Fedora 15 on Acer 3680

July 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm Leave a comment

This blog documents my experience with running Fedora 15 on Acer Aspire 3680-2633. Previously, this laptop had been running Linux Fedora 14. I decided t reformat all of the drives to ext4 and reinstall from scratch.

Why use Fedora 15?

Fedora is for people who wants to run on the bleeding edge. It is for people who want to try new things. In this case, Fedora 15 is one of the few distro at the moment using Gnome 3. Fedora is not for people who wants a mission critical system because it can be unstable.

Installation experience

The instruction is fairly straightforward so I won’t rehash the basic install here. According to uname -a, my machine is running kernel 2.6.38.8-35.fc15.i686. This is after we apply all of the updates.

Hardware Component Status under OS Notes
Intel Celeron M520 1.6 Ghz CPU Working Note that there is no frequency or voltage scaling on this Celeron.
Intel 943 GML Video Working Gnome 3 is able to use the 3D mode.
14 inch LCD Working Brightness function keys works.
Intel 82801G HDA Audio Working Correctly detected headphone and disable speaker.Volume function keys work. For some bizarre reason, you can set your volume control to 150%, which makes the laptop speaker actually audible (this laptop has terrible speakers). Mute function key works.
2 Gb RAM, DDR2 Working The full 2 Gb ram is available.
Western Digital WD800BEVS 80 Gb SATA Hard Drive Working
Optiarc CD-RW CRX880A Working
Keyboard Working Many of the Hot keys works.
Synaptics Touchpad Working
Marvel 88E8038 PCI-E Ethernet Working
Atheros AR2413 802.11bg Wireless(Keep in mind that Acer used several different type of wireless, so your hardware may be different) Working with modifications I encountered a problem where the wireless is discovered but i unavailable. The front switch to turn on and off network apparently does not work under Fedora 15. This appears to be the only distro where the native ath5k appears to work properly and I didn’t need to install madwifi.
Battery Working
Modem Untested I can see the soft modem driver, but did not test it.
USB Working
TI 5-in-one Card Reader Working Tested only with SD card
TI Cardbus Untested Probably works
Sitecom Bluetooth (third party install) Working This is a USB module that plugs into the Acer 3680’s internal bluetooth connector. Note that this is a third party module.
Laptop Power Management Working Note that Celeron do not have frequency scaling. Sleep and hibernation works properly.Gnome 3 apparently remove the option to set your laptop lid close.
Suspend to RAM (suspend) Working
Suspend to Disk (hibernation) Working However, there is no suspend menu item, so you end up programming the sleep or power button to trigger a hiberation.
Multimedia playback Working with modification Fedora never comes with flash and codec. I had to manually install flash and VLC.

 

Problems with Wireless
The Atheros AR2413 was detected, but failed to detect any wireless. This was because the wireless was turned off. Pressing on the physical switch did not switch it on. I fixed it by doing the following:

  1. Open a terminal and su to root.
  2. Run yum install rfkill to install rfkill.
  3. Remove the driver by running rmmod ath5k, apparently we have to run rfkill when ath5k is down.
  4. Run rfkill unblock all.
  5. Reinstall the ath5k by using modprobe ath5k.
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Entry filed under: fedora, linux.

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