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Acer Extensa 5220


This is a guide to running Linux with the Acer Extensa 5220 laptop.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameAcer Extensa 5220
ProcessorIntel Celeron-M 530SR 1.73Ghz
Screen15.4“ WXGA
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, Broadcom BCM94311 802.11g Wireless
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, Webcam

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesSee notes below
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
WirelessYesSee notes below
56K ModemNot Tested
Card ReaderYes
PCMCIANot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested



The standard resolution of the screen in the Extensa 5220 is 1280×800. If you find that you can not use this resolution and only gives you the option for 1024×768 or the chip simply doesn't work at all it means that the i810 module in your version of Xorg does not fully support the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100. In Ubuntu 7.04 you will need to install the xserver-xorg-video-intel package. OpenSuSE 10.3, Mandriva Linux 2008 and Ubuntu 7.10 support this chip fully.

Wireless LAN

You need to use the bcm43xx module for the wireless controller. Unfortunately this module is still fairly new and does not always work properly, especially versions in older kernels. I would recommend kernel 2.6.22 or greater for best support. You may have issues with power management however (ie the wireless no longer works after suspend/resume).

In addition to the bcm43xx module, you will need to install the firmware. Due to copyright restrictions, the creators of the bcm43xx module can't just give you the firmware - you'll need to get it yourself. To do this, simply install the “bcm43xx-fwcutter” package. This will download the Windows file required for your wireless card, cut out the firmware from that driver, and insert it into the linux bcm43xx module.

An alternative to using the bcm43xx module is to use the NDISWrapper - some users have reported that the bcm card works better (better range) with the NDISWrapper. Refer to this article for NDISWrapper information:


The Acer Extensa 5220 works well with a Linux distribution which uses kernel version 2.6.22 or greater and has up to date Xorg modules. Mandriva Linux 2008, OpenSuSE 10.3, Ubuntu 7.10 and Fedora 8 support this laptop well.


DA, 2013/06/09 14:00

Cpufreq hasn't work under openSUSE at least since 1.4 released.

DA, 2013/06/09 14:01

Cpufreq hasn't worked under openSUSE at least since 11.4 released.

Mario, 2013/05/23 17:17

Linux Mint 11 LXDE: perfect! Everything works fine. I have never tested the infrared interface and the 56k modem as they were already at the time I bought the PC. Actually, I should have chosen a different machine without those useless (at least for me) devices.
Now I am thinking of upgrading to Linux Mint 13 Mate.

I also tried it with Vector Linux. It was also good but not all the keys are recognized (for instance, I am not able to take a snap-shot of the screen by means of the Stamp key).

Mario, 2013/05/23 17:19

I missed a thing ”… as they were already OBSOLETE at the time …”

Arkady, 2012/08/11 02:18

Hello! My inbuilt card reader is not working. I am using Ubuntu 10.04. Can anybody help?

joe, 2012/04/02 17:11

I bought this notebook about 3 years ago. It was sold as “Linux ready” (no system installed) and it works fine with Ubuntu. It only doesn't recognize the touchpad, which I don't mind, as I use a mouse.

ubuntu user, 2010/11/27 08:49

64-bit Ubuntu 10.04.1 runs perfectly. Processor is 1,8 GHz and RAM upgraded to 3GB.

Adodo A Dodo, 2010/08/01 08:36

Anyone tried using the infrared port or irda with Linux on this model - Acer Extensa 5220?

Frank Waitai, 2010/06/21 22:27

I have an acer extenza 5220. It appears that the power isnt getting through to the laptop, although the power adaptor works. what components might i need to replace.

regards frank waitai

jubran makhouly, 2010/03/08 17:16

hello people i need help with my computer i have Extensa 5220 i got new ram card so i need help to add it cuz my pc has 512 ram and i wanna ass 2GB ram that i already bought so i need help so i can add it without losing warranty
my E-mail is
P.S. please dont mess with me!!

Jonas, 2010/01/06 17:47

Build in-mic works Out-of-the-box.
Had some error with WIFI, but where easily fixed.
I'm running Ubuntu 9.10!, 2009/10/04 09:13


bob, 2009/06/18 12:25

I've had this model of laptop for maybe about a year now.
Everything works except for the inbuilt microphone.

