How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
20% (7)
Good
 
63% (22)
Fair
 
9% (3)
Poor
 
3% (1)
Unusable
 
6% (2)

Acer Aspire 5536 and 5536G

Introduction

Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit installed with no difficulties whatsoever, and pretty much everything “just worked”.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer Aspire 5536. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer Aspire 5536 page on LapWik.

Editing This Page

If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.

Specifications

Acer UK lists at least ten configurations for Aspire 5536. Some of them are called 5536G and others not. It is not clear what the logic is; although it seemed at first that the 5536G configurations use Radeon HD 4570, there's also one 5536G with Radeon HD 3200. The Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn configuration has “Aspire 5536” printed near the keyboard and listed in DMI information; the G suffix appears only in stickers.

Summary specifications of one configuration from the Acer web site:
AMD Athlon™ X2 Dual-Core Processor QL-64 (1MB L2 cache, 2.1GHz); 3GB (2/1) DDR2 667 SDRAM; 320GB hard drive; integrated Super-Multi drive; 5-in-1 card reader; Acer® CineCrystal 15.6“ WXGA (1366 x 768) TFT display; ATI Radeon™ HD 3200 graphics; 802.11b/g/Draft-N WLAN, gigabit LAN, V.92 modem, webcam
For full specifications see the Acer Aspire 5536 specifications page.

NameAcer Aspire 5536
ProcessorAMD Athlon™ 64 X2
Screen15.6” 1366 x 768 Widescreen
RAM2GB, 3GB, or 4GB. Upgradeable to 8GB.
HDD250GB, 320GB, or 500GB
Optical DriveDVD±RW
or Blueray
GraphicsATI Radeon™ HD 3200
or ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4570
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet
and either Acer InviLink™ Nplify™ 802.11b/g/Draft-N
or Acer InviLink™ 802.11b/g

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
Processorworks QL-64: 64-bit tested
QL-65 in Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: 64-bit tested. The powernow-k8 module can drop the clock rate from 2100 MHz to 1050 MHz (only these two speeds are available), saving about 4.5 W when mostly idle or 19 W with both cores busy. ACPI reports no support for C2 and C3 power-saving states but Linux does use the AMD-specific C1E state.
Screenworks Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: The brightest backlight level costs about 4.5 W more than the darkest one.
HDDworks Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: WD Scorpio Blue 320 GB (WDC WD3200BEVT-22ZCT0). When resuming from suspend-to-RAM, Linux 2.6.32 sometimes reports I/O errors1); rebooting is then the only option.
Optical Driveworks
Graphicsdepends ATI Radeon™ HD 3200: The default driver doesn't support desktop effects.
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4570 in Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: Accelerated 3D requires binary-only firmware (RV710_cp.bin and RV710_pfp.bin), Linux 2.6.32, and Mesa 7.6; and some problems remain. 2D graphics work even without the firmware but scrolling is then particularly slow. Only 256 MiB of the 512 MiB graphics RAM is accessible over PCI and current free drivers cannot use the rest. Option “DynamicClocks” “On” saves perhaps 2 watts in X11. The radeon driver of Debian's linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64_2.6.32-15 supports kernel modesetting on this chip and provides a framebuffer; the radeonfb driver doesn't. As of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) beta 1, desktop effects seem to be working.
Soundworks only basic functionality tested so far
Ethernetworks Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: PCI ID 14E4:1698 (Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5784M Gigabit Ethernet PCIe), subsystem 1025:0207, Linux driver tg3. Can boot with PXE.
Wirelessworks 802.11b/g: no comment
802.11b/g/Draft-N in Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: PCI ID 168c:002a (Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)), subsystem 105b:e006, driver ath9k added in Linux 2.6.27
BluetoothN/A Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: This configuration doesn't have Bluetooth, even though it has a dedicated key for that.
ModemNot Tested
USBworks
Card Readerworks Only MMC (SD) and XD tested so far
ExpressCard SlotN/A Apparently not included in any configuration
Fingerprint ReaderN/A May be included in some configurations
Webcamworks Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: USB ID 04f2:b044 (Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd. CNF7017), Linux driver uvcvideo
Touchpadworks Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn: “Synaptics Touchpad, model: 1, fw: 7.2, id: 0x1c0b1, caps: 0xd04731/0xa44000”, i.e. has two buttons and reports the amount of contact and the finger width but not separately the number of fingers. The Linux psmouse driver supports all of this; it is not clear whether X does too. Linux 2.6.31 fixes the touchpad-disable button not reenabling the touchpad when pressed again, but GNOME reintroduces the problem.

Notes

I picked this up on sale for $400, definitely a steal at this price. Acer did a good job of choosing components that are well supported in a modern Linux distribution (I think they actually sold a variant of this model with Linux… in India).

Summary

This would be a good first laptop for someone who wants to try Linux but doesn't want to have to become a guru in order to get it to work.

