Difference between revisions of "Acer Aspire One"

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This page documents configuration and troubleshooting specific to the Acer Aspire One.
 
This page documents configuration and troubleshooting specific to the Acer Aspire One.

Revision as of 22:42, 6 September 2011

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Reason: kernel26 (Discuss in Talk:Acer Aspire One#)

This page documents configuration and troubleshooting specific to the Acer Aspire One.

Most of this information is from the Arch Forum. You can also find a lot of helpful information from the AspireOneUser Forum and Install Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04.1) on the Acer Aspire One.

General netbook installation hints can be found also in the Asus EEE PC Wiki article

See this link for Acer Aspire One model AOD250-1613 (Android + XP version).

Contents

Before you begin

A list of choices to be made during installation

  • Installation medium: CD-ROM or USB (usb is recommended)
  • Which filesystems to choose:
    • If you want a journaled filesystem for the SSD or HDD or not (ext4 is recommended)
    • If you want a journaled filesystem for the SD-card or not (highly recommended, for instance xfs or ext4)
  • If you want a swap partition or not (not recommended, but meh)
    • A swap partition may wear the disk somewhat, but it makes hibernation possible
    • Regular "sleep" is still possible without a swap partition
  • Which kernel to use: linux or linux-one (linux-one is recommended)
  • Which modules and daemons you want loaded at boot in rc.conf
  • If you want to configure the machine for maximum performance or battery life
  • If you want to configure X for using 3D graphics or not
  • If you wish to boot straight into a graphics mode or not ("KMS")
  • General configuration

There are also all sorts of tweaks along the way, that you may choose to apply.

Choosing your installation medium

The Acer Aspire One does not come with an optical drive.

This means you will need to install Arch Linux through one of the alternative methods:

  • USB stick (recommended)
  • External USB CD-ROM drive (weird, but possible)

Choosing an Installation Image

You may wish to use a pre-release images, rather than the official Arch Linux images. The 2010.05 image may not contain the necessary drivers for the Atheros Ethernet or Broadcom Wireless found on certain Aspire One PCs, such as the D255e.

Preparation prior to installing Arch Linux

  • Press F12 at BIOS post or change boot order with F2 to select your installation method. (On some systems, F12 might not be enabled by default, and you must hit F2 to enter the BIOS and enable it).
  • To boot off the USB stick, choose USB HDD as the boot device.
  • It is recommended to permanently add a SD(HC) card into the left sd card reader to extend storage space.
  • Before running /arch/setup mount your SD card to be visible to the installer.

Recommended partition schemes

  • /dev/sda1 all 8GB on the SSD for /, formatted as ext4
  • /dev/mmcblk0p1 all space on the extensional left side sd(hc) card for /home
    • the sd-card needs a journaling filesystem, like ext4 or xfs
  • No swap at all, unless you want hibernation. Having swap wears the disk somewhat more.

File-systems

There is a limit in how many times you can write to any disk, SSD or a regular HDD. For SSD, you can write about 2 GB a day and it should last for about 3 years. Regular usage is probably less than this, hence it should last several more years. All disks will wear out eventually, so backup often. This goes for both SSD and HDDs.

In general, having data on a disk should be considered as safe as written notes on a wet paper napkin.

Solid state drives are made of flash memory, they are fast at reading but slow at writing data.

Journaled filesystem writes in a journal what it is modifying in the filesystem, so you will get more writes into the SSD, that will take your write count up as a bit of overhead for each write you will do, but will give you filesystem consistency if something as gone wrong. Same thing goes for the HDD-version.

You can choose a journaled filesystem (like ext4 or xfs) or a non journaled one (like ext2). The choice mainly depends on how important it is to you that all files are okay if you suddenly turn off the computer, compared to slightly less wear and tear over the years, and slightly more speed on disk operations.

The choice depends on your demands. Some people had trouble using ext2 with the SD-card (the filesystem was corrupted) and switched to XFS instead, with great success.

In general, ext4 is a good choice for disks and XFS works well for SD-cards that stay in the slot.

