Linux on Acer Aspire 1300

Debian GNU/Linux on Acer Aspire 1300 series
Unofficial Support Page
by NERvOus

NERvOus using WindowMake on Acer Aspire 1300XV

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones


This is an unofficial support page for the Acer Aspire 1300 series notebooks.  I do not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages
resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

No liability for the contents of this documents can be accepted. Use the concepts, examples and fother content at your own risk.

All copyrights are held by their by their respective owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded
as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

Supported Hardware Summary

Hardware Status URL
Athlon PowerNow! OK (PST table?) (kernel 2.4.x and 2.5.x) and (kernel 2.2.x, 2.4.x, 2.5.x)
Graphic Adapter OK (experimental)
Sound Card OK (midi?)  
Network Adapter OK  
Modem OK (pay?) (full working drivers for 15$, 14400bps limited drivers for free)
Old beta driver (free of charge):
UltraATA/100 OK  
Touchpad OK (kernel 2.6.x only) (requires kernel 2.6.x+patch)
USB Controller OK
Hard Disk OK  
Keyboard HotKeys OK

Although this site if focused upon the 1300XV model, same hints should apply also to the 1302XV model. Please let me know of any hardware differences you may find. The information contained hereby should be valid also for the 1300XC, 1302XC and 1304LC models.
There are very little differences between them. Here is a summary table taken from

Model Setup
Aspire 1300XV Mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1400+, 14.1″ XGA TFT Display, 256MB SDRAM, 20GB HDD, DVD 8x, Ethernet 10/100, 56Kbps modem, Li-Ion Battery, Microsoft Windows XP Home
Aspire 1302XV Mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1600+, 14.1″ XGA TFT Display, 256MB SDRAM, 20GB HDD,DVD 8x, Ethernet 10/100, 56Kbps modem, Li-Ion Battery, Microsoft Windows XP Home
Aspire 1300XC Mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1400+, 14.1″ XGA TFT Display, 256MB SDRAM, 20GB HDD, DVD- CDRW, Ethernet 10/100, 56Kbps modem, Li-Ion Battery, Microsoft Windows XP Home
Aspire 1302XC Mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1600+, 14.1″ XGA TFT Display, 256MB SDRAM, 20GB HDD, DVD- CDRW, Ethernet 10/100, 56Kbps modem, Li-Ion Battery, Microsoft Windows XP Home
Aspire 1304LC Mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1800+, 15.0″ XGA TFT Display, 256MB SDRAM, 20GB HDD, DVD- CDRW, Ethernet 10/100, 56Kbps modem, Li-Ion Battery, Microsoft Windows XP Home

As you can see, the *C series differ only for the presence of a CDRW drive.


I don’t use M$ Windows, so I completely removed the M$ WindowsXP that comes in bundle with the laptop and formatted the hard drive. Now Linux is the only Operating System installed. I asked for a refund of the WinXP license (about 80€) but no luck till now (you can read more about my eXPerience hereonly in italian).

However, you may want to keep WindowsXP installed and run a dual booting system. You can do that by reducing the size of the WindowsXP partition and creating a new one where you can install your favourite Linux distribution.

  • Dual booting WinXP and Linux
    Francesco Poli (frx at wrote a step by step guide:

    – Backup all the personal data that may be present on your Windows XP installation

    Warning: ALL DATA WILL BE LOST. Without a Backup you won’t be able to recover it.

    – Boot from a CD-ROM or floppy disk (press ESC after system power up to choose the bootable device) that provides a *fdisk command (I used Debian Woody CD1 and cfdisk) and repartition the hard disk: delete the existing partition, create one or more partitions for WinXP (type: Win95 FAT32 LBA; first one, that is C:, must be at least 2.6 Gbyte long), then create the partitions you plan to use for GNU/Linux.
    I reserved about 10 Gbyte (10 Gbyte – 7.75 Mbyte = 9.99225 Gbyte) for WinXP. They are divided into a 5 Gbyte partition for the system and an additional 4.99 Gbyte partition for storing data (I had to format it manually from Windows: the recovery process ignored it).

