How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
54% (7)
23% (3)
0% (0)
15% (2)
8% (1)

Acer Aspire 5738, 4736


Ashok Gautham (


Acer Aspire 5738 and its smaller sister Acer Aspire 4736 have the same configuration but for the monitor size and 5738 has a separate numpad. I use a lot of screenspace and so I chose the larger one. But whatever I type here is applicable to both the models. ( I can confirm this because a friend of mine has a 4736). Acer has revamped its keyboard in these models and they are really a pleasure to type in. They are really flat and are very delicate and sensitive. I feel like I could be typing for hours without any stress. The touchpad at times(as usual) gets in between you and your typing. You can lock it using the 1-touch touchpad lock. However, to unlock it, you have to remove and add the kernel module after unlocking through the button. I dont find this a huge problem.
# modprobe -r psmouse && modprobe psmouse

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer Aspire 5738. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer Aspire 5738 page on LapWik.


For full specifications see the Acer Aspire 5738 specifications page.

NameAcer Aspire 5738 and Aspire 4736
ProcessorCore2Duo T6400, Centrino 1 technology(2.0 GHz, 800MHz FSB)
Screen15.6, 1366×768, 16:9 HD(5738); 14.1(5746)
Optical DriveDVD-RW/Multirecorder
GraphicsIntel GMA 4500MHD
NetworkEthernet, Bluetooth, WLan 802.11DraftN

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorYesI used a 64bit and a 32 bit livecd
ScreenYesBrightness keys works fine under ubuntu 9.10
Optical DriveYesI am yet to test writing capabilities, but it will work
GraphicsYesDebian/Ubuntu/Mandriva get it out of the box while we have to add xdriver=vesa for Fedora's DVD
SoundYesYes. Note: Headset plugin to the black hole
EthernetYesNot working with ubuntu 9.04[fine after update], but ok with 9.10
56K ModemNot TestedI dont care anyway
USBYesEven Supports booting from usb cdroms and usb sticks
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotNone
CameraYesWorks out of the box on Cheese. But is not detected in mandriva
VGA Output Yes Tested in Ubuntu 9.10
HDMI Output Not Tested


Excellent buy. It is dirt cheap. It is energy star compliant too :D


I got each part working on a different distro. So it is surely bound to work with some configuration.`


Eric, 2010/07/17 18:23


I have an Aspire One (NAV50) running Ubuntu 10.04 that I simply love, but it has one major problem: The SD Card slot refuses to work.

I've run the install several times, both with and without a SD card in the slot. It doesn't appear. LSUSB reports this:
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c52f Logitech, Inc.
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0cf2:6250 ENE Technology, Inc.
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 04f2:b19d Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

…and LSPCI reports this:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation N10 Family DMI Bridge
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH7 Family USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation NM10 Family LPC Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation N10/ICH7 Family SATA AHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation N10/ICH 7 Family SMBus Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Atheros AR8132 / L1c Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (rev c0)
02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)

I've tried everthing short of opening the netbook up and verifying a connector is there. Anyone here have ANY suggestions?

ashwani verma, 2010/06/30 20:45


i hav acer aspire 5738.

can i attach any graphics card externally or internally to it?

plzz help….

anith, 2010/07/01 13:33

I believe you can affix an internal graphics card. i have another Q. mine has 3gb memory and 64 mb of dedicated video RAM. is there anyway i can increase the videoRAM by sharing memory? it (the option)seems disabled in my BIOS settings..some one plz help

ashwani verma, 2010/07/05 02:44

it has intel GMA 4500 can it be replaced?!!!!

n 1 more thing this forum tells acer aspire 5738 doesnt has express card slot….
but i found some saying tht it has….

plzz clear this doubt!!

thank you :)

Anith, 2010/07/05 11:49

Hi plz go into the acer website first. go to and go to products and service. i found a warning for your laptop there. clcik on the link and enter your serial #. i believe some of the laptops have defective battery or chargers etc. plz check that out first. they might give you a free replacement.

anith, 2010/07/05 12:11

I am visitng the authorised service center soon and hope to get an answer. had called up the toll free # and was asked to spk to service ppl.
in the mean time if u get an answer please post it here.
my model is 4736. only difference is the screen size i believe

thanks :)

ricardo bruno, 2010/04/29 04:46

hi, im using this laptop with ubuntu 9.10, my brightness keys are ok, but my bluetootch botton and my wireless botton not, any trick ?

olibou, 2010/04/03 04:26

I'm under 9.10 (ubuntu). Everything seems to work fine, but the keyboard numpad. Does somebody have the same problème as me ?

