Ubuntu 8.04: Hardy Heron on the Amilo 1650
After using Hardy Heron for about twelve hours now (at least eight of those tweaking and fiddling) I must say I am impressed although, it sometimes feels a bit more clunky than previous releases. This release builds greatly on the previous release 7.10 and feels more feature complete and compatible as well. This is largely due to native inclusion of the b43 driver over the depreciated bcm43xx driver for the wireless as well as an improved restricted driver manager.
Here is an overview of how things work with my Fujitsu Siemens A1650 Amilo laptop:
CPU: Works perfectly (including frequency scaling and power management)
WiFi (Broadcom 4318 ) : Works *! (After the install of Acer_acpi tools and a bit of tweaking)
Graphics (Ati x200m) : Works perfectly! (With Ati Non-Free driver)
Flash (in Firefox) : Works perfectly (I had lots of problems with this in 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.)
Memory Card Reader : Not tested.
PCMCIA : Works perfectly (tested with IDE > CF converter and tried a CF memory card)
Hot Keys : Can be made to work, but I have not got around to this yet.
* Although it picks up and connects to wireless networks, I need to do a bit of testing before I am 100% sure all the problems have been sorted. Bloody Broadcom….
I had do install a few extra packages to get it all working however and I am going to detail this now.
To get the wireless working we need to install the firmware (not shipped with Ubuntu) via the new firmware cutter b43-fwcutter. In a terminal window, type:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bc43-fwcutter
Once that is done, follow these instructions to obtain and load the correct firmware module.
Now we need to install the Acer_acpi packages. Do not follow the instructions on the project website relating to acer_acpi as you will end up trying to install the depreciated version of b43 (bcm43xx.)
We need to add the following line to the package manager to enable the repository containing the acer_acpi code:
deb http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu gutsy main
Once that is done, open a console window.
wget http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu/depot.key -O- | sudo apt-key add –
apt-get install aceracpi-source
m-a a-i aceracpi-source
This first downloads the repository public signing key and then gets the acer_acpi source package. In the process you will likely be asked to install other dependancies, agree to this as these will be required during the compiling process. Once the above commands have completed, you will need to activate the module:
The wireless light on the A1650 will now light up showing the wireless module has been activated. For future reference, it can be activated and deactivated with the following commands:
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless (to activate)
echo 0 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless (to deactivate)
Restart and your wireless should be operational 🙂 For reference, I followed parts of the guide found here. I would not recommend you do the same, as you will end up trying to install the depreciate version of the b43 driver, bcm43xx.
Another thing which I installed was the Compiz manager as well as emerald. Compiz has a lot of options, but window decoration is still one I prefer to use Emerald for. These are installed in much the same way as they were in 7.10 with a few key exceptions.
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz-gnome compiz-plugins libcompizconfig-backend-gconf libcompizconfig0
Then install emerald:
sudo apt-get install emerald
Once these packages (and their dependancies) have installed, you will find two new options under System > Preferences gnome menu. One will give you complete control over the effects Compiz uses and the other will let you load/tweak and create Emerald themes. However, as per default metacity is the window decorator. In the Compiz “Advanced Desktop Effects Settings” find the window decoration option and replace the command field with “Emerald –replace”
Save and restart if required.