Acer Extensa 2509

Author(s)

Mikael Hartzell

Introduction

This is a very cheap 15“ laptop (about 280 euros = 315 US dollars = British 204 pounds). The computer works very well under Linux (tested with UbuntuStudio 15.04) and is very quiet. The machine is capable of smoothly playing 1920×1080 video in full screen on both the internal screen (1366×768) and on HDMI connected to a 1920×1080 TV. (Tested with mplayer2 that comes with UbuntuStudio).

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Specifications

NameAcer Extensa EX2509
ProcessorIntel Celeron N2930 1,83 GHz, 4 Processor Cores
Screen15,6” WXGA (1366×768)
RAM4 GB
HDD500 GB Sata
Optical DriveNo Optical Drive
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
NetworkGigabit Ethernet: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express, Wifi (b,g,n): Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565 / AR9565, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYesFull Graphics acceleration
HDDYes
Optical DriveNo
Graphics ChipYes
VGA OutNot Tested
HDMI PortYes
SoundYes
Bulti-in MicrophoneNot Tested
Headphone JackYes
EthernetYes
WirelessYes
BluetoothNot Tested
USBYes1x USB 3, 2 x USB 2 Ports
Card ReaderYes
WebcamYes
Touch PadYes
Suspend/ResumeYes

Notes

What works out of the box with UbuntuStudio 15.04

- Graphics acceleration (Intel Graphics)
- Audio
- USB
- Wifi
- Ethernet
- HDMI out (SVGA not tested)
- Sound Volume and Display brightness adjustment using the keyboard
- Webcam
- SD Card reader

What does not work out of the box

- A DMA device driver causes all kinds of trouble. Mainly it prevents shutdown and reboot from powering off / restarting the hardware. This driver also sometimes causes hangs while booting. The problem can be solved by disabling the driver by adding the following lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

blacklist dw_dmac
blacklist dw_dmac_core

After this shutdown, reboot and suspend starts to work.

I found this solution on a German language page here: http://www.linuxforen.de/forums/showthread.php?278397-Blacklist-quot-dw_dmac-quot-und-quot-dw_dmac_core-quot-Folgen

The solution might not be optimal, as it probably disables DMA on some peripherals of the computer. If have not had time to investigate other solutions further, but here is some that I found:

This post claims the problem did not exist on Ubuntu 14.04: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=85931
This guy says the problem was solved on Ubuntu 14.10 by installing Intel display drivers from Ubuntu 14.04. http://nerdanswer.com/answer.php?q=745027

When dw_dmac modules are disabled I got 50 MB / sec transfer rate from a external USB 3 disk (I expected 70 - 90 MB /sec). Ethernet transfer rate maxed out at 70 MB / sec, even though source and target computers both had fast SSD disks. Processor usage during USB 3 transfer was quite low, and USB isn't supposed to use dma anyway if I have understood it correctly. Ethernet transfer at 70 MB / sec used about 50% of all 4 processor cores, so one might assume dma is off for ethernet while dw_dmac modules are disabled.

How to install Linux On Extensa EX2509

- Go to bios (EFI) and change “Boot Mode” from EFI to Legacy. This disables EFI boot and secure boot. Now you can create hard disk partitions using the MBR partition scheme instead of EFI. It is much more easy to get Linux to boot from a MBR partition than from EFI. My Bios / EFI version was 1.03.