Manish Tyagi, 2010/03/28 12:50

Dear sir/mam i want to use microphone of my laptop but it is mute condition. kindly tell me that from where can i unmute this. my laptop model is Acer aspire 5738.

Anith, 2010/04/29 12:04

@ manish - i tried everything possible to get my mic work in ubuntu9.10 i have given up and i switched to windows 7. this is amazing and very fast

vigneshwaran, 2010/03/28 06:46

hi. I bought ACER 5378 laptop. I want to install RHEL 5. while installing it will ask driver for local CD ROM. guide to install it

Bill Giannikos, 2010/04/06 06:30

This usually happens when the distributions is too old to detect the optical drive properly. You'll have to use something newer than RHEL 5.

Van315, 2010/02/11 19:57

hey im about to buy an aspire 5738-6950 i need to install debian, but i don't know if there are any issues with this distro. can someone tell me please? much apreciated. :)

sandeep, 2010/02/10 22:03

how i do change my ip addres

kirubaharan, 2010/02/06 04:14

its super

munavvar, 2010/01/25 14:06

while installing rhel 4 on aspire4736,my double layer combo drive is not taking the rhel 4 OS. Is it possible to install the above OS

anith, 2009/12/29 07:35


i have installed ubuntu 9.10 on my aspire 4736 along with win xp pro. the machine is excellent on xp but 'sgot some serious issues with linux.
internel mic never works.. tried everything
trying to use empathy but audio video chat does not work on it (my webcam works fine on cheese)
screen brightness key (fn+arrow) works but cannot change the actual brightness. its at full bright!
can some one help please? im trying to get rid of windows!

Ricardo Schmidt, 2009/12/19 15:20

In Ubuntu Karmic Koala (9.10) x64 everything works almost perfect.

To make everything perfect just edit the file /etc/default/grub and change the following line from



GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=“quiet splash nomodeset i8042.nomux acpi_backlight=vendor”

and perform a “update-grub” command. resetart the machine and everything will work, like the touchpad button and the brightness keys.

If you cannot start the system becouse notting shows up in the screen, hold shift in boot, and edit the boot command, and add to the end of “linux” command, where ends with “quiet splash”, and add “nomodeset i8042.nomux acpi_backlight=vendor”. This setting is volatile, but then you can perform what I told above.


nomodeset makes the video driver works

i8042.nomux fix the touchpad button

apci_backlight=vendor fixes the brightness control

for more assistence lookup in this wiki:

john, 2009/11/24 17:06

i have a laptop i install the realtek driver but no sound in my acer 4736..what should i do to solve this problem?? please help me..tnx

siva karthik, 2009/11/17 05:25

i ve installed open suse 11.1 on my lappy
acer aspire 5738
the problem is the screen goes blank in actual high res mode
but runs proplerly in safe mode
please help me wid this

vindhyachal kumar, 2009/10/17 17:22


   i have acer aspire laptop and processor vista and ubuntu linux both,i have not yet linux,please you help me........for lineu driver........where will i yet linux driver?
Eehyan, 2009/10/12 14:37

hi.. im planning to buy acer aspire 4736-732g32mn, but i have some questions..

1. does this have an express card slot?
2. can i switch the os to windows xp/vista/winows 7?
3. will all the features work well if i use xp as os?
4. are there other complaints about this unit?

BOYPT, 2009/10/13 13:46 express card slot, refer to
2.'course you can
3.only if you install all the drivers correctly, download them from
4.wifi signal is a little lower, comparing to some other notebooks.

Eehyan, 2009/10/14 14:19

thanks.. too bad there's no express card slot, i was planning to try it with an external video card.

nin, 2009/10/04 11:51

don't get a high resolution in Ubuntu, help!

BOYPT, 2009/10/13 13:43

you need to install nvidia restricted drivers. ubuntu should have reminded you to.

Ricardo Schmidt, 2009/12/19 15:26

Try adding “nomodeset” to to linux boot line. Edit it at /etc/default/grub to : GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=“quiet splash nomodeset”, if still not works, change to:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=“quiet splash nomodeset –xdriver=intel”

Here I explain more detailed:

BOYPT, 2009/09/27 04:44

I'm using 4736ZG, still have little problem under Ubuntu 9.04, the Live CD couldn't make the Ethernet work, but solved after a kernel update to 2.6.28-15-generic; the headphone problem, solved by setting Channel Mode to 4 or 6ch, then unmute the Surround, and headphone works, and the the outer speaker can be controled by the Front volum.

