Installing Debian GNU/Linux on Acer Extensa 5220

The Acer Extensa is a low cost notebook, that is well suited for basic office applications, surfing and email. The notebook is offered with either a Windows Vista or a Linpus Linux installation. Latter is sold for about 60€ less. However, the Linpus installation seems to be broken, because the only thing that comes up is a root shell. First i thought that the hardware might not be supported by Linux, but to my surprise, the installation of Debian was rather easy.

Hardware

Installing Debian

I installed the current stable Debian release (Etch) using a Debian Network Install CD. The ISO image (debian-40r1-i386-netinst.iso) of the CD is about 180 MB large and contains the basic packages that are required for a minimal system. Further packages are downloaded during the installation, as required. For the installation, I connected the notebook via the LAN card to a Network with a DHCP Server. The card was detected and setup without any problems.

The notebook's HD was divided into two 40GB partitions. The first contained the preinstalled Linux and the second contained an empty FAT32 file system. I deleted both partitions and created a single EXT3 partition for the system and a 2GB SWAP partition. Good bye Linpus Linux, we had a great time...

The rest of the installation was as usual and continued without any problems. I installed the preselected software bundles (I think it was Desktop and Laptop), selected a display resolution of 1280x1024 and after 40 minutes the system finally came up with a graphical login screen.

Graphics Card

After the installation, the X.org server was configured to use the vesa driver. As a result, the display could be used with a maximum resolution of 1024x768 only. In addition, a switch to the terminal pressing <CTRL><ALT><F1> ended up in a black screen. So, my first aim was to get the graphics card working.

The Notebook contains an Intel GMA X3100 card. According to Wikipedia, the core uses a GM965 or GL960 chipset. Unfortunately, this chipset is not supported by the Intel i810 X.org driver that comes with Debian Etch. However, the current Intel graphics driver that is contained in the Debian release Lenny supports the chipset.

To upgrade the system, I modified the file /etc/apt/sources.conf to use the lenny release and contrib packages.

deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r1 _Etch_ - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070820-20:21]/ etch contrib main deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib deb http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main contrib deb-src http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main contrib
Invoking apt-get update followed by apt-get upgrade finally upgraded the system to Debian Lenny.

After this little excursion to install the most recent Intel driver, i changed the graphics card driver in /etc/X11/xorg.conf from vesa to i810. After a reboot I got the resolution of 1280x1024, as selected during the installation. However, it required a reboot to recover the graphics card from VESA mode.

WLAN Card

The notebook contains a Broadcom 54 MBit/s WLAN card. The kernel driver modules for this card was already installed with the 2.6.22 kernel. I just had to do a modprobe bcm43xx to load it.

Besides the kernel module, i had to install the bcm43xx-fwcutter to get the firmware for the Broadcom card. The firmware is the intellectual property of Broadcom and is for this reason not included in the kernel.

The firmware cutter is installed by a apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter. To my surprise, the installation dialog offered to download Broadcom's original drivers and extract the firmware automatically. I accepted, the firmware was installed properly and I got a working WLAN card. Only thing left is that the card does not survive a software suspend/resume cycle. I'll take a closer look at this soon. Maybe I need to unload the module prior to suspend and load it after resume?

Further information on the Linux driver for the Broadcom card can be found here.

Suspend

I did not check suspend to RAM so far, but software suspend (to disk) works out of the box.

USB

Works.

Touchpad

Works.

Sound

Works.

Firewire

Not tested yet.

Infrared

Not tested yet.

Additional Keys

Didn't spend any time on that.

DVD Burner

Not tested yet

Further information

The website www.tuxmobile.org contains a list of HOWTOs, which describe the Linux installation on Acer notebooks.

