Home > F/OSS, How To, Linux, News > Ubuntu 8.04: Hardy Heron on the Amilo 1650

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 su

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.

Sudo Su

wget http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu/depot.key -O- | sudo apt-key add –

apt-get update

apt-get install aceracpi-source

m-a prepare

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:

modprobe acer_acpi

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:

Sudo su

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.

Categories: F/OSS, How To, Linux, News Tags: , , , , ,
  1. April 25, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    UPDATE: Wifi is connecting but drops out before any meaningful transactions. Will look into this and see if I can fix it. This is a bit of a deal breaker for me if I can’t get it working.

    UPDATE2: Scratch my last. Wifi is working perfectly! Tested on a WPA encrypted connection – signal strengths rarely go above 70% but it works quickly and consistantly. All in all I am very impressed with b43 and indeed 8.04 🙂

  2. itod
    April 26, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Just to confirm that Hardy “feels” much better on A1650 then Gutsy, seems that the claims it has amd64 optimizations are true.

    I didn’t want to add gutsy repository as you did, instead I’ve downloaded fresh (acer_acpi-0.11.2) version from googlecode, unpacked and did:
    sudo make install
    sudo modprobe acer_acpi
    and now turning the wireless on/off works on Hardy too.

  3. April 26, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t know if it feels better than Gutsy. They are about the same – maybe Hardy is slightly more sluggish. However, the fact that almost all the hardware works perfectly is enough to celebrate about 🙂

    With regard to acer_acpi, 0.11.2 is the version that was on the repository, the devs make clear (http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu/) that it is version independent and can be run on all recent Ubuntu builds, the prerequisite is the kernel, not the distribution (unless the distribution ships too old a kernel.)

    EDIT: Update 3 – I have found something which does not work – the secondary display. I can’t seem to find much documentation specific to the ATi x200 m but I will keep looking and update if I find a way to get it working…

  4. April 26, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Can someone please explain to a kinda first time user of linux how i can make the WIFI working?

    When i ry the first part of the manual i get the folowing:

    root@ubuntu-laptop:/home/waardd/b43-fwcutter-011# sudo apt-get update
    Geraakt http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com hardy Release.gpg
    … cut …
    Geraakt http://security.ubuntu.com hardy-security/multiverse Sources
    Pakketlijsten worden ingelezen… Klaar
    root@ubuntu-laptop:/home/waardd/b43-fwcutter-011# sudo apt-get install bc43-fwcutter
    Pakketlijsten worden ingelezen… Klaar
    Boom van vereisten wordt opgebouwd
    Reading state information… Klaar
    E: Kon pakket bc43-fwcutter niet vinden

    What am i doing wrong?

  5. April 27, 2008 at 10:26 am

    @Danny, not sure, looks like apt is printing the deb lines in the terminal (although I am no sure – I can’t read Norwegian 🙂 ) One thing that does strike me is that you are root (signified by root@ or # on the prompt) and yet you are still using sudo, this is rather superfluous.

    Check that you have enabled the multiverse and universe repositories.

  6. itod
    April 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    EDIT: Update 3 – I have found something which does not work – the secondary display. I can’t seem to find much documentation specific to the ATi x200 m but I will keep looking and update if I find a way to get it working…
    Have you tried:
    sudo aptitude install fglrx-control
    it adds nice Ati control-panel to Applications->Other, with it you can enable other monitor without editing your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. I’m not positive in which repository it is, maybe in Medibuntu, add it with:

    sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/hardy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

  7. Richard
    May 2, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Thanks a lot!! Now my wifi works on my Amilo!


  8. May 3, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    @Itod: Thanks – I will try that at some point! I would be interested to hear from other Amilo a1650 users to hear what they think of the new release, I don’t know, it feel a lot more sluggish than previous releases… Basically everything is working however which is great news. The only minor annoyance is some diagonal tearing (top left to bottom right) but I think this relates to the closed source binary driver rather than anything else…

  9. Giuseppe
    May 20, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Hi all, the link where to keep aceracpi is offline…

    How can i do?

