Ubuntu 11.04 on Acer Aspire One 522

I got an Acer Aspire One 522 recently, for college and general Facebook/YouTube usage on the go. It came with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed, and after getting all the Acer bloatware removed, I gave Windows another 12 hours usage before I went with my initial plan of scrapping Windows and putting Ubuntu on it. (Windows 7 Starter is so locked down you can’t even change your wallpaper – Not for me.) This blog post will document the process of installing Ubuntu and dealing with some of the quirks Ubuntu has with the Acer hardware.

Ubuntu Install Prep:

Seeing as we have no CDROM drive on the Acer Aspire One, we have to make a USB bootable installer. If you already have access to Ubuntu on another system, the usb-creator can be used. If using Windows, a quick google search for “Unetbootin” can get you the software you need to make a USB installer. Follow the prompts, eject your USB drive when done, and plug it into the Acer. You may have to go into the BIOS and tell your Acer to boot from USB. I’m not going to cover the Ubuntu installer (I’m too lazy, and its impressively straight-forward) but a google search can usually find you an installation guide.

WiFi/Ethernet Incompatibility Fix:

The AAO522 has been released with two different flavours of WiFi chipset, Broadcom or Atheros. Mine had the Atheros, so I’m going to cover getting it functional. (For the Broadcom chipset, you just need to install the Broadcom STA Wireless driver from the System -> Additional Drivers section)

To get the Atheros Wi-Fi chipset working, your going to have to blacklist the Ethernet driver. Both Ethernet and Wi-Fi use slightly different Atheros drivers, and they seem to conflict.

  1. Open up Terminal, and type in “sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf”.
  2. Add “blacklist atl1c” to the bottom of this config file, then save and close.
  3. Run “sudo update-initramfs -u” in your terminal, and wait for completion.
  4. Reboot.

Job done… if you never want to use Ethernet. To get the ethernet going now, you will have to blacklist the WiFi driver, “ath9k” instead. To prevent having to use terminal/gedit and manually swap the blacklisted driver all the time, openSUSE forum user Tactususe wrote a script here that I’ve made into a bash script and attached to the bottom of this Blog-post.

Sound Jack Detection:

To get the sound jacks detected, and have the loudspeaker (one, its mono!) toggle off when headphones are connected, we need to tell the Alsa sound-driver we have different hardware than the default.

  1. Open Terminal and type in “sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf”
  2. Add “options snd-hda-intel model=,dell-vostro” to the end of the file. Save and close.
  3. Reboot.

That should have your Acer Aspire One 522 up and running with Ubuntu 11.04. I’ll have a blog post later with details on installing the Proprietary ATI Catalyst Graphics drivers soon, as I haven’t found a combination yet that hasn’t broken suspend/hibernation options.

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2 Responses to Ubuntu 11.04 on Acer Aspire One 522

  1. Dirk says:

    Have you fund a solution about what happens when you close the lid (screen) with a runnung ubuntu (Linux)? The System wants to go to Hybernate but after opening the screen again to wake it up the system dosnt seam to recover and has to turend off the hard way….

    • EccTM says:

      I’ve tried a lot of solutions i found searching through forums, but so far I haven’t found any fix that will let the Aspire recover from Suspend/Hibernate when using the ATI fglrx proprietary graphics drivers… I haven’t had any problems suspending or hibernating using the open-source graphics drivers though. Not a perfect solution, but it at least leaves the machine functional until someone works out how to get it running with the more efficient proprietary drivers.

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