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Acer TravelMate 7720

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Acer TravelMate 7720 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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Specifications

NameAcer TravelMate 7720
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz
Screen17“ WXGA+ Widescreen
RAM2GB
HDD160GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
NetworkEthernet, Intel 4965 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYes
EthernetYes
WirelessYesUse the iwl4965 driver
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested

Notes

Some versions of the TravelMate 7720 come with a ATI graphics chip. This model does not have one so it wasn't tested.

The microphone input does not seem to work at the moment. Hopefully a future ALSA update will fix this problem.

Summary

The Acer TravelMate 7720 was quite an easy laptop to Linux on, all the hardware was automatically detected and installed. Version for this laptop with a ATI graphics controller may be a little more difficult.


Discussion

Tom McCullough, 2010/07/30 15:13

BTW, one of the killer advantages of this laptop is if you open the HD compartment you will find a second bay for a SATA 2.5” drive!!I have two 160GB drives in mine with the original drive untouched and the second one has Debian on it. It does use more power, though so two hours on battery is a stretch. checking the box in power management/on battery for 'spin down hard drives when possible' helps.

Tom McCullough, 2010/07/10 14:11

I have been running Debian sid/squeeze for several months on an Aspire 7720 (same computer?) and have one very serious problem and a few minor ones. The worst is that the latest kernel - 2.6.32-?? and I think 2.6.31 as well has an ACPI problem. The thermal zone for the processor is not accurate. It leaves a bogus 0c or 40c value in /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/TZ01/temperature. This keeps the fan from coming on and the processor overheats quickly to the point of shutdown. If I 'suspend' and reactivate, it starts putting accurate information into the file mentioned above. I have been unable to find any bug reports or even comments about this critical bug. As to the minor bugs, suspend sometimes (seems random so far) will blank the screen and not recover. I can blindly reboot the computer so it is still alive, but even the tty screens are blank.
The other bugs are very minor and not worth mentioning here. The ACPI bug needs to be addressed by someone with more programming skills and time than me.

Scott Ingram, 2011/10/04 22:31

Tom~the BIOS dsdt does not describe the fan; that is, the fan description is missing so when the kernel boots, it doesn't know where to talk to it to control it. This still has not been corrected as of V1.45 of the BIOS.

The fan turns on when the machine is powered up, and runs until the boot process transfers control from the BIOS to whatever is next. The fan normally stops running at that point, but if the machine was within a certain temperature range, it will continue to run, allowing the machine to operate normally. If the fan stops, it will run until the processor reaches its critical temp at which time it shuts down. You can confirm this is the problem, as the keyboard becomes quite warm to the touch in the vicinity of the “F” and “V” keys: right over the processor on the motherboard.

So far I have not found a solution, which ideally would be for Acer to correct the BIOS, or for a rewritten DSDT.DSL file that included a fan description (device PNP0C0B).

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acer_travelmate_7720.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:01 (external edit)
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