  10. May 20, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Giuseppe! You are right, both pages appear to have been changed. The acer-acpi looks as if it has moved its code elsewhere and the tutorial page now gives a 404.

    I pulled the following snapshot of the page using Google Cache. Hope it helps until the devs / website owners get their act together.

    “Index of /ubuntu

    Icon Name Last modified Size Description[DIR] Parent Directory –
    [ ] depot.key 02-Oct-2007 09:20 1.7K
    [DIR] dists/ 10-Apr-2008 08:22 –
    [DIR] softs/ 06-Oct-2007 09:01 –
    [DIR] svn/ 07-Apr-2008 17:58 –

    Français – English – Italiano
    Ce dépôt propose principalement des packages pour le module kernel acer_acpi.
    acer_acpi est un module du noyau Linux qui permet à certains laptops, notamment de marque Acer, d’initialiser le wifi de manière logicielle.
    Le module est maintenu par Carlos Corbacho (carlos(@)strangeworlds.co.uk )
    Site web du projet : http://code.google.com/p/aceracpi/

    Pour utiliser le dépôt, insérer les lignes suivantes dans votre fichier /etc/apt/sources.list :
    deb http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu gutsy main
    Cette adresse fonctionnera pour toutes les Ubuntu (hardy, gutsy, feisty, edgy, dapper …) !
    Importez la clé du dépôt :
    wget http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu/depot.key -O- | sudo apt-key add –

    Bien que théoriquement compatibles, les package n’ont pas été testés sous Debian. Si vous avez des retours, je suis prenneur !


    1. Installez le driver de votre chipset wifi : sudo apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter et suivez les instructions, notamment au niveau du téléchargement du firmware…
    2. Ajoutez l’adresse du dépôt mumblyworld.info à votre fichier sources.list (voir plus haut). Enregistrez.
    3. Puis faites : sudo apt-get update
    4. Installez aceracpi-source : sudo apt-get install aceracpi-source
    5. Lancez module-assistant : sudo m-a prepare
    6. Puis lancez module-assistant pour la compilation et l’installation du module : sudo m-a a-i aceracpi-source
    7. Activez le module : sudo modprobe acer_acpi
    8. Initialisez la fonction wifi : sudo echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless
    9. Votre led wifi devrait s’allumer en orange… Configurez votre connexion wifi à l’aide des outils réseaux traditionnels (network-manager, …). Votre connexion devrait désormais être fonctionnelle.
    10. Au redémarrage du laptop, la connexion wifi s’amorce automatiquement !
    11. A chaque changement de kernel ou de version de aceracpi-source, “reconfigurez” acer_acpi à partir de l’étape 5.

    Les paquets proposés sur ici n’ont rien d’officiels. Malgré le soin apporté, ils peuvent contenir des bugs ou erreurs susceptibles de fortement destabiliser votre système. Vous les utilisez donc “tels quels” et à “vos risques et périls”.

    Pour contact le mainteneur de ces packages : mumbly_AT_francofolibre.org – Site web : http://www.mumblyworld.info

    INFORMATIONS – (English)
    This repository propose some packages for the acer_acpi kernel module.
    acer_acpi is a Linux kernel module to allow control of some of the hardware on later model Acer (and other Wistron OEM) laptops.
    Project’s web site : http://code.google.com/p/aceracpi/ If you want to contact the current maintainer, please use carlos(@)strangeworlds.co.uk (Carlos)

    To use this repository, insert one of the following lines in your /etc/apt/sources.list file :
    deb http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu gutsy main
    This address will work for all Ubuntu versions (hardy, gutsy, feisty, edgy, dapper, …)
    Import the repository’s key :
    wget http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu/depot.key -O- | sudo apt-key add –

    The packages should install on a Debian Etch system but they have not been tested yet. I would be very pleased to get some feedback about that !


