Install Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex on the Acer Aspire One


Hello to all my readers, I have recently purchased an Acer Aspire One netbook PC.  The netbook came with Windows XP pre-installed, but I took care of that by installing the new Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex.  I chose Intrepid over Hardy as it has better hardware support for the new model Atheros wireless card.

This tutorial will assume that you know how to install Ubuntu.  Since there is no CD drive you will need to use Intrepid Live CD to create a bootable USB drive.  Simply use the .iso you downloaded to create the disc.  When booting up the Aspire One presss F12 with the flash drive installed and install Intrpid as you see fit.

The rest of this tutorial will help you get the wireless and SD card readers functioning.

Things that function OOB are as follows:
- Video including Compiz
- Wired ethernet
- Touchpad
- Chipset
- Webcan with install of Lucview

Things that need tweaking
- Wireless
- SD card readers

We will focus on getting the wireless and SD card readers working, so off we go.  This information was gotten from the Ubuntu Community Documentation on the Aspire One.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne


Wireless

The Acer Aspire One has a new model Atheros wireless card.  First thing you need to do is to deactivate the Atheros driver that Intrepid installs as it does not work.  To do this go to System--->Administration--->Hardware Drivers and deactivate the Atheros driver.

Next we will need to load some new kernel modules to get that wireless card working.  Be sure to enable the backport repositories in System--->Administration--->Software Sources.  Go to the Updates tab and check the intrepid-backports option.  To install the backport kernel modules open a terminal and type the following:

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic

Once the drivers load up you will need to reboot the machine.  Once rebooted go back to the Hardware drivers section in SYstem--->Administration and you will see a new entry.  Activate the new Atheros driver and your wireless will work.  Next we need to make sure that kernel module gets loaded each boot so we will need to install

ath5k

at the end of your /etc/modules file.  Unfortunately the wireless LEDs don't work using the ath5k driver but they do work using the ath_pci madwifi driver listed below.

It has come to my attention that the ath5k driver has issues and problems connecting.  I have devised a script that will automate the install of the madwifi drivers on your Intrepid box.  You will first need to disable all the Atheros drivers in the Hardware Drivers section and remove the ath5k load in the /etc/modules file.  Next do the following in a terminal:

cd ~
wget http://www.stchman.com/tools/aspire_one/aspire_one_wifi.sh
chmod 755 ~/aspire_one_wifi.sh
sudo ~/aspire_one_wifi.sh


The script will install the madwifi drivers into the kernel and also enable the wifi LEDs.  Remember though when Ubuntu updates ther kernel this module will have to be reinstalled.  I personally use the Madwifi drivers over the backports and it is a more stable solution.

SD Card Readers

The Acer Aspire One has two SD card readers on the left and right side.  As it sits now you can only get those card readers to work if they have a card inserted during booting.  We will take care of that.

First make a file called aspireone in your /etc/modprobe.d directory.

gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/aspireone

After that inser the following text into the file:

####################################################################
# Module options for the Acer AspireOne
#
# Enable USB card reader
options pciehp pciehp_force=1
install sdhci for i in 2381 2382 2383 2384; do /usr/bin/setpci -d 197b:$i AE=47; done; /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install sdhci


Taking care to make sure there are just two lines of code after the comments.  Save and exit.  Now you will need to add

pciehp

to the end of your /etc/modules file.  Reboot and your SD card will function.


I hope this helps.




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