How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
9% (2)
Good
 
52% (12)
Fair
 
17% (4)
Poor
 
17% (4)
Unusable
 
4% (1)

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.


Discussion

sinaen, 2013/05/01 23:53

I updated to ubuntu linux 13.04, and it completely buggs out my computer.

It does log me out at different instances, ex when i try to start programs, or click mouse on icons, mount harddrives.
I think its the x-server who breaks down.

The Sound is not working either, the HDMI-out, is not in the sound-out.

Can this be a kernel fault.
I wish to solve these kind of faults.

And i still havent gotten the NVIDIA-driver to work. so i run ubuntu xfce instead of the standard GNOME instance.

Is there some other linux distribution who works flawless with Acer Aspire TimelineX 4830TG?

Arentschu, 2013/05/26 07:30

As you can see below, I have commented on using Fedora. In my case FC17.
Kernel-3.8.8-100.fc17.x86_64.
As said, I have disabled the Nvidia card but Nvidia has a new driver with some Optimus support. Read about it here: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item
It's early days yet, so I'll just be using the Nouveau driver for now.
I suggest you do the same!
May I suggest installing FC17 or 18?
Cardreader, mic and wifi work out of the box now.
I have commented on using HDMI and other things.

sinaen, 2013/02/06 15:50

After a year or so of abscense to ubuntu i decided i wanted to dump Windows 8 to Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit for apparent reasons

The installation went smooth as silk,
And happy unknowing that the problems was just beginning,

The first thing to do is to find appropriate drivers and programs
so i installed the package nvidia-*
After upgrade and reboot, first time, the window-panels are missing in compiz/unity.[B]
I traced the problem to the graphics driver, it wont run nvidias, and it wont run opengl[/B]

Several solutions were found and tryed.
None of them worked, I acctually reconsiderd installing windows 7 again, but my fingers are more inclined for the terminal and console.
The current solution is to run xubuntu desktop where i get a working desktop environment, where i get in touch with my programs.

The sollutions i found was to purge compiz, uninstall nvidia reinstall kernel modules etc etc… as i dont want to repeat myself you know the result.
Install NVIDIA drivers from their homepage. purge reinstall install lib32
as soon as i run nvidida-xconfig, the gdm displays a 640×480 display,

One package i couldt find nvidia-purge. broken
And i want my graphics driver to be correct so i can use HDMI and graphics acceleration.

virtualenix, 2013/02/11 16:13

Hi Sinaen,
do you know how to fix the problem of the Video Card in Ubuntu 13.04?
I've tried to find something in Internet but nothing.

I've installed Win(Zozz)8 but…after une week I remove it ….for some reasons.

Thx a lot in advance

sinaen, 2013/02/15 15:51

Do you mean 12.04 or 12.10 ubuntu 13 isnt released yet (what i know of)
I dont know any solutions yet, i reinstalled from alternate cd due to have encryption on the entire disk.
have'nt rebooted yet ^^ but the first prompt was to enable NVIDIA drivers, the ubuntu/linux supported not nvididas own.

Arentschu, 2013/02/17 09:33

Hello,
After updating a while ago fn+backlight stop working.
Add “pcie_aspm=force acpi_osi=Linux i915.i915_enable_rc6=1” to /etc/default/grub line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT: pcie_aspm=force acpi_osi=Linux i915.i915_enable_rc6=1
AND to: /boot/grub2/grub.cfg (post below shows you how)
Now the only thing is; the slider doesn't show anymore while the sound slider does, but at least it works.
Then, HDMI output:
Works out of the box using the Nouveau drivers but the sound must be set to HDM digital output instead of intern analog.
When the external monitor doesn't show up the properly, select setting → screen → detect and set accordingly to the make and resolution of the external screen.

Tomas, 2012/03/23 15:08

Hello Guys, unfortunatelly sound is not working on Ubuntu 11.10 with this laptop. How did you made it work?

virtualenix, 2012/02/05 15:34

Dear Mark,
I've follow your istructions and I have installed cpufreqd, I've modified the file with your parameters…ok, it's gone!
Second I've modified the grub file and I've place your parameters, it's gone!
Now, please I need to know the way to fix the problem of the card, I need to know the way to launch the script for disable the card, please if you have time let me know the procedure to create the script (step by step…I'm a donkey, sorry!!)
Thx a lot in advance.
Best regards

virtualenix, 2012/02/01 23:33

Hi,
I'm beginner to use Linux but I like, now I have the 4830TG and I have installed Kubuntu 11.10. The sound work good, but the same bug is the Brightnes adjust win Fn + arrow < or >, now any one please let me know the command I have to use to modified the grub file?
I've tryed to install cpufreqd but nothing, I don't know the good way to install this.
I any one help me I give you thx a lot in advnce.
Best regards everybody (sorry for my Italian english!!).

