Ubuntu: UNR + Acer Aspire One A110L

Introduction
The Acer Aspire AAO (A110L) Netbook is a great little device, although given its nearly 1 year old now, is rather archaic in terms of what you can get these days. It was a steal at around £160, has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom, the Linux version I have has an 8Gb SSD and after a lot of faffing about and watching how to install an extra 1Gb of Ram in the little device you end up with a pretty decent 1.5Gb Ram. It also has an SD slot that you can expand the disk space whilst leaving a further multi-function card slot free.
The AAO comes pre-installed with Linpus Lite, of which you can see it here. This is ok for most people, but you wouldn’t want to buy a good car and only be able to put your foot down half way, so out comes Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Ubuntu: UNR
The latest UNR is based on Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 and is highly recommended this get installed. There are countless blogs on how to do this so I’ve listed what you need here. Note if you’re doing this I assume you’re pretty au fait with Linux. And do I need to tell you, as part of the installation you will be wiping your existing hard drive/ssd partitions!

Get Ubuntu UNR from here and follow the guide referenced on that page on how to put the image onto a USB stick that you will use to boot.

Now follow the instructions on this forum to ensure you’ve got your set up working as expected – especially watch out for right multi-function card reader and how to get that going. Note some things don’t work – there is no pciehp module to get the card reader working, so you must add the following to your grub’s menu.lst file:

defoptions: pciehp.pciehp_force=1

And add it to your kernel line. Reboot and you’ll have hot-swap again for the card reader on the right.

Apart from that, everything else is pretty much working out of the box. Watch out for suspend/resume though – suspending the netbook, or even letting it power save, will screw up the SD card – meaning you’ll need to reboot to get it working again. People have reported this corrupting their SD card – I’ve had no such issues – it does become garbled until you reboot. My SD is an 8Gb card formatted with FAT32.

I’ll update this blog to collate all the required info to get UNR working as expected on the AAO, but all in all there is minimal issues running UNR.

Note
: UNR + xD cards currently do not work. The JMicron Technologies xD card reader code hasn’t made it to the Linux Kernel – Acer have patched their kernel to make this work – so if you have an xD card and expect to get the date from UNR, you will be disappointed!

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2 comments on “Ubuntu: UNR + Acer Aspire One A110L

  1. Am a total Linux newbie so need a step by step guide to getting right card reader to work. Can you provide one?

    Mark

    • Are you using Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) or 10.04 (Lucid)? If so – edit /etc/default/grub and find the line like below. I’ve bolded the parameter to enable the right card reader


      GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash elevator=noop pciehp.pciehp_force=1 enable_mtrr_cleanup"

      Now run: sudo update-grub

      Reboot and the right card reader should work.
      Note that it doesn’t work for XD or MMC cards. When Acer created their distribution, they wrapped in a kernel module that is closed source and not accepted in the main kernel so we can’t get it to work yet.

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