SolydXK on Acer S3

Questions about hardware, drivers and peripherals.
In the Original Post please also include the output of inxi -Fzx
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SolydXK on Acer S3

Postby just » 17 Feb 2014 10:04

it's not tricky at all to get solydxk64 up and running on acer s3 ultrabook. it applies not to solydxk only, but to any other linux as well. it's just enough to install solydxk64 on acer s3, and the os correctly recognizes all the hardware. everything works flawlessly just out-of-box. network and video cards, usb and bluetooth devices, sound, network, video controls from the keyboard - everything just works. there's no need to add/modify/remove/install anything. it's a real joy to install any linux on this computer, solydxk included.

currently i have 4 computers:

- dell xps with nvidia optimus
- acer 4820tg with ati/amd 4xxx series video card
- acer 7750tg with ati/amd 6xxx series video card
- acer s3 with integrated intel graphics card

from these four, acer s3 is the most linux-friendly. dell needs the installation of bumblebee. both acer 4820 & 7750 suggest the installation of proprietary ati/amd video drivers. only acer s3 doesn't require any additional intervention after a fresh linux installation. i would call it "the best linux-ready" computer.

its specs in brief are:

processor: intel core i7-2637M @1,70GHzx2
memory: 4G
disk drives: 500G hdd + 20G ssd
graphic card: intel 2nd generation integrated graphics controller

this is what inxi tells aboit it:

Code: Select all

just@alexsok ~ $ inxi -Fxxx
System:    Host: alexsok Kernel: 3.11-2-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit, gcc: 4.8.2)
           Desktop: KDE 4.12.1 (Qt 4.8.6) info: plasma-desktop dm: kdm Distro: SolydXK 1 testing
Machine:   Mobo: Acer model: Aspire S3 version: 1.15 Bios: INSYDE version: 1.15 date: 09/28/2011
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i7-2637M CPU (-HT-MCP-) cache: 4096 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 6784.72
           Clock Speeds: 1: 1258.00 MHz 2: 1768.00 MHz 3: 2312.00 MHz 4: 1258.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:0116
           X.Org: 1.14.5 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1366x768@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Sandybridge Mobile GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 9.2.2 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0 chip-ID: 8086:1c20
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.11-2-amd64
Network:   Card: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter driver: ath9k bus-ID: 02:00.0 chip-ID: 168c:0032
           IF: wlan0 state: down mac: 74:de:2b:ed:36:b0
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 552.1GB (27.3% used)
           1: id: /dev/sda model: Hitachi_HTS54505 size: 500.1GB serial: TA9511GZHK98HS
           2: id: /dev/sdb model: SATA_SSD size: 20.0GB serial: 111707191E0C1D2B1F04
           3: USB id: /dev/sde model: Trans size: 32.0GB serial: 079B12035108E8F0-0:0
Partition: ID: / size: 39G used: 5.9G (17%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 4.19GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 55.0C mobo: 39.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 176 Uptime: 7 min Memory: 569.7/3817.4MB Runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.2 alt: 4.4/4.6/4.7
           Client: Shell (bash 4.2.45 running in konsole) inxi: 1.9.17
just@alexsok ~ $
intel graphics is definitely not a video games monster. but it has the best video drivers support, imho, among the three big ones - nvidia, amd, intel. so for a normal everyday work and entertainment - like office and internet - it's more than enough. as for games, it has really hard times trying to run something like serious sam 3. but other lighter games, for example both the half-life series, run surprisingly smoothly on it.

the best about it is its ssd drive. it's 20G only, but for me it's enough for almost any linux. i usually divide hard disk in some 20G partitions for linux os'es, plus a big one(s) - smth about 200..300G - where i hold all my data shared between all linux'es installed. there's archlinux with cinnamon on the ssd drive. arch is one of the fastest linux'es. cinnamon is much lighter than kde. nevertheless, it's still hard to believe that arch boots from ssd into usable cinnamon desktop in 4 (four) seconds. no joke, no kidding. it's that incredibly lightning fast.

note the bios date - september of 2011. it's a normal legacy bios, borned before the uefi madness. the compter was bought about 2..3 years ago. hard disks are smaller than 2T, so it's possible to use a normal msdos-partitioning, not a gpt- one. thanks to this fact, acer s3 permits the use of lovely grub legacy - not grub2 - which gives a complete control over any and all linux'es installed on the computer, regardless of the number of ones installed.

a curious note. on my dell xps, which has 1,3T of a total internal hard drives space (650Gx2), i was once arrived to have 27 different linux'es, plus, a two common 300G data partitions, shared between all of them. grub legacy (grub1) had no difficulty at all to control in most intimate detail those crazy setup. try to gain such level of control with grub2 over, say, 6..8 linux'es. doubt it will be possible.

the acer's s3 weakest point is its battery duration. it doesn't last for more than 3 hours. depending on how you use the computer, it could be really frustrating. modern batteries last all day long, for 8..12 hours. so in my everyday life the computer is ac-powered most of the time. maybe because acer s3 developed some kind in addiction in me - i use it almost 24 hours a day. two other acers and dell X(treme) P(ower) S(tation) number cruncher are primarily used by my sweet daughter when she wants to shoot some bad guys / monsters / aliens / other strange creatures on steam :-) .

last but not least, is the power consumption. for acer s3 it's 50W only. three other consume from 75W (acer 4820) up to 105W (dell xps). the s3's AC power adapter is very compact. and the power cords are the longest between the four computers. so there's a plenty of freedom to place it where you want, even with the power cords attached.

i'm not an acer employee, and by no means want to make an ad for it. but this slim light silver beast made me fall in love with it :-) .


Deleted User 2763

Re: SolydXK on Acer S3

Postby Deleted User 2763 » 17 Feb 2014 14:52

^Nice (another Acer owner)

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Re: SolydXK on Acer S3

Postby kurotsugi » 17 Feb 2014 15:18

nice review 8-)
I got nice experience with acer line up too. everything tends too work out of the box. too bad that asus gives me unresistable offering last month :lol:
arch is one of the fastest linux'es. cinnamon is much lighter than kde. nevertheless, it's still hard to believe that arch boots from ssd into usable cinnamon desktop in 4 (four) seconds. no joke, no kidding. it's that incredibly lightning fast.
debian is swithching to systemd now. when time comes we'll also get that blinking fast boot up. with systemd on my debian testing I only get 13 second as my best.

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Re: SolydXK on Acer S3

Postby cobb » 17 Feb 2014 15:22

My cheap Acer Aspire 5253-BZ602 (AMD e-350 apu) has been rock solid as well. The OS Radeon driver works well for everything I've used it for and really shines with video nut I don't really game with it (other then OpenTTD).

The only thing I've found that doesn't work in Linux is the FN-F3 wireless disable/enable key combo. Toggling wireless off with it hard locks the wireless off until a reboot. Other than that, I've been very happy with it and wouldn't hesitate to buy another Acer laptop. Pretty good bang for the buck IMO.
Technology slave by coincidence.. Linux user by choice.

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