Acer Timeline 3830

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Revision as of 08:59, 13 December 2011 by Andrewboktor (Talk | contribs) (Fn + buttons)

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Exact hardware model (for me at least)

Acer Aspire (TimelineX) 3830TG

Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz


NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

750 GB HDD

Atheros wifi (AR9287) b/g/n

(Probably some of these issues only for Arch Linux, e.g. Ubuntu handling automatically, (Ubuntu is great, but too fat for me) )

[ susu@archie ~ ]$ uname -a
Linux archie 3.0-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Aug 17 21:55:57 CEST 2011 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2410M CPU @ 2.30GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Really issues, hardware problems

Sound card issue

Problem: No sound

There is a (Ubuntu) bugreport about the problem:

There are plenty of comments, but the first one that worked for me:

But if you are too lazy to click, or that page cannot be reached:

Note: some plus package may be needed (python2, pygtk), and change the first line of the file:

#!/usr/bin/env python2

EDIT: ALL instances "python" must be changed to "python2"... there are two entries, one at the top AND bottom:

os.system("python2 %s" % TMPDIR + '/' + FILES[0] + ' ' + ' '.join(sys.argv[1:]))

(there must be more elegant solution, but it is pretty fast)

  • run (same workaround may need)
  • find Node[0x1b] PIN and select
  • on Node editor tab check EAPD

(and then my urxvt started to beep, I have to turn that off. UPDATE: I have added this: "/usr/bin/xset b off" to my .xinitrc)

Note: and then both internal speaker and headphone output worked, and also muting if I plug in my headphone (there were some comment at the bugreport about that "auto-muting" does not work).

Oh, of course, I have 3.0 kernel.

UPDATE: I wrote a script about this. That script a hack, not an elegant solution, at least it works.

Note: I also had to add my user to audio group to use sound card.

Screen backlight issue

Add kernel option acpi_osi=Linux


  • Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst
  • Find your system menu entry, and add acpi_osi=Linux kernel option

Mine menu entry looks like:

title  Arch Linux
root   (hd0,6)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda7 ro acpi_osi=Linux
initrd /boot/initramfs-linux.img
  • reboot and pray

Note: tested with integrated Intel GPU only

But still an issue that I cannot set brightness value from software (from sysfs), only Fn + Left/Right arrows working.


ATH9K driver issue
Very inconsistent wireless performance and a lot of invalid misc, tx retries, and dropped packets.

The wireless card is detected as an AR9287 when in reality it is an AR5B97.

I've read just about everything under the sun on this topic. It appears that the only "functional" driver is ATH9K. The ATH5K driver will refuse to run with the hardware. Ndiswrapper doesn't seem to run the xp version of the driver. These issues are numerously documented and have existed for over a year. the linux wireless page seems to indicate that there is not much in the way of official bug developement in regards to these problems meaning no foreseeable fix. At the time of writing, 11-14-2011, this card has pretty poor support under linux giving you only 2 true fixes: buy a new wireless card or switch to a different os. Windows 7 has none of these issues with the card.

All that being said there are 2 mitigation strategies which minimally help:

1. Disabling hardware encryption

(post taken from launchpad:

"I googled the problem, and came up with this command;

sudo -s

echo "options ath9k nohwcrypt=1" > /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k.conf

taken from here;"

2. Disabling or limiting IPv6 support

 Place the entry "alias net-pf10 off" into /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf

good luck.

Broadcom BCM43227

Some models of this laptop come with the BCM43227 wireless module. You can verify this is what you have by running

 lspci | grep Network

The output should be the following:

 03:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM43227 802.11b/g/n

This chip works fine with broadcom-wl from AUR. However, you need to press Fn+F3 (may be a couple of times) to turn on the wireless. It seems that each press of the button cycles through the different combinations of Wireless/Bluetooth On/Off.

GPU switch issue

At the moment I turned NVIDIA GPU off from BIOS, later I will provide some info about switching. Until then you can check on Bumblebee

Lighter issues

Other Wireless

See Wireless Setup.

TODO: create some profiling (and some iptables stuff also would be nice for that network profiling)

CPU frequency scaling

CPU frequency scaling can be accomplished with cpufrequtils, Laptop Mode Tools, and etc. once the acpi_cpufreq kernel module is loaded (e.g. by adding it to the Template:Codeline array in rc.conf and rebooting).

Laptop Mode Tools or acpid can be used to switch governors when the laptop is on battery or AC.

Fn + buttons

On a standard setup, acpi seems to detect Fn+up, Fn+down, Fn+F8, Fn+Home, Fn+PgUp, Fn+PgDn and Fn+End.

Fn+Right (higher brightness), Fn+Left (lower brightness), Fn+F3 (wireless), Fn+F6 (blank screen) and Fn+F7 (touchpad) all seem to work fine, however they do not generate acpi events.

Fn + F3 (wireless)

This combination doesn't seem to generate any acpi events, however it seems to cycle through the different combinations of Wireless/Bluetooth and On/Off. The total number is 4 combinations.

ACPI events