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SummaryDescription, how to use Linux with Acer Aspire one 522. Hardware support and configuration.
Linux on Acer Aspire one 522
The new Aspire one 522 is a nice tiny netbook based on the AMD's C50 core. Compared with the commonly known Intel Atom netbooks, it has several advantages:
- Better display resolution (1280x720)
- Performance graphic adapter (Radoen HD 6250)
Furthermore it is very light (1,2 kg), has good storage capacity (320 GB) and runs up to 6 hours, when reading or typing documents only. In January 2011 I've bought my laptop for 10,100 THB (~240 EUR) including 2 GB Ram, but without any Windows System. Upgrade to even 4 GB ram would be possible.
The hardware seems to be quite new, the bios is dated on 2010-12-21. Still it is supported by the Linux kernel 2.6.38 (download fitted kernel config).
Suspend and hibernate works well without any configuration when using the open source graphic driver. With ATI proprietary driver the display does not wake up after suspending to ram.
The keyboard is good and all FN-keys work without additional tweaks.
The fan control and the wmi is not supported yet. However the fan is quiet and does not disturb much.
It is a Fusion CPU which has integrated graphic chip. AMD mentions 9 TWP. There should be six C-states available, but powertop shows only C0-C2 and the CPU stays in C2 mostly. Perhaps a later kernel will support the other states as well. Furthermore the the CPU does not support hyper-threading. However I find it fast enough for office work and programming. Even games like Neverwinter Nights run well.
The chipset is a Radeon HD6250, which is supported both by the proprietary driver and the open source driver.
I use the open source driver x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati (from git repository), which runs well supporting OpenGL, XV and suspend-to-ram. In order to use this driver you will need kernel-2.6.38 (from git-repository) and you need to install the IRQ microcode for r6xx/r7xx/Evergreen Radeon GPUs from x11-drivers/radeon-ucode and link it into the kernel:
You need to enable kernel mode setting for framebuffer and x11-driver.
The sound is an issue: there is only one internal speaker on the left side and the chip does not seem to be supported well. After endless trial'n error I found a sufficient configuration.
Still jack-sensing does not work. The internal microphone does not work. Line-out will work only after suspending/restoring the system. Best result so far I achieved by compiling in the Intel-HDA Conexant-patch using Alsa drivers 1.0.24. The available model-options had no effect.
There are four microphone-switches, only switch C will work. The microphone-boost must be set on maximum. Even then a specific .asoundrc is necessary to get clean sound. It will also set the analog device as default. Skype and flash-player will work well as any other application, but mixing sources via dmix-plugin will not.
I did not test HDMI output yet.
It is worth to note, the sound works well under Ubuntu 10.4 with kernel 2.6.35 and pulseaudio.
Cheap piece of hardware, nevertheless works well.
Hint: when using proprietary ATI-drivers, there was no XV so video in Skype did not work. Use the open-source driver to avoid such problems.
Atheros chip, works like a charm using the ath9k-driver. Even creating ad-hoc networks works well.
The Ethernet adaptor worries me. While it is supported well and working in general, it repeatedly freezes the laptop when the device is shut down. I have to work around by activating it on demand only and directing Networkmanager or Wicd to a non existing device (e. g. /dev/eth1).
There is an Atheros AR5BBU12 USB device which should be supported starting from kernel 2.6.38-rc5. It depends on the ath3k-driver and it needs a sflash firmware. Even with everything in place I had no success so far in getting it work. There is always an error when loading the firmware.
Nice synaptics touchpad supporting multi-touch. Consider some tweaks as shown below to enable full functionality.
Adjust MatchDevicePath in evdev to avoid problems between evdev and synaptics driver.
Not tested yet.