    Warning: this notebook ships with one big partition and a little (7.75 Mbyte) unassigned free space at the end of the disk. Each time you recover Windows XP from Recovery CDs, mysterious data will be written to this final disk segment'. Hence you should leave thissegment’ unassigned, to make sure no used partitions are messed up by a future Windows recovery operation.

    Warning: you should activate only the boot flag for /dev/hda1 (that is C:) otherwise the BIOS will refuse to boot from HD, complaining with a “Hard disk boot sector invalid” error message.

    – Reboot from Recovery CD Disk 1 and follow the steps explained in the “Recovery CD Instruction Sheet” (without altering the partition layout!)

    – Wait till WindowsXP and the other software are recovered (many reboots will be performed!)

    – After WindowsXP has been successfully installed, you can install Linux (skipping the partition creation step, leaving the Windows partitions  untouched). When it comes to the LILO installation step you should choose to put LILO in the MBR.

  • Linux
    My favourite Linux distribution is Debian GNU/Linux. Of course, many other Linux distribution should run just fine on this laptop, but I don’t like them :-) No flames please.
    The instructions contained in this web page can be applied to almost any other Linux distribution: just ignore the blue paragraphs..

    You can download the 7 CDs of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r0 for free from (try using jidgo).Only the first CD is actually needed to complete the installation. Then you can download only the packages you need automagically by using the apt tool. Do man apt-get for more info.

    WARNING: Please always use the latest kernel available. Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r0 comes with kernel 2.4.18. I really encourage you to upgrade at least to 2.4.20-rc1. There are many important bug fixes which afflicts the Acer Aspire 1300 hardware!!! You can get the latest kernel from

    Debian Specific: I suggest to install the following packages with apt-get install packagename:
    acpid, powermgmt-base, wmacpi, noflushd, hotkeys, anacron, hotplug, gpm, timidity, timidity-patches s3switch cpufreqd.

    My kernel .config file is available here: config-2.4.20
    Use it at your own risk. Download kernel sources, decompress them (e.g. /usr/src/linux-2.4.20), copy config-2.4.20 to
    cp config-2.4.20 /usr/src/linux-2.4.20/.config
    then run:
    make menuconfig
    then exit and SAVE IT, even if you didn’t modify anything. Do save it. I really mean it :-)

  • *BSD
    Finally I managed to install FreeBSD on the Acer Aspire 1300XV!!! I chose the 5.0 release and did a MINIMAL installation. Everything went just fine, network card and mouse work. Unfortunately, it hangs when trying to open files >16MB. With FreeBSD 5.1 the problem remains.
    No luck with the 4.x series: the CDROM doesn’t boot and even when booting with floppies, installation hangs after a while.

    nizZy (dirtynizze at reported that OpenBSD works perfectly on this laptop, except for X. He also found a patch for XFree which could make it work under OpenBSD. You can find it here:
    I’ll add more information during the next week…

    ziabice (ziabice at reported that NetBSD could recognize most of this laptop’s hardware.

Hardware Configuration Hints

  • ACPI support
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    Power Management
    ACPI Support
    ACPI Bus Manager
    AC Adapter
    Embedded Controller
    Control Method Battery

    Install acpid.
    You can use wmacpi to view your battery charge status while running window maker.
    You can access acpi information manually by entering the /proc/acpi directory.
    Many ACPI implementations are buggy: often when you unplug the ac adapter and then plug it again, the temperature goes up.
    Running the following command seems to help:

    # /sbin/setpci -v -H1 -s 0:0.0 52=$(printf %x $((0x$(setpci -H1 -s 0:0.0 52) | 0x80)))

    TBD: handling ac power/battery different behaviour

    Debian Specific: I suggest to install the following packages: apt-get install acpid wmacpi powermgmt-base
    The latter is very useful if you want to detect wheter you are on battery power or not from your scripts. It will install a script called on_ac_power in /usr/bin. Basically this is what it does:
    grep on-line /proc/acpi/ac_adapter/0/status >/dev/null 2>&1 && exit 0
    grep off-line /proc/acpi/ac_adapter/0/status >/dev/null 2>&1 && exit 1
    exit 255
    Which means: if we are on AC power exit with 0, if we are on battery power exit with 1, otherwise exit with 255.

    on_ac_power was written by Rik Faith and Avery Pennarun <apenwarr at> and modified by Thomas Hood <jdthood at>

  • Athlon PowerNow! support
    Model: AMD mobile AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1400+
    PowerNow! support is available for kernel 2.2.x, 2.4.x and 2.5.x.