Arentschu, 2012/04/15 19:05

For starters you might try to enable the Intel GPU in the bios. Disable the nvida GPU, or rather siwtch it of.
For everyday use the Intel works like a charm and Optimus will not work anyway, exept when trying VGAswitcheroo.
The command for cpufreqd? Try to disable it in ¨services¨.

Michalis, 2012/01/10 10:11

Dear Mark

Thank you very much for this, it was the only related posting I could find.
I bought the Acer yesterday and I installed Linux Mint. Everything worked fine (including buttons, wireless, etc), apart from the battery. I tried also Jupiter, following suggestions by other forums, but battery was out in 2.5 hours.
I will try to follow your instructions, but since I am not a geek I would like to ask you if you had any further progress with this.

Arentschu, 2011/12/26 09:18

fn+backlight works too!
Go to terminal, log in: su -l
gedit /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
(Ignore the line do not edit this file)
Find the proper bootline which boots your kernel and add
'acpi_backlight=vendor' parameter in kernel options.

It looks like this, I made my entry bold for easy recognition, just add it after the keyboard entry:

menuentry 'Fedora (3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64)' –class fedora –class gnu-linux
–class gnu –class os {
load_video
set gfxpayload=keep
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
search –no-floppy –fs-uuid –set=root 8cb738a0-95f4-4fe7-9c42-7d95aa3cc8da
echo 'Loading Fedora (3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64)'
linux /vmlinuz-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64
root=UUID=76b94cf5-3dad-4b63-899e-2c99849fdde3 ro LANG=ru_RU.UTF-8 rd.md=0
rd.lvm=0 rd.dm=0 quiet rhgb rd.luks=0 KEYTABLE=us acpi_backlight=vendor
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk …'
initrd /initramfs-3.1.1-2.fc16.x86_64.img
}

Then reboot, and hey presto! Fn+backlight works!

Arentschu, 2011/12/20 19:16

External cardreader Acer 3830TG won't work out of the box.
If it is a realtek (type lsmod or lspci to find out), install the driver:
http://www.realtek.com/Downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=15&PFid=25&Level=4&Conn=3&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false.
log in as root.
Go to the folder where the downloaded file is.
mkdir /opt/realtek-sd
copy the file to /opt/realtek-sd
cd /opt/realtek-sd
make
make install
depmod
reboot
and now it should work!

Battery:
Download and install jupiter (use yum) and config to your liking, the battery will last up to 8 hours!
Powertop (yum) will give good insight in powerconsumption and has some good tweaks.

Arentschu, 2011/12/14 21:07

Apart from the Powersavebutton, external cardreader, mic and brightness setting using Fn-arrow, it all works. (Haven't given these things much thought yet)
First off all, I enabled switching between Intel HD and Nvidia graphics using this:
http://asusm51ta-with-linux.blogspot.com/
Works!
I will try your tips on batt saving, beacuse we have a battery-guzzler…

ce-gars, 2011/12/31 03:26

@Arentschu: You have confirmed that method works for this laptop? I read the comments for the top post, and it seems everyone with Nvidia cards and/or with an Ubuntu install newer than 10.10 had issues.

Arentschu, 2012/01/18 20:05

Sorry for the late answer.
I can confirm that above mentioned methods work for this laptop. I use fedora 16. Like to add that I have disabled the nvidia (bios) because I need the battery more than the graphics!
The only thing really, is getting the mic to work.

ce-gars, 2012/01/03 02:07

Well, I'm assuming that you use Fedora rather than Ubuntu given some of your later posts. I'm in the process of switching out of Ubuntu as I type this, so hopefully I can use your solution with the same results, and use Bumblebee in my Archy partition successfully. I'm getting rather sick of Debian packages…

Keg, 2011/11/17 19:24

Im running the acer aspire timelineX 3830TG and i was wondering if i could use the same fixes
(there is currently no page for my laptop model)

MrClean, 2011/10/27 22:37

I'm a beginner wanting to install Linux on the 4830TG. Where did you download the drivers to install that distribution of Linux?

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acer_aspire_4830tg_timelinex.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/09 05:34 by billg · Currently locked by: 207.46.13.45
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