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Acer Aspire One 522

Introduction

First, if you are here looking for a solution to the “Linux hangs on boot” problem with this netbook, read the details below.

There have been quite a few different models and configurations of this netbook, so make sure that you know exactly which one you are getting. The originals had AMD E-50 cpu and Radeon 6250 gpu. The newer models have an E-60 cpu and 6290 gpu. But that is only one difference. Most models have 1280×720 resolution, but some have 1024×600. Some have Broadcom WiFi adapters, while others have Atheros and still others have Acer Invilink. Be careful, pay attention, and make sure you know what you are getting (or what you have).

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer Aspire One 522. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer Aspire One 522 page on LapWik.

Specifications

For full specifications see the Acer Aspire One 522 specifications page.

NameAcer Aspire One 522
ProcessorAMD C-50 OR C-60 1GHz
Screen10.1“ 1280×720 (WXGA) OR 1024×600 (WSVGA)
RAMUp to 2GB
HDDup to 250GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsATI Radeon™ HD 6250 OR 6290
Network10/100 Ethernet
Acer InviLink™ Nplify™ 802.11b/g/n
Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
GraphicsYesFOSS Radeon driver ok, see below for fglrx
SoundYes
EthernetYes
WirelessYes
BluetoothN/A
ModemN/A
USBYes
Card ReaderYesSD/xD/MMC/MS/MS Pro
WebcamYes

Notes

Some of the best points: external VGA display goes up to 1920×1200 resolution, HDMI display goes up to 1920×1080. Media card slot that takes SD and Memory Stick is unusual in this class. Fn-control keys work for sound up/down/mute, brightness up/down/blank, WiFi on/off, touchpad on/off.

When running openSuSE, wireless networking often doesn't connect automatically on boot (and doesn't even show the default network SSID in the network list). When this happens, go into the Network Manager icon on the panel, disable Wireless Networking, and then enable it again.

The FOSS ATI Radeon driver works well in most distributions (i.e. Fedora, openSuSE, Ubuntu and derivatives), but with a few distributions (i.e. Debian Stable and SimplyMEPIS) the 62xx graphic chip is not supported, so it comes up using the VESA driver at 800×600 resolution. Oddly, at this time the fglrx package included in the first group of distributions above does not recognize the 62xx chip, so it displays “Unsupported Hardware” on the screen and graphic updates are unreliable and often corrupt; the fglrx package in Debian and MEPIS doesn't even recognize the 62xx adapter so they still come up with VESA. However, the fglrx installer available directly from AMD/ATI works very well on both Debian and SimplyMEPIS, and once that is installed the display appears to work very well.

Summary

The most common problem with Linux on this netbook is that it hangs shortly after booting. There seems to be a problem with the wired and wireless nework adapters/drivers not getting initialized properly. There are a number of work-arounds:

- Go into the BIOS setup, Boot options, and move Network Boot to the top of the list. This may not seem like it makes much sense, but I have tested it and it works. Apparently it causes the network interfaces to be properly initialized before Linux boots.

- Boot with a wired network cable connected. This is not likely to be a convenient option in most cases - why would you have a netbook and then use a wired connection? Also, you don't want to do both of these things together, because it will take a long time trying to actually boot from the wired connection before moving on to boot from the hard drive.

- If you know that you are only going to use wireless networking, blacklist the wired network driver (in /etc/modprobe.d)

- Boot Windows first, then immediately reboot to Linux. Yeah, I know, who really wants to do this? That's why it is last in the list…

Once you get around this problem, it works extremely well with every Linux distribution I have tried so far: Linux Mint 11, 12 and Debian, Ubuntu 11.10, openSuSE 11.4 and 12.1, Fedora 16, PCLinuxOS 2011.09 and 2012.02, Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.3 and 6.0.4 and SimplyMEPIS 11.0.12.


Discussion

V2, 2014/02/03 22:34

To eliminate the LAN lock up on boot, make Network boot the first boot priority in the BIOS. If you actualy have a bootable network and you do not want to boot from it you either have to have the cable uplugged or you can hit ESC when the Acer is trying to boot form the LAN.

sandis, 2013/06/30 19:51

bought this one for going to customers lightweight. tried with fedora, ubuntu, xubuntu, dont remember what else buntu and linux. tried with win7 and win8. resolution - works MUCH MUCH more flawlessly with win7 and MOST perfectly with win8 than any linux.

dont waste time installing any linux, will work much more slowly than with win OS..

really.

Patrick Bateman, 2012/09/21 00:25

Massive problems for me with this netbook getting wifi working - tried Ubuntu 11.10 and Mint (whatever the current one is) - no joy. At best, Mint brings up the interface and gets it running incredibly badly, as in, maybe a few hundred bytes per second.

At the moment terrible wifi support is really holding Linux back. I could not recommend it to a non-technical person because it simply isn't good enough to say to people “oh, just go and recompile some kludged together drivers from a random website and stick them in your OS”.

I have the high res version of this laptop with the 1.0GHz processor.

Cory V, 2012/07/07 22:35

Prior to install I have my 522-C6Dkk refitted with 4 GB DDR3 (Kingston) and a 30 GB SSD (Corsair Accelerator).
Installation of Lubuntu 12.04 x64 is performed to a single ext4 partition of 10 GB, after booting from a LiveUSB. Swap is tweaked to run from tmpfs (1.5 GB reserved from RAM), logging is disabled completely.

