How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
7% (2)
Good
 
55% (16)
Fair
 
17% (5)
Poor
 
14% (4)
Unusable
 
7% (2)

Acer Aspire 4830TG

Author(s)

Mark Baas

Introduction

This laptop is a fine laptop for Linux, it needs some tweaks though. Optimus support by the Ironhide project is still unstable, however i'm still working on it.

The results are based on an installation of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric.

Specifications

NameAcer Aspire 4830TG
ProcessorIntel Core i5 2430M
Screen14“
RAM4GB
HDD640GB
Optical DriveDVD Multilayer
GraphicsNVIDIA GT 540M
NetworkWireless,Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYesMonitoring and clocking could be done by the i7z project
ScreenYesBacklight needs acpi_osi=Linux in boot parameters
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsPartialExperimental support for Optimus by Ironhide project
SoundPartialSound usually works, when it doesnt simply suspend&resume to get sound working
EthernetYes
WirelessYes
BluetoothYes
USBYes
Card ReaderTested SD-card, works fine
CameraYes

Notes

Notes on Optimus: Do not install any 3rd party drivers at startup. First enable xorg-edgers ppa and ironhide ppa (google it). Then follow the ironhide installation instructions.
I had the problem that ironhide's power.d script to disable nvidia on startup caused nvidia to not work anymore. So manually I disable the card with the ironhide-disablecard script every time.

Notes on battery life:
This is probably the most important part. You'd probably buy this laptop for it's battery and then finding out that linux sucks when it comes to power saving. Well don't worry, I got 5+ hours running linux, just as much as windows. Here is what you do:
Install cpufreqd and place the following cpufreqd.conf in /etc:
[General]
pidfile=/var/run/cpufreqd.pid
poll_interval=5
verbosity=5
[/General]

[Profile]
name=Normal
minfreq=0%
maxfreq=100%
policy=ondemand
[/Profile]

[Profile]
name=Powersave
minfreq=800MHz
maxfreq=1000MHz
policy=powersave
[/Profile]

[Profile]
name=Performance
minfreq=0%
maxfreq=100%
policy=performance
[/Profile]

[Rule]
name=AC
ac=on
profile=Normal
[/Rule]

[Rule]
name=Battery
ac=off
profile=Powersave
[/Rule]

[Rule]
name=Games
profile=Performance
programs=optirun,optirun32,optirun64
[/Rule]

This will put the cpu in powersave mode when being on battery.

Then add the following parameters to /etc/default/grub line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT: pcie_aspm=force acpi_osi=Linux i915.i915_enable_rc6=1

Ironhide installs a script to disable nvidia on power up. For me this messes up the nvidia driver, so every startup on battery i execute the ironhide-disablecard script to not let nvidia burn my battery.

Summary

I am very satisfied with this laptop, however I am still struggling with ironhide and playing games on my nvidia card. Anyhow, this laptop model is relatively new and it's future looks bright.

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