XFS over ext2/ext4 also have the added benefit of not having to wait for disk-checks every Nth boot, which can be a huge annoyance if you are about to hold a presentation.

Choosing maximum lifetime, or data integrity

For a longer life for your disk, take care to:

  • Not use a journaling file system
  • Not use a swap partition (unless you want to be able to hibernate)
  • Edit your new installation fstab to mount the partitions as "noatime", which will mean better performance and longer life by not writing file access times. "relatime" is an alternative solution. See this LWN article for more information.
  • Not log errors or messages

If, on the other hand, data integrity is more important, use EXT4, XFS or another journaled filesystem instead.

Mounting Options

There are some tweaks you can put into place to have better performance out of filesystems.

  • EXT4:
 defaults,noatime
  • XFS:
 defaults,noatime
  • EXT3:
 defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro,commit=15
  • EXT2:
 defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro

These are to be added to your filesystem mount tab file located under /etc/fstab. As example a mount line for the root directory:

 /dev/sda1              /             ext4      defaults,noatime    0    1

Another tweak is to mount each log directory into a memory filesystem (stores everything only into RAM) so you can skip more write counts out of our SSD but suitable also for HDD. These log files will be then deleted each time the system is rebooted.

For that you have to add to the same /etc/fstab the follow lines:

 none                   /var/log      tmpfs     size=10M   0      0
 none                   /tmp          tmpfs     size=100M  0      0
 none                   /var/tmp      tmpfs     size=20M   0      0

  • Caution: The temporary folders listed above will delete all files in those folders after each reboot. You may omit the last three lines, but have increased write access to the SSD.
  • Caution: Has been reported that the stock kernel is causing partition table corruption on the SD card when you resume from a suspend. Corrupted Template:Codeline. Someone on the forum suggested that you need a kernel with Template:Codeline set to prevent this from happening. This solution did not work for some people, while using XFS instead of ext2 for /home worked just fine.

Hardware

Aspire One common hardware:

  • Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz cpu, SMP capable (hyperthreading like PIV), up to SSE3 extensions, no EM64T!
  • Intel 945GME chipset
  • Intel 950 GMA onboard graphics adapter
  • 8.9 or 10.1 inch Acer Crystal Brite 1024×600 display
  • Realtek High Definition Audio ALC260
  • Battery: 11.V 41,2Wh/2200mAh or 45Wh/2400mAh Lithium-Ionen-Akku / 3 cell, with a 6 cell model planned
  • SD(hc) Card Reader left side: RICOH R5C8xx
  • Multi Card Reader right side Seite: JMicron JMB385 Flash Media Controller
  • Webcam: Acer Crystal Eye Webcam (Suyin Optronics)
  • Wlan: Atheros AR5007EG (Chipset 2425)
  • LAN: Realtek RTL8102E
  • Touchpad: Synaptics
  • Weight: 960 gr.
  • Size: 24,9 x 17 x 2,9 cm
  • One memory expansion slot ( So-DIMM DDRII 400/533/667MHz up to 1GB) under the keyboard hard to access see memory upgrade; max. 1,5GB

Version A110L

  • One 512MB memory stick onboard soldered
  • 8 GB solid state drive (SSD)

Version A150L

  • One 1024MB memory stick onboard soldered
  • 120 GB hard disk drive (HDD)

Version D255e

  • LAN: Atheros Communication AR8132 fast ethernet
  • Wireless: Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g LP-PHY [14e4:4727] (rev 01)Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation Device [14e4:0510]

lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GME Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GME Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) SATA IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller (rev 02)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5006EG 802.11 b/g Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)

Module setup

Ethernet, wireless networking and sound will work with the linux, linux-one and linux-one-dev kernels.

Module configuration

Now you have to select the modules you need to get the hardware working, by editing /etc/rc.conf.