    Status of development:

    • Kernel 2.2.x
      Download RTDVS (Real Time Dynamic Voltage Scaling) for Linux from . It has been developed under RedHat 6.1 but should work with any 2.2 kernel based distribution.
      It can run also on 2.4.x and 2.5.x kernels if you apply a patch. More detailed instructions can be found here:
    • Kernel 2.4.x and <2.5.62
      Download the latest cpufreq patch of the Advanced Series:
      CPUfreq supports a variety of powersaving technologies.
    • Kernel >= 2.6.0
      cpufreq is already shipped with these kernel, you don’t need any patch.

      I tested it with kernel 2.4.21 it’s pretty stable and allows adjustment of CPU speed from 500mhz to 1200mhz on my laptop.

      Here is a step-by-step guide to install it:

      1) download kernel 2.4.21 source from or one of its mirrors and decompress it say in /usr/src/linux-2.4.21
      2) apply the CPUfreq patch:
      # cd /usr/src/linux-2.4.21
      # gzip -d cpufreq-2.4.21-2.gz
      # patch -p1 <cpufreq-2.4.21-2
      3) run make menuconfig and enable the following items:
      Processor type and features/CPU frequency scaling:
      CPU frequency scaling
      CPU frequence table helpers
      “userspace” for userspace frequency scaling
      AMD Mobile Athlon/Duron K7 PowerNow! (I suggest to add it as a module)
      4) recompile the kernel (e.g. make dep  && make clean && make bzImage && make modules && make modules_install)
      5) reboot with the new kernel
      6) load the powernow-k7 module:
      # modprobe powernow-k7
      If you want to load it automatically on every reboot add a line containing only “powernow-k7” to  /etc/modules

    Now you can set the CPU frequency using one of the following commands:

    # echo -n “500000:1200000:powersave” > /proc/cpufreq
    # echo -n “500000:1200000:performance” > /proc/cpufreq

    The first command will set the frequency to 500Mhz, the latter to 1,2Ghz.
    Of course, you can specify other frequencies too.
    The powersave keyword specifies that the min. speed (500000) should be used. The performance keyword specifies that the max. speed (1200000) should be used.
    You can automatically change the CPU frequency when the system load raises or when the battery is low/high. There are many programs which allow you to do it. Here is a short list:

    cpuondemand: (I wrote it before the other two came out, it’s a quick hack not mantained any more)

    Debian Specific: just run
    apt-get install cpudyn
    apt-get install cpufreqd

    WARNING: the frequencies supported by your AMD processor are listed in the BIOS PST Table, however many laptops have a broken table, thus you may get wrong frequency/voltage pairs. For now there are only two solutions to this problem:
    you can either try to flash your BIOS with a firmware containing the correct PST table, or have cpufreq ignore the PST table of your BIOS and set the frequency/voltage pairs manually.

    The latter solution requires a patch from Luigi Belli’s (lbelli at crema dot unimi dot it) against kernel 2.4.22-ac*: patch-cpufreq-PST.gz

    Before applying the patch, change the create_fake_pst function to meet your hardware requirements.

    After receiving many requests, I decided to make a precompiled kernel image for debian available for download from my website:

    You can install it with:

    # dpkg -i ./kernel-image-2.4.2*.Custom_i386.deb

    You may want to test it on a floppy instead of putting it immediately on your hard disk.

    People using other distributions may want to try out the sources of the kernel used to produce the package:
    they are available at

    This kernel works for me but it doesn’t mean it has to work for you: so… USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK!

  • Graphic Adapter
    Model: S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K] (PCI ID: 5333:8d02)
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    Character devices:
    /dev/agpgart (AGP support)
    VIA Chipset Support

    If you also want FrameBuffer support enable the following items too:
    Console drivers/Frame-buffer support:
    Support for frame buffer devices
    VESA VGA graphics console
    Then pass the following argument to the kernel:
    If you want framebuffer active by default, you can put the above line in the append option in your lilo.conf: i.e. edit /etc/lilo.conf and add the line append=”vga=0x305″ to it.