Had to put network 1st in boot order to initialize NICs properly; otherwise the thing would freeze at login prompt.
Haven't had time/opportunity to test everything extensively, but so far it runs like a charm: cold boot < 15 seconds to login prompt, < 3 seconds from login prompt to desktop.

(Many kudos to tweakers.net and others for the SSD optimization!)

fcorreajr, 2012/04/29 14:33

Ubuntu 12.04 installation on Aspire One 522

This is a step-by-step how-to based on my experiences with the installation of the recently released LTS Ubuntu 12.04 on the Aspire One 522. The guide below is a mix of information found on the web and tweaks made by me.
To start with, I have to stress that, apparently Acer has sold this very model with different configurations. Mine has a C-50 1.0 GHz dual-core processor, an AMD Radeon HD 6310, and a HD screen (1280×720). The rest of the components are pretty much the same, as far as I know, as what is found in the other models.
Installation:
It is the standard Ubuntu experience: you pop in the CD or USB stick and go along with the installer. You may choose to keep your Windows installation (those who have it) or, as I did, completely erase it and have Ubuntu as your sole operating system.
For the computer to boot properly, you have to go to your booting settings (press F2 during the ACER screen) and change the boot order so that your network goes first. I don’t know why this is necessary but without doing so, it will boot into a blank screen.
Once the computer starts for the first time, it will give you two warning signs: one about the updates available and another saying there are proprietary drivers available for installation. Do the updates first. We’ll go over the proprietary drivers later.
I strongly recommend that you also install Ubuntu Tweak (http://ubuntu-tweak.com/). As the name says, it helps with various tasks, such as, as the name implies, tweaking the desktop environment, cleaning up unnecessary files and adding PPA sources.
After having installed all the programs you need, there are some modifications you might want to carry out so it will be a 99.9% working Ubuntu system.
This is what works out-of-the-box: wireless, ethernet, card reader, touchpad, keyboard shortcuts, webcam, sound (although only one speaker) headphones and external mic (I followed the instructions from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne522 but was unable to make the internal mic work).
Now what does not: the FOSS Radeon driver works really well, but when outputting to the TV through the HDMI port, there is no sound. It seems that it is still in experimental phase in this new kernel. It does its job well and if you don’t need sound through the HDMI port, you can stick to it (you can always plug in speakers when needed). Another plus from the FOSS driver is that it supports “suspend mode”, the official AMD driver, does not. Hibernation doesn’t work with either.
The proprietary driver also has some pros and cons: it works faster and has better power management. I’m able to get the same performance with HD videos (streamed and local) that I had with Windows 7. I have to add that Precise has seen a huge improvement from 11.10 in the graphic card performance. It’s probably the new kernel - I can’t really say as I have not tried any other distribution. The HDMI outputting works flawlessly (with sound!). I had to, however, use the “Tear free” function from the Catalyst control. I strongly advise those of you who decide to use the AMD driver to do so too. The main, and so far the only, downside of this particular driver is that it has a conflict with the suspend function, if you do it, it will simply freeze upon waking up. It also downgrades the resolution of the bootsplash, although it should be easily fixed.
One last app I strongly suggest you install is Jupiter, which increases the battery life (http://www.webupd8.org/2012/03/jupiter-applet-officially-switches-to.html).
Final thoughts:
I’ve found this new version of Unity extremely well polished and have not encountered any major bug yet. Having said that, I do not want to go into the whole Unity discussion, I think it is a beautiful shell and it works great for my personal needs. Precise came to set me free from Windows (which, by the way, after a memory upgrade worked really well too) once again and for that I am grateful.

penguin, 2012/03/06 16:07

mim2007: My resolution is the worse one. There are some with crappy display.

mim2007, 2012/02/15 08:17

the screen resolution is 1280×720 instead of 1024×600

Shikor, 2011/12/15 01:20

The only system able to install was Ubuntu.

The system will completely freeze because of the WiFi card.
At random times but the system do not lasted more than 10 minutes.

If you are considering this netbook for use with Linux, do not waste your money!!!!!
Buy something else instead.
AMD and Broadcom (WiFi card) support for Linux SUCK!

Hans Svensson, 2011/08/08 14:32

I have tested Fedora 15 (32bit and 64bit), Suse 11.4(64bit) and ubuntu 11.4(32bit).

-I have swaped the default HD to an SSD.
-Im usging the Catalyst driver.

I found ubuntu to work best (I use gnome2). There are several guides on the internet dealing with the random freezes (boot with ethernet connected, disable the default wifi driver and install a prop. one).

The following works.
-System is stable
-Wifi works
-Good battery time.
-Hardware accl. in VLC
-Sound
-Trackpad (two-finger-scroll works).
-sd-card reader

This doesn't work:
- Suspend

Vavoon, 2011/06/15 16:18

Sound: MIC dont work.
Ethernet: freeze system after connecting to WiFi.
CardReader: dont work.

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acer_aspire_one_522.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/06 06:10 by j.a.watson · Currently locked by: 68.180.225.101
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