easily enabled via libinput.

To test, change a property manually:

$ xinput list | grep Touchpad
    ↳ ELAN2201:00 04F3:3056 Touchpad          	id=10	[slave  pointer  (2)]

$ xinput list-props 10 | grep Tapping\ Enabled
    libinput Tapping Enabled (280):	0

$ xinput set-prop 10 280 1

$ xinput list-props 10 | grep Tapping\ Enabled
    libinput Tapping Enabled (280):	1

To make it permanent, create /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-libinput.conf with:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier      "touchpad catchall"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        Driver           "libinput"
EndSection

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "tap-by-default"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDriver "libinput"
        Option "Tapping" "on"
        Option "NaturalScrolling" "true"
        Option "AccelSpeed" "1"
        #Option "TappingButtonMap" "lmr"       
EndSection

Display Backlight

Backlight control may not work out of the box in userland tools such as xbacklight.

To activate it, create /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/30-intel.conf with:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Card0"
    Driver      "intel"
    Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
EndSection

Reload X11. Now xbacklight +10 should increase brightness by 10%. Hardware keys do not work yet, but one can to bind this to any keyboard combination (eg. Mod4 (Windows key) + F1 (brightness key))

If you want to get visual feedback on every change consider using backlight-ctrl.sh.

Bluetooth

Tested with a mouse (MX Anywhere 2S) and worked as expected.

Following apt install bluetooth from BluetoothUser guide should be enough. I also installed blueman and run blueman-applet & for a handy tray icon in i3 status bar.

Bluetooth Troubleshooting

Bluetooth registers itself as an USB device and default power saving settings may be too aggressive for wireless mouse and keyboard. In my case mouse was unable to wake up from autosuspend so for now I just disable it on boot:

# Prevents the Bluetooth USB card from autosuspending, which (as of this edit) borks it
# Include this somewhere it gets called at boot, for optimal effect; e.g. /etc/rc.local
# Credit: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2159645&page=6&p=12926730#post12926730
 
BTUSB_DEV="8087:0a2b"
BTUSB_BINDING="$(lsusb -d "$BTUSB_DEV" |
  cut -f 1 -d : |
  sed -e 's,Bus ,,' -e 's, Device ,/,' |
  xargs -I {} udevadm info -q path -n /dev/bus/usb/{} |
  xargs basename)"
 
 
echo "Disabling autosuspend for Bluetooth USB device: $BTUSB_BINDING..."
echo -1 > "/sys/bus/usb/devices/$BTUSB_BINDING/power/autosuspend_delay_ms"

If you are using a power management solution, you may want to see instructions below:

TLP

I use tlp for power management. I had to set USB_AUTOSUSPEND=0 in /etc/default/tlp to prevent random outages of USB and bluetooth (requiring a cold restart to correct). #

Laptop Model

If you use laptop-mode for power management, disable or tweak suspend rules in /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/bluetooth.conf.

Airplane Mode

Works as expected.

rfkill list shows current status of radio interfaces:

 rfkill list                                                                      ~
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
11: hci0: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no

Toggling "airplane mode": rfkill block all / rfkill unblock all

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