I'm running ubuntu.

Googling around, it seems that some people had managed to get the mic going. But I'm not having any luck. This seems to be one of those cases where only the hardcore linux experts can get the full functionality.

Ubuntu 8.10, 2009/01/24 17:34

It is a dream… but can i use. 3 d?

garvin timmann, 2009/01/07 00:57


sorry to both you again, you also got skype client to work, with sound and mic, what did you do to configure this with ubuntu?

take care

osmium76, 2008/12/29 19:43

And my WLAN is not a BCM94311 but a BCM4312… note that if you're experiencing difficulties with the wireless LAN you have to check what kind of chip is on your Extensa (open the terminal and digit: “lspci” then read what the consolle shows… the info about WLAN appear in the bottom). I found Linux driver for my chip here:

I hope I've been useful to somebody!

FinnCoder, 2009/01/03 14:57

I have BCM4312 WLAN chip in my 5220 and it worked out-of-the-box on an Ubuntu 8.10

osmium76, 2008/12/29 16:08

Well my Extensa 5220 has not the biult in webcam and microfone and has a HD of 160 GB size. I've tried briefly these distro: Linpus, Linpus Lite, Ubuntu Hardy Heron, Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex, Vector Light, Mandriva 2009 and the Ubuntu versions are the only ones working fine with the wireless connection without doing anything: I needed no driver installation or any kind of tweaking. With Intrepid Ibex I tested my USB webcam and it worked well on aMSN.

osmium76, 2009/01/09 15:34

EDIT: I have the mic but it is really weak! The speakers too are very weak… does anyone else think the same or I got a bad sample of Extensa?

garvin timmann, 2010/03/31 00:21

if you try the newest ubuntu you shouldnt get that, i am happy with all hardware in 9.10, volume is fine and mic, the standard model 5220 extensa can take core2duo, which i put 2.4 ghz, plus more ram and hard drive, it is very fast and serves all puposes, i might try “Damn Small Linux” and see if the latest kernal can support all hardware too, then it will be extremely fast

Sakis, 2008/12/08 19:19

can anybody give me the driver of Network Controllers acer extensa 5220? In the device manager i have a yellow questionmark that the driver is not installed.


osmium76, 2009/01/07 14:40

Did you find the working driver for win XP? I too have the same problem and the driver included in the original DVD are totally useless. It's incredible because with Ubuntu who uses unofficial driver the WLAN seems to run!

osmium76, 2009/01/07 23:39

I found it… in the bottom of the window bcm4312:

vochmelda, 2008/12/05 20:39

Hi, I've got the right resolution on my extensa 5220, but fonts of web sites (in firefox) are a little bit ugly - blured and irregular. It irritates me. Does anybody know a solution?

zadarmo3, 2008/11/25 04:38


I never used Linux before, so I don't know how to use Wifi (I wanna surf the net). Is there anyone who will tell me?? Step by step??? I got Broadcom 801.11g

osmium76, 2009/01/09 15:42

Download Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex and write it onto a disc; in the BIOS settings set the CD-ROM as first boot device; put the disc in the CD-ROM player and boot your PC. Intrepid Ibex is both a stable (installable on HD) and live distribution (running by the CD reader without installing anything). You can use the wireless LAN without doing anything and when you'll feel ready to pass to Linux you'll have to install it only!

FinnCoder, 2008/11/10 01:22

Ubuntu 8.10

My Acer Extensa 5220 is working quite perfectly with Ubuntu 8.10, even the WLAN worked immediately. Nice!

Ghostcat, 2008/10/23 00:06


I think that there must be various versions of the wireless chip as my Extensa 5220 has a Broadcom BCM4312 14e4:4315 chip. This is not yet supported by the BCM43xx driver.

