Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:26 UTC, submitted by kaiwai
Hardware, Embedded Systems Long-time OSNews reader Kaiwai has written down his experiences with his Acer Aspire One, Linux, and Windows. He concludes: "After a hectic few weeks trying to get Linux to work, I am back to square one again - a netbook running Windows XP SP3 as it was provided by Acer when I purchased it. I gave three different distributions a chance to prove themselves. I expected all three distributions to wipe the floor with Windows XP - after all, these are the latest and greatest distributions the Linux world have to offer. There has been at least 7 years since the release of Windows XP for Linux to catch up to Windows XP and from my experience with Linux on this said device - it has failed to step up to the plate when it was needed."
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I understand the frustation too.
by willerd on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 04:14 UTC
willerd
Member since:
2005-07-15

I have the AA1 6 cell 8GB SSD. It came with Linpus Lite which booted very quickly and I thought "Amazing. It boots so fast and everything works, it can be manhandled a bit with less concern because of its SSD drive - now let's get this machine to do what I need it to do." My primary objective with the machine was to use it as a light-to-carry remote support system instead of my heavier 15.4" Dell using my preferred OS (i.e. Linux) and applications. "So," I thought, "let's get VBox installed and I can run some of the Windows s/w I need to run to VPN into my non-Linux clients. Hmmm. No VBox support for Linpus - well let's go get the kernel source and all be will ok 'cause I can compile it right?." Well, after not finding any easy way to get the kernel, I googled upon some link that would download the kernel but unfortunately I had already did some upgrades to the Linpus OS and the kernel source I downloaded no longer matched the installed version. I couldn't get VBox to compile with the source and after a few frustrating hours of search I gave up and thought, "Well, let's try my favourite distro of the big 3 - Ubuntu 8.10" It did install but wireless networking didn't work which was not a problem as lo-and-behold someone else had already encountered the same problem and kindly documented the specific tasks I had to do to optimize Ubuntu for the Acer. "Great," I thought, " but I must remember not to put the Acer into standby or else my SSD memory chips could be erased. Oh, and my wireless switch won't work." Now I had a functioning Ubuntu on my Acer - much slower to boot and bit less function than Linpus and after about a week of using it I accidentally went into standby and yep, my SSD chip became unreadable. Luckily, someone else had documented the way to recover from this little accident and about 2 hours, I recovered usage of the chip. All was quiet for about 2 months and then I did a Ubuntu security update which installed kernel 2.26.27.11 and my wireless stopped working. "Not again," I thought, "Yet another time waster" Back to Google and yet another search revealed that kernel update 2.6.27.11 was known to break support for wireless on the AA1. I had to drop back to 2.6.27.9.

In summary of my rather long post, I felt quite let down with Acer not providing a very well supported version of Linux in consideration for a slightly more advanced user of Linux; I felt let down by my favourite Linux disto Ubuntu for making it dangerous to use my choice of laptop and for breaking it during a routine security update. I actual think now that maybe I should have got the Windows version with the 160GB H/D after all and just set up a dual boot. From what I have read about it, customized as it is, it also does seem to be more stable than what I have experienced and for what my objective was with the AA1.

Thanks for letting me vent. I still love the AA1 in spite of its warts.

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