    1. Install the driver for your wifi chipset: sudo apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter and follow the instructions. You have to donwload the firmware…
    2. Add the repository address to your sources.list file (see above). Save.
    3. And do : sudo apt-get update
    4. Install aceracpi-source : sudo apt-get install aceracpi-source
    5. First : run module-assistant this way : sudo m-a prepare
    6. And run module-assistant to compile and install the module : sudo m-a a-i aceracpi-source
    7. Activate the module : sudo modprobe acer_acpi
    8. Initialize the wifi connection : sudo echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless
    9. Your wifi led should blink … Configure your wifi connection with network-manager, … Your connection should be now fonctionnal.
    10. When rebooting the laptop, the connection should be alive automatically !
    11. For each kernel update or aceracpi-source update, please re-do from step 5.

    Packages on this repository are not Ubuntu official. They might contain bugs or errors that could break your system. You use them “as this” with no garanty !!!

    to contact the maintainer : mumbly_AT_francofolibre.org – Web site : http://www.mumblyworld.info

    INFORMAZIONI (Italiano)
    Questo repository rende disponibili alcuni pacchetti per il modulo acer_acpi del kernel.
    acer_acpi è un modulo del kernel di Linux che permette di controllare alcune funzioni hardware sui portatili Acer.
    Sito del progetto: http://code.google.com/p/aceracpi/
    Se vuoi contattare il maintainer attuale, scrivi a carlos(@)strangeworlds.co.uk (Carlos)

    Per usare questo repository, inserisci una delle seguenti linee nel tuo /etc/apt/sources.list:
    deb http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu gutsy main
    questo repository funzionerà con tutte le versioni di Ubuntu
    Importa la chiave del repository:
    wget http://www.mumblyworld.info/ubuntu/depot.key -O- | sudo apt-key add –

    Questi pacchetti dovrebbero essere installabili su un sistema Debian Etch, ma non sono stati ancora testati. Sarei molto contento di avere qualche riscontro!


    1. Installa il driver per il tuo chipset wifi: sudo apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter e segui le istruzioni. Ora hai bisogno di scaricare il firmware…
    2. Aggiungi l’indirizzo del repository al tuo sources.list (vedi sopra). Salva. E digita: sudo apt-get update
    3. Installa aceracpi-source : sudo apt-get install aceracpi-source
    4. Dopo: avvia module-assistant in questa maniera: sudo m-a prepare
    5. E avvia module-assistant per compilare e installare il modulo : sudo m-a a-i aceracpi-source
    6. Carica il modulo: sudo modprobe acer_acpi
    7. Inizializza la connessione wifi: sudo echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless
    8. Il led del wifi dovrebbe lampeggiare… Configura la tua connessione wifi con network-manager, … La tua connessione dovrebbe funzionare adesso.
    9. Quando riavvii il portatile, la connessione sarà stabilita automaticamente!
    10. Per ogni aggiornamento del kernel o di aceracpi-source, per favore segui le istruzioni nuovamente dal punto cinque.

    Packages on this
    repository are not Ubuntu official. They might contain bugs or errors that could break your system. You use them “as this” with no garanty !!!

    to contact the maintainer : mumbly_AT_francofolibre.org – Web site : http://www.mumblyworld.info

  11. Scott
    June 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Wow! This article was awesome, I have been trying to get wireless working on my laptop for a while now, I did it a few years ago on OpenSuse using acer-acpi and I totally forgot about it.



  12. NOS
    August 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    thanx a lot! it’s a wonderful guide!

    p.s. card reader works. even takes High Capacity cards without problems, not like that …… win 🙂

  13. andso
    December 20, 2008 at 6:20 am

    on a fujitsu siemens amilo 1650 wifi card broadcom this works http://www.mumblyworld.info/?p=134

  14. December 25, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks Andso for adding an update link 🙂

  15. ingalex
    March 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Ici vous pouvez trouver un site où il y a beaucoup de sources.list pour Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian: http://www.sourceslist.eu

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