I did try the Broadcom Hybrid wl driver but got really weird results. Finally got the wireless working using ndiswrapper.

dzidzius80, 2008/07/22 10:36

S-Video on Debian Lenny/Sid

on my Extensa 5220 with Debian GNU Linux Lenny/Sid everythink working just fine, exept S-Video output, dont know why.

root@Jasiu:/home/dzidzius80# apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel Czytanie list pakietów... Gotowe
Budowanie drzewa zależności
Odczyt informacji o stanie... Gotowe
xserver-xorg-video-intel jest już w najnowszej wersji.
0 aktualizowanych, 0 nowo instalowanych, 0 usuwanych i 65 nieaktualizowanych.

mean i have driver in lastest version, so dont unedstand why seccond screen dont working.

mohammad, 2008/06/18 03:49

Can not found hard drive!!!

Hi. I need to install linux fedora 4 on acer extensa 5220. bat after i choice auto partition
linux type that your hard drive can not found select your driver from list.
I test all of them but linux type ther is a problem you can not countinue and then reset
my notbook.

einon, 2008/06/05 02:49

hello I've installed Fedora 8 and got one stupid problem. Fedora doesnt support my ethernet . Fedora can see Wlan but no Ethernet so this is big problem couse I don't use wireless internet…Any idea why Fedora doesn't support my ethernet card? Or Which card is in Extensa 5220 and what and where I can dowload drivers..?

guest, 2008/10/11 14:05

I can provide any infos regarding Fedora 8 on Acer Extensa 5220. It works just great.
I run FC 8 x86_64. Everything is easy recognised, except the wlan0 (wireless).

guest, 2008/10/11 14:16

Firewire 1394 works perfect with FC 8 on this laptop.
Whatever you need to know regarding this combination FC 8 on 5220, email me at:
If some of you experienced slow speed burning DVD with K3B or other burning software,
is good to know that is not a hardware problem. Feel free to ask about this combination that I mentioned above to my email address.

Tobias, 2008/03/02 09:57

Hey there..
The extensa 5220 works perfectly when tweaked a bit..
My 1gb ram, 160 gb harddisk 2.3 ghz cpu is just spinning like a puss.
It is oh so blody lovely to get away from Windoze..

garvin timmann, 2009/01/07 00:51

Hey Tobias,

I have the Extensa 5220 and am wondering how you got yours to run at 2.3 Ghz is that in the bios you overclock. How is it done and is it table?



Tony, 2008/01/09 15:48

getting WiFi working is a bit more complicated than you've talked about. In addition to the bcm43xx module, you also need to get a copy of the firmware. The way it was explained to me is that every time the computer boots, the WiFi card needs to have the firmware uploaded to it (which to me means it's RAM, not firmware, but anyway…)

Now, the bcm43xx guys can't just give you the firmware - it's to do with all that complicated copyright stuff that a lot of linux development comes across. But the firmware *is* available from the BitCom website inside their Windows drivers. What *you* need to do is install the package called “bcm43xx-fwcutter” - this package will downloading the windows driver from the bitcom website, it will “cut” the firmware out of the windows driver and insert it into the linux driver (bcm43xx).

Like I mentioned, I use Ubuntu 7.10. So I used Synaptic to install bcm43xx-fwcutter. I really don't know how this would work on Mandriva, OpenSuSe or other distributions.

I got my information from (installing Debian on Extensa 5220) — Ubuntu is a Debian-based distro.

Tony, 2008/01/09 16:21

Information has been added to the main article, except for the internal link (some websites don't like external links, not sure what linlap's policy is)

Bill Giannikos, 2008/03/02 10:28

External links are just fine.

Tony, 2008/01/09 15:30

Just wanted to let you know, I have an Extensa 5220. I installed Ubuntu 7.10, and I've installed the Skype client which allows video calls, and the webcam works beautifully in this set up.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that the internal microphone (to the left of the webcam above the LCD screen) doesn't seem to be working with Skype. Mind you, I haven't played around with mixer settings, it might be something simple.

Tony, 2008/01/09 16:23

Updated main article to say “Yes” to webcam, instead of “Not Tested”. Hopefully I'm not being too presumptuous, since I've only tested it under a single configuration.

Tobias, 2008/03/02 09:59

Hey there,
My comp is working fine with skype..
Write me at tobi-fp at if you need help tweaking.

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acer_extensa_5220.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:01 (external edit)
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