    The Savage TwisterK Graphic Adapter is supported by XFree 4.x. When configuring XFree, choose the “savage” driver.
    WARNING: the Savage driver <1.xx which comes with XFree4.1 is buggy (xine crashes, OpenOffice freezes). It should be replaced with
    the latest driver available at
    In order to use OpenGL hardware acceleration you will need XFree4.2.x plus the driver recently released from VIA/S3. There is no support for XFree4.3.x and XFree4.1.x for now. Hopefully it will be natively supported by future releases of XFree.

    Debian Specific: I managed to get 3D hardware acceleration working on Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (sarge not woody). I was quite disappointed with the performance of the graphic adapter: glTron runs slowly at 800×600 and almost stops at 1024×768. For those who want to try it out anyway, here is what I did:

    First upgrade your kernel at least to 2.4.22-rc2-ac3 (i.e. you need Alan Cox patchset). Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu as modules:

    Character devices:
    /dev/agpgart (AGP support)
    VIA Chipset Support
    Direct Rendering Manager (XFree DRI Support)
    S3 Savage

    Create a file called /etc/modutils/agp with the following line:

    options agpgart agp_try_unsupported=1

    Then run update-modules and add the following lines to /etc/modules:


    Finally you have to download the following files and copy them in their respective locations: in /usr/X11R6/lib
    savage_drv.o in /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers in /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri

    Modify the “Module” section in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 as follows:

    Section “Module”
    Load    “GLcore”
    Load    “bitmap”
    Load    “dbe”
    Load    “ddc”
    Load    “dri”
    Load    “extmod”
    Load    “freetype”
    Load    “glx”
    Load    “int10”
    Load    “record”
    Load    “speedo”
    Load    “type1”
    Load    “vbe”

    and add a “DRI” section like this:

    Section “DRI”
    Mode    0666

    Then restart XFree and run glxinfo, you should get the following output:

    Using AGP dma
    name of display: :0.0
    display: :0  screen: 0
    direct rendering: Yes

    If you want to be kept updated with the latest news about the savage xfree driver you can subscribe the mailing-list at . Visit for more information

    A note from Carl Waite says… “XiG allowed me to run GL screensavers, but hung when running Tux Racer or Quake 3 after 10 to 20 seconds. I have mailed the support at  XiG with the information. I am back to XFree86 now.
    You can find more info about running XiG on Acer Aspire 1300 at:

    Debian Specific: Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (woody) ships with XFree4.1. The Savage driver <1.xx is buggy (xine crashes, OpenOffice freezes). It should be replaced with the latest driver available at http://… . Unfortunately it has been compiled for XFree4.2. You have two choices: you can either compile it on your own or you can instruct XFree4.1 to ignore version differences. The second choice is the easiest. All you have to do is add -ignoreABI at the end of /etc/X11/xinit/xserverrc, like this:

    exec /usr/bin/X11/X -dpi 100 -nolisten tcp -ignoreABI

    If you are using a x-display-manager like xdm then you have to modify another file too: /etc/X11/xdm/Xservers should look like this

    :0 local /usr/bin/X11/X -ignoreABI

    If you are using kdm you need to modify /etc/kde3/kdm/Xservers (thanks to danalien <danalien at>)
    For wdm the file is /etc/X11/wdm/Xservers.

    Example configuration file for XFree4.1 is available here: XF86Config-4

    There is a tool which allows switching from LCD to an external (maybe-CRT) monitor from the command line. It’s called s3switch.
    Syntax is:
    To turn on LCD monitor: s3switch lcd
    To turn on an external monitor: s3switch crt

    Debian Specific: you can install it with: apt-get install s3switch

  • Sound Card
    Model: Via 686a AC97 Audio Controller (PCI ID: 1106:3058)
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    Sound/Sound Card Support
    VIA82C686 Audio Codec (via82cxxx_audio.o).
    OSS Sound Modules?
    Loopback Midi Device support?
    MPU-401 Support?

    I don’t know for sure whether this sound card has got a MIDI sequencer or not. Meanwhile, I suggest to use a software-only MIDI sequencer.
    timidity (available at http://…) is one of the best.

