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Thread: How to: Karmic Koala on Acer 1410 / 1810T/ 1810TZ

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    Oct 2008
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Exclamation How to: Karmic Koala on Acer 1410 / 1810T/ 1810TZ


    This guide was first started at Notebook Review Forums. There are a lot of Acer 1410/1810T/1810TZ users over there.

    Packard Bell / Gateway clones:
    This guide has also been tested on a Packard Bell Dot M/U with bios v3303, and it should also work on the Gateway clone. If you have a 1410/1810 and something doesn't work, please report back.

    What's working after a standard Ubuntu 10.04 install:
    • Graphics
    • Audio out, speaker mutes when pluging in headphones. Good volume.
    • Networking, both wireless (intel wifi 1000) and wired (the atheros gigabit)
    • FN +:
      • F4, suspends fine
      • F6, monitor goes black
      • F7, touchpad on / off
      • F8, mute
      • F9, Bloq Num
      • RePag: Home
      • AvPag: End
      • Up: increase volume
      • Down: decrease volume
      • Righ: increase brightness: skips steps.
      • Left: decrease brightness: skips steps.
      • J,K,L, etc: numeric keyboard ok.

    What's not working:
    • Audio in: the integrated mic doesn't work.
    • FN + F5: not recognised, doesn't toogle displays

    Automated Install (recommended):
    I've done a script that should do it all automatically. In detail:

    What the script does:

    • Configure gnome-power-manager backlight dim and hard disk power saving
    • Download, patch, install and setup acerhdf
    • Install the power saving script
    • Install the debugging script
    • If laptop-mode-tools is installed, suggest uninstalling and, if you want, uninstall
    • Fix the brightness hotkeys issue (jumps 2 levels on every key press)
    • Disable ethernet Wake on Lan (doesn't enable when on AC)
    • Disable uneeded services: cron, anacron and atd (they don't enable when on AC)

    What the script doesn't:

    • Add the noatime parameter to the ext2/3/4 partitions in fstab. You'll have to do it manually.

    How it works:

    • In a terminal, run ./ --help


    • This script comes with no warranty. Use it at your own risk. I won't be responsible for any damage this could do to your system or data.
    Manual Install:

    Power saving tips:
    The Script:
    By default, an ubuntu install won't take too much care of saving power, which is very important in an ultra mobile laptop. You can easily setup the system to enter some power saving modes, specifically the sata controller and the sound chip.