Modules to blackmask
  • memstick - Makes full load on one core- fixed as of kernel 2.6.29.
  • snd-pcsp - PC Speaker will be your sound card and Template:Codeline will not work. Also amazingly annoying if put to use.
Modules to load
  • acpi_cpufreq - CPU scaling
  • ath5k or ath9k - The wireless device
  • pciehp - The SD card readers' hotplug functionality
  • r8169 - The ethernet NIC
  • uvcvideo - The webcam device

Network

WLAN

AA1 wireless device is a rather new Atheros wireless chip not supported by Linux kernel until version 2.6.27. Before that an external module was required to be compiled and installed named madwifi.

Now you need to reset the wireless driver upon suspend/resume so you need to create a rule for pm-utils to reload the module. This is done by creating a new file under /etc/pm/config.d/ named modules with:

 echo "SUSPEND_MODULES=\"ath5k\"" > /etc/pm/config.d/modules
Getting the latest ath5k driver

If you have problems with Template:Codeline, you can get the latest version by following the instructions on this site: http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Download

Essentially, you install the latest wireless drivers into an Template:Codeline directory, thus leaving the stock drivers intact for possible reverting.

Testing

This is one way to test if the wireless card is working:

sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning

To connect to an open network, just grep for ESSID in the above command. Then, once you found a network name, make sure dhclient is installed and try these. NetworkName is the ESSID you wish to use.

sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid NetworkName
sudo dhclient wlan0
ath9k and acer_wmi

Some people have reported conflicts between the ath9k and acer_wmi drivers, resulting in the wireless card not functioning. Blacklisting acer_wmi seems to resolve the issue.

LAN

  • Use module r8169 for eth0 support with kernel version >=2.6.26.
  • If you have problems with r8169 (unlikely), try r8101.
Aspire One D250/D255e LAN

With Archlinux 2010.05 the installation did not work on Aspire One D250/D255. The modules were not available for either the Atheros LAN card or the Broadcom Wireless. To get the LAN working, try installing a newer developer image of Arch.

Audio

Typical Intel HD Audio, works out-of-the-box, see ALSA.

With linux (alsa as modules)

Add one of these as a line in Template:Codeline:

  • options snd-hda-intel model=acer-aspire
    • Recommended. Everything works.
  • options snd-hda-intel model=acer
    • Everything works, except the internal microphone and turning off the loudspeaker when a headset is plugged in. For some people the internal microphone may work.
  • options snd-hda-intel model=auto
    • Both internal and external microphone does not work

With linux-one and linux-one-dev (alsa built into the kernel)

MIDI does not work with linux-one(-dev)!

Add one of these as a kernel option in Template:Codeline:

  • snd-hda-intel.model=acer-aspire
    • Recommended. Everything works.
  • snd-hda-intel.model=acer
    • Everything works, except the internal microphone and turning off the loudspeaker when a headset is plugged in. For some people the internal microphone may work.
  • snd-hda-intel.model=auto
    • Both internal and external microphone does not work

Audio test

Template:Codeline

Video

Typical Intel chipset. Works with the xf86-video-intel driver.

You will need to install packages:

  • xorg
  • xf86-video-intel
  • xf86-input-synaptics

The Acer Aspire One model A0751h uses the Poulsbo chipset, which is, as of October 2009, incompletely supported in Linux. Instead of using the xf86-video-intel driver, an unofficial repository and driver may be used. This is not an officially-supported driver, and it may or may not work for you. See this thread in the forums for current status.

Alternatively, using the instructions above and in the Uvesafb article to set up the console framebuffer, and then installing and configuring the xf86-video-fbdev driver, will provide the full resolution -- backlight brightness control is impossible with this method, however.

For the original Linpus Xorg.conf (if you use this you may want to remove the ServerFlags section - the two entries in it disable the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and Ctrl-Alt-F* hotkeys) please see Example configurations.

External VGA port

The external VGA port works without further modifications if the externel screen is connected at boot time. If the screen is added later, the VGA port has to be enabled by Template:Codeline. See also section Additional function keys for automating this.