    Debian Specific: Add the following line:
    to your /etc/modules file
    Remember to also add all unprivileged users who want to play audio files to the audio group. E.g. “adduser foo audio”
    In order to play MIDI files you’ll need to install the following packages: apt-get install timidity timidity-patches
  • Network Adapter
    Model: VIA VT6102 Rhine-II (PCI ID:  1106:3065)
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    Network device support/Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)/EISA,VLB,PCI support:
    VIA Rhine support
    Use MMIO instead of PIO (Experimental)
    The via-rhine driver included in kernel <=2.4.19 is buggy. If you experience network hangs and error messages like: kernel: eth0: reset did not complete in 10ms
    kernel: NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
    kernel: eth0: TRansmit timed out, status 0000, PHY status 782d, resetting…
    please upgrade.
    Looking at the beginning of /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/via-rhine.c you should see the following lines:

    #define DRV_NAME        “via-rhine”
    #define DRV_VERSION     “1.1.1X”
    #define DRV_RELDATE     “XXX-XX-2002”

    If you have a version prior to 1.1.15 then you have to upgrade (thanks to Der Ondre):
    Download via-rhine.c version 1.1.15.
    Overwrite your old /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/via-rhine.c with the new one.
    Recompile your kernel.

    Debian Specific: woody (3.0r0) doesn’t provide a kernel source package >2.4.19 so you’ll have to download it from or one of its mirrors.

  • Modem
    Model: VIA MC97 based on Conexant chip (PCI ID: 1106:3068)
    Use the Conexant HSF Driver. Download it from: .
    They are no longer free. You can download a free version limited to 14400bps speed, the full version costs 15$. Thanks Conexant, we really appreciate your support to the open source community <g>
    Installation instructions for the old beta drivers (still available at
    Before starting, please check that /lib/modules/uname -r/build is a symlink to your kernel source directory (e.g. /usr/src/kernel-source-2.4.20) or to your kernel header directory (e.g. /usr/src/kernel-headers-2.4.20).
    then do:
    tar xvzf hsflinmodem-*.tar.gz
    cd hsflinmodem*
    make install
    hsfconfig –country

    Your modem device will be /dev/ttySHSF0.

    WARNING: by default the /dev/ttySHSF0 device is world writable!!! Any user on your system will be able to dial any number using your modem. While many people wouldn’t really consider it a security problem, if you are too paranoid just like me, you may want to restrict access to the device by issueing the command: chmod 660 /dev/ttySHSF0 /dev/cuaHSF0 .

    Debian Specific: the correct way to manage modem device under Debian is to make them group writable and then add all the users that should be able to use the modem to that group. E.g.:
    chmod 660 /dev/ttySHSF0 /dev/cuaHSF0
    chown root.dialout /dev/ttySHSF0 /dev/cuaHSF0
    adduser foo dialout

    If you get a NO DIALTONE error after composing any phone number, try adding ATX3 to your initialization string.

  • UltraATA/100 Support
    Model: VIA vt8231 (rev 10) IDE UDMA100 controller (PCI ID: 1106:0571)
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    ATA/IDE/MFM/RLL Support
    IDE, ATA and ATAPI Block devices:
    Enhanced IDE/MFM/RLL disk/cdrom/tape/floppy support
    Include IDE/ATA-2 DISK support
    Use multi-mode by default
    Include IDE/ATAPI CDROM support
    Generic PCI IDE chipset support
    Use PCI DMA by default when available
    VIA82CXXX chipset support

    You can verify that your drives are DMA enabled by using:
    hdparm -d /dev/hda
    hdparm -d /dev/hdc

  • Touchpad
    Model: generic 3-button ps/2 mouse
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    Character device/Mice/Mouse support
    PS/2 mouse (aka “auxiliary device) support

    In order to use the touchpad from the console, tell gpm to use the autops2 driver. Here is my /etc/gpm.conf:

    Then do /etc/init.d/gpm restart

    If you want to use the wheel/touchpad scrolling, you’ll need a 2.6.x kernel. See the Kernel 2.6 section at the end of the page for more info! Note: it will work only under X

