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Acer eMachines E627

Introduction

This article is based on my personal findings with the e627. A lot of people bought this model during a “Black Friday” sale at Wal-Mart. This model does not contain a webcam and some of the other specifics may vary. This is for the e627-5583, the ones bought on Black Friday are the e627-5279, and I'm not sure what other differences there are.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer eMachines E627. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer eMachines E627 page on LapWik.

Specifications

For full specifications see the Acer eMachines E627 specifications page.

NameAcer eMachines E627
ProcessorAMD Athlon™ 64 single-core processor TF-20 (512 KB L2 cache, 1.60 GHz, DDR2 667 MHz, 15 W), supporting AMD HyperTransport™ 3.0 technology
Screen15.6“ (1366×768) Widescreen
RAMUp to 4GB
HDD160GB to 500GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsATI Radeon™ HD 3200
Network10/100 Ethernet
802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorGeneric AMD processorWorks as expected
Screen1366×768 24 bitNo issues
HDDWorksNo issues
Optical DriveWorksNo issues
GraphicsWorksSupport in xorg's “radeon” or “radeonhd” driver
SoundWorksAlsa's autodetection says it's an intel card
EthernetWorksUses the atl1e module.
WirelessWorksBroadcom proprietary driver, b43 (latest kernels)
USBWorksTypical USB support
Card ReaderNot Tested
WebcamWorks“webcam-uvc”, if your version of the e627 includes a cam

Notes

Support for these laptops is still new in a lot of drivers in the kernel itself. A lot of things have been added to the kernel very recently to improve support, including new DRM code in the kernel to improve performance of the ATI card significantly.

Wireless support

The b43 driver in kernel 2.6.32 began supporting the B4312 wireless chip (14e4:4315) that the e627 uses. However, this is very basic support, it is not very fast and it's very buggy. I built the new 2.6.33 RC kernel, and it's much better in this version, it's actually useable.

Earlier distros or kernels can use the proprietary drivers from Broadcom. Your distro may have a package for this, so check with them first.

You can not run the broadcom driver and b43 together, so if you enable one, disable the other! b43 is the better driver, but you need the very latest kernel for it to work. If you cannot make b43 work, unfortunately, you're stuck with the Broadcom driver.

Note that many distros that will be released may not use the latest kernel, but may be using the new version of compat-wireless (which will make the b43 driver functional). Support will vary amongst different distros as the new code propagates, you'll need to investigate this on your own.

b43 uses the mac80211 stack, which allows for full functionality of the wifi chip, including injection and hidden access points.

Issues

Unconfirmed issues with ACPI that did not surface when only running Windows cause glitches that also affect Windows. For example, if your computer doesn't shut down from linux gracefully, hardware detection on reboot will cause it to shut off and restart, multiple times, on both windows and linux. Disabling ACPI doesn't solve this at kernel level, I believe there may be some sort of hardware glitch, either with my unit or every unit, if nobody else seems to have this problem, feel free to remove this.

Similar issues may also exist with the network card. While I ran an auto detection script, it detected the wrong module for my ethernet, which would cause the ethernet to shut down until power was removed from the adapter and battery. The script may be to blame, but if you're running into network issues, make sure the atl1e module is the one you're using.

Summary

It is possible to make the e627 work with Linux. Many distros may have perfect support for it, others might be unstable still. However, support is coming along at a great pace at the application and kernel level, so make sure you're running the latest stuff and you'll be good.


Discussion

Micheal bayero madaki, 2014/01/03 17:12

My eMachine E627 can't boot-up the fan will roll for some seconds & stoped when i tryed it keep on doing thesame thing it will never display; what is the solution? really i need your help place.

Antonio, 2011/03/16 01:23

I am having problems with my battery draining extremly fast. My battery was fully charged, but after only seven minutes of use, it was completely drained. Why is that?

joe, 2011/03/02 16:27

bourght mine in uk for 500 pound a year ago an havent had one problem with it i upgraded my ram to 2X 2 gig it super fast an up graded me hdd to 500 gig super super fast

Paul, 2010/08/11 08:42

I use ArchLinux on emachines E627. The main problem is that any Linux distribution can reboot at boottime just after init start. No logs info are helpfull. After rebooting 2 or 3 times in a row, it boot normally severals times. For the rest, the machine is complely stable with Linux. After the cabled network card Atheros stop to be detected by Windows Seven and Linux, I had to poweroff the machine, unplug power cable and battery and plug them again to make the card be detected again.