Setting DPI

Very large fonts may appear in some applications (for example the menu line in Firefox). Setting the DisplaySize in the Monitor section in combination with the NoDDC option in Template:Codeline may help:

Section "Device"
   ...
   Option    "NoDDC"
   ...
EndSection
...
Section "Monitor"
   ...
   DisplaySize 271 159 # Sets the correct DPI (96 x 96)
   ...
EndSection

When using an external screen, the NoDDC option has the effect, that XRandR may no longer be able to determine and use the maximum resolution of the screen. If you have such problems, delete the above lines from Template:Codeline. Instead add the following to your Template:Codeline:

#!/bin/bash
exec /usr/bin/X -dpi 100

You may also try 75dpi if you can live with small fonts.

You can also try to add the following to your Template:Codeline:

*dpi: 75

Setting a proper framebuffer

There are three options for setting the frame buffer (kernel mode setting, uvesafb, and intelfb). The most modern, thus recommended one is kernel mode setting (KMS). This is also the easiest to implement.

Kernel mode setting (KMS)

Use Template:Codeline and follow the instructions here: Intel#Kernel_mode_setting_(KMS)

uvesafb

This will enable a 1024x600 framebuffer with 32bit color. Read Uvesafb for the basic workthrough. But just following the steps below will work fine for the stock kernel.

Warning: Before you begin, be aware that suspend will most probably not work with Uvesafb. When resuming you will end up with a blank screen.
  • Install v86d:
pacman -S v86d
options uvesafb mode_option=1024x600-32 scroll=ywrap
run_hook ()
{
   msg -n ":: Patching the VBIOS..."
   /usr/sbin/915resolution -c 945GM 5c 1024 600
   msg "done."
}
HOOKS="base udev 915resolution v86d ..."
  • Run
mkinitcpio -p linux

Make sure that you do not include any Template:Codeline things in your kernel line in GRUB menu.lst, as these will enable other framebuffer drivers and prevent uvesafb from working.

Using intelfb without an initrd

Another option is to use the intelfb framebuffer. This is an option if you are using the kernel26-one-dev kernel, or any other kernel where intelfb is compiled in the kernel rather than as a module. It is also a good option if you do not want to use an initrd image on boot (hence using the new grub package below.)

First off install Template:Codeline from AUR. (This may mean you need to modify the new /boot/grub/grub.cfg, see the wiki page for help)

To /boot/grub/grub.cfg add the 915 initialisation like so:

menuentry "kernel26-one-dev" {
set root=(hd0,1)
insmod 915resolution
915resolution 5c 1024 600
linux /vmlinuz-one-dev root=/dev/sda2 ro video=intelfb vga=604
}
Note: This method means you have to change to the new version of grub, which uses a new configuration format, and hence will not work with your old menu.lst

Webcam

Works on the fly with the kernel26 (>=2.6.22) from core using the UVC kernel module (uvcvideo). Make sure that your user belongs to the "video" group.

Test the webcam:

  • Load the kernel module as root
modprobe uvcvideo
  • Install and run wxcam as a regular user
wxcam
  • To stop using the webcam related kernel modules (which saves some battery power)
echo uvcvideo videodev v4l1_compat video | xargs rmmod
Tip: Install and run Powertop as root if you are interested in saving even more power.

Card Reader

Note: For some people, this is not needed with the most recent BIOS v3309

To enable hotplugging for the card readers, add the following to Template:Codeline:

options pciehp pciehp_force=1

Then add Template:Codeline to the modules array in Template:Codeline:

MODULES=( ... pciehp ... )

As outlined in this post, you might also need to add the following to your kernel command line (in Template:Codeline):

pcie_ports=native

As an alternative, which may possibly also enable powersaving for the card readers, get the jmb38x_d3e.sh script from the original Linpus install and install it in Template:Codeline. Remember to give executable rights. Note that this script uses Template:Codeline which you may need to install:

pacman -S bc

Then add the following line to Template:Codeline:

/usr/local/sbin/jmb38x_d3e.sh &>/var/log/jmb38x_d3e.log &

You may skip the log output if do not want this. You do not need the Template:Codeline module in Template:Codeline if you use this script.

