Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux

I got an Acer Aspire One D150 as a mobile replacement for the Dell Inspiron 6400 that had been my constant companion for more than two years. It's LCD screen died as far as I can tell and sending it in to the shop is not an option at the moment. It still works; I have it hooked up to an external monitor and it runs just fine. But we're not going to talk about that.

The D150 is priced at RM1499 and sports a 10 inch screen, bluetooth, webcam, plus the usual features you would expect from a netbook. The default amount of RAM is 1GB, but after some deliberation I decided to get the shop to upgrade it to 2GB for an extra RM74. It also comes with Windows XP. Yes, I have committed the crime of adding Windows netbooks sales figures :(.

i can haz linux netbook

This is not my fault. Linux netbooks are nearly impossible to find here in Malaysia. Every recent netbook I've seen runs Windows, all of them: Asus, Acer, HP, etc., all of them. I very literally had no choice in the matter. Big deal, so I get a Windows machine and install Linux on it myself. I downloaded Crunchbang Linux, ran Unetbootin to put in on my trusty USB flash drive thingie and off I went.

The install was breeze. I deleted all the Windows partitions, made new ones, input the timezone, user name and password, etc. and I was presented with a login screen within an hour. Cool! Except that things were awfully quiet. I ran skype and it pretty much confirms it: I have no audio. I looked it up and most suggest recompiling alsa and adding the line options snd-hda-intel model=acer-aspire to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base. Tried it, but still no luck. I did notice however that there is audio output and input through the headphone and mic jacks so it's not totally borked.

And then I discovered a kindred soul on the lowyat.net forums. He seemed to have had some luck getting the speakers to work running MEPIS but experienced kernal panics and unstability. 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. But not the built-in mic. Oh well. Seeing as I can't afford to waste time getting it to work at the moment, it's just going to have to be good enough for now. Also I have not experienced the instabilities mentioned on LYN so maybe I'm just lucky.

I also tried out the suspend and hibernate feature and found that suspending to RAM works, but the sound (again ☹) dies upon resume. Suspending to disk just doesn't work. But that's okay: I've never used them anyways.

So in summary:

  • Wifi ☑ 
  • Speakers ☑
  • Built-in mic ☒
  • Audio jacks ☑
  • Webcam ☑
  • Bluetooth no idea (but Cannonfodder of lowyat.net forums says it's works out of the box)
  • Suspend to disk ☒
  • Suspend to RAM ☑-ish 

I might try again in sometime in the near future with another Linux distro, maybe Jaunty.

1 comment:

Acer Aspire One D150 running Linux - part 2 « qedx.com said...

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