Unfortunately, the Aspire 5536G-654G32Mn model has pretty short battery life, at least in Linux: it constantly pulls 28-30 watts when idle, the fan stays on, and the battery runs out in about 1 h 50 min. Closing the lid and running powertop over the network shows 22.5 watts; this is obviously not a solution, but it at least gives a hint of where the power may be going.

1)
[31153.992114] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Unhandled error code
[31153.992119] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[31153.992123] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 1c 9d 15 4a 00 00 08 00
[31153.992130] end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 480056650
[31154.166787] end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 429836642
[31154.166804] Read-error on swap-device (253:1:4288)

Discussion

Matthew, 2013/07/05 04:59

Installed numerous linux (Fedora, Mint, Voyager, etc) and worked well.

Salafrance, 2013/04/23 05:28

I'm running Arch Linux with a 3.8 kernel and a 4.9 KDE desktop. Everything worked on install, although the default ATI Radeon driver was used, rather than AMD's fglrx driver. In order to get the latter working, I had to switch to an earlier version of Xorg (v12), along with the relevant utils. I then had to set up the kernel recompilation hook for the fglrx driver. It currently works nicely.

There's a design fault on at least some version of this laptop, by the way - there's an unopened but necessary cooling vent on the bottom of the case, directly underneath the centrifugal processor/chipset fan. My brother did a neat job of drilling this out, and it handles high loads much more gracefully now.

Jasper, 2009/12/29 15:20

I have a ACER aspire 7535G laptop with a HD3200 and HD4570 graphics card.
Xorg 7.6 glibc 2.1 and propriety drivers ATI Catalyst 9.12 and ubuntu 9.10.

Everything works fine except:
- wireless got diconnected and after that doesn't connect anymore, fixed by using backports of wireless card for 9.4
- Catalyst uses HD3200 and no other card identified. If in xorg.conf i put the correct PCI port for the HD4570 then the display stays black. No visual with the HD4570 even though no errors are reported??? And even GDM starts and waits for a login, there is just no way of a visual.

Please, I am tottally frustrated with not being able to use the HD4570 under linux.
Anybody any ideas? How did it get to work on the Acer reported above and can somebody give me the xorg.conf and how to disactivate the HD3200 and activate the HD4570.

Thank you for any help.

Kalle Olavi Niemitalo, 2010/01/06 20:30

I think it would be better to ask about Acer Aspire 7535 series laptops at some page dedicated to those, rather than at this one which is about Aspire 5536.

Anyway, the Acer UK website shows Aspire 7535 has Radeon HD 4570 or Radeon HD 3200. What makes you think your computer has both? What does lspci show?

Jasper, 2010/01/07 07:31

Maybe you are right that it is better but I thought maybe somebody here can help because the both cards were listed. For the Laptop, it is a 7535G-644G32MN Acer laptop, with 1 HD3200 for running on battery(Power Express Ati feature onder Vista) and one HD4570 for running when connected to power.

lspci shows: PCI BUS 1.5.3 ATI Technologies HD3200 en PCI BUS 2.0.0 ATI Technologies HD4570(if i specify this PCI bus in xorg.conf the display stays black not even backlight switches on) en PCI BUS 2.0.1 ATI Technologies sound layer HD4000.

Under Winblows I can choose with Power Express ATI which hardware I want to use(HD3200 or HD4570 if i want to play games obviously).

I have turned to ATI and AMD and Acer on how to solve this problem and more people have had problems with this kind of machines with two ATI's and Linux.
ATI said just try the newest drivers but I did and it looks as if the graphicscard is not switch on when booting in Linux. If you want more info lixe my xorg.conf my dmesg and my lspci output just ask.

I would really like to use my HD4570 also under linux ubuntu 9.10 and Catalyst 9.12

Cesar Queti, 2009/12/16 02:56

I've the Acer Aspire 5536-5236 (with spanish keyboard and keys for ¿? ñ, accents á, ç º ª etc). I've tested Ubuntu 9.04 works fine the update for 9.10 its very unstable… wifi suddenly dies, cpu & screen has slow response.
Gentoo works great, but as same as in ubuntu, when I press the disable trackpad button, the trackpad doesn't works anymore till next reboot…

Kalle Olavi Niemitalo, 2009/12/02 00:46

This is a continuation of my previous comment. After some more investigation, I've found that “BIOS and Kernel Developer's Guide (BKDG) For AMD Family 11h Processors” Rev 3.00 (July 07, 2008) section 2.4.3.1 says the BIOS must not declare the availability of C2 and C3 states in ACPI; the BIOS used by Acer follows this advice. Instead, the AMD-specific C1E state should be used, and indeed I see “using C1E aware idle routine” in dmesg.