Additional function keys

For the wifi kill switch add these keycodes in /etc/rc.local:

 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e055 159
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e056 158

Note that if the wifi kill switch is on (wifi is off), you will need to reboot to re-enable wifi once you disable the kill switch.

For the Fn-Keys add these:

 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e025 130
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e026 131
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e027 132
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e029 122
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e071 134
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e072 135

Now setup an ~/.Xmodmap:

 keycode 160=XF86AudioMute
 keycode 174=XF86AudioLowerVolume
 keycode 176=XF86AudioRaiseVolume
 keycode 223=XF86Standby
 keycode 239=XF86KbdBrightnessDown
 keycode 123=XF86KbdBrightnessUp
 keycode 210=XF86Display

Alternatively, you might also try the following map (used on my A110 Aspire One, bought on February 2009 with french keyboard layout)

 keycode 160=XF86AudioMute
 keycode 174=XF86AudioLowerVolume
 keycode 123=XF86AudioRaiseVolume ## here is the difference
 keycode 223=XF86Standby
 keycode 210=XF86Display

then add:

 xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

to ~/.xinitrc.

If you use KDE or Gnome you can use the appropriate tools to bind the keys or they work just fine without further modifications.

If you use XFCE then you can use "Settings->Keyboard Settings->Shortcuts" and add a new theme, set:

 XF86AudioRaiseVolume - amixer set Master 2dB+ unmute
 XF86AudioLowerVolume - amixer set Master 2dB- unmute
 XF86AudioMute - amixer set Master toggle

If you use neither KDE nor Gnome then read on. To use the keys to adjust volume it is recommended to use xbindkeys:

 # pacman -S xbindkeys

Add

 xbindkeys &

to ~/.xinitrc and use the following as .xbindkeysrc:

 "(uxterm -e vgadisplay.sh)"
     m:0x0 + c:130
     Hangul
 "(amixer sset Master toggle)"
     m:0x0 + c:121
     XF86AudioMute
 "(amixer set Master 2dB+ unmute)"
     m:0x0 + c:123
     XF86AudioRaiseVolume
 "(amixer set Master 2dB- unmute)"
     m:0x0 + c:122
     XF86AudioLowerVolume
 "(sudo pm-suspend)"
     m:0x0 + c:150
     XF86Sleep

Note that the option to switch the external VGA output here by a bash-display-script. You will need the following as /usr/bin/vgadisplay.sh:

 #! /bin/bash
 TEMP=/tmp/answer$$
 dialog --menu "Select VGA behavior" 13 50 6 1 off 2 1024x600 3 "Auto (most probably 1024x768)" 2>$TEMP
 ret=$?
 choice=`cat $TEMP`
 case $ret in
     1) ;; # Cancel - do nothing
     0)  # User selection
         case $choice in
          1) xrandr --output VGA --off;;
          2) xrandr --output VGA --mode 1024x600;;
          3) xrandr --output VGA --auto;;
         esac
         ;; 
     *)  # Shouldnt happen
         echo "Abnormal ret code from dialog: $ret" 
         ;; 
 esac

You may also bind an xrandr call directly with the XF86Display key but with the above way you have more options.

Touchpad

Two-Finger scrolling

To enable two-finger scrolling, paste the following in your .xinitrc and restart X:

 xinput set-int-prop "Synaptics Mouse" "Synaptics Two-Finger Pressure" 32 10
 xinput set-int-prop "Synaptics Mouse" "Synaptics Two-Finger Width" 32 6
 xinput set-int-prop "Synaptics Mouse" "Two-Finger Scrolling" 8 1
 xinput set-int-prop "Synaptics Mouse" "Synaptics Two-Finger Scrolling" 8 1 1
 xinput set-int-prop "Synaptics Mouse" "Synaptics Jumpy Cursor Threshold" 32 150

Note: you might need to change "Synaptics Mouse" to the name your touchpad was assigned.

Power management

Enabling CPU scaling

See cpufrequtils.

Suspend on lid, shutdown on power button

Some people needed to install the kernel named "linux-one" in order to make this work properly. On the D250 (and possibly others), if the bios has not been updated to the latest (see elsewhere on this page for how to update the bios), then the 'lid' event is broken in the sense that it always reports 'closed' and it will continue to send lid events once triggered (thus blocking out power button events). In short, if you have problems with getting acpi events to work, update your bios.

See acpid for more information.

Example configurations

/etc/rc.local

 #!/bin/bash
 #
 # /etc/rc.local: Local multi-user startup script.
 #
 # Change CPU governors and writeback-time (as suggested by powertop)
 echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
 echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
 # Make the right SD-slot visible, as suggested by the Debian wiki
 setpci -d 197b:2381 AE=47
 # Set up the wifi-key
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e055 159
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e056 158
 # Set up the function keys
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e025 130
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e026 131
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e027 132
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e029 122
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e071 134
 /usr/bin/setkeycodes e072 135

/etc/modprobe.d/sound.conf

options snd-hda-intel model=acer-aspire

Customized kernel

It is common to use customized kernels in these machines to avoid the extra load of modules Arch's stock kernel brings. These are ok for the wide general hardware but in this case you have a very specific set of hardware so that you can build a predefined kernel hardware support.

There is a A110L specific kernel package linux-one on AUR with all necessary modules compiled in kernel. Refer to the Forum for help on this. There may also be binaries of the latest version on the Forum but since these are user submitted packages you should *always* pick the sources and PKGBUILD, inspect them and build them yourself.

There is also linux-one-dev.

The config for this kernel is derived from the original Linpus Kernel config. The main differences from stock arch kernel:

  • The kernel differs from the stock arch kernel so it can only load Aspire One specific hardware and should not be used in any other hardware;
  • Faster boot time;
  • Reduced package size (although the hardware supported by this kernel will be limited to what it has compiled);
  • Tweaks for better performance on Atom processors;
  • Some tweaks/workarounds to get hardware work flawlessly (MMC/SD cards for example)

On T.Mondary's site you can also find a precompiled kernel for AAO, in distribution-independant format, but suitable for ArchLinux. This minimal kernel comes with wifi led patches, a coretemp patch, acerhdf and a proper framebuffer with KMS. It can now use ext2 or ext4 (mounting ext4 without a journal is supported since 2.6.29) for the root filesystem, and does not require an initrd.

Tuning tips

SD Storage Expansion

Labeling Partitions

For using both card readers at a time you have to specify which is the one to use as storage expansion and the one to be used a removable storage by setting a label into the filesystem.

Plug only the expansion SD card into the left card reader and make the desired filesystem with one of the following:

  • XFS:
mkfs.xfs /dev/mmcblk0p1
  • EXT3
mkfs.ext3 /dev/mmcblk0p1
  • EXT2
mkfs.ext2 /dev/mmcblk0p1

Then give the filesystem a label:

  • XFS:
xfs_admin -L "SD_HOME" /dev/mmcblk0p1
  • EXT3/EXT2:
e2label /dev/mmcblk0p1 "SD_HOME"

Mount expansion as /home

Now that you have a SD card with a defined label you can define a mount option in /etc/fstab as defined in Mounting Options. Do not forget to change the folder which it is to be mounted on, it should be /home.

If you already have something in your /home folder you need to save a backup in order to upon mounting the SD expansion you have the same files as before so you can try this:

 tar -cfg /home.tar /home

Now you can mount the device and put the backup there. Remember to put the line in fstab first and had made a backup!

 rm -rf /home/*
 mount /home
 tar -xvf /home.tar -C /home/
 rm /home.tar
Note: Mounting /home on your SD card through fstab occasionally appears to lead to a problem described in {{this}} forum thread, where the SD card gives a "FILESYSTEM CHECK FAILED" error during init on alternating boot-ups. This can be solved by mounting your SD card as /home by adding
sudo mount -U (UUID-of-your-SD-card) -t xfs -o defaults,noatime /home
to /etc/rc.local, and removing the entry of your SD card from /etc/fstab. Find out your SD card's UUID by issuing Template:Cli

Regulating the CPU fan

Letting the BIOS regulate the cpu fan results in a noisy monster of netbook. You can override the default fan settings by using either Template:Codeline (recommended method) or Template:Codeline (not recommended) based on two scripts.

acerhdf

The acerhdf kernel module regulates the fan in a performant and secure way.

