Acer 4530 and Ubuntu 9.04 – Perfect!

It’s here ladies and gentlemen … the perfect match. Ubuntu 9.04 appears to be well and truly tailor made for Acer 4530. Absolutely everything works. I’ve got the wifi working, sound playing, nvidia graphics working seamlessly with compiz-fusion.

The best part is, it’s working off a windows NTFS partition with write access to all the NTFS partitions, thanks to Wubi! And the entire installation took a little over 5 minutes. That’s even less than what it would have taken if I had installed a full blown Ubuntu installation.

My biggest concern was about the Atheros wifi card which has always been a problem in Linux because of the bad drivers. But Ubuntu 9.04 works out of the box. My laptop uses the ath9k kernel driver which is working great.

I feel everyone should give this a shot, windows users included. I’ve been dying to get rid of the vista home premium that came bundled with my laptop and along comes ubuntu 9.04 with it’s amazing compatibility. I’ve been a die-hard gentoo user for the past 5 years and now seeing how convenient ubuntu is, I finally feel Linux has arrived!


Ok, here’re some more details:

This is my laptop: Acer 4530-6823 which has AMD Athlon XP 64bit QL-62 processor. I’m using the 32bit version of Jaunty and the default Gnome desktop.

Of course, I would say that this distro, although miles ahead of the others, isn’t without some bugs. The audio port for headphones/speakers doesn’t work out of the box. Neither does the built in mic. But I think this can be fixed by updating/configuring alsa.

But the webcam works fine. I’ve tried it with Ekiga and it’s working.

I did try installing Ubuntu 8.10 on my friend’s Acer 4530 which was identical except for the memory and HDD and I gave up after spending a miserable few hours struggling with it. Same was the case with Suse. But the ease with which I could get Ubuntu 9.04 up and running is amazing. If you’ve got this laptop, I would highly recommend this version. Also, if your laptop has got an atheros wifi card. This is the first Linux distro I’ve seen which has got it working out of the box (I couldn’t get it to work in any of the others even after struggling with them – Ubuntu 8.10, OpenSuse 11.1, Gentoo!).


Ok, got the headphones working. Followed the instructions in the post given by Asif over here:

9 thoughts on “Acer 4530 and Ubuntu 9.04 – Perfect!

  1. first thanx …as i had ubuntu 8.10 on my acer 4530 (athlon), and was in dilemma wheter to switch to 9.04 or not

    but plz mention whether u hav acer 4530 (athlon ) or (turion)

    also is ur head phone working , since in 8.10 the head phones are not working

    are u using gnome or kde . wheter 32 bits or 64 bits

  2. Having convinced by friend he came to me last night to have Ubuntu installed. I tried both the 9.04 i386 and amd64 versions (via wubi) but it just didn’t work. The live cd worked in both instances but very sluggishly and installing via wubi took forever, basically reaching 95% and no progress afterwards. After a forced restart the system would be there but behaved in the same manner as the Cd. Windows get rendered extremely slowly, starting with a white colored box that drops from the top and then comes the color dropping slowly from the top as well. System>Administration>Hardware drivers offered no proprietary graphics card drivers, only a wireless card driver. I would appreciate and help, if possible. Thanx

  3. That looks exactly like my experience with previous versions of Ubuntu viz., 7 and 8. Usually there are a few things that you can look out for:

    1. I’ve found that the 32bit version usually works better than the 64bit one. Sometimes both of them are equally bitchy. You may need to manually set some of the kernel parameters at boot time, like noacpi etc. This is rather a hit or miss and you would need to try random combinations of all the kernel options and it may work.
    2. Are you using the Acer 4530 laptop? It’s possible that maybe your laptop config isn’t yet fully supported out of the box by Ubuntu. The forums have a lot of people who are very helpful and you should be able to find some thread where there’re atleast some suggestions for your configuration. You could try that out. As for your display card, you should find out it’s make and search for it on the forums. You should be able to install the required drivers through synaptic if not through the hardware drivers.
    3. Last case, if it just doesn’t work and you have no more sources, raise a ticket with the Ubuntu support team. They will ask you for more details and will try to help you. Atleast they will ensure that future versions have better support.

    Hope this helps. I’m by no means an Ubuntu expert, I’ve been using Gentoo all my life and this is the first time I’m using Ubuntu so extensively!

    • It’s an Acer 4530. And strangely the general impression at the Ubuntu forums is that this is a very problematic piece of hardware. I was quite surprised reading about your success installing Jaunty on it. But then it could be that Acer has different hardware configurations depending on the market. My friend’s 4530 is Malaysian and I assume yours was bought in the States. I’ll probably try changing the kernel parameters at boot time. Thanks for your help.

      • No problem. I will admit that this IS a very problematic piece of hardware for Linux in general and not specific to Ubuntu. On my friend’s laptop, nothing worked. Ubuntu refused to even start up and Suse crashed completely after updating. We finally resorted to Gentoo which worked all the way till a desktop environment. But for some reason, it just worked for me. There are some quirks no doubt, but it’s a complete surprise to me that atleast so much of it is working fine with minimal effort. It is possible that it’s because the hardware is different in the US from other countries. Acer isn’t doing charity you know.

  4. Thanks a lot! That link for the headphones problem was exactly what I was looking for – a little awkward, but there you go. I’m in college, and like listening to music in library – so I need working headphones

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