GNU/Linux on my Lappy:

Ubuntu install successes and failures on an Acer Aspire 3618 WLMi

 

Last updated: Friday, Aug 25, 2006

General Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 3618WLMi:

Hardware Components
Status under Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, Kernel 2.6.?
Notes
Pentium M Processor 735A (1.7 Ghz, 400 MHz FSB, 2MB L2 Cache) Works (as far as I can tell)
No special procedure required during installation.
15.4" WXGA TFT  LCD (widescreen)
Works No special procedure required during installation, supported at native resolution.
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 128 MB shared RAM
Works No special procedure required during installation.
512 MB DDR2 SDRAM
Works No special procedure required during installation.  Tested fine with Memtest, but did not show up as DDR2.  May be DDR1.?.?
60 GB (IDE) HDD 5400 rpm (unknown manufacturer)
Works No special procedure required during installation.
Acer Laptop Keyboard--includes 4 special-function keys and general "Fn" key to access hardware options.
Mostly Works; functional.
All keys work, and most map to their expected functions.  AltGr behaves like a regular Alt.  Surprisingly, the email and web browser keys start Enlightenment and Firefox.  I mapped the "acer" and "P" system keys to the terminal and log out, respectively via System->Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts, but the terminal key does not work, "P" only logs out intermittently.  Fn-F2, Fn-F3, windows, euro, and dollar (next to arrowkeys) were not mapped by default, and I have not yet decided what to assign them to.   All hardware keys (mute, vol up, brighness) worked out of the box.
Integrated Ethernet Plug. Works No special procedure required during installation.  May need rebooting and/or restarting cable modem to connect cable.
Internal 56k Modem Not yet tested
In progress.
DVD-ROM/CD-RW
CD-ROM works, otherwise not tested.
In progress.
Internal 802.11b/g wireless LAN
Not fully tested.
Discovered networks, but unable to connect; given up (for the time being) because the networks were not mine (unknown format), and because of the availability of ethernet.
Lithium-Ion Battery Works Perfectly, but only has 1h50min charge.
No special procedure required during installation.  Gnome's APM recognized the battery and automatically shows power indicator when charging or running on battery.
Integrated Soundcard
Works

No special procedure required if using Kernel 2.6.x.  Detected as an ALSA device. 

This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.6.?

LiveCD Installation of Ubuntu:
  • I used Ubuntu because, after browsing Linux-on-Laptops, it appeared to have the best hardware support.  Also, it appeared not to require much tweaking to become user-friendly.  I am using this computer as a laptop for school, and mostly running office/internet applications.  I have not yet attempted any gaming, nor installing any packages from the Universe, Multiverse, or Restricted libraries.
  • I installed using an Ubuntu 6.06 LTS LiveCD, which I obtained in the mail via the Ubuntu website.  After fiddling with the BIOS, the CD booted without any issues, and was able to run with a bearable amount of CD-speed delay.
  • I used the install link provided on the liveCD's default desktop, selecting CDT as the time zone ("Chicago"), and "American English" as the language.  Partitioning the hard drive to dual-boot (my sister may inherit the computer, and she likes XP) went with a few issues, as ACER had added a /dev/hda1 (3GB) and a /hda3 (30 GB)  as  part of their automatic backupping.  Ubuntu either refused to mount a FAT32 /home, or didn't like to have a logical /.  I solved the issue (installation fails at 15% with an error indecating that "'/' is not a properly formatted partition") by wiping /hda3, setting up a primary /, then creating an extended partition with a /home (ext3) and swap.  Interestingly, ACER had left the hdd with a 8 MB blank space at the end of the disk.  I tried to preserve this, but suspected it might be part of the problem, and included it as /home.
  • I had to re-install after giving myself the name "root" in the installer, and finding that I could not log in.
  • After the successful installation, I used the ethernet connection to update via the ubuntu updates in System->Administration.  I created two non-admin users, and mapped the "dead keys" to what I thought would be useful, as a regular user via System->Preferences.  I have not yet had to use a terminal.
  • It should be noted that following a kernel update, Grep thinks I have two versions of Ubuntu on my box.
Setting up additional features for Ubuntu:
  • Hybernate (Suspend-to-Disk) works fine, although on ubuntu start a pattern of vertical line appears for about five seconds.
  • The touchpad with a four-way scroller works out-of-the-box.  There was an issue when switching users and the touchpad stopped responding.  This was solved by logging in to the administrator account again from the initial screen.
  • My 512 MB flash card is automatically mounted when I insert it into one of the USB ports, and an icon appears on the desktop.
Unresolved issues
  • Internal microphone seems not to work.
  • Battery meter diplays both time remaining and a % power.  Time remaining seems to fluctuate widely.
Configuration Files
  • I did not have to do any configuring yet.  I've only used the terminal to move files around!  (Then again, I'm not a power user.)
Specific Information:
  • df -hl
    • Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
      /dev/hda3             8.8G  2.2G  6.1G  27% /
      varrun                248M   88K  248M   1% /var/run
      varlock               248M  4.0K  248M   1% /var/lock
      udev                  248M  116K  248M   1% /dev
      devshm                248M     0  248M   0% /dev/shm
      lrm                   248M   19M  230M   8% /lib/modules/2.6.15-26-386/volatile
      /dev/hda6              17G  146M   16G   1% /home
      /dev/hda1             3.2G  2.6G  539M  84% /media/hda1
      /dev/hda2              27G  4.4G   22G  17% /media/hda2
       
  • lspci
    • 0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML Express Processor to DRAM Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 03)
      0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 03)
      0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 03)
      0000:00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 03)
      0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev d3)
      0000:00:1e.2 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:1e.3 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 03)
      0000:00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) IDE Controller (rev 03)
      0000:00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
      0000:06:05.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2200BG (rev 05)
      0000:06:07.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
      0000:06:09.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB1410 Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
       
Contact Information:
  • tOPqu@rk170GeV @_T gmail dot com, all lowercase except for the "GeV" and numerals.
  • Yahoo! screenname: dobby the second, no spaces
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