acer aspire 1314 and linux

or how to put a cool penguin in this hot laptop

some more stuff... aceraspire1314_tests 

# Hardware: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (1.79 GHz)
# S3 ProSavage8 graphics-chipset
# VIA 8235 sound card
# VIA VT6102 Rhine-II network card
# AMD Athlon XP-M 2400+
# 2x256MB DDR SDRAM
# 40GB UltraATA/100 HDD hda: IC25N040ATCS04-0, ATA DISK drive
# hdc: QSI CD-RW/DVD-ROM SBW-242, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
# 00:01.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8633 [Apollo Pro266 AGP]

BIOS:

Here are the results of running http://linuxfirmwarekit.org:

aceraspire_1314_3A23_results.xml 

aceraspire_1314_3A23_resources.xml 

I am still testing some things (see aspire1314_notes)

General observations:

# The main reason why I bought this laptop was the price: it's cheap.

# I was sure it was going to work under GNU/Linux without any problem
  because I took a look at TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, PDAs and
  mobile phones before deciding which laptop I was going to buy. Lots
  of information and lots of models to choose that are fully
  functional under GNU/Linux.

Kernel

# I run the default kernel in Fedora Core 2 and everything works
  smoothly well without having to configure anything.

Video

# Everything fine out-of-the-box with Ubuntu Dapper, except for the
  DRI-enabled 3D acceleration.

# These are the old steps to have DRI working (or to update it):

Download and decompress a recent snapshot for savage:
http://freedesktop.org/~dri/snapshots/savage-{version}-linux.i386.tar.bz2
Set the level to 3, make a backup copy of the binary X server, copy the new one:
/sbin/init 3
Now run the install.sh script and try to set level back to 5:
cd /home/avb/dri/
cd dripkg
./install.sh
/sbin/init 5
Without DRI and running glxgears at full-screen mode, I get 22.857 FPS. With DRI, I get 67.900 FPS.  

gtkperf v0.40 takes about 30 seconds to run "Test rounds:100" Test All.

Sound

# All fine out-of-the box

DVD and CD-RW

# All fine. I use k3b, although I still have the terminal commands in
mind. With 2.6, change the name of the device to ATAPI:

cdrecord -v -eject dev=ATAPI:0,0,0 myiso.iso.

ACPI

# Cpufreq working dynamically. Even better, enabling Temperature with
  Gkrellm, and running glxgears, you can see how the cpu load forces
  the fan to work when the heat reaches some 70ºC. When not working,
  the cpu is happily twiddling the thumbs at 64ºC.

S3 - Suspend-to-RAM

# Suspend-to-RAM is the nice feature of suspending the session to RAM
  memory, for example, when closing the LED, and then waking up again
  when opening the LED. This is very commonly used in the latest Apple
  notebooks, and most of the Windows laptops.

To suspend-to-ram: use gnome-power-manager applet or...

# echo 3 > /proc/acpi/sleep
To wake up, press any of the special keys (Mail, web, P1 or P2).
But there is a problem with Aspire 13xx notebooks in Linux, that is the HDD won't recover when waking up. See this bugs reported in acpi:
http://bugme.osdl.org/show_bug.cgi?id=3662
http://bugme.osdl.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2039
If you happen to have this notebook, _please_ report your case in the bug to acpi.





M.F. mentions an issue with SSE instruction set after waking up from suspend-to-ram:

----

#include <stdio.h>

unsigned long get_cr4 () {
  unsigned long cr4;

  asm volatile ("movl %%cr4, %0" : "=r" (cr4));
  return cr4;
}

unsigned long get_mxcsr () {
  unsigned long mxcsr;

  asm volatile ("stmxcsr (%%esp); movl (%%esp),%%eax" : "=a"(mxcsr));

  return mxcsr;
}

void set_mxcsr (unsigned long mxcsr) {
  asm volatile ("movl %%eax,(%%esp); ldmxcsr (%%esp)" :: "a"(mxcsr));
}

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
  unsigned long x = get_mxcsr();

  printf("MXCSR: %lx\n", get_mxcsr());
  set_mxcsr(x);
  printf("MXCSR set\n");

  exit(0);

----

avilella@toad:~/aceraspire$ ./a.out
MXCSR: 1f80
MXCSR set



PCMCIA

# Working fine with a 56kb modem card and a wifi card.

Keyboard (Special keys: Mail, Web, P1 and P2, Volume up, down, mute) all ok

# This is very easy: under GNOME go to Start
  Here->Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts and edit at will

Modem

# No problem with free version from Linuxant, but obviously, it's a
  castrated driver. I changed my philosophy of buying hardware instead
  of commercial software, just because Linuxant has done such a great
  job that they deserve my congrats (and money).

