Ubuntu 7.04 on an Acer 5672 WLMi

Last weekend I took the plunge and did a clean install of Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 Herd 2 on my Acer 5672 WLMi. Things went amazingly smooth.

Things that work out of the box:

  • Ethernet
  • WiFi
  • Sound
  • Card Reader (SD cards only)
  • Multimedia Keys
  • USB
  • Firewire

Things that work out of the box but are in need of some manual tweaking:

  • Synaptics Touchpad

Things that need manual install from the repos:

  • Bluetooth
  • Ati Mobility Radeon X1400

Drivers which have to be compiled from source:

  • Acer Orbicam

Things I don’t care about and therefore have not tried to get to work:

  • Infrared
  • PCMCIA card slot
  • Express card slot

The laptop boots Ubuntu just fine, however it takes a break of about 30 seconds in the mid of starting up. But as this is an early alpha version of Feisty, there is no need to worry — bugs of this sort will vanish once upstart reaches maturity.

Examining dmesg for errors, we find:

[17179570.172000] PCI: Bus #0b (-#0e) is hidden behind transparent bridge #0a (-#0b) (try ‘pci=assign-busses’)
[17179570.172000] Please report the result to linux-kernel to fix this permanently

Changing the Ubuntu grub entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst as suggested and rebooting indeed removes this warning — however I didn’t experience any problems running the system without pci=assign-busses. (Except a slightly different output of lspci -t). But as mentioned above, I don’t use all components of my machine, so it’s better to play safe and do what we’re told to.

To get full graphics card support, the crappy, proprietary ATI drivers have to be installed. This is done by running

sudo aptitude install xorg-driver-fglrx

Then we use aticonfig to set up our xorg.conf:

sudo aticonfig --initial
sudo aticonfig --overlay-type=Xv

Now it’s the right time to tweak /etc/X11/Xorg.conf a little bit, to get scrolling and tapping on the touchpad to work. Find the Synaptics Touchpad Input Device-Section and modify it as follows — or don’t, if you don’t care about scrolling and tapping:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Synaptics Touchpad"
        Driver      "synaptics"
        Option      "SendCoreEvents" "true"
        Option      "Device" "/dev/psaux"
        Option      "Protocol" "auto-dev"
        Option      "LeftEdge" "1700"
        Option      "RightEdge" "5000"
        Option      "TopEdge" "1700"
        Option      "BottomEdge" "4400"
        Option      "FingerLow" "25"
        Option      "FingerHigh" "30"
        Option      "MaxTapTime" "180"
        Option      "MaxTapMove" "220"
        Option      "VertScrollDelta" "100"
        Option      "MinSpeed" "0.09"
        Option      "MaxSpeed" "0.18"
        Option      "AccelFactor" "0.0015"
        Option      "Emulate3Buttons" "yes"

If you want bluetooth to work, run:

sudo aptitude install bluetooth bluez-gnome

Now it’s time to get the camera to work. Install the build-essential package and also linux-headers-$(uname -r), then download the latest gspca driver from http://mxhaard.free.fr/download.html. Install it by running gspca_build as root, and you’re done.

Now it’s time for a reboot. Enjoy your Ubuntu box - or laptop, that is.

More information can be found on this thread on the Ubuntu forums.