More Scientific Linux AA1 Notes – Hardware

Overall, I’ve been satisfied with the decision to run Scientific Linux on my AA1. Here’s a quick run down of the hardware on the AA1 and what is known working under SL54, as installed from the live CD (Gnome version):

  • video – X was properly configured and has been flawless
  • audio – zero issues, headphones jack works properly, external microphone works (note: mp3 codecs installed from live CD)
  • onboard microphone – works properly
  • Synaptics mousepad – set up out of box to include tapping and scrolling
  • left-side SD card reader – SD card must be inserted at boot to function, but then it can be hotplugged, etc. (have not tried right side reader but have no need for using two SD cards simultaneously)
  • USB ports – no issues (note: USB card adapter works if user forgets to insert SD card in left reader at boot)
  • video out – functions properly
  • suspend, hibernate, resume – no issues yet
  • wireless – I have yet to have any weirdness I’d experienced previously with more recent kernels (ath5k + WPA, etc.)
  • Acer onboard functions – everything I tried has worked, including disabling the Synaptics pad, adjusting audio, and adjusting screen brightness (haven’t tried disabling wireless via the switch on front)
  • power-related events – the Gnome battery monitor works and properly notes when the AA1 is plugged in, on battery, or is nearly discharged and needs to shut down; everything functions as set up for events like closing the top (on power it remains on, on battery it suspends), etc.
  • webcam – I installed Skype and can report that video is clear and crisp in Skype’s tiny resolution (haven’t tested beyond that but no need to since I only need it for Skype)

As you can see, there are a few things I’ve yet to test — in addition to those mentioned above, I’ve yet to try a wired connection but I presume that should be flawless as it’s commodity hardware which is well-supported. One thing which hasn’t worked out of the box is the wireless LED. I can live without it.

As far as additional distro-unsupported software, I’ve installed Skype’s latest beta ( and Opera 10.10. Both work properly. I wasn’t going to install Opera but I decided to do that and continue to use the supported version of Firefox.

Let me also note there are other means of testing and installing Scientific Linux. In addition to the Gnome version of the live CD, there’s another “light” CD which uses icewm and lacks some of the things found on the Gnome CD (including wpa_supplicant) and a DVD that includes both Gnome and KDE. Both the live DVD and Gnome live CD also have icewm. Additionally, there’s the traditional CD set and a net install image from which a user can install SL 54.

For what it’s worth, there are also “flavors” of SL from the different labs using it. These are tailored for their particular system needs but they do show movement towards the 5.5 release for Scientific Linux. Yesterday (May 3rd), SL-CERN 5.5 was released. The main SL 5.5 release is still showing on mirrors as “beta 2” (as of April 30th). Hopefully new SL55 live images will be up very soon.

I still haven’t set up printing, but CUPS detected one of my older printers right off the bat. The one I want to use, though, will require an update of HP’s driver as the version in the repository will not work. The software side of it, though, has proven rock-solid — just as one should expect.

The software versions also keep me on a level playing field with the rest of my computers, which is mostly all Debian Lenny. I alluded the other day that I’ll have another lengthy post; it deals with my recent reassessment of my computers and what I run on them. I hope to have that up soon. I’m also going to update (as in cut and paste this stuff) my AA1 page shortly to repeat a lot of this and also note a few tweaks I’ve made (and need to make) and other stuff.

Finally, really big thanks to Steven Rosenberg for the kind plug about my blogs and SL-related entries.

UPDATE: I started updating my Aspire One page earlier this (Wednesday) morning. I should have the rest of it filled in sometime later today when I can get the rest of my notes together.


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