back to article Ten tweaks for a new Acer Aspire One

Acer's Aspire One is ready to go out of the box, but if you've opted for the Linux version and you're new to the OS, you may be wondering how to get started. Here are ten things to try. Before we start, a warning. Later tips involve working with Linux configuration files, which do not take kindly to errors. Check your typing …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. thesniper

    But what about USB 3G Modem?

    That's the #1 problem why I can't get one right now :(

  2. Gerard Krupa


    I'm not convinced installing various user applications like The Gimp and VLC could really be classed as "tweaks" on an SCC any more than they would on a desktop PC. May as well say I've tweaked my Windows PC to edit documents by installing Microsoft Office.

  3. Richard Kilpatrick


    The little Vulcan FlipStart had the 3G modem designed in right from the beginning... it's a shame they didn't pre-empt this aspect of the marketplace and produce a cheaper, 7" model.

    I really don't understand why it's taking so long for SCCs to ship with 3G provision.

  4. Neal McQ

    any version of this for the eee901

    great write-up! any chance of a copy for the eee 901 :)

  5. Gildas


    Install Thunderbird from the programmes repository. The standard e-mail client is OK but not a patch on T/bird.

  6. Peter

    proper desktop

    The number one tweak is the script this guy wrote:

    Basically strips off the custom front end on Linpus and gives you a proper desktop + updates a whole bunch of stuff and it really does run as simply as he says.

    Next I'll be looking into some of the custom fan speed control scripts people are working on.

  7. Ishkandar

    And then there's the old farts.....

    ...who prefer to use vi or even, so help me God, ed on the command line !!

    @Neal McQ - The whole point, and the fun, of Linux is to RTFM and then have a go at it yourself !! However, as this gentleman said earlier, always have a recovery disk or USB drive handy and BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP !!

  8. Christopher E. Stith

    word omitted in the first sentence...

    s/to started/to get started/

    perhaps s/to started/to start/

    Also, showing off the xterm is nice for the new users, but if you're just running one command from it you might as well run that command from the command window. That is, unless you really need the STDOUT and STDERR for feedback.

  9. Sim
    Thumb Up

    version of this for the eee901

    lots of info for linux noobs with an eeepc

  10. noodle heimer

    hypothetical ssd improvements

    I read the source article, and it also didn't actually quantify the performance benefit of doing the SSD changes.

    any chance of running a filesystem bench before and after these tweaks to see if they do anything?

    I was more interested in an article sort of three links away from your source; over on tom's hardware, they're arguing that SSDs are, in addition to screamingly expensive, worse power sucks than conventional HDDs.,1955.html

    Makes me suddenly more interested in hdd-equipped SCCs than I'd been.

  11. KenBW2

    Pointlessly complicated?

    Just me or were some of those tips really complicated and scary for those new to linux? Probably linpus' fault, rather than the author's. But still, looks scary from my ubuntu point of view

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: 3G USB modem on AA1

    4 steps to put a Huawei E220 working in a AA1:

    1. Go here and download ** Install it.

    Note: it will ask you which user you want to add group vmc

    2. rmmod usb_storage

    3. modprobe usbserial vendor=0xf3d product=0x0112 or modprobe usbserial vendor=0xf3d product=0x0113 (I use the later)

    4. Run the vodafone app. It works in every modem form different carriers

  13. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)


    Ken, any Linux is a little scary for users accustomed to GUI-centric operating systems. Using the command line, editing config files - these are not tasks Mac owners and PC users usually do.

    But I'm interested: does Ubuntu let you do *all* of these things through a GUI?

    Actually, since a lot of Linux things are hidden or not installed on the AA1, presumably because Acer figures the user doesn't need them, and 'full' distro will be more flexible that the AA1's version of Linpus.

  14. Sam

    Great Article

    Worth buying an Acer just to try all that stuff out...

  15. FRLinux

    Kernel modules

    I have added some modules for OpenVPN and PL2303 devices and even a new kernel with IPv6 support, you can take a look there :

  16. chris
    Dead Vulture

    Target market fail.

    You try to produce an easy-to-use Linux system and what's the first thing folk are told to do? Run xterm.

  17. GrahamT


    To be fair, the AA1 works fine out of the box without a user ever having to see xterm.

    These tweaks are to change the basic consumer package to something that suits El Reg readers better, and we presumably, have no problems with xterm. Just think of it as the Linux equivalent of regedit.

    All I've done so far is replace the email reader with Thunderbird, which took just a few minutes and no reboot.

  18. chris jones
    Thumb Down

    Acer - no way

    My tweak tip would be to avoid Acer like a dose of your favourite std. They would not honour the warranty on an Acer PDA of mine and I had the experience of trying to connect an Acer laptop to a wireless network using a wireless stick. Then I found that every usb port on the laptop was inoperative, the machine was about 18 months old

  19. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up


    I've been using Ubuntu for about two years now, and it wasn't till I started prodding the .conf files in /etc and checking the logs in /var/log that I started getting into full on 'power user' mode.

    Currently I am looking at setting up my own fully blown email server, with anti-spam, antivirus, the full shebang, primarily thanks to checking out these details. Had I stuck with Windows [and been stuck with exchange....] I would never have bothered.

    In the same way that you really don't start getting the best out of windows still you start fiddling with the registry and .inf files, etc, you don't get the best out of any OS till you start

    A: Digging around the system config files and logs

    B:Understanding them.

    For the record, I have played with a colleagues Linpus Aspire One and it makes Ubuntu and XP look horrifically complex!

    It's a good wee OS for someone who just wants to play around a bit with 't net, IM software, etc, but it's pretty restrictive. And if this article interests you, then you owe it to yourself to start digging around your Ubuntu box. Just copy out your Home folder, and thats the vast chunk of your system backed up anyway...

    I've been doing tech support for over ten years, and frankly, the *nix file layout/OS is far easier to 'hack around' in than Windows I reckon. Have a look at it, once it 'clicks', it's really good fun to play about with, if that's the way your mind works ;-)

    Steven "horrific geek" Raith.

  20. b4k4


    actually if you type terminal instead of xterm, it will look nicer and have a better font.

    the worst thing about the aspire one is lack of nw browser. if you work on various networks and need to mount samba shares, then you need to know them and type mount commands. Unless you install pyNeighborhood, but that only seems to work on public shares.

    actually the really worst thing is the useless battery.

    then there's the rpm based distro. acers repo seems to be offline sometimes also.

    apart from all that, its a great little machine if you wanted a 901 but they only had windows and you didn't want to add yet another + to MS sales.

  21. Cliff

    USB printer support?

    I've got an AA1, it is great as a second device, so as opposed to keeping a top-end laptop, I can keep a chunky desktop and the AA1, and be able to do everything between them (render HiDef Video on the road? I need that less often than a bit of invoicing on a client's site).

    But - I am absolutely rogered if I can get the bugger to print through the otherwise working USB ports - it seems many popular printers aren't supported out of the box, and digging around the interweb isn't much help for a linux newbie. The jobs manager piles up the jobs, but nothing ever prints (on any of several printers I've tried from different manufacturers) dammit.

    If you were fool enough to buy one from Curry's/other DSG member, Acer won't support you directly, but send you to the DSG IT support. Yes, exactly. So no help on the printing then, beyond "you should have checked your printer was compatible before you bought your AA1"

    If anyone wants to write a popular tip#11 onwards, "printing support for your AA1, what you can expect and bodge" would certainly be a super addition.

  22. W

    Jolly good stuff

    Except the equivalent in XP would go something like this:

    Tweak A:

    1. Download .exe file.

    2. Double click and click OK.

    3. Go to Tools...Settings.

    Tweak B:

    1. Right click > Properties.

    2. Go to the Settings tab.

    3. Tick the XYZ checkbox.

    I want the OS to be as unintrusive and passive as possible. Not a hurdle that I have to jump every time I want to make a minor change. I don't want to faff with registry or .inf files. I pay good money for a relatively robust OS lets me get on with my job by installing whatever software I want. Be it freeware / OSS / paid for / other.

    There might well be something very satisfying about building your own house. But you'll spend so much time learning about how to do the building, you'll have no time left for interior design.

    Horses for courses. Each to their own, etc.

  23. W


    Yup that's mine - I'm off to go leaf kicking.

    I trust yours is the hand-me-down with elbow patches. And you'll be hand-sewing extra pockets on, amending the hem stitching, dye-ing the colour, and changing the buttons on it all by yourself, yeah? And knitting your own jumper, no doubt. It'll be summer again by the time your done.

    In case you change your mind... coats aren't that expensive these days and the shops have got a sale on. Come on guys: it's fun outside.

  24. Ian

    Linux fan, but...

    I've been a casual Linux fan for a decade and thought that SCCs would be the catalyst for Linux. For the 2 weeks that I had my AA1 (Linpus + 6 cell battery) I loved it, until I wanted to make some "simple" changes. I wish I had read this great article earlier. I just wanted FF3 and to stream music/movies from my media server. After much reading, trial & error and numerous uses of the recovery DVD, I realised my time was too valuable and I returned it for the AA1 Windows version. I even tried installing other Linux distributions but most do not support the AA1 wi-fi card or make proper use of SSD storage expansion slot :-(

    Linux is great... and SCCs are a great way to learn if you have the time. Usually you pay a $100 premium for Windows, but with the price difference between Windows and Linux on SCCs being so small I had no choice but to ultimately opt for the dark side. At least my "simple" changes are now "simple".

    Aside: I strongly recommend paying the extra for the 6-cell version. You get 5+ hours of constant usage.

  25. b4k4

    re: Linux Fan succumbs to dark side

    Your time is not that valuable. Time learning a unix OS is well spent, as you hone your Jedi skills. Money given to the Empire prolongs the tyranny of the Death Star.

    Turn away from the dark side, before its too late.

    Use the source for good.

  26. Charlie Morel

    Can't get Skype on AA1 desktop.

    Wish I had read your 10 tweaks article first. I followed the directions from another web site. In the xml edit, I failed to remove the last two dashes at the end of the line. Only removed the exclamation point and first two dashes. Of course Skype icon was not on desktop as a result. Went back to edit the line correctly, and the line with Skype reference was completely gone. Fortunately, Skype program still runs and is still listed in the desktop menu. But, is there anyway now I can get the Skype icon in the Connect Group on my AA1 desktop?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like