From kernel 2.6.31 on the acerhdf module is provided inside the kernel tree. Therefore it comes precompiled with the linux, linux-one and linux-one-dev packages. If you use a kernel version <= 2.6.30 there is a package in AUR called acerhdf, which you will have to build and install.

Add Template:Codeline to the Template:Codeline array in Template:Codeline. It can be configured by adding the following line to Template:Codeline:

Up to acerhdf version 0.5.18:

 options acerhdf verbose=0 fanon=67 fanoff=62 interval=10 kernelmode=1

Since version 0.5.19:

 options acerhdf verbose=0 fanon=67000 fanoff=62000 interval=10 kernelmode=1

Or, to make the fan be more active and cool the AAO more, but make more noise:

Up to acerhdf version 0.5.18:

 options acerhdf verbose=0 fanon=62 fanoff=52 interval=10 kernelmode=1

Since version 0.5.19:

 options acerhdf verbose=0 fanon=62000 fanoff=52000 interval=10 kernelmode=1

Make sure you don't use the configuration for >=0.5.19 on <=0.5.18, as the computer will go warm.

Using the Super key for middle-clicking

When browsing the web, a third mouse button is a great help for opening links in tabs. Unfortunately, there is no third mouse button on the Acer Aspire One.

However, one can configure one of the keys on the keyboard for acting like a third mouse button instead. (The Super key is the one with a picture of a little house, or on models that do not have a little house, the key between the fn and alt).

Using FVWM 2

Add these two lines to your .fvwm/.fvwm2rc (or just add the second line to your favorite startup function):

AddToFunc StartFunction
+ I Key Super_L A N FakeClick depth 0 press 2 wait 200 release 2

Using xte

  1. Install xautomation, which includes xte
  2. Set up your windowmanager to execute this command at the press of the Super key:
xte "mouseclick 2"

Or, with xbindkeys:

Add this line to your ~/.xbindkeysrc.scm:

 (xbindkey '("Super_L") "xte 'mouseclick 2 &'")

SSD specific tweaks

See Solid State Drives.

Updating the BIOS

Using FreeDOS

This method needs to be tested and finetuned. Note that not all USB-disks are possible to boot from.

  • Install unetbootin
  • Use unetbootin to put FreeDOS on an USB stick
  • Download the latest BIOS from the Acer webpage (latest is 3310)
  • Unzip the BIOS-files to the USB stick
  • Reboot and configure the BIOS to boot from the USB stick before the SSD/HDD
  • Start the BIOS update utility (3310.BAT)
  • Reboot
  • Configure the BIOS to start from the SSD/HDD first again
  • Done
AOD150

The bios upgrades on the acer aspire site for the AOD150 line all want you to run it on windows. Here is how the author avoided it (The author does not understand this subject; she just guessed. Again, you are messing with your BIOS and this is not an officially condoned method, so there is a risk you will brick your netbook. You have been warned.):

