ACER 5050-4697 [Started: September 27, 2007][Completed: December 12 2007][Last update June 25 2008]

Conclusion: let me give the conclusion in advance. This machine is a beta-machine, lots of
new stuff, not yet supported. It sells for a very afordable price "south of the border" (from Mexico to Argentina). Once tamed, it works as a charm!

Note that this installation follows pre-distributions methods (you have been warned!)

    ubuntu 7.04 (amd64, Feisty Fawn?): loads kernel and initrd, and hangs without messages
    UTUTO XS 2007.1 (amd64): installs but requires information regarding screen not
                    provided by ACER. The installed kernel does not boot beyond init=1 (single user)
    debian etch (R4.0): installs and runs, the kernel is
    kernel 2.6.22 compiled under debian
    kernel is the latest stable release. (see config)

kernel 2.6.24-rc3 (development kernel, best choice) (config, dmsg, DSDT.hex and DSDT.dsl)

Keys: [fails] Works Works: means, fails with distribution kernel but works under kernel 2.6.22 and

General Hardware Specifications of ACER 5050-4697:

Hardware Components

Status under Linux


1 AMD-64 Turion 2.2GHz Mobile Tech.

[Works] Works Works

No special procedure required during installation.

14.1 WXGA (1280x800)

[Works] Works Works

No special procedure required during installation

ATI 64MB Video ( ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 )

[Works] Works Works

ATI Linux driver, select memory taken from main memory in bios <F2>, options 256,128,64

See (*external monitor)


[Works] Works Works

No special procedure required during installation


Works in kernel 2.6.24-ac3

See (*ACPI)

120 Gb SATA, Hitachi

Works Works

I had problems with the sata drivers:

You need: sata_sil (pata_sil?) and pata_atiixp under Serial ATA
Shutdown problem (parking), to be fixed soon. See shutdown

Camera Suyin

partially works partially works

using uvcvideo  (*Camera)

Integrated Network Card

[Fails] Fails Work

See (*eth0)  (*ppp) (*dhcp)

CD-DVD-ROM (R)  Drive

[Fails] Works.. Works..

Reads, writting not tested

Internal Wifi

[Fails] Fails.  Works

(*madwifi) (*ndiswrapper)

3Hr Battery

[Fails] Fails Not tested


[Fails] Works Works

Lots of error messages under 2.6.18, no error-message under 2.6.22 works with headphones.




Not supported under Vista but in hardarwe. Module loads. I cannot test more since I do not use it. Also needs to power on.

(*ACPI) With kernels older than 2.6.24-rc3, use acpi=off at boot line. acpi=ht also works giving very limited acpi support (NO BATTERY monitoring!) This machine apparently has no (good) acpi support (hangs with distribution kernel and hangs with warning with new kernel). Better, disable acpi offending parts. My config file is here

                    ACPI  Kernel Bug Tracker Bug 9088 submitted, merged with 8953 (duplicate)

The linux-kernel-acpi team did a great job. With kernel 2.6.24-rc3 the hang up was fixed. To get ACPI working fine the acpi DSDT table has to be fixed. How to in Furthermore, there is now a patch does not requires a amended DSDT

Next, compile and install and enter the corresponding line (acer_acpi) in /etc/modules

(*madwifi) My chipset is Atheros AR5006EG (rev 01) (according to the old-data in lspci, new data says Atheros AR242x rev 01). Vista says it is AR5007EG and madwifi says it is all the same thing (see ticket

There is a beta driver....

Download the file madwifi-hal- , build and install. Follow the instructions in README and INSTALL. See instrucion 5 below on how to power on and off the device (maybe it can be handled from withing the hal...).

  1. Create the file /etc/modprobe.conf/ath_pci with the line: options ath_pci autocreate=none

  2. Include the line: wlan_scan_sta in /etc/modules

  3. Include in /etc/rc.local the lines:

  4. /usr/local/bin/wlanconfig ath0 create wlandev wifi0 wlanmode sta

    /sbin/ifconfig ath0 up

  5. echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless to power on

    echo 0 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless to power off

    NetworkManager handles the conmnection well, wifi-radar does not work.

NOTHING IS SIMPLE HERE!!!! This may be not optimal, or correct, but it works.

(*ndiswrapper) Works. But some times does not (unload the module and reload). It is not clear to me why and when does not work. If you are using something like NetworkManager you will have to disable it before unloading and reloading. wifi-radar works.

  1. Download a 64bit Windows driver from the maker (I used version xp64-, version xp64- is identical!).

  2. Download, compile and install ndiswrapper-1.52 (previous versions produce some times a kernel uoop!)

  3. Download, compile and install latest wireless-tools (because of changes in the new kernel)

  4. Download, compile and install wifi-radar-1.9.8 (o later)

  5. Before using the wifi, you need to modprobe ndiswrapper; echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless to power on, after use rmmod ndiswrapper; echo 0

    to save energy. You need the acer-acpi module.

(*Camera) So far, uvcvideo compiles, loads and finds the camera.  luvcview -f yuv and Ekiga with the v4l2 plugins (libpt-plugins-v4l2 ) work.

(*eth0) problems here too. The newkernel is not compatible with dhcp in distribution apparently
             it drops the connection before being stablished. After acpi sucess and new kernel, works!

(*ppp) Remove Debian's pppoe and pppoeconf (incompatible with new kernel), install rp-pppoe-3.8

(*dhcp) Remove Debian's instalation, Download and install dhcp-4.0.0a3. Also, and just in case

        installed  pcmciautils-014 . The kernel protests and protests discover's use of pcmcia.

lspci -vvv output    dmesg output     /proc/cpu   /proc/ioports    /proc/iomem    /proc/modules   acpi-tables-old

(*sound) Remeber to run "alsaconf" and "alsactl store", move up sourround in the mixer. And add a line in

/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base saying options snd-hda-intel model=acer

(*external monitor) If the acer is turned on with a monitor or projector attached to the video-port, the laptop uses the external monitor ONLY. If this solution is not good enough for you, the options are:

a. upgrade to lenny. Lenny has X11R7.3 which supports xrandr1.2 and the ati driver will let you switch between screen and monitor or use both of them on the flight. (I had problems upgrading!)

b. download the installer from ATI (Linux x86_64 -> Integrated motherboard -> Radeon Xpress 200)

build the deb packages (help in the installer), install and use aticonfig to change /etc/X11/xorg.conf

PROBLEM: I cannot install packages with the new kernel.
Apparently the new kernel hotplug feature does not get along well with Etch.

Solution: change /etc/fstab Mount /dev/scd0 to /media/cdrom0 (Debian uses /dev/hda)

Contact Information


Linux on Acer Laptops and notebooks (home)


This laptop comes with Vista installed, 32bit because Vista 64bits is baddly broken.

It also has a backup Window XP in the first partition of the disk, just in case, you know... Do not erase them until you are sure you have enough control under Linux (do not shoot yourself in the foot!)