  • USB Controller
    Model: Universal Host Controller Interface (PCI ID 1106:3038)
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    USB Support/Support for USB
    UHCI (Intel PIIX4, VIA, …) support

    Devices tested: Digicom Palladio USB Bluetooth Dongle (CSR based), Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse

    – Logitech Optical Wheen Mouse:
    Enable the following items in the kernel configuration menu:
    USB support/Support for USB:
    USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support
    HID input layer support
    Input core support:
    Input core support
    Mouse support

    You need to load the following modules in order to use a USB mouse:

    In order to use your USB mouse from the console, change your /etc/gpm.conf so that it looks like this:
    Then restart gpm
    /etc/init.d/gpm restart

    In order to use both your USB mouse and TouchPad on XFree86 add the following sections in your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
    Section “InputDevice”
            Identifier      “USB Mouse”
    Driver          “mouse”
    Option          “SendCoreEvents”        “true”
    Option          “Device”                “/dev/input/mice”
    Option          “Protocol”              “ImPS/2”
    Option          “Emulate3Buttons”       “true”
    Option          “ZAxisMapping”          “4 5”
    Section “InputDevice”
            Identifier      “TouchPad Mouse”
    Driver          “mouse”
    Option          “CorePointer”
    Option          “Device”                “/dev/psaux”
    Option          “Protocol”              “PS/2”
    Option          “Emulate3Buttons”       “true”

    Then check that your Server Layout section looks like this:

    Section “ServerLayout”
    Identifier      “Default Layout”
    Screen          “Default Screen”
    InputDevice     “Generic Keyboard”
            InputDevice     “USB Mouse”
            InputDevice     “TouchPad Mouse” CorePointer

    Example configuration file for XFree4.1 is available here: XF86Config-4.

    – USB Bluetooth Dongle (CSR based)
    See the dedicated page at

  • Hard Disk
    Model: TOSHIBA MK2018GAP UDMA(100)
    You can save a lot of battery power by using noflushd ( Here is the package description:
    Noflushd is a daemon that spins down disks that have not been read from after a certain amount of time, and then prevents disk writes from
    spinning them back up. It’s targeted for laptops but can be used on any computer with IDE disks. The effect is that the hard disk actually spins
    down, saving you battery power, and shutting off the loudest component of most computers.

    noflushd is not useful if you are using a journaled filesystem!

    Debian Specific: people using Debian should install the following packages to get the best out of this hard disk: hdparm ide-smart noflushd powermgmt-base .
    I modified the default noflushd init.d script so that it doesn’t start if the laptop is on AC power. You can download it from . Simply overwrite the default /etc/init.d/noflushd with it and you are done.

    TBD: Security mode feature set hdparm -I /dev/hda

    The device name for he CD/DVD ROM is /dev/hdc.
    If you never ran a DVD Video Player on your notebook before, you have to set the DVD region code first. Follow there instructions:
    Model: QSI DVD/CDRW SBW-161 SX02 Removable CD-ROM
    to your lilo.conf either in the global section or in a specific kernel section.

    Then add the following lines to your /etc/modules.conf:
    options ide-cd ignore=hdc
    alias scd0 sr_mod
    pre-install sg     modprobe ide-scsi # load ide-scsi before sg
    pre-install sr_mod modprobe ide-scsi # load ide-scsi before sr_mod
    pre-install ide-scsi modprobe ide-cd # load ide-cd   before ide-scsi

    From the next reboot on, access to the CDRW/DVD is provided by the /dev/scd0 device and NOT by the /dev/hdc.
    In order to burn your CDs, you have to install cdrecord. If you don’t like using it from the console, you can install any GUI you may find: there will be no problems of compatibility. In fact, most of graphical programs for burning CDs are just Graphical User Interfaces for cdrecord, so programs like xcdroast, gcombust etc. should work on your laptop with no problems at all.

    Debian Specific: people using Debian should create a file called e.g. /etc/modutils/ideburner containing the above lines and after that run update-modules as root. Debian GNU/Linux doesn’t allow the /etc/modules.conf to be changed. Whenever you want to add something to it, you have to create a new file in /etc/modutils/ and then execute update-modules.
    Next thing to do is to install the package cdrecord. If you want to use a GUI for burning CDs, try one of the following packages: xcdroast, gcombust, cdrtoaster, gtoaster, cdbakeoven, eroaster.

