Kjetil's Information Center: A Blog About My Projects

Aspire One D250 Tweaks

I recently bought a new netbook, an Acer Aspire One D250 (HD version). Unfortunately, it was not possible to get it with Linux pre-installed, but I quickly re-formatted the hard-drive and installed Slackware 13.0. As usual with new hardware on Linux, some devices were not supported out of the box. After some tweaking however, I got it all up and running.

There were problems with both the ethernet and the wireless network interfaces, and also with the built in microphone controlled by the sound-card. Here is the "lspci -nn" information of the affected hardware devices:

0:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller [8086:27d8] (rev 02)
01:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g [14e4:4315] (rev 01)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Attansic Technology Corp. Atheros AR8132 / L1c Gigabit Ethernet Adapter [1969:1062] (rev c0)

The Wi-Fi interface can be fixed by installing the proprietary driver from Broadcom, instead of using the open source "b43" driver. (The b43 driver did not support this particular chip-set in the beginning of September when I installed everything, but this may have changed now.) I used the "hybrid-portsrc-x86_32-v5_10_91_9.tar.gz" driver with the "5_10_91_9_patch_2_6_29_kernel.zip" patch, and it has so far worked fine. I used the following steps to install it (some of the same information can also be found in the driver's readme file):

patch -p1 < patch_2.6.29_kernels
make -C /lib/modules/ M=`pwd` clean
make -C /lib/modules/ M=`pwd`
sudo cp wl.ko /lib/modules/
sudo depmod

The ethernet interface suffers from strange bugs in the driver (atl1c) shipped with the default kernel ( Sometimes the chip itself disappears from the PCI bus, and does not show up until a complete power on/off has been done. The "ifconfig" command also shows crazy RX and TX values for the interface. I had to blacklist the kernel driver (by adding a file with "blacklist atl1c in the /etc/modprobe.d/ directory) and install the proprietary Atheros driver to fix it. I used the "AR81Family-linux-v1.0.0.10.tar.gz" file, which makes a new kernel module/driver named "atl1e".

The final thing I had issues with was the internal microphone, but it was fixed simply by updating the ALSA driver and library to version 1.0.21.

Topic: Configuration, by Kjetil @ 03/10-2009, Article Link