    I've setup a script which will take care of making the devices entering the power saving mode when the laptop is on battery.
          ## Disable unnecessary services
          service atd stop
          service cron stop
          service anacron stop
          ## Acer 11.6 brightness hotkey fix
          echo N > /sys/module/video/parameters/brightness_switch_enabled
          ## Disable wake on lan
          ethtool -s eth0 wol d
      if on_ac_power; then
      #### Go fast on AC power.  Similar to default Ubuntu settings
          # Remount ext3/4 filesystems to default value: every 5 seconds
          mount -o remount,commit=5, /
          mount -o remount,commit=5, /home
          ## Set swap usage back to default
          echo 60 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
          ## Disable Sata Power Saving
          for foo in /sys/class/scsi_host/host*/link_power_management_policy;
            do echo max_performance > $foo;
          ## Disable Intel Wlan Power Saving
          iwconfig wlan0 power off
          ## Disable HD Audio Power Saving
          echo 0 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save
          echo N > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save_controller
          ## Set kernel dirty page value back to default
          echo 20 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_ratio
          echo 10 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_background_ratio
          echo 500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_expire_centisecs
          echo 500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs 
      #### Save power
          ## Change the ext3/4 commit times to 10 minutes.  Reduces disk activity
          mount -o remount,commit=600 /
          mount -o remount,commit=600 /home
          ## Reduce swap usage as much as possible
          echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
          ## Enable Sata Power Saving
          for foo in /sys/class/scsi_host/host*/link_power_management_policy;
            do echo min_power > $foo;
          ## Enable Intel Wlan Power Saving
          iwconfig wlan0 power on
          ## Enable HD Audio Power Saving
          echo 10 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save
          echo Y  > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save_controller
          ## Reduce disk activity by waiting up to 10 minutes before doing writes
          echo 90 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_ratio
          echo 25 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_background_ratio
          echo 60000 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_expire_centisecs
          echo 60000 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
    To install this power saving script, do the following:
    gksudo gedit /etc/pm/power.d/15_saving
    # Paste the script above into the file, save and close
    sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/power.d/15_saving
    sudo ln -s /etc/pm/power.d/15_saving /etc/pm/sleep.d/
    sudo chown root /etc/pm/power.d/15_saving
    sudo chgrp root /etc/pm/power.d/15_saving
    Go the g-p-m preferences, under System -> Preferences -> Power management, and do the following:
    • Hard drive power saving: in the battery tab tick on "Reduce hard drive revolutions when possible"
    • Battery tab: tick on reduce brightness and dim display.
    • AC and Battery tab: configure what to do when closing the lid and what to do on very low battery remaining.
    • General tab: configure what to do when pressing the power button and sleep button (Fn+f4).
    • General tab: configure when to show the battery icon.
    The “noatime” parameter:
    In linux, and in ubuntu it's on by default, the filesystem has 3 types of date information: when the file was created, when the file was modified and when the file was last accessed. This last access information means that everytime a file is accessed (everytime you read a file), it does a file system write, to update the information. In My Honest Opinion, this is not necessary, and I would disable the last access information. How? Editing fstab and adding the noatime paramenter to all ext2/3/4 mounted partitions. You can edit fstab by doing gksudo gedit /etc/fstab and, there, add the parameter noatime to all the ext2/3/4 lines. Example on how the relevant fstab lines look in my machine:
    UUID=VERY-LONG-NUMBER  /       ext4  errors=remount-ro,noatime   0       1
    UUID=VERY-LONG-NUMBER  /home   ext4  defaults,noatime            0       2
    There may be people who may find the atime parameter interesting, I don't. Hard drives are already the biggest bottlenecks in computers, and doing extra writes won't improves things, so I prefer to avoid them.
    Issue: the fan is controlled by the BIOS, and is running too loud and too often.
    Solution: the solution is installing an update acerhdf module. Download the laster version from here. There's a great chance that it will work without any additional work, skip the next lines and go ahead on to how to install acerhdf.
    If after installing acerhdf it doesn't work, you'll have to patch it adding your BIOS version. Open the acerhdf.c file and add the following code above this line: '/* pewpew-terminator */':
    /* Acer 1410 */
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1410", "v0.3108", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1410", "v0.3113", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1410", "v0.3119", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1410", "v0.3117", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1410", "v1.3204", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    /* Acer 1810T(Z) */
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1810T", "v0.3108", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1810TZ", "v0.3108", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1810T", "v0.3113", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1810TZ", "v0.3113", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1810T", "v0.3117", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Acer", "Aspire 1810TZ", "v0.3117", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    /* Packard Bell clone */
    {"Packard Bell","DOTMU","v0.3108", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Packard Bell","DOTMU","v0.3113", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Packard Bell","DOTMU","v0.3115", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Packard Bell","DOTMU","v0.3117", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Packard Bell","DOTMU","v0.3119", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    {"Packard Bell","DOTMU","v1.3204", 0x55, 0x58, {0x9e, 0x9e, 0x00} },
    Save and close. Let's go on into compiling it:
    cd /to/the/acerhdf/folder
    sudo make install
    To make sure the module gets loaded and the fan control is enabled, do the following:
    echo "acerhdf" | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
    sudo touch /etc/modprobe.d/acerhdf.conf
    echo "options acerhdf kernelmode=1" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/acerhdf.conf
    sudo modprobe acerhdf
    That will take care of loading the module when starting the laptop and automatically enable the fan control. After doing that, you should already be enjoying silent fan operation. You can also add, to the /etc/modprobe.d/acerfhdf.conf the values fanon= and fanoff=, followed by a value. For example: fanon=60000 fanoff=52000 will turn the fan on when it reaches 60ºC and will shut it down when it reaches 52ºC.
    Issue: when changing the brightness using the FN+arrow keys, it will jump 2 levels instead of one.
    Solution: add the following into /etc/rc.local, before exit 0 and without quotes: "echo N > /sys/module/video/parameters/brightness_switch_enabled".
    Integrated mic:
    Issue: the internal microphone is not working. Playing with alsamixer doesn't solve this, all you can hear is noise.
    Solution: None at the moment. There's a thing you can try for Skype, though. Do the following, after installing skype from
    sudo touch /usr/local/bin/skype
    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/skype
    gksudo gedit /usr/local/bin/skype
    There, paste the following, save and close:
    /bin/sh -c "PULSE_SERVER= /usr/bin/skype"
    After that, you can play a bit with the mic settings under alsamixer and try skype. It shoud kind of work, but there's still some static noise.
    In the one of the attachments, you'll find the file. This script should help you debugging and will show you what values are being applied. To run it: cd to the folder where the unzipped file is and then sudo ./ If you need help you can attach the output here.
    Next to be done:
    • Enable undervolting (nothing until Lucid comes out AND the phc repos are running for lucid).


    • 20/04/2010: added an automated install script
    • 16/04/2010: updated for Lucid. Jaunty, original post:
    • 29/12/2009: updated version of acerhdf, added blacklist acer-wmi to blacklist (thanks to all who reported)
    • 05/12/2009: acerhdf version 0.5.21 now includes BIOS definitions for acer 1410/1810T(Z) and Packard Bell Dot M/U in v3303 and 3120. Audio alternative solution is now the recommended solution (thanks to iiamjon at notebook review forums, who tried and reported it as working)
    • 02/12/2009: added more acerhdf bios definitions and changed acerhdf enabling. Thanks to teprrr.
    • 29/11/2009: Initial post

    • tdavis, from Notebook Review Forums, for the wake on lan tip and adding the 11,6" acer series into acerhdf
    • teprrr, from Notebook Review Forums, for the acerhdf modprobe tip and bios definitions
    • laramichaels1978: for detecting some errors and suggesting adding the dirty_expire_centiseconds option
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by PatrickVogeli; April 20th, 2010 at 07:51 PM.
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