The Broadcom wireless card BCM4312 only work with the broadcom-station wl module. Be carefull, this module do not display always the real state of the card. For example, in Ad-Hoc mode it can say it is in Managed mode and it always say encryption is off when it is on with iwconfig. b43 do not work. I can scan for networks but I am disconnected if I succed to connect. ndiswrapper give a ooops with 32 and 64 bits Windows drivers.

Jamie, 2010/05/27 21:04

Oh, fwiw, with Karmic Koala the internet (wifi) works fine ootb. Even running live mode. But again, I have Atheros parts, not broadcom, so idk.

Jamie, 2010/05/27 21:02

don't use them both at the same time? I can see some cases where you might want to (i.e. be connected to a local network via ethernet, and us a WiFi internet to transfer files, etc) but face it - it's a $300 laptop. It's basically a netbook with a full keyboard and a dvd drive (imho).

Don't get me wrong, it has run every app I've thrown at it (including some lower end steam games), but it's no professional/corporate machine. again, imho.

I gave up and put Windows 7 back on it due to not being able to ever get my streaming media to work properly, because, of course, all the media is stored on the 1.5 which is in my wife's computer. Ain't no way she'll have any love for the penguin. She says “Linux is fine, but why switch when I already have something that works?” -_-' c'est la vie

Mark, 2010/07/20 04:09

i tried using it for CS 1.6 on steam works good but the ping is huge for some reason on wifi
but i use my other laptop and ping is good i tried reinstalling and everythign but i think that it has a bad network card.

Jamie, 2010/07/20 05:25

I'm assuming that you're refering to CS and not CS: source? (if that little HD3200 can run the source engine *and* steam INSIDE wine, I'll be jumping for joy :-)

ken torrington, 2010/05/27 16:52

I've just bought an Acer E627 15.6 notebook and it keeps crashing with the message: Insert Boot Disk, which I haven't got. The only thing I can do is switch it off ( with the battery taken out) then restart. Would you know what is wrong, could it have been configured to be too sensitive, suggestions welcome, Ken.

Jamie, 2010/04/06 08:42

Both of mine are Atheros (according to windows 7 device manager)

Either way, I didn't need ndiswrapper or MadWiFi. It just worked. I was trying Slackware, Arch, and others that I usually use (was about to try Gentoo, but found Sabayon as a binary installer) and none had internet.

I then installed Karmic Koala x64 and everything just worked. Just wish it had Pacman -Syu now!!!

Jamie, 2010/04/06 01:25

Jamie, I found that problem was not with the machine but with me. Ubuntu did what it was supposed to do but I didn't recognize a little hidden icon in the upper right corner of the main screen. When I (left clicked it) it told me that the wireless card was disconnected. After reading “Beginning Ubuntu Linux” 4th Edition Apress, I discovered that I had to right click that icon to turn the wireless card on. That book was the kick in the You-Know-What (for younger readers) to get going with that distribution. For my computer I found the Broadcom STA driver worked best (default). Atheros was the wired adapter but Broadcom was the wireless [you might want to double-check that]. I just had to tell it my DSL network name and my SSID and I was off and running. Let me know if this helps!
-Kevin

Jamie, 2010/04/05 23:06

My E627 was purchased from MicroCenter, and does not have a broadcom wifi chip, but an Atheros AR5B95 wifi network adapter. And from what I've gathered online, the MadWifi that is used with these chips is supposed to be compatible with this chip, but it doesn't work. My Ubuntu installation confirmed this, so I guess it's off to ndiswrapper :-/

Kevin, 2010/03/22 15:16

Having problems with the wireless driver STA or B43? Why does my Acer eMachines E627 use eth0 and eth2 (what's happened to eth1 as used in so many docs)?
eth0 (wired) and eth2 (wireless) will not work at the same time…any suggestions?

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acer_emachines_e627.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:20 (external edit)
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