    If everything is ok, the output of cdrecord -scanbus should be something like this:

    Cdrecord 1.11a39 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2002 J?rg Schilling
    Linux sg driver version: 3.1.24
    Using libscg version ‘schily-0.7’
    0,0,0     0) ‘QSI     ‘ ‘DVD/CDRW SBW-161’ ‘SX02’ Removable CD-ROM
    0,1,0     1) *
    0,2,0     2) *
    0,3,0     3) *
    0,4,0     4) *
    0,5,0     5) *
    0,6,0     6) *
    0,7,0     7) *

    Note: Antonio Casini (acasini at reports problem when blanking CD-RW. Using cdrdao instead of cdrecord seems to solve the problem
    Adrian Knoth says that you must use the -immed flag with cdrecord, in order to blank CD-RWs.

  • Keyboard HotKeys
    The Mail, Browser, P1 and P2 button are supported through the hotkeys program. You can get it from .
    In order to use the P1 and P2 buttons with kernel 2.6.x, add the following commands to your boot up scripts:

    setkeycodes e074 148

    setkeycodes e073 158

    You will need a suitable keycode configuration file. I wrote this one: aspire1300.def
    Put it in /usr/local/share/hotkeys or /usr/share/hotkeys depending on your installation, then open an xterm from inside Xwindows and run

    hotkeys -t aspire1300 -b

    Debian Specific: first
    apt-get install hotkeys
    then copy aspire1300.def to /usr/share/hotkeys
    Finally edit /etc/hotkeys.conf and change the following lines:
    Email=mozilla -mail
    In this example you associate the Email  button to mozilla mail and the Browser button to Opera file and then you won’t have to run it manually anymore.

  • PCMCIA WiFi Card
    Mathieu Peresse <peressem at> tested the Cisco Aironet & Avaya Wireless (Orinoco based) PCMCIA Wireless Cards on Acer Aspire 1300 with kernels 2.4.20 and 2.4.21. Here comes his instructions on how to set them up:

    • Disable the kernel PCMCIA support. In the config menu:

      General Setup -> PCMCIA/CardBus Support, uncheck the PCMCIA/CardBus Support option
      Network Device Support -> WirelessLAN(non-hamradio), check the WirelessLAN Support (to be able to use the wireless extensions, i.e. iwconfig…)

    • Install the pcmcia-cs package (ver 3.2.4) from
      This package come with some pcmcia tools and driver modules for  a lot of PCMCIA devices (not only WLAN devices)
    • Modify the /etc/pcmcia/config.opts file: here is an example config.opts
    • Make sure that the variable PCIC  is set to “i82365” in the /etc/init.d/pcmcia
    • Install the wireless tools:

      Debian specific: run
      # apt-get install wireless-tools

      The “iwconfig” tool is used to set the 802.11 parameters (ssid, channel, mode, bitrate…)

    • Bring the interface up:
      # ifconfig eth1 up
      # iwconfig eth1

Kernel 2.6 Hints

  Mathieu Peresse and Gregory foulademer Colpart) reported that kernel 2.6.x works perfectly on this laptop.

Here you can find a config file for that kernel: config-2.6.0

For 2.6 kernels you have to get module-init-tools, which handles modules. For other potential requirements see Documentation/Changes in the linux kernel source directory.

Debian specific:
# apt-get install module-init-tools powernowd
I also made available a precompiled 2.6.0 kernel-image for Debian sarge. It already contains the alps.patch which makes the scrolling wheel work.

Advantages of using kernel 2.6.x:

  • cpu frequency scaling works well. You have to get a /sys sysfs entry in your unix tree:

    # mount -t sysfs none /sys

    or add the following line in /etc/fstab:

    none           /sys            sysfs    defaults  0 0

    /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_setspeed is the file where you can set the speed of you’re processor.

    # echo frequency_in_hz > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_setspeed

    In order to automatically change the cpu frequency you have to install powernowd (nevermind the name, it works with any processor supported by cpufreq). cpufreqd or cpudyn won’t do.

