ASUS Linux Driver Gets Patches For RGB Keyboard Controls

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 6 August 2022 at 07:00 AM EDT. 15 Comments
For those with a newer ASUS gaming laptop boasting RGB lighting for the keyboard, that functionality could soon be working nicely thanks to work happening within the Linux kernel and the open-source Asusctl project.

Luke Jones has done a lot of the ASUS WMI Linux driver work for custom fan curves, dGPU/eGPU handling improvements, and other ASUS laptop support improvements. The latest he has been working on is RGB keyboard support as part of his Asusctl open-source project for the control interface / user-space daemon for improving the ASUS laptop integration under Linux.

Posted on Friday were the initial patches wiring up RGB keyboard support within the ASUS-WMI kernel driver for the likes of the ASUS TUF laptops sporting RGB keyboards. (ASUS ROG laptops should already have working keyboard RGB controls with Asusctl already).
This is a patch series to add RGB support for ASUS laptops. The laptops with this RGB tend to be the TUF series of gamer laptops.

The first step is initial bringup of support using the multicolor LED API.

These types of keyboards implement a slightly more complex interface than just RGB control however - they also have modes with can be static LED, blinking, rainbow, color cycles, and more. They also have some custom animations that can play depending on device state, such as suspended playing a fancy colour cycle, or playing a "wave" animation.

Those patches are now being refined as they work towards the mainline kernel.


For easy adjusting of the RGB keyboard lighting from user-space, the Asusctl software has been preparing its support with a nice GUI. Asusctl allows for adjusting fan speeds, the keyboard LEDs, graphics modes, and more. This MPL 2.0 licensed software is independently developed largely via reverse engineering and sadly isn't an official ASUS project, with official ASUS support for Linux on consumer products still sadly being limited. Those wishing to check out this software can do so via Asusctl on GitLab.

Those wishing to learn more about the Asusctl effort can see with Luke Jones' blog for his crusade of bettering ASUS laptop support on Linux. While a community project and largely driven via community testing and reverse engineering, Luke did comment in his latest blog post of receiving some technical assistance from ASUS, "We now have a (very) small team of us who are working with ASUS to determine a more cohesive goal - I was already under NDA with them which enables me to have direct access to the ROG engineering team." So let's hope for more great ASUS laptop improvements on Linux.
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