First, if you are here looking for a solution to the “Linux hangs on boot” problem with this netbook, read the details below.
There have been quite a few different models and configurations of this netbook, so make sure that you know exactly which one you are getting. The originals had AMD E-50 cpu and Radeon 6250 gpu. The newer models have an E-60 cpu and 6290 gpu. But that is only one difference. Most models have 1280×720 resolution, but some have 1024×600. Some have Broadcom WiFi adapters, while others have Atheros and still others have Acer Invilink. Be careful, pay attention, and make sure you know what you are getting (or what you have).
This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Acer Aspire One 522. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Acer Aspire One 522 page on LapWik.
For full specifications see the Acer Aspire One 522 specifications page.
|Name||Acer Aspire One 522|
|Processor||AMD C-50 OR C-60 1GHz|
|Screen||10.1“ 1280×720 (WXGA) OR 1024×600 (WSVGA)|
|RAM||Up to 2GB|
|HDD||up to 250GB|
|Graphics||ATI Radeon™ HD 6250 OR 6290|
Acer InviLink™ Nplify™ 802.11b/g/n
Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n
|Graphics||Yes||FOSS Radeon driver ok, see below for fglrx|
|Card Reader||Yes||SD/xD/MMC/MS/MS Pro|
Some of the best points: external VGA display goes up to 1920×1200 resolution, HDMI display goes up to 1920×1080. Media card slot that takes SD and Memory Stick is unusual in this class. Fn-control keys work for sound up/down/mute, brightness up/down/blank, WiFi on/off, touchpad on/off.
When running openSuSE, wireless networking often doesn't connect automatically on boot (and doesn't even show the default network SSID in the network list). When this happens, go into the Network Manager icon on the panel, disable Wireless Networking, and then enable it again.
The FOSS ATI Radeon driver works well in most distributions (i.e. Fedora, openSuSE, Ubuntu and derivatives), but with a few distributions (i.e. Debian Stable and SimplyMEPIS) the 62xx graphic chip is not supported, so it comes up using the VESA driver at 800×600 resolution. Oddly, at this time the fglrx package included in the first group of distributions above does not recognize the 62xx chip, so it displays “Unsupported Hardware” on the screen and graphic updates are unreliable and often corrupt; the fglrx package in Debian and MEPIS doesn't even recognize the 62xx adapter so they still come up with VESA. However, the fglrx installer available directly from AMD/ATI works very well on both Debian and SimplyMEPIS, and once that is installed the display appears to work very well.
The most common problem with Linux on this netbook is that it hangs shortly after booting. There seems to be a problem with the wired and wireless nework adapters/drivers not getting initialized properly. There are a number of work-arounds:
- Go into the BIOS setup, Boot options, and move Network Boot to the top of the list. This may not seem like it makes much sense, but I have tested it and it works. Apparently it causes the network interfaces to be properly initialized before Linux boots.
- Boot with a wired network cable connected. This is not likely to be a convenient option in most cases - why would you have a netbook and then use a wired connection? Also, you don't want to do both of these things together, because it will take a long time trying to actually boot from the wired connection before moving on to boot from the hard drive.
- If you know that you are only going to use wireless networking, blacklist the wired network driver (in /etc/modprobe.d)
- Boot Windows first, then immediately reboot to Linux. Yeah, I know, who really wants to do this? That's why it is last in the list…
Once you get around this problem, it works extremely well with every Linux distribution I have tried so far: Linux Mint 11, 12 and Debian, Ubuntu 11.10, openSuSE 11.4 and 12.1, Fedora 16, PCLinuxOS 2011.09 and 2012.02, Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.3 and 6.0.4 and SimplyMEPIS 11.0.12.