Output of lspci -v

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile Memory Controller Hub (rev 03) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [VGA]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11 Memory at fc000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M] Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M] I/O ports at 1800 [size=8] 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 Memory at fc100000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M] 00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 20 I/O ports at 1820 [size=32] 00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #5 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 21 I/O ports at 1840 [size=32] 00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI #2 (rev 03) (prog-if 20 [EHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 20 Memory at fc504800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K] 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19 Memory at fc300000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K] 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode]) Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=03, sec-latency=0 I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff Memory behind bridge: f6000000-f7ffffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000f0000000-00000000f1ffffff 00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode]) Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 Bus: primary=00, secondary=04, subordinate=05, sec-latency=0 I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00003fff Memory behind bridge: f8000000-f9ffffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000f2000000-00000000f3ffffff 00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode]) Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 Bus: primary=00, secondary=06, subordinate=07, sec-latency=0 I/O behind bridge: 00004000-00004fff Memory behind bridge: fa000000-fbffffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000f4000000-00000000f5ffffff 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 22 I/O ports at 1860 [size=32] 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17 I/O ports at 1880 [size=32] 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18 I/O ports at 18a0 [size=32] 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI #1 (rev 03) (prog-if 20 [EHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 22 Memory at fc504c00 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K] 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev f3) (prog-if 01 [Subtractive decode]) Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0 Bus: primary=00, secondary=0f, subordinate=13, sec-latency=32 I/O behind bridge: 00005000-00005fff Memory behind bridge: fc200000-fc2fffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000030000000-0000000033ffffff 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile LPC Interface Controller (rev 03) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation Mobile IDE Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 8a [Master SecP PriP]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23 I/O ports at 01f0 [size=8] I/O ports at 03f4 [size=1] I/O ports at 0170 [size=8] I/O ports at 0374 [size=1] I/O ports at 1810 [size=16] 00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Mobile SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 220 I/O ports at 1c00 [size=8] I/O ports at 18d4 [size=4] I/O ports at 18d8 [size=8] I/O ports at 18d0 [size=4] I/O ports at 18e0 [size=32] Memory at fc504000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K] 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 23 Memory at 34000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256] I/O ports at 1c20 [size=32] 02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5787M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011c Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 219 Memory at f6000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K] 04:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-PCI Card (rev 01) Subsystem: AMBIT Microsystem Corp. Unknown device 0422 Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17 Memory at f8000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K] 0f:06.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 Cardbus Controller Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 168, IRQ 19 Memory at fc204000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K] Bus: primary=0f, secondary=10, subordinate=13, sec-latency=176 Memory window 0: 30000000-33fff000 (prefetchable) Memory window 1: 38000000-3bfff000 I/O window 0: 00005000-000050ff I/O window 1: 00005400-000054ff 16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001 0f:06.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments PCIxx12 OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller (prog-if 10 [OHCI]) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 19 Memory at fc206000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K] Memory at fc200000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K] 0f:06.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments 5-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD) Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 57, IRQ 19 Memory at fc205000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K] 0f:06.3 Generic system peripheral [0805]: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Unknown device 011f Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 57, IRQ 19 Memory at fc206800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]

xorg.conf

# /etc/X11/xorg.conf (xorg X Window System server configuration file) # # This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using # values from the debconf database. # # Edit this file with caution, and see the /etc/X11/xorg.conf manual page. # (Type "man /etc/X11/xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.) # # This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only* # if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg # package. # # If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated # again, run the following command: # sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg Section "Files" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi" FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi" # path to defoma fonts FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType" EndSection Section "Module" Load "i2c" Load "bitmap" Load "ddc" Load "dri" Load "extmod" Load "freetype" Load "glx" Load "int10" Load "vbe" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Generic Keyboard" Driver "kbd" Option "CoreKeyboard" Option "XkbRules" "xorg" Option "XkbModel" "pc105" Option "XkbLayout" "de" Option "XkbVariant" "nodeadkeys" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Configured Mouse" Driver "mouse" Option "CorePointer" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice" Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2" Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad" Driver "synaptics" Option "SendCoreEvents" "true" Option "Device" "/dev/psaux" Option "Protocol" "auto-dev" Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Standardgrafikkarte" # Driver "vesa" Driver "i810" BusID "PCI:0:2:0" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Standardbildschirm" Option "DPMS" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Default Screen" Device "Standardgrafikkarte" Monitor "Standardbildschirm" DefaultDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Depth 1 Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Depth 4 Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Depth 8 Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Depth 15 Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Depth 16 Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Depth 24 Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection EndSection Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "Default Layout" Screen "Default Screen" InputDevice "Generic Keyboard" InputDevice "Configured Mouse" InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad" EndSection Section "DRI" Mode 0666 EndSection

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