20 Aug 2009

Thumbs up - Ubuntu Jaunty on the Acer 4530

In one of my earlier posts, I'd explained how I was able to get Mandriva 2009 working absolutely fine on the Acer 4530. Now Mandriva was the first distro that I found worked flawlessly on this laptop, without needing any tweaking. However there were unresolved areas - like the webcam, wireless and bluetooth. Also I had a tough time getting virtualbox working on that one.

That was till I tested Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 release ( the amd64 version) two weeks back. And it has really blown me with the awesome compatibility. It seems to be custom built for this laptop. Everything works flawlessly (Well not everything - I'm coming to it). This wiki details the supported configuration.

The beautiful thing is that - sound works, bluetooth works, wireless works, even that volume control switch works, webcam works ( there is however an intermittent problem with the Acer 4530 webcam - thats got nothing to do with Ubuntu - some loose cable somewhere). The graphics card (Nvidia GeForce 9100G) doesn't work out of the box with the supplied driver but after a installing the latest driver ( from the Hardware Drivers option), it works superb. No wonder Ubuntu is one of the most popular distros.

The main thing for me - Virtualbox works like a charm. I needed it particularly for handling office documents that don't format properly with OpenOffice.

Of course there are some minor glitches like
1) Bluetooth always remains on during startup
2) Wifi hot-switch & associated LED donot work (like in windows)

A persistent problem I had with Mandriva was the heating (at times the CPU seemed to go into overdrive and if you just placed your hands near the heat vent, could feel the fan at full blast.) Ubuntu Jaunty thankfully doesn't seem to have this problem.

I'll post some screenshots soon. Especially the themes from the bisigi project are great.

(Psst - I also tried out an early alpha release of Karmic Kola, however it couldn't just initiate the graphics system. I understand that its in development phase & bugs might still be ironed out. Holding out eagerly for Karmic with the optimized grub2 boot system).

Way to go Ubuntu developers - you rock ! I'll even rate this one better than Vista.


  1. I have installed the standard 9.04 liveCD. Is there any advantage using the AMD64 version?

  2. The amd64 alows you to run in 64 bit offering more speed at the price of some app compatibility.