Linux on Acer Aspire One

Recently I have got a new Acer Aspire. Great little thingy. Anyway, it came with Windows XP on it (which worked only so-and-so, by the way) so I decided to try to install linux onto it, too. It was not too hard, despite it lacking a CD-ROM unit! It now has a nice ubuntu linux system, with many features running.

These are important sources:

In a nutshell, these are the steps:

  • Download the ubuntu distro CD
  • Boot it at some other computer in trial mode, select to transfer the distro to a USB key
  • Plug the key in the Acer, install normally

Everything important seems to run out-of-the-box, save from the wifi! (which also had its problems under Windows XP, specially with weak signals). Some things do not work under Windows, but do in linux: Fn + F4 to put the thing to sleep.

More comments on this later…

Updates

Wifi does work, after rebooting (and following the steps in the second link above). It even connects to the WPA2 Spanish academic network (eduroam). After updating the kernel, the steps must be followed again (as seems logical).

I can’t believe it looks this good:

ubuntu on acer, screenshot

Newsflash: netbook installing is easy as pie in the new release. See the official ubuntu netbook mix page. Wifi works now. And it looks amazing.

5 thoughts on “Linux on Acer Aspire One

  1. I’ve had the Aspire one netbook for a few weeks now and I am pleased with it. I only use it for fun, not work. I got the one with Windows XP, 1 meg ram and 160 meg HD. It was really frustrating getting the wireless connection worked out but don’t give up. It comes with way too much junk pre installed and pre starting. Dump McAfee and get Trend or one of the other less resource hungry protection. I could have bought a lap top this week with same HD, more Ram and Vista for the same money. If you need the small size, its great. If you’re used to Vista or speed, get a laptop. http://www.aspireoneuser.com is a great resource for this item

  2. Yes, for once I think linux works actually better than windows (drivers, and all). Wifi receptions is certainly better. It is true some laptops are only slightly more expensive, but they tend to offer the opposite: large, heavy, noisy… It gets expensive when you want both: computing power + portability.

    Anyway, I am happy with it. Plugging an external monitor and keyboard even yields a quite decent working computer. (I think acer is also selling some sort of “computer brick” following this idea.)

  3. Your post gave me the nudge I needed to go grab one of these little kneetops. Kubuntu 9.04 installed (from an external USB DVD/RW) with no problems. Pressing F2 at POST gets the BIOS, and one will have to move the boot devices around to suit one’s needs.

    The only other thing would be a glitch that happens between kwallet and the network app for wireless. It typically won’t connect the first time (it gets tired of waiting for kwallet?), nor will it save the wireless settings…so set up kwallet the way you want it first. Then tell it to connect (a second time) to your wireless network. After this routine it should be up and running.

    Zero problems encountered here…and thank goodness that borked XP install is gone. I’ll eventually get around to checking out the Webcam, but I never use them anyway.

    Oh, and _always_ plug in a network cable prior to any Linux install. It can make a big difference (especially with Ubuntu).

    • Yes, I insisted on the USB key because I had no external USB DVD around. Plus, I thought it could be nice to keep the linux distro always at hand (of course, the key ended up holding completely different things).

      kubuntu was my first choice, as a matter of fact, since I prefer KDE. But, the USB key transfer did not work, and I do not like this distro as much as a KDE-only one, like openSUSE (the one I tend to use). I have got used to gnome + ubuntu on the acer, anyway.

      I also have those kind of issues with wifi connections. The first time I change to a new wifi I have to reboot. Maybe it happes just with the Spanish academic wifi network, which is always called “eduroam” but whose details vary from place to place. It is still better that WinXP’s wifi, though.

      Oh, and _always_ plug in a network cable prior to any Linux install. It can make a big difference (especially with Ubuntu).

      Gee, that’s good to know.

  4. Acer Aspire One AOD250-1165
    This model is fairly new. So it has the usual features, i.e. built in wi-fi, camera, 160 GB drive, etc, etc. This is the 3 hr battery model. I have no idea where Amazon gets their tech specs. We just bought this and the manual states that it comes with 1 GB of RAM, and is upgradeable to 2 GB. It recognized 4 wireless connections in my area the instant it was powered on. So far it’s great for what it was bought for, the internet, small low demand games, music, simple word processing…

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