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Please see https://launchpad.net/bugs/1296138 for a reason.

acer Aspire S3

Things that work out-of-the-box

Using Ubuntu 12.04 ("Precise Pangolin") and 14.04 ("Trusty Tahr") the following things should work out-of-the-box.

  • Suspend/Resume
  • 3D Graphics effects
  • multi-touch
  • Audio (including microphone and microphone jack!)
  • Wifi (note Fn/F3 enables and disables wifi and bluetooth)
  • The webcam
  • Bluetooth (note Fn/F3 enables and disables wifi and bluetooth)

Things that work after changing a few text lines using a text editor

  • Changing the screen brightness

Making the screen brightness adjustable

Source and detailled description: http://www.linlap.com/wiki/acer+aspire+s3

  • Open a terminal
  • sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

  • search for the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""

  • Replace it by the following two lines:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="quiet splash pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor"

The file you just edited is read by the system only on a kernel, initramfs or bootloader update or on typing

sudo update-grub

into a terminal.

Installing Ubuntu on the SD card on the SSD+Hard disk variant

Installing Ubuntu on the SD card will allow you to use its superior speed, getting boot times of around 12 seconds. If you own the SSD-only version of the ultrabook this is done automatically. Otherwise installing it there is easy: When asked if you want to use the whole hard disk for Ubuntu click on I want to setup the partitions manually and choose the following partition:

  • The smaller hard disk (should be /dev/sdb) holds a partition formatted with the ext4 file system and is mounted at /

  • The bigger hard disk (should be /dev/sda) holds a two partitions:

    • One partition (5 Gigabytes are more than sufficient) of Swap memory
    • And one partition formatted with the ext4 file system that is mounted at /home

  • Note that grub should be installed on /dev/sda as the S3 BIOS will not boot from the SSD in this model.

Reducing the SSD wear further increasing speed

Using the noatime and nodiratime options

Normally linux keeps track when a file or directory has been *read*. If you don't need this information (the system does not need it either) --- just sudo gedit /etc/fstab and add noatime,nodiratime, to the lines for the file system / and /home.

# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>                            <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sdb1 during installation
UUID=<value of uuid1>  /        ext4    noatime,nodiratime,errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /home was on /dev/sdb2 during installation
UUID=<value of uuid2>  /home    ext4    noatime,nodiratime,defaults          0       2

Moving temp and log files from the SSD

SSDs are fast when you read from them. But writing is slower and repeatingly writing the same sector tends to wear out the sector that is written to. Also writing to a disk always needs some battery power if running on battery. Therefore: sudo gedit /etc/fstab and add the following lines to move all temporary and log files to the RAM instead:

none /var/log tmpfs defaults 0 2
none /var/tmp tmpfs defaults 0 2
none /tmp tmpfs defaults 0 2

Alternatively Aspire S3 that own the version with the hard-disk can move the temp directory to the hard disk if they want to. This reduces the SSD wear and gives you nearly unlimited space in the /tmp directory but needs a little more power and is slower: Don't add the none /tmp tmpfs defaults 0 2 line to /etc/fstab and type the following into a terminal:

sudo mkdir /home/.tmp
sudo chmod a+rwx /home/.tmp
sudo rm /tmp
sudo ln -s /home/.tmp tmp

Increasising the battery runtime

Power settings

www.linlap.com/wiki/acer+aspire+s3 proposes to do a sudo gedit /etc/pm/power.d/linlap.com and to put the following lines into this file

case $1 in
      # go into powersave mode
      # NMI watchdog
      echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/watchdog
      # SD card reader
      # TODO test if sdcard mounted
      rmmod rts5139
      #VM writeback timeout
      echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
      # SATA link power management
      for i in 0 1 2 3 4 5 ; do
              echo min_power>/sys/class/scsi_host/host${i}/link_power_management_policy
      # Runtime PM for PCI Device
      for i in /sys/bus/pci/devices/*/power/control ; do
              echo auto > ${i}
      # Runtime PM for USB Device
      for i in /sys/bus/usb/devices/*/power/control ; do
              echo auto > ${i}
      # CPU freq scaling
      for i in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu?/cpufreq/scaling_governor ; do
              echo powersave > ${i}
      # go into AC mode
      echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/watchdog
      modprobe rts5139
      echo 60000 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
      for i in 0 1 2 3 4 5 ; do
              echo min_power>/sys/class/scsi_host/host${i}/link_power_management_policy
      for i in /sys/bus/pci/devices/*/power/control ; do
              echo on > ${i}
      for i in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu?/cpufreq/scaling_governor ; do
              echo ondemand > ${i}
exit 0

Switching to a 2D window manager does no more provide this much of added battery time any more on precise pangolin.

NOTE: In battery power some wireless mouse will have issue described in http://askubuntu.com/questions/80638/how-to-disable-auto-power-off-of-usb-devices-like-usb-mouse

If so , comment or delete the "Runtime PM for USB Device"

Deactivating unused peripherials

Power-hungry SD card reader

According to www.linlap.com/wiki/acer+aspire+s3 with the current driver the SD card reader seems to use about 1 Watt of battery power.

You can deactivate it temporarily by doing a

sudo rmmod rts5139

or deactivate it by default by doing a

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-local.conf

and adding the following line:

blacklist rts5139

Temporarily re-enabling it when you want to use it is easy:

sudo modprobe rts5139


Bluetooth is both a radio transmitter and a device that keeps a bluetooth busy. If you don't need it: It can be deactivated in the same way as the card reader.Only this module is named btusb instead of rts5139

AspireS3 (last edited 2014-08-10 17:30:06 by ayeomans)