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Acer Aspire S5-391


Linux runs fine on the Acer Aspire S5… Provided you set the SATA controller to AHCI in the BIOS.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a display corruption issue with this laptop (specifically, the Intel HD 4000 graphics) in versions of the Linux kernel prior to 3.7. The workaround for this problem (if you can't upgrade your kernel just yet) is to put the laptop to sleep (close the lid) and then wake it back up.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer Aspire S5-391. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer Aspire S5-391 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Acer Aspire S5-391 specifications page.

NameAcer Aspire S5-391
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3517U/i7-3667U processor (4 MB L3 cache, 1.90/2.0 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.0/3.10 GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U/i5-3427U processor (3 MB L3 cache, 1.70/1.80 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.60/2.80)
Screen13.3“ HD 1366 x 768 resolution, high-brightness (200-nit) Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD
RAMUp to 4 GB
HDD128 / 256 GB SSD
Optical DriveNo
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000
Acer InviLink Nplify 802.11b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

ScreenOKMay need to add 'acpi_backlight=vendor' to kernel boot line for backlight control depending on distro
HDDOKSet SATA controller to AHCI in BIOS
Graphics ChipOKSee notes about display corruption workaround
VGA OutOKWorks fine with included HDMI-to-VGA adapter
Headphone PortOK
WirelessOKath9k driver
BluetoothNot WorkingNeeds firmware (apparently)
Card ReaderOK
TouchPadOKInstall touchegg for complete four-finger gesture support
ThunderboltOKOnly works if a Thunderbolt device was plugged in at boot (coldplug). Hotplug support should be fixed (eventually) in a newer kernel. Patches are available for the adventurous.


Press F2 at boot to enter the BIOS
For Linux to properly detect the dual mSATA SSD hard drives you need to set the SATA controller to AHCI mode in the BIOS. It is also recommended that you enable the boot menu (F12) while you're there.

DISPLAY CORRUPTION WORKAROUND: Some versions of the Linux kernel prior to 3.7 experience display corruption after booting up. This can be worked around by putting the laptop to sleep and then waking it back up. This workaround will only be necessary until distros get upgraded kernels (or backported fixes). Note that you only need to do the sleep/wake thing *once* after boot. The display will work properly from there on out.


A few quirky things but overall the laptop works well.


Sined, 2013/03/22 23:26

Video and bluetooth working great in my S5 with Mint 14 after upgrading to kernel 3.8.4.

However, fn + brightness keys ceased working, though brightness control is OK (acpi_backlight=vendor)
This and the lid switch which never worked are the only remaining problems.

Fill, 2013/03/18 10:47

I have the 256 gb version and ubuntu fails to install grub. the change to ahci mode doesn't change a thing. no idea how i can solve that. even a total re-set of the harddrive with gparted doesn't help.
any idea?

Mitch, 2013/09/10 11:31

Just bought the 128GB version one and managed to get it installed just fine. Both the 128 and 256 versions use 2 SSD's which you will see as sda and sdb when you do a fdisk. However for some unknown reason gparted/ubiquity crashes when trying to install. This is how i did it.

1. Use the “Try Ubuntu without installing” selection when booting off usb
2. Then you need to ensure you are connected to the net (either wifi or with a usb2net dongle)
3. You need to demcide how you want to use your two disks. Either in mirror (raid1) or stripe (raid0). The latter will give you half the space obviously.
4. You need to run the following commands

     apt-get install mdadm --no-install-recommends

5. You need to repartition the disks (this will destroy all data)

     cfdisk /dev/sda
 Create just one partiton and delete the rest (or you can do what you want, but change the partition numbers in the next step). Repeat for /dev/sdb

6. Then make the mirror or stipe with the two disks (just change the level parmater below)

     mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=1 /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1

7. Double click on the install and then restart the ubuntu install
8. The install will probably fail when installing grub. Do not panic. Close the window and run the following. First check that /dev/md0 is still installed on /target. Now do this

     grub-install --boot-directory=/target/boot /dev/sda
     grub-install --boot-directory=/target/boot /dev/sdb

That's it. It shoud work fine (as i'm typing this from my s5)

cipri, 2013/01/26 19:42

bluetooth did work on opensuse 12.2,
then i upgraded to 12.3 beta 1, and it didnt work anymore. But instead the video driver works fine, without any need for workarounds.

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acer_aspire_s5-391.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/20 12:45 by
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