  • Install unetbootin
  • Use unetbootin to put FreeDOS on an USB stick
  • Here is where it changes
    • Download the latest BIOS from the Acer webpage, for the AOA150 (latest is 3310). Note that this is the incorrect BIOS for your AOD150 model. From this zip file, you will be using everything except the actual BIOS image.
    • Download the latest BIOS from the Acer webpage, for the AOD150 (latest is 1.09). Note that this is the correct BIOS, but requires windows to use, so you are only going to use the BIOS image from this file.
    • Unzip the AOA150 zip file to a scratch directory. You may, for instance, get four files: a .bat file, a .fd file, flashit.exe, and a readme.txt. Copy everything but the .fd file onto your usb drive.
    • Unzip the AOD150 zip file to a scratch directory. It should result in an exe file (KAV10109.exe) and a readme.txt. Now you have to get the .fd file from the .exe.
    • Run the exe file using wine. It will extract some files, and then show an error from InsydeFlash complaining that it cannot load the drivers. Do not click 'Okay' yet.
    • Alt-tab to a terminal, and cd into your wine installation's windows temp directory. Mine is $HOME/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp
    • There should be directory there with the contents of what the exe file extracted. Mine is 7zSe6a.tmp/. If you cannot find it, you can run 'find . -iname InsydeFlash.exe', and whatever directory that file is in is what you want.
    • Inside that directory should be a file with a .fd extension. Copy this file to your usb drive, alongside the .bat and .exe file you copied before.
    • You can click 'Okay' and close your wine session now. This will clean up the temp directory, which is why you left it open.
    • Now cd into your usb drive and edit the .bat file in a text editor of your choice. In it should be a line that calls flashit with one of the arguments being the .fd file for the AOA150. Mine is '3310.fd'. Delete this, and replace it with the name of the file you just copied from the AOD150's installation. The contents of the batch file should now look something like:
flashit KAV10.fd /mc /all /dc
    • You have now finished prepping your usb drive
  • Reboot and configure the BIOS to boot from the USB stick before the SSD/HDD
  • Start the BIOS update utility (3310.BAT)
  • Reboot
  • Configure the BIOS to start from the SSD/HDD first again
  • Done
  • Note that when the author upgraded her BIOS, resuming from a suspend stopped working (blank screen, no keyboard response). To fix that, she removed the mtrr-related parameters from my kernel command-line in /boot/grub/menu.lst (enable_mtrr_cleanup mtrr_spare_reg_nr=1), which she had added before to fix some register quirks for the intel graphics card.

Using Flashrom

Flashrom can be used to flash the BIOS directly from Linux. It does not currently seem to support AA1, but it might be worth watching the flashrom-svn package in AUR. See also: http://www.coreboot.org/Flashrom

Instructions by Acer for AOA110 and AOA150

This routine requires nothing more than that a couple of files are copied to a flash drive, and is confirmed to work on AOA110. In case the link doesn't work here's an exact quote:

Updating the BIOS will require a USB flash drive to store the BIOS information on during the update. To perform the update to the BIOS:
  1. Go here, click on the BIOS tab and download and extract the latest BIOS for the netbook.
  2. The files required will be in the Dos_Flash subdirectory.
  3. Rename the BIOS file from 3310.fd to zg5ia32.fd.
  4. Copy zg5ia32.fd and Flashit.exe to USB flash drive
  5. Ensure that the AC adapter is plugged in.
  6. Insert the USB flash drive into a USB port.
  7. Press and Hold down the Fn and the Esc keys together and press the power button.
  8. When the unit's power light comes on wait a few seconds and release the Fn and Esc keys.
  9. After the keys have been released the power light will start to blink.
 10. During the BIOS update process the display will be blank.
 11. Let the unit run and after approximately 1 to 7 minutes, the unit should reboot and the BIOS will be updated.

If the unit fails to reboot, or the BIOS was not updated sucessfully, try the steps again. If the problem persists, the netbook may need service.

Note: These instructions are only for the Acer Aspire One AOA110 and the AOA150 netbook series and should not be performed on any other model Acer Aspire One.

Polishing the boot process

If you use Splashy for the boot graphics and Slim for the X display manager, you will have a nice, polished and Arch-like boot.

  • Splashy shows nice graphics instead of the text that scrolls by when you boot
  • SLIM is a lightweight and nice version of xdm/gdm/kdm (logon manager / display manager)

Games

Configuration tip

  • Ensure your X is running with DRI.
 glxinfo |grep render  # must say yes
 glxgears  # should say something between 750 and 1000 fps 
Note: glxgears is no benchmark, but as you all have the same hardware and most probably the same drivers it can be used as a point of reference.

Working games

External links