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Linux on Acer Travelmate 8371

Linux on Acer Travelmate 8371




Installation


Installed OpenSuse 11.1 64bit via PXE on fresh unpacked notebook. Worked well. Screen resolution needed manual setup. Most hardware worked out of the box.

Update: Upgraded to OpenSuse 11.2. All hardware worked as before. Fingerprint reader and suspend to ram still not working, SATA still needs extra grub entry.

Update: Upgraded to OpenSuse 11.3. All worked as before. SATA and suspend to ram need the grub entries.

Hardware compatibility

Fingerprint reader


Not working at the moment.

Type from lsusb -v:
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 1c7a:0801 LighTuning Technology Inc.


Webcam


from lsusb -v:
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 064e:a133 Suyin Corp.

worked out of the box with lucview and others.

Bluetooth


Works after pressing Fn-F3. Did not yet figure out how to get it started on boot or login.

Update: Opensuse 11.2 solves that issue. Bluetooth is enabled by default now.

Update: With Opensuse 11.3 Bluetooth is disabled by default again.

Type from lsusb -v:
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0a5c:2151 Broadcom Corp.

Wireless


Works

From lspci:
01:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless WiFi Link 5100


Ethernet


Works
from lspci:
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 02)


SATA AHCI and disk


Worked first.
from lspci:
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)

Disk is a Hitachi HTS545016B9A300

After upgrading the Bios, the boot of Opensuse took very long time. I got messages in form:

<3>ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x1f SErr 0x0 action 0x6 frozen
<3>ata2.00: cmd 60/04:00:c9:2e:c0/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 2048 in
<3>         res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
<3>ata2.00: status: { DRDY }
<3>ata2.00: cmd 60/04:08:cd:2e:c0/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 1 ncq 2048 in
<3>         res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
<3>ata2.00: status: { DRDY }
<3>ata2.00: cmd 60/40:10:2d:2f:c0/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 2 ncq 32768 in
<3>         res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
<3>ata2.00: status: { DRDY }
<3>ata2.00: cmd 60/07:18:85:a0:cf/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 3 ncq 3584 in
<3>         res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
<3>ata2.00: status: { DRDY }
<3>ata2.00: cmd 60/08:20:ac:8a:a1/00:00:12:00:00/40 tag 4 ncq 4096 in
<3>         res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
<3>ata2.00: status: { DRDY }
<6>ata2: hard resetting link
<6>ata2: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)
<6>ata2.00: ACPI cmd 00/00:00:00:00:00:b0 rejected by device (Stat=0x51 Err=0x04)
<7>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:01:00:00:00:b0 succeeded
<7>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:02:00:00:00:b0 succeeded
<6>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:03:00:00:00:b0 filtered out
<7>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:04:00:00:00:b0 succeeded
<6>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:05:00:00:00:b0 rejected by device (Stat=0x51 Err=0x04)
<6>ata2.00: ACPI cmd 00/00:00:00:00:00:b0 rejected by device (Stat=0x51 Err=0x04)
<6>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:03:00:00:00:b0 filtered out
<6>ata2.00: ACPI cmd ef/10:05:00:00:00:b0 rejected by device (Stat=0x51 Err=0x04)
<6>ata2.00: configured for UDMA/133
<6>ata2: EH complete


Problem seems that the drive or controller does no more support native command queuing (ncq). After adding the kernel parameter "libata.force=noncq" in the "kernel" line in /boot/grub/menu.lst, booting is as fast as expected again.

Sound


Choppy with gnome. Not yet tested well.

Solution: Sound volume was at maximum. The small spekers don't like that. Setting volume to normal makes sound sound normal :-)

Videocard and Display


Resolution needed to set manually. I have problems switching from X to console sometimes. I added the kernel parameter "vga=0x318", but this did not resolve the issue finally.

Solution: Switched to gdm in /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager variable DISPLAYMANAGER. Seems that kdm produces problems when switching video modes.

CPU


CPU offers 2 Frequencies: 1.2GHz and 1.4 GHz. The Intel SU3500 normally offers Intels virtualization technology. The "vmx" bit is switched on in /proc/cpuinfo when i boot the default kernel. But when i boot the Xen kernel, then i get the message "vmx is disabled in Bios". I tried upgrading the Bios from 1.09 to 1.10 which only resulted in problems with the SATA Controller an ncq (see there).

I contacted support to ask for the Intel-VT issue. The answer was: The product is not offered with support for Intel-VT, Therefore there is no switch in Bios to enable it.
Seems that acer does not like to enable it in Bios. I wonder if Acer will enable it if customers ask for XP mode in Windows 7?

But there are blogs that describe how to manipulate the insyde EFI Bios to get Intel-VT enabled:
http://feature-enable.blogspot.com/2009/07/enable-vt-on-insydeh2o-based-sony-vaio.htmlQuestion
http://blog.bettiolo.it/2009/08/enable-intel-vt-on-acer-aspire-3810t.htmlQuestion
http://marcansoft.com/blog/2009/06/enabling-intel-vt-on-the-aspire-8930g/Question

So i think about a downgrade to Bios 1.07 because 1.10 was hard to manipulate.

Update: I upgraded to Bios 1.18 and Opensuse 11.2. This had 2 effects:
  • The CPU is now able to throttle down to 800MHz which should save some energy
  • Virtualisation works now! I can run Windows or Solaris guests in Xen now!

Other OS


For Windows Installation see http://myeee.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/winsetupfromusb-windows-installation-vom-usb-stick/Question. Be sure to include the service packs using nLite or you get a bluescreen. I could not get the AHCI mode working during install. I had to switch to IDE mode in the Bios. I needed this for Bios updates only. Deleted afer :-)

All other OS can easily installed via PXE.

Other issues


Suspend to ram


Works with Windows XP. To get it working with Linux, add the kernel parameter:

i8042.reset=1

See comments on http://www.linlap.com/wiki/acer+travelmate+8371Question.

Created by redflo. Last Modification: Thursday 19 of August, 2010 12:54:04 UTC by redflo.

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