20090328

Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux - part 2

If you've read my earlier post about this, you'd know that I've done nothing but install MEPIS and it managed somehow to get the built-in speakers on my Aspire One D150 to work. There was a suggestion that it needed the alsa version 1.0.16 (which MEPIS uses) but Cannonfodder has already tried that on Mint, to no avail.

Personally, I prefer GNOME over KDE and MEPIS comes with KDE as a default. I've been trying to get used to using the default KDE apps (I know you don't have to, but it just feels wrong), but aside from Amarok, everything else just feels broken to me. I know partly it's because it has only been a week or so and it's KDE 3.5 and the tiny screen doesn't help, but I have a ton of gtk apps like geany and xchat loaded. I guess what you're used to is what you're used to sometimes.

What all of this is leading up to is that I am going to install another Linux distro on this netbook. I downloaded a Jaunty daily from March 24th (I think the Jaunty Beta is out by now so you might want to try that), and proceeded to install it on Aspire One. The first thing I noticed was that the speakers work in the live session when I booted the USB drive, so that was promising. Installation went smoothly much like my earlier Jaunty install. This time too, I decided to reformat everything with ext4. In less than an hour from booting up the live USB, I'm presented with the login screen.

I logged in, and the speakers work. Wifi seemed to work. Ubuntu presented me with an option to activate madwifi drivers instead of using the default ath5k drivers. I decided to stick with ath5k simply because it's working. I put in the passkey and it connected to my access point, no problem. I added Medibuntu repository and installed Skype (which took some time because of #streamyxslow). I discovered that the built-in mic still doesn't work, but built-in speakers, and audio jacks work just fine. Another issue I noticed as I was using it is that the scrollbar control area thingy on the trackpad seems to be really really thin, and at times it just refuses to work. Looking around online I found a thread on ubuntuforums.org about issues with the 10" Aspire One. Still not much in the way of resolving the issues at the moment though.

screenshot-ubuntu-firefox

So I started to make it look the way I want it to look and just use it. The built-in mic not working doesn't quite bother me as much as the built-in speakers not working (as in other distros I've tried). I guess that is just down to expectations: I expect a computer to have a working speaker. I do not expect it to have a working mic. It'll probably sound crappy anyways. So in summary:

  • Wifi ✔
  • Built-in speakers ✔ 
  • Built-in mic ✗ 
  • Headphone jack ✔ 
  • Mic jack ✔ 
  • Webcam ✔ 
  • Bluetooth ? Update 9 April 2009: file transfers seem to be working. I don't have a bluetooth headset. 
  • Card reader ? Trackpad ✔ is problematic. Update 9 April 2009: the latest updates seem to have fixed the trackpad issue

12 comments:

Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux - part 2 | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu said...

[...] What all of this is leading up to is that I am going to install another Linux distro on this netbook. I downloaded a Jaunty daily from March 24th (I think the Jaunty Beta is out by now so you might want to try that), and proceeded to install it on Aspire One More here [...]

Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux | Debian-News.net - Your one stop for news about Debian said...

[...] At first I was reluctant to install MEPIS but later I caved because being unable to get the speakers to work was just annoying. I downloaded, and installed it. And lo and behold, the built-in speakers work now More here [...]

Links 29/03/2009: GNU/Linux at DreamWorks, Bubba | Boycott Novell said...

[...] Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux - part 2 What all of this is leading up to is that I am going to install another Linux distro on this netbook. I downloaded a Jaunty daily from March 24th (I think the Jaunty Beta is out by now so you might want to try that), and proceeded to install it on Aspire One. The first thing I noticed was that the speakers work in the live session when I booted the USB drive, so that was promising. Installation went smoothly much like my earlier Jaunty install. This time too, I decided to reformat everything with ext4. In less than an hour from booting up the live USB, I’m presented with the login screen. [...]

James A. Langbridge said...

SD card reader is working fine on my setup, with SDs and SDHCs, contrary to the first gen Aspire Ones that needed tweaking.

haris said...

Nice. That's good to know. :D

mario g. said...

Wireless connection is non working at all. in XP is working but in ubuntu 9.04 NOT at all !
Any suggestion ?

Thanks

Mario

haris said...

Are you sure it's totally not working? On my D150 the wifi LED does
not light up but wifi is definitely working. Try right-clicking on the
network manager applet and check if wireless is enabled. I'm pretty
much a newb myself so I'd suggest asking at ubuntuforums.org
specifically in this thread: http://bit.ly/1YyY3w

James A. Langbridge said...

Me again... I'm installing Ubuntu 9.04 onto D150s for my company, and for the time being (with Ubuntu 9.04 RC), everything works great. SD works fine, Wifi certainly does on WEP and WPA personal, the 3G card works perfectly (the machines I have are 3G models), and frankly, I'm extremely impressed. There's a little tweaking to be done here and there, but not much. Comparted to the A110s, this machine is a joy to have. Have fun!

Kenneth Ingham said...

OpenSuSE 11.1 works fine on my Aspire One D150. Wireless (including LED), sound, trackpad, card reader, etc. I did have to install the broadcom-wl package for the wireless driver; the default install missed this.

Roberto said...

Kenneth how did you managed to work wifi led on OpenSuSE 11.1 ?
Does it switch on when the wifi is on or does it blink when sending/receiving data ?

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