Follow-up on Debian Sid on the Acer Aspire 1420P

Update: Using Debian Sid, the video acceleration is not working correctly. glxgears shows a black screen with a glimpse of the gears when I move the window, but GLX-enabled applications aren’t showing up even correctly. Changing the AccelMethod doesn’t improve the situation. One of the readers asked how did I calibrate the screen. I added the information below.

Last year I got my hands on an Acer Aspire 1420P. It’s now running Debian GNU/Linux unstable, and I’m transitioning from my older Thinkpad T400. Of course, it won’t install and work flawlessly out of the box, so here are my notes.


Use a recent keel, say, 2.6.32 (2.6.32-3-686 in Debian, for example), since the Atheros GigaEtheet card won’t work in older keels without patching (e.g., you get a link but can’t actually send packets). My lspci reports the Etheet controller as Attansic Technology Corp. Device 1063 (1969:1063) which uses the atl1c keel driver.


The Wi-Fi card, an Intel WiFi Link 100, which my pci-utils report as 8086:0083, needs a recent firmware-iwlwifi (or a recent firmware for that card, if you don’t use the package) which I also took from sid.

Tablet touchscreen

It works with the evtouch driver, but you’ll need to apply a patch to xf86-input-evtouch (0.8.8 is both in sid and lucid) and calibrate the tablet. It seems like the screen rotation does not generate an ACPI event, but if you attach a button with the xrandr rotation, you don’t need nothing else for evtouch to catch up. Screen’s multitouch, but software doesn’t support it yet.

Calibration: the xf86-input-evtouch package includes a calibration utility which presents users with crosshairs which you have to click in order. This program should output the minimum and maximum parameters for the evtouch driver in xorg.conf (actually in an out.txt which you should manually merge), but in my case, it didn’t. On the code for ev_calibrate, it should output the information to /etc/evtouch/config, but not in a xorg.conf compatible file.

So, just copy the values for min[x,y] and max[x,y] in a correspondent InputDevice section on xorg.conf as follows:

Section "InputDevice"  Identifier "Touchscreen"  Driver "evtouch"  Option "Device" "/dev/input/event1"  Option "MinX" "0"  Option "MinY" "0"  Option "MaxX" "3825"  Option "MaxY" "3825"  Option "ReportingMode" "Raw"  Option "SendCoreEvents" "On"  ...EndSection

Things that work

Integrated Intel Mobile graphics chipset, Huawei integrated HSDPA modem (shows up as ttyUSBn), audio, wireless provided you have firmware, webcam, ACPI events for almost everything (lid rotation doesn’t seem to work), function keys… it’s all working nicely. This model has a Core 2 Duo U2300 processor and 2 GB. RAM.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s