Ethernet

# Working out-of-the-box.

Parallel Port

# Working.

Video output

# I have successfully plugged another screen, booted the laptop, and
  both screens displayed ok.

USB Mass Storage - Digital Cameras

# Just plug it in, then a new nautilus window will pop up. About 400
  different cameras are supported. For the complete list, look at
  Digital Camera Support for UNIX, Linux and BSD.

lspci verbose:
00:0a.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ6912 Cardbus
00:0c.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB21
00:10.0 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB (rev 80)
00:10.1 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB (rev 80)
00:10.3 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev
00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8235 ISA Bridge
00:11.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc.
00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc.
00:11.6 Communication controller: VIA Technologies, Inc.
00:12.0 Ethernet controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6102
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: S3 Inc. [ProSavageDDR]

# 00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. P/KN266 Host Bridge
Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. P/KN266 Host Bridge
Flags: bus master, 66Mhz, medium devsel, latency 8
Memory at b0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable)
Capabilities: [a0] AGP version 2.0
Capabilities: [c0] Power Management version 2

# 00:01.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8633 [Apollo Pro266 AGP] (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, 66Mhz, medium devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=01, subordinate=01, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 0000c000-0000dfff
Memory behind bridge: e0000000-efffffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: a0000000-afffffff
Expansion ROM at 0000c000 [disabled] [size=8K]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

# 00:0a.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ6912 Cardbus Controller
Subsystem: Fujitsu Limited.: Unknown device 10e7
Flags: bus master, stepping, slow devsel, latency 168, IRQ 11
Memory at 1e000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=05, sec-latency=176
Memory window 0: 1e400000-1e7ff000 (prefetchable)
Memory window 1: 1e800000-1ebff000
I/O window 0: 00004000-000040ff
I/O window 1: 00004400-000044ff
16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001

# 00:0c.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB21 IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link) (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
Subsystem: Fujitsu Limited.: Unknown device 1162
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 128, IRQ 5
Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
Memory at f0004000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [44] Power Management version 2

# 00:10.0 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 80) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 22, IRQ 11
I/O ports at 1200 [size=32]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

# 00:10.1 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 80) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 22, IRQ 10
I/O ports at 1300 [size=32]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

# 00:10.3 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 82) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
Memory at f4000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

# 00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8235 ISA Bridge
Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8235 ISA Bridge
Flags: bus master, stepping, medium devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [c0] Power Management version 2

# 00:11.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586A/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT823x/A/C PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 06) (prog-if 8a [Master SecP PriP])
Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT8233/A/C/VT8235 PIPC Bus Master IDE
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64
I/O ports at 1100 [size=16]
Capabilities: [c0] Power Management version 2

# 00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8233/A/8235/8237 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 50)
Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI]: Unknown device 0030
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 5
I/O ports at e000
Capabilities: [c0] Power Management version 2

# 00:11.6 Communication controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. Intel 537 [AC97 Modem] (rev 80)
Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI]: Unknown device 0030
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 5
I/O ports at e100
Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 2

# 00:12.0 Ethernet controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6102 [Rhine-II] (rev 74)
Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI]: Unknown device 0030
Flags: bus master, stepping, medium devsel, latency 128, IRQ 11
I/O ports at e200

 

WHAT IS NEXT:

Now, to make this laptop, or any other computer, dance like a ballerina with Ubuntu Linux, you should:

(1) Open a (free) Ubuntu launchpad account and report your bugs and feature requests, not only about the laptop but also any application you are using:

http://launchpad.net

(2) Send the hardware data details of your machine where you are using Ubuntu. Run:

hwdb-gui

and just follow the menu and add the comments at the end about things that don't work (sleep-to-ram, etc).

The second time you run hwdb-gui you will notice that your submission id is shown: this means that the same people that can solve your hardware problems _know_ that you are using the hardware :)

(3) Send you preferred apps data:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest

Don't hesistate on contacting me if you have any question or solution for the remaining issues: avilella at the email account that starts with g and end with mail dot com

If you also have this laptop running Linux, set up your own webpage explaining yours experiences, problems and solutions with Linux installation. It will help other people, but also, it will help back yourself to have it working properly when other people share their info with you.

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones