Acer Aspire 5650: Linux

Last update: 5 November 2007

I bought an Acer Aspire 5650 in October to accompany me in my travels. Half-way through I got really fed up with Windows, so I installed Linux as dual boot. It works great, my only regret is that the xD card reader in the side doesn't work - SD works great with a patch - (which is one of the main reasons I took the laptop with me :p).

Distros: Gentoo, Ubuntu edgy 6.10 (briefly upgraded to 7.04 then trashed), and Debian 4 testing.

Kernel: 2.6.18 to 2.6.21 (updated regularly from

Author: Thomas Calvert - thomas NOSPAM (remove the NOSPAM of course).

Intel Centrino Dual 1.66GHzFully SupportedCPUFreq works great if compiled in your kernel with the ACPI P-States driver.
KeyboardFully SupportedI had to add the following to my /etc/X11/Xmodmap for the and $ keys near the arrows:
keycode 51 = dollar dollar
keycode 140 = EuroSign EuroSign
Toshiba MK1032GS 100GBFully SupportedSCSI hard drive, use the sd kernel module.
Matshita UJ-845S CD-RW ComboFully SupportedUse the sg module.
Risky! This drive can be firmware flashed to upgrade it to a DVD+/-RW dual layer burner using the D100 firmware. THIS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK!! I almost lost mine doing this, so I don't recommend it. If you want more info on how I did this, email me.
nVidia GeForce Go7600 128MBFully Supported1280x800@24bits@50Hz. I recommend the proprietary driver.
The TV-out also works great as an extension of your screen, or as a separate screen. Other screen outputs not tested, but I would expect them to work with no problems seeing as the driver is developed by nVidia themselves. Note: PCI-Express, not AGP.
Broadcom Tigon3 10/100/1000Gb EthernetFully SupportedUse the kernel tg3 module.
Intel Centrino 3945 802.11a/b/g WirelessFully SupportedNot in all distros, ipw3945 module. Injection can be achieved using ipwraw from the iwlwifi project.
USB Intel 82801G HubFully SupportedNo brainer with usbcore.
PCMCIA ENE CB-712/4 CardbusFully SupportedUse the yenta module.
Intel High Definition Audio (HDA) - Realtek ALC883 chipFully Supportedsnd_hda_intel module. Microphone input works with a bit of tinkering (see below)
ACPI (battery, cpufreq scaling, AC, etc...)Fully SupportedStandard ACPI modules.
Bluetooth (apparently Broadcom chip)Fully Supporteduhci_hcd module. Connected through USB.
Firewire (IEEE1394)Fully SupportedStandard ohci1394 module.
InfraredNot testedI didn't even compile IrDA into my kernel. And I remember reading something about the infrared on another similar Aspire not working... Sorry!
ExpressCard/34Not testedNo idea... See
SD card reader by ENE TechnologiesSupported with patchThe ENE controller is a bit strange, but can be made to work with the sdhci driver. First get the patch here, then apply it to your kernel sources, recompile, reload sdhci module, and I have SD cards automounted by GNOME.
Credits to GoogleGuy for this patch
xD card reader by ENE TechnologiesNOT SupportedxD is proprietary technology for which only one linux beta driver exists, and that is for some external readers. SD is supported after patching, so all is not lost ;)
56k modemNot testedProbably doesn't work anyway. Does anyone still use 56k? :s

That's about it. Overall I am very happy with the performance, I can run WoW in 1280x800 under linux and the fps is only slightly lower than windows (under cedega or wine). My only regret really is the card reader, but then I can only blame ENE... This is also why I still have WinXP as dual boot.

Getting the microphone to work: I had a hard time getting the microphone working. Basically I have to load the module with model=targa-dig option, then up the Mic Boost (in alsamixer) to at least 50%, make sure Capture is unmuted and at 100%, and in options Channel Mode must be 2ch or 4ch, and Input Source I set both to Mic. My microphone now works fine in Skype and other applications.

A few recommended kernel config items

lspci output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G70 [GeForce Go 7600] (rev a1)
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5789 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 21)
05:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
06:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): VIA Technologies, Inc. IEEE 1394 Host Controller (rev c0)
06:04.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB-712/4 Cardbus Controller (rev 10)
06:04.1 FLASH memory: ENE Technology Inc ENE PCI Memory Stick Card Reader Controller (rev 01)
06:04.2 Generic system peripheral [0805]: ENE Technology Inc ENE PCI Secure Digital Card Reader Controller (rev 01)
06:04.3 FLASH memory: ENE Technology Inc FLASH memory: ENE Technology Inc: (rev 01)
06:04.4 FLASH memory: ENE Technology Inc Unknown device 0551 (rev 01)

lsscsi output:

[0:0:0:0]    disk    ATA      TOSHIBA MK1032GS AS02  /dev/sda
[1:0:0:0]    cd/dvd  MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ-845S  D100  /dev/scd0

lsmod output (custom kernel, may not be identical to yours):

Module                  Size  Used by
vfat                    7680  1 
fat                    33564  1 vfat
mmc_block               4232  2 
sdhci                  10764  0 
mmc_core               14212  2 mmc_block,sdhci
ipv6                  180032  10 
nvidia               6820116  26 
vmnet                  19748  5 
vmmon                 161100  0 
nfs                   164072  0 
fan                     2308  0 
button                  3856  0 
ac                      2308  0 
battery                 6020  0 
fuse                   26260  1 
snd_seq_oss            19968  0 
snd_seq_midi_event      3456  1 snd_seq_oss
snd_seq                29392  4 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_seq_device          3852  2 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq
sbp2                   14212  0 
loop                    8712  0 
eth1394                11780  0 
usbhid                 10628  0 
snd_hda_intel          10008  6 
snd_hda_codec         165376  1 snd_hda_intel
snd_pcm_oss            27552  0 
snd_mixer_oss          10240  1 snd_pcm_oss
pcmcia                 20884  0 
snd_pcm                40708  4 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
ipw3945               177956  0 
snd_timer              12292  3 snd_seq,snd_pcm
ehci_hcd               22028  0 
snd                    26980  19 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer
uhci_hcd               16140  0 
ohci1394               25520  0 
usbcore                78856  4 usbhid,ehci_hcd,uhci_hcd
tg3                    88836  0 
yenta_socket           14476  1 
rsrc_nonstatic          5888  1 yenta_socket
pcmcia_core            20372  3 pcmcia,yenta_socket,rsrc_nonstatic
ieee1394               55992  3 sbp2,eth1394,ohci1394
ieee80211              23368  1 ipw3945
ieee80211_crypt         2304  1 ieee80211
snd_page_alloc          4744  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm

If you have any further questions, feel free to email me (see top of page).