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Acer Extensa 5230


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.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer Extensa 5230. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer Extensa 5230 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Acer Extensa 5230 specifications page.

NameAcer Extensa 5230
ProcessorIntel® Celeron 575, 2Ghz, 1MB Cache
Screen15.4” WXGA Widescreen non-glare
RAMUp to 4GB
HDDUp to 160GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
NetworkEthernet, Acer InviLink™ 802.11b/g/n

Linux Compatibility

ScreenYesChanging brightness and turning the screen off work. Didn't try VGA-port yet
HDDYesWorked for some weeks, nowadays i sometimes get errors like “SATA revalidation failed errno=-5”, appending “rootdelay=90” to the kernel-line in /boot/grub/menu.lst helps
Optical DriveYesreading & burning
GraphicsYes1280×800, compiz & Fullscreen video with vlc works, 3D works
SoundYesSpeakers, built-in-microphone and head-phone-jack work, didn't try the rest yet
EthernetYesgigabit LAN works, 23MB/sec with FTP
WirelessYesWorks in Ubuntu 8.10 with driver ath9k and wext for wpa_supplicant
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYesmouse, keyboard, webcam, usb-hdd, …
Card ReaderYes4GB SDHC works (dmesg sounds like only SD-cards work)
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested, but found by kernel in dmesg
PCMCIANot Tested


Tested with ubuntu 8.10 and modules acer_wmi & i915:
* Some of the special buttons work (screen brightness, volume, mail, home, … ) some not.
* Standby and “Suspend to disk” work. “Pressing the power button” and “closing the lid” is properly detected and configurable.
* the fan runs only seldom, quite laptop, goooood!
* touchpad works, also scrolling pages by moving the finger on the right side. tipping the pad works as a click.
* mine has a bluetooth-button but the chip is missing. acer says it's a built-option, not all models have it.


*Works with preinstalled Linpus Linux. Owner Icq:438-710-754
*works with ubuntu 8.10 except some 3d-stuff


Mark Grundy, 2012/06/07 10:15

Bought mine about 3 years ago. Immediately re installed with Open SuSE 11.1. Only thing not working was Bluetooth and the extra keyboard keys. Also the card reader only works with SD cards and Skype can't seem to access the microphone. Everything else works fine.

Have recently re installed with Open SuSE 12.1 and it works with no problem. Even the microphones now work with Skype. Would be nice to have the extra keys working, but that is such a minor issue it's hardly worth mentioning.

liza, 2010/07/07 18:50

Hello…can someone help me how to activate or use the bluetooth connection of my Acer Extensa 5230..i really have no idea. Thanks a lot.

egal, 2010/02/19 22:03

to flash the bios without a windows installation:
1. download the new bios from acer (i used 1.28), unzip and burn to a CD
2. download the “ultimate bood cd” and burn to a CD
3. boot, choose “grub4dos”, otherwise there will be an error like “invalid opcode at …” when booting freedos
4. choose “freedos”
5. choose the cd-rom drivers and a keyboard-driver for your language, no USB (didn't work for me)
6. choose “exit”, now you are on the dos-prompt
7. change the CD to the one with the BIOS, drive T: is the CD-ROM, drive Q: the ram-drive
8. now directly flashing from CD doesn't work because the util can't make a backup of the old bios, gives error “BIOS ROM file may be corrupt (checksum not zero)” (which should rather be “can't write file to disk”. one may choose to ignore that but at flashing a BIOS i prefer everything to be perfect, to rule out a broken ROM-chip for example
9. so use “XCOPY /S T:/BIOS Q:” to copy all files to the ram-disk, there the backup can be written and checked.
10. q:
11. bios.bat

now everything should go fine and end in a green screen.

egal, 2010/02/19 19:33

hint: it's possible to upgrade the CPU to a core 2 duo. look out for socket P and no more than 35W TDP, f.e. T7250.

SG2, 2009/12/27 03:10

I just got this laptop for Christmas, and so far I'm loving it. First thing I did when I got it (after taking two minutes to register it) was install Kubuntu Karmic and wipe Vista off the harddrive; I have no use for it. Wifi has been good, speakers and video are better than my previous breaking-down Dell, very fast…I haven't tested the mic yet, and I've never had a webcam before so I've no idea how to use it or if it works…but what I'd really like to know is how to set up those special hotkeys. Overall, very satisfied with this machine so far.

rene guiot, 2009/11/14 22:30

j'ai acheté cet ordi avec vista que je n'ai jamais démarré je suis parti avec un cd ubuntu 9.04 et j'ai viré windows !

là je suis avec ubuntu9.10 et le portable arrive à s'éteindre car il chauffe plus sinon ca va

Muftah, 2009/06/04 14:00

I have Acer Extensa 5230, first it prompted me with a passward that I have never put in. I pressed F2 and reset the setup to default. When I restarded it propmpted me a choice of starting windows in normal or safe mode. No matter what I press I go in an endless loop. Can someone help me !!

Alex, 2009/05/27 22:35

just installed Ubuntu 09.04 on Extensa 5230.
i cannot load the ttf-mscorefronts-installer. And Firefox does not work properly: I cannot go back to the previous webpage by using the arrow button. Als when starting firefox it says that there was a problem when closing firefox and I am asked whether I want to start a new session or to restore the previous one.

except for this, it seems to be working fine. can anyone help me out here with firefox?