  • Suspend to Disk works smoothly: it allows you to save the current RAM content to your swap partition, turn completely off your computer and then resume your session in a few seconds (ranging from 5 to 10 secs) without rebooting. The only problem for me is the system date not being updated when I resume. In order to suspend your laptop you have to:

    Add the option resume=/dev/hdaX to your lilo.conf (use the append= parameter) where hdaX is your swap partition. Update your boot sector by running “lilo -v” and then type:

    # echo 4 >/proc/acpi/sleep

    WARNING: if you suspend to disk and forget to resume your session at the following power on, you’ll be in trouble! You’ll have to reinitialize your swap partition and fsck all the other partitions! Be careful about it! You have been warned!

  • wheel (that’s to say the button in the middle, below the touchpad) finally works!
    scrolling on the touchpad works too!

    Here are the instructions:

    • First, download the synaptics driver and the alps.patch from
    • Apply the alps.patch to your kernel 2.6.0 source tree (the debian kernel image mentioned above already includes it):
      # cd /usr/src/linux-2.6.0
      # patch -p1 < /path/alps.patch
    • Recompile your kernel with CONFIG_INPUT_EVDEV=m and reboot
    • Compile the synaptics driver:
      # tar xvjf synaptics-x.x.x.tar.bz2
      # make
      # make install
    • Add the following section to your /etc/X11/XF86Config* file
      Section “InputDevice”
        Driver        “synaptics”
        Identifier    “Configured Mouse”
        Option        “Device”                “/dev/input/event0”
        Option        “Protocol”              “event”
        Option        “LeftEdge”              “60”
        Option        “RightEdge”             “830”
        Option        “TopEdge”               “70”
        Option        “BottomEdge”            “650”
        Option        “FingerLow”             “25”
        Option        “FingerHigh”            “30”
        Option        “MaxTapTime”            “180”
        Option        “MaxTapMove”            “110”
        Option        “EmulateMidButtonTime”  “75”
        Option        “VertScrollDelta”       “50”
        Option        “HorizScrollDelta”      “50”
        Option        “MinSpeed”              “0.5”
        Option        “MaxSpeed”              “0.6”
        Option        “AccelFactor”           “0.01”
        Option        “EdgeMotionSpeed”       “40”
        Option        “UpDownScrolling”       “1”
        Option        “TouchpadOff”           “0”

      Debian specific:
      people running sid/unstable (in a near future sarge users too) can install the driver with a simple:
      # apt-get install xfree86-driver-synaptic

      You’ll find the alps.patch in /usr/share/doc/xfree86-driver-synaptic/alps.patch.gz

    • Load the “evdev” module (modprobe evdev) and restart XFree. Now you should be able to scroll by passing your finger on the edge of your touchpad or by pressing the middle button (up&down). Horizontal scrolling should work too (just use the bottom edge)



Author:  Luca ‘NERvOus‘ Gibelli  (nervous at

Thanks to:
Michael (e9725694 at – started the documentation project
Luca Gambetta (ziabice at – gave me information for the CDRW/DVD drive and NetBSD
nizZy (dirtynizze at – tested OpenBSD on this laptop
Francesco Poli (frx at – step by step guide on dual booting Linux and WinXP
Der Ondre (ICQ) – tested the new via-rhine driver
Danalien (danalien at – info about kdm and cpufreq on kernel 2.5.62
Mathieu Peresse (peressem at – tested PCMCIA wifi card and Kernel 2.6
Luigi Belli (lbelli at cream dot unimi dot it) – patch for broken PST tables
Antonio Casini (acasini at – reported problem when blanking cdrw with cdrecord
Jonas Meier (jonas.meier at – suggests using cpudyn
Gregory Colpart (ICQ: foulademer) – suggestions on using kernel 2.6
Simon Rutishauser (simon.rutishauser at – synaptics updates
Adrian Knoth (adi at – blanking CD-RWs using cdrecord
Alessandro Cerè (alessandro.cere at – using hotkeys on kernel 2.6
Johannes Werner (johannes-dot-werner at physik.tu-darmstadt-dot-de) – using P1 and P2 buttons on kernel 2.6

Creative Commons License
This document is distributed under Creative Commons Licence.

First release: 2 November 2002
Last update: 21 June 2005


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