Acer Timeline 3830
Exact hardware model
Acer Aspire (TimelineX) 3830TG
Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz
4GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
750 GB HDD
Atheros wifi (AR9287) b/g/n
Really issues, hardware problems
Sound card issue
With latest (mainline) kernel, which is 3.14 as of writing this note, sound works out of the box without any quirks needed.
Screen backlight issue
The brightness is not controllable either through software (KDE slider) or by pressing the Fn+Left/Right buttons. This is due to a buggy ACPI BIOS implementation.
Since kernel 3.14 there is a kernel option
video.use_native_backlight=1. It tells Linux to use native GPU's backlight interface rather than ACPI's one.
After adding it to the kernel command line, Fn+Left/Right will generate
Xf86MonBrightnessUp events which can be and are intercepted by the userspace (e. g. KDE powerdevil module or similar in other DEs). Brighthess also becomes controllable via sysfs at
/sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness in a usual manner.
ATH9K driver issue
With latest (mainline) kernel, which is 3.14 as of writing this note, ath9k works out of the box without any quirks needed.
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
CPU frequency scaling
On a standard setup, acpi seems to detect Fn+up, Fn+down, Fn+F8, Fn+Home, Fn+PgUp, Fn+PgDn and Fn+End. By applying
video.use_native_backlight=1 (see above) Fn+Right/Left buttons also start to generate ACPI events.
Fn+F3 (wireless), Fn+F6 (blank screen) and Fn+F7 (touchpad) all seem to work fine, however they do not generate ACPI events.