According to gnome-power-manager, the machine drains about 32 W from the battery when mostly idle; about 53 W when there's one “while :; do :; done” running; and about 67 W when there are two of those running. For each core, the ACPI SSDT reports 15.975 W at 2100 MHz and 5.7 W at 1050 MHz. So, there clearly is some CPU power management going on, but still I get only perhaps 70 minutes of battery life. I suppose I should next try to find power users other than the CPU but I don't really know how. There's also the possibility that Linux miscomputes the remaining energy and shuts down too early.

Kalle Olavi Niemitalo, 2009/11/22 08:30

I installed Debian 5.0.3 in an Acer Aspire 5536G with AMD Athlon 64 X2 QL 65, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570, IEEE 802.11 draft-n, 320 GB HDD, and 4 GB RAM. That OS was clearly too old to properly support this hardware so I then upgraded some packages as described below.

Wired network - worked right away with Linux 2.6.26 and PXE loaded the Debian installer nicely over the network once I got the right kind of TFTP server. So I did not need any boot disc.

Wireless network - did not work with Linux 2.6.26, but does work with the ath9k driver in Linux 2.6.30. However, the wireless network doesn't seem to recover after resuming from sleep (Fn+F4). Unloading and reloading the ath9k module did not help, nor did toggling the wireless kill button. This might be a GNOME problem though as I did not configure wpa_supplicant directly.

Camera - works with the USB video class driver (uvcvideo) in Linux.

Sound - got sound to the speakers all right. Haven't tried the microphone.

Graphics - got the wrong resolution initially, but then I upgraded to xserver-xorg 1:7.4+4 and xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:6.12.3-1 (building from source to avoid upgrading libc6) and the resolution was OK. Screen updates were rather slow though, especially scrolling. This was fixed by installing the ATI firmware which is unfortunately binary only but at least freely distributable. Accelerated 3D graphics are still not working; apparently, Mesa 7.6 supports the R710 chip but Debian does not enable that in the binaries. I tried compiling my own (which required upgrading linux-libc-dev to 2.6.31) but the resulting /usr/lib/dri/r600_dri.so doesn't work: glxgears complains “drmRadeonCmdBuffer: -22. Kernel failed to parse or rejected command stream. See dmesg for more info.” and there is nothing new in dmesg.

Touch pad - works, but its location means the cursor swings around all the time when I type. So I can't use focus-follows-mouse. There is a button to disable and reenable the touch pad; originally, the pad got stuck in the disabled state if I pressed that, but now that I upgraded Linux to 2.6.31, it seems to work all right.

Power management - fail. Once the fan is on, it stays on, even with light use (I had 15 min loadavg 0.00 but the computer took about 30 W). The temperatures are 50 deg C in TZS0 and 43 deg C in TZS1, with 23 deg C in the room. /proc/acpi/processor/CPU{0,1}/info files show “power management: no”, and indeed the P_LVL2_LAT and P_LVL3_LAT fields of the ACPI FADT show C2 and C3 are not supported, nor does the DSDT define a _CST control method in the processor objects. The SSDT defines _PCT, _PSS, and _PSD that show how to drop the clock rate from 2100 MHz to 1050 MHz, and the powernow-k8 driver does just that, but it doesn't help much. The acer_wmi module loads automatically but I don't know if there are any power-management features in that.

I guess I'll next try Debian unstable, or perhaps Ubuntu or Gentoo… and leave half the hard disk unpartitioned so I can test some alternatives while keeping the OS that worked best that far.

Fox3, 2009/10/17 19:27

Installed Fedora 11 and am having a hell of a time getting sound to work, haven't given up yet but…

Yes, sound is fine under wincrap.

Other than that it seems to be fine with F11 Gnome (not Kde4 which makes vista look good :).

Del, 2009/09/21 13:01

installed Ubuntu 9.04 minimal, ati drivers. wifi is a bit unstable for me too. some sites load with no problems, others refuse to load at all. installed compiz but cairo-dock is unstable with open-GL.
have not tested audio.
i suppose i'm missing a lot of the functionality having installed from a minimal cd, not the full blown version of ubuntu.

Tom, 2009/09/20 04:44

I had one of these laptops, I had trouble with the Sound not working, not able to record. Video Issues were there as well, could not have compiz working while video was playing. Big errors, not a fan of this laptop, i had the radeon HD 4570 model.

DANIEL, 2009/09/14 13:17

I HAVE INSTALLED UBUNTU 9.04. I HAD TO INSTALL OFFICIAL DRIVERS FOR THE GRAPHIC CARD AND ALL WORKS FINE. THE ONLY THING Y THINK HAVE SOME PROBLEMS IS WIFI. ITS A LITTLE UNSTLABLE WHEN I TRANSFER A HUGE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION. MAYBE ITS A CONFIGURATION PROBLEM. THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR.

Enter your comment. Wiki syntax is allowed:
If you can't read the letters on the image, download this .wav file to get them read to you.
 
acer_aspire_5536.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:20 (external edit)
Contact Us Sister Sites Privacy Policy Terms of Use
Copyright © 2006-2013 Linlap.com and other authors