MacAndreaZ, 2009/05/10 22:40

Last Comment:

For me the Acer 5230 works like Hell..I don't have another OS installed,just Debian 5.0.1 (Lenny)!
No needs in other Os!No “Windows” or other things installed…just works.Nothing to do with Computer Skills…Debian has everything left in there Database.Just look at there or in the Forums and You will get it work :-)
Helper Sides:

Thanks,to all Readers and Stay tunned…

MacAndreaz, 2009/05/10 22:13


Sorry,for my Bad English Skills…

Touchpad works,if not use the Keys Fn+F7
WIFI works,if not use the Keys Fn+F5

I guess everything works on this “lowcost” Notebook.For me it cost 329.-€ with a 15” “not-mirroring” Display.No more to say…
Don't stuck with Configuration,it could be a simple thing if Debian is not running ;-)

MacAndreaZ, 2009/05/10 21:57

Debian Gnu/Linux on the Acer Extensa 5230-571G16 (LX.EBA0C.010) Linux:

So,I fixed it a little bit… ;-)

Processor Genuine Intel 2.00 Ghz!
Screen Yes Changing brightness and turning the screen off work. Didn't try

              VGA-port yet!

HDD Yes 160 GB-Works!
Optical Drive Yes Burning DCs & DVDs (Data,Musik & .iso) WORKS!
Graphics Yes 1280×800, compiz & Fullscreen video with vlc works, 3D works

              with no in google-earth!

Sound Yes Speakers, built-in-microphone and head-phone-jack works!
Ethernet Yes gigabit LAN works!
Wireless Yes Works in Debian 5.0.1.!You don't need Ubuntu or Mint Linux 6

              or 7,but a Linux Driver for the Atheros WLAN Chip!

56K Modem Not Tested!No need in that anymore…
USB Yes USB Data-Sticks and Bluetooth Sticks Works!
Card Reader Yes SD-Cards Work!
ExpressCard Slot Not Tested!
PCMCIA Not Tested
Camera n.a.

You need the following tools/packages to make it work with Debian 5.0.1 (Lenny):


This is just a little list of the “helping” tools You need…if You are more interested,write a Mail to: and You will get a full information (in German!) how to fix the Aver with Debian 5.0.1…

For me, everything works:

Zattoo-Watch IP TV
Burning DVD & CD ROM (.iso,Media,Music etc.)
Adobe Flash Plaer
Adobe Reader
SD Card Slot for my Digital Camera
Games like Doom 3,Alien Arena,Open Arena,Glest,Torcs,Planet Penguin Racer,Tuxcart,Chromium B.S.U….all that 3D Stuff!
X-Chat IRC
Elisa Media Center

and many,many more…to much to list here!

Don't give up and let unstable Linux Distributions make the way like Ubuntu or Mint.Stay with Debian ;-)

taietel, 2009/04/06 15:45

I have installed Windows XP and Linux Mint(based on Ubuntu) on Acer Extensa 5230 and I am very pleased! First, you have to change the HDD SATA mode from AHCI to IDE. Otherwise you will have errors with your windows installation. Then, I repartitioned the HDD with PQMagic (from Hiren's Boot Disk), some partitions for windows and some (swap and ext3) for linux. After installing windows, I have installed Linux Mint (Ubuntu based) with Grub as boot-loader, which gives me the posibility to choose which OS I want at boot. Linux Mint recognizes all the drivers, including wireless, bluetooth, webcam etc. Windows XP drivers are here:

ram naresh, 2012/01/09 09:32

i have installed linux on my acer laptop but mose touchpad not working u have any idea reply me.

Steve Hoffman, 2009/03/26 17:12

Finally got PCLinuxOS to dual boot with Vista by burning a new CD with the latest (PCLOS 2009) Gnome .iso file. However, on a subsequent PCLinuxOS update it borked the separate Acer security partition that contains the Vista OS and allows you to burn a DVD security backup of your Vista system. Result is that I won't be able to reinstall Vista should it ever fail. Acer will supply new Acer Security image files at a (considerable) cost, so I am taking my chances and am not bothering with the Acer facility. Fingers crossed, Vista works well on dual boot at the moment. Acer tech support seems very quick and helpful.

The built-in wireless doesn't work with PCLOS, but I already had a a Belkin Wireless G Notebook Network PCMCIA Card, which works very well without ndiswrapper.

I've not had any HDD problems as described in the main section above. This laptop is being used for very basic computing (email & net surfing) and works very well in that mode, but I am unlikely to test many of its facilities.

Steve Hoffman, 2009/02/28 23:38

Acer Extensa 5230 laptop: trying to dual boot with Vista. Deleted all the bloatware from Vista, defragged disk. Then I tried to use my Gparted live CD to create my Linux partitions, but it failed. So then I used Vista to “shrink” a partition to leave some unused space, and it seemed to work OK.

I then installed PCLOS using PCLOS-Gnome2.21.2.iso into the unused space - no problems - recognised my wifi, install looked fine, BUT it freezes during the reboot just after “Setting clock [ OK ]”; tried a Zen install, same thing happens.

After checking the messages in PCLinux forum, I used the live-CD to edit as root the /mnt/etc/fstab file, where all the partitions are shown as “sda” - changed them all to “hda”, rebooted, but still same problem. My Filesystem is showing my two partitions as sda5 (/) and sda7 (home). If I try to reinstall right after changing fstab, I still see the partitions designated as “sda5” and “sda7”.

Changed BIOS SATA to “IDE” - still freezes.

anonymous, 2009/02/21 12:07

Perfect Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS 'Hardy Heron' installation.

See this link for simple tip to use backports to get the wireless lan working.

artila, 2009/02/18 09:41

ok I found the solution if somebody have the same problem ….. in bios you have to change the hdd sata mode from AHCI in IDE and then it work. you can install eny OS you need

artila , 2009/02/17 11:23

I have the same problem with this prodact I can not instal xp an it and I can't use limpus linux it give me some strange error

alaa, 2009/01/11 11:33

I bought this computer for I have no problem in the definition of the Bluetooth device is not Allowaer I tried with all definitions Is there a solution to this problem

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acer_extensa_5230.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:20 (external edit)
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