Keyboard and touchpad don't work on Asus laptop

I’m trying to install Manjaro 20.1.1 “Mikah” on my Asus X556UQK laptop using a bootable USB drive, but as soon as the mouse cursor appears on the screen as the system boots up, I lose my keyboard and touchpad, so it would become impossible to type anything. I don’t have a USB keyboard to test it out, but I suppose it would work fine as my USB mouse works fine.
I found that it’s something that has also reported by Arch users and related to Asus hotkeys, because they too have experienced that the only keys that work are the fn+f5/f6 keys which are for brightness control.
However, I don’t know how to fix it.
Any help would be much appreciated.

This issue was introduced with linux58 to manjaro. There are lots of reports also from Acer users. I’m not sure whether this a priority for the devs, since there’s never been an official response/acknowlegdement, afaik - at least not when I tried to solve this.

Please see here for a workaround, which you will have to implement while chrooted:

See here for ‘chroot’ (section #5):

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The commit to fix the asus-wmi tablet mode issue has been merged, and is in v5.9.

See workarounds here.


I’m sorry I’m a newbie, but where and how do I edit that file when I have no functioning keyboard?

I think the easiest way is to get a USB keyboard and mouse (at least one of them), do the installation, and edit the files after.

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I have a USB mouse but there’s no virtual keyboard AKA on-screen keyboard in Manjaro.

If you press Ctrl+Alt+F4, do you see a black screen with some text on it?

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No. Nothing happens.

Which desktop environment is it (KDE, XFCE, GNOME)?

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Xfce. I’ve written that on my profile, so I didn’t state it here.

If you can’t get a USB keyboard, try the following:

  1. reboot
  2. when the manjaro boot screen shows up, press “e”
  3. find apparmor=1 security=apparmor'
  4. insert a “3”: apparmor=1 security=apparmor 3'
  5. press F10
  6. a login screen should appear after some time, log in with the provided username and password
  7. run sudo loadkeys <ISO 639-1 language code> (like sudo loadkeys de)
  8. run sudo modprobe -r --remove-dependencies asus-wmi
  9. then run startx -- -keeptty

and hopefully the graphical interface appears, where you can hopefully complete the installation.

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Thank you, but I get the following errors:

Step #6: it works for the German language or “de”, but doesn’t work if I type “en” or similar entries.

Step #7: It gives this error:

modprobe: FATAL: Module battery is in use.

No matter if I plug the charger or not.

Please run sudo modprobe -r asus-wmi, and then continue if that prints no errors.

I think that steps is not required if you have an English keyboard layout.

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Still it gives a similar error:

modprobe: FATAL: Module asus_wmi is in use.

What’s the output of lsmod | grep asus?

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And in front of some of them, including asus_wmi and and battery, there are asus_wmi and asus_nb_wmi.

It’s called “onboard”.

EDIT: You can use another distro for chroot fixing, e.g. this one:

On MX Linux it’s called “Rescue Scan”, just live boot it from USB, find that program and follow the steps. The root password is ‘demo’ (I believe - can be looked up).

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Couldn’t find “onboard” anywhere.
Also I can’t install Manjaro without a keyboard, if MX Linux method requires to first install Manjaro.

My bad. Must have installed it myself ages ago.

Well, if Manjaro ships with a kernel that’s rendering certain devices unusable, then I refrain from recommending Manjaro to users owning those devices.

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Is it possible to first get rid of the faulty kernel and install the LTS kernel and then installing the distro? Some people have suggested that the problem would get fixed by installing the LTS kernel.