Aslam, 2010/02/16 04:21

Hi Anith try the beow mentioned steps from terminal

Internal microphone

With a 9.10 fresh install the internal mic is not working out of the box, despite any attempts with alsamixer. External-jack mic works perfectly.

To get the microphone working with Sound Recorder:

  • apt-get install linux-backports-modules-alsa-karmic-generic
  • reboot
gleb_vga, 2009/09/18 19:04

Found solutions for brightness control and absence of sound in headphones. Tested on Ubuntu 9.04, but should work on other distributions too.
Brightness: you have to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst Find the Linux loading section and then find the line starting with 'kernel' there. Add acpi_backlight=vendor to the end of this line and save the file. After reboot brightness controls should work.

Headphones: That's rather simple. You just have to configure your volume control app to show 'Surround' channel. Actually, it is your headphone! So unmute it and have fun. By the way, I find it rather convinient to be able to control built-in speakers and headphones separately. Nice side-effect :-)

jimmy, 2009/09/11 04:08

like i've said before…I too am not able to install RHEL 5 in my laptop…but I've installed CentOS…and i got the ethernet controller working too……Now..its working fine and network connectivity is also fine,…though I havent been able to get the sound working……(dont really need it)…..i think its fine to simulate a server in laptop….
mayve you can try CentOS too…

rajan, 2009/09/10 14:15

I am trying to install redhat linux enterprise 5.0 edition on the acer 5738 on the dual boot but it did not install on it on the graphical mode. Anyone can help me to install the redhatlinux onit

Jimmy, 2009/08/29 13:34

I tried installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 in my laptop but it kept asking for sata drivers(ie.didnt detect my hard disk)..frustrated I tried PC-BSD, that too didnt work. Installing Ubuntu 9.04 was a success but other LInux and Unix werent too responsive. The graphical user interface in RHEL didnt turn up during installation.
Presently I have a dual boot system, XP and CentOS 5.1. CentOS 5.1 works fine with this laptop. Since CentOS is a clone of RedHat, currently I am happy exploring CentOS. But I think it has some network problem. I am in quest to search the network driver at the moment.
If any one finds one please let us know……

budi, 2009/08/13 19:19

I've try Ubunut jaunty, Open SUSe 11.1, and Fedora 8 in Acer 4736. All of them success in installation. BUt only one problem : ethernet card (lan card) for networking didn't detected well :(
It's cause I can't connect to network. BUt when change to Windows XP, it run well in networking. BUt I want to use Linux only.

I've searching driver for its LAN card but didn't find :(
Also use madwifi and another applications, but it didn;t run well.

Anybody have solution for this?
I want to know what distro that run well (in everything : sound, networking/lan card, monitor, etc) in Acer 4736?


jimmy rai, 2009/08/29 13:36

Well…I guess presently the best distro for this Laptop at the moment is Ubuntu 9.04. The sound,networkin,monitor all works well in Ubuntu.Maybe this will help u.

W.H. Kalpa Pathum, 2009/12/03 07:54

I also use Acer 4736z laptop with Fedora 11. Though there are some issues with the ethernet and head set jacks they can be solved. Still I couldn't get my mic (built in and in my head set) work. May be there are something wrong with my configurations. If you want more info try the link below

Ricardo Schmidt, 2009/08/05 06:52


In UBUNTU there are some bugs like the touchpad locker button just switches off the touchpad, but cannot reenable it. The Fn + ← and Fn + → of brightness adjust are recognized by Ubuntu, but the brightness in the monitor are not changed.

In Fedora 11 x64 everything works well, except the wide-screen configuration, need to be manually configured in xorg.conf. Aslo as the keyboard is USA, for brazilians like me, fedora is not compactible, as us_intl layout dosent recognizes the 'ç' (c + ´) instead gives us a 'c' with a ´ in the top, ether if the OS is configured in Brazilian language. This bugs occurs in Fedora 10 and 11, and was why I changed from Fedora to Ubuntu.
Obviously the 'ç' is a very important character in brazilian language, and I cannot work without it, sorry fedora guys, but you forgot something very important.

Ricardo Schmidt, 2009/08/09 02:05

In Fedora 11 x64:
To configue the video driver correctly just change in /etc/X11/xorg.conf from Driver “vesa” to Driver “intel”

The Desktop Effects bugged since the last compiz update and I just got sad with it.
The enable and disable touchpad is just disabling the touchpad, and its really annoying bug, that occours in most distros.
The keyboard layout is US International with Portuguese Brasilian language configured, and I just cannot configure the 'ç' that comes out as 'ć', and I just can't use it, very annoying.

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acer_aspire_5738.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:20 (external edit)
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