I had some trouble when I first tried to boot from USB install media. When booting from USB the boot hanged right before the graphical installer screen. After trying a while the boot succeeded and I was able to install UbuntuStudio 15.04. The hangs during boot were probably caused by the problematic dw_dmac driver which needs to blacklisted in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Problem: White screen on graphical login

- I installed UbuntuStudio 15.04 with the external monitor disconnected and only first connected it when installation was done. The result was a totally white screen on login on external hdmi and laptop monitors when the external HDMI monitor was connected. The cause for the problem is a new bug in LightDM and it could be circumvented adding the following line into: /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf

active-monitor=0

Summary

Some people who bought this computer complained that Acer installed loads of crap on the disk and startup is slow because lots of this crapware is started up during boot. I took the 500 GB Sata disk out of the machine without ever booting from it and replaced it with a new 250 GB SSD - disk. Luckily Linux users don't have to suffer from crapware installed by the manufacturer :) Now I have a nice audio workstation with about twice the power than my previous audio machine (1.8 Ghz Dualcore Pentium). My main use for the computer is to record and edit audio with Ardour.

If you want to change the hard disk, then you need to unscrew all the screws on the bottom of the machine, after this the top cover with the keyboard can be forced open.

The machine is so cheap that I'm quite amazed how Acer was able to build a machine this cheap.

The exact model of my computer is Acer Extensa EX2509-C262.

lspci -vv for the computer

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series SoC Transaction Register (rev 0e)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap- 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0
Kernel driver in use: iosf_mbi_pci

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display (rev 0e) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 93
Region 0: Memory at 90000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M]
Region 2: Memory at 80000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Region 4: I/O ports at 2050 [size=8]
Expansion ROM at <unassigned> [disabled]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: i915

00:13.0 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Device 0f23 (rev 0e) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0])

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz+ UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 89
Region 0: I/O ports at 2048 [size=8]
Region 1: I/O ports at 205c [size=4]
Region 2: I/O ports at 2040 [size=8]
Region 3: I/O ports at 2058 [size=4]
Region 4: I/O ports at 2020 [size=32]
Region 5: Memory at 9081f000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: ahci

00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series USB xHCI (rev 0e) (prog-if 30 [XHCI])

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 87
Region 0: Memory at 90800000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: xhci_hcd

00:1a.0 Encryption controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Trusted Execution Engine (rev 0e)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 91
Region 0: Memory at 90700000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
Region 1: Memory at 90600000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: mei_txe

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series High Definition Audio Controller (rev 0e)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 92
Region 0: Memory at 90810000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel

00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 0f48 (rev 0e) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])

Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Bus: primary=00, secondary=01, subordinate=01, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00001000-00001fff
Memory behind bridge: 90500000-905fffff
Secondary status: 66MHz- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort+ <SERR- <PERR-
BridgeCtl: Parity- SERR- NoISA- VGA- MAbort- >Reset- FastB2B-
	PriDiscTmr- SecDiscTmr- DiscTmrStat- DiscTmrSERREn-
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: pcieport

00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 0f4a (rev 0e) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])

Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=02, sec-latency=0
Memory behind bridge: 90400000-904fffff
Secondary status: 66MHz- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort+ <SERR- <PERR-
BridgeCtl: Parity- SERR- NoISA- VGA- MAbort- >Reset- FastB2B-
	PriDiscTmr- SecDiscTmr- DiscTmrStat- DiscTmrSERREn-
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: pcieport

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Power Control Unit (rev 0e)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: lpc_ich

00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation Device 0f12 (rev 0e)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster- SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Interrupt: pin B routed to IRQ 7
Region 0: Memory at 90819000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=32]
Region 4: I/O ports at 2000 [size=32]
Capabilities: <access denied>

01:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device 5287 (rev 01)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin B routed to IRQ 88
Region 0: Memory at 90505000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Expansion ROM at 90510000 [disabled] [size=64K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: rtsx_pci

01:00.1 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 12)

Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0905
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 90
Region 0: I/O ports at 1000 [size=256]
Region 2: Memory at 90504000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Region 4: Memory at 90500000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: r8169

02:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565 / AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)

Subsystem: Foxconn International, Inc. Device e07f
Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 17
Region 0: Memory at 90400000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
Expansion ROM at 90480000 [disabled] [size=64K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: ath9k

Discussion

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acer_extensa_2509.txt · Last modified: 2015/06/30 12:28 by mhartzel
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