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Acer Switch 3 SW312-31-P9HU Convertible Notebook

Introduction

This is a template for a future compatibility guide to running Linux with the Acer Aspire Switch 3 SW312-31 laptop. If you have the Acer Aspire Switch 3 SW312-31 and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Acer Switch 3 SW312-31 specifications page.

NameAcer Switch 3 SW312-31-P9HU
ProcessorIntel Pentium N4200 1,1 GHz (up to 2,5 GHz) Quad-core (4 Core)
Screen30,98 cm (12,2“) Multi-Touch Full HD IPS LED-Backlight Display (1920 x 1200)
RAM4 GB DDR3-RAM
HDD128 GB eMMC GB Flash Memory
Optical DriveNo
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 505
NetworkUnknown
IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
UEFI version1.13
Weight1215 g

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
TouchScreenYesincluded 'Active Stylus' works nice, driven as mouse (not wacom), no pressure sensitivity, for fast handwriting in xournal sometimes too slow
HDDYes as /dev/mmcblk1
Graphics ChipYes
HDMI OutYesvia USB-C-Adapter; sound via HDMI
SoundYes
MicrophoneNot Tested
Headphone PortYes
WirelessYes
BluetoothYes
USBUSB 3.0, USB 3.1 Typ C, both: Yes
Card Readerfor Micro SD Card: Not Tested
WebcamNo
CameraNo
KeyboardYes
TouchPadYeswith extra configuration (adding-blacklisting modules *)
Docking keyboarddetaching-reattaching workswith extra configuration with extra configuration (adding-blacklisting modules *)
Suspend/ResumeNowith extra configuration (adding-blacklisting modules *)

Notes

First things first: ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEES for not damaging your new Switch3 following this guide… You have to know what you're doing!!

  1. If you have working win10 you should take the chance to update BIOS
  2. Prepare USB Stick, download Manjaro (I took this iso) and copy it on your USB-Stick: I did 'lsblk' after plugging it in to find the right device-name of my stick (don't up mess your primary linux!), then I take 'sudo dd if=manjaro###.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M status=progress && sync') after checking SHA1sum from download-site ('sha1sum iso-filename').
  3. Then - because you never know - I cloned the 128Gb eMMC with my never used Win10 from my new Switch3 to an old hdd (same procedure as in last step the other direction with my freshly cloned Manjaro-USB-stick).
  4. First of all on starting you need to enter into BIOS/UEFI (F2), in MAIN-tab set 'Supervisor-Password', leave 'Touchpad' 'Advanced' ('Basic' is not needed after blacklisting module *), set 'F12 Boot Mode' to 'Enabled' and disable 'Secure boot' in the BOOT-tab. (see Antergos-Forum (2018-02-08, thanks for this!) with photos! It shows also, how to select the right UEFI file for Secure Boot after Linux is installed), then shutdown Switch3.
  5. Now plug your Manjaro-USB into Switch3, start booting and press F12 on start to select your USB-Stick, selct your languages, timesettings, I took the 'nonfree' drivers (didn't try the free ones - so I don't know if this works) an booted. On the desktop I selected the graphical Calamares-installer and took the automatic partitioning with small fat32 partition for UEFI-files, the whole rest of eMMC as root-partition (with swap-file). Installation runs quit slow and took more than 1 h.
  6. After restarting you should re-enable Secure-Boot (in SECURITY-tab) of your UEFI-BIOS, then search and select 'grubx64.efi', give it a name i.e. 'Manjaro' and restart pressing F12 where you should select 'Majaro' to start.
  7. With my installation it started into grub-rescue: grub didn't find the linux kernel where it was looking for it (I suppose that the path wasn't set correctly). So I had to find the correct location of linux and initramfs and had to 'insmod all_video' which looked like this:

In grub-rescue: 'set' shows the actual paths and variables in grub.cfg: So you see what is already configured.
First locate the kernel (depending on your partitioning, i.e. on your new root-partition) in /boot:
See also this guide for locating vmlinuz, grub rescue has tab-completion :)

To see your partitions:

$ ls 

As an example:

$ ls (hd1,gpt2)/boot/

Then take the right kernel and initramfs.img (Keep in mind our machine has /dev/mmcblk1, /dev/sda is your usb-stick)

$ linux (hd1,gpt2)/boot/vmlinuz-lts###### root=/dev/mmcblk1p2
$ initrd (hd1,gpt2)/boot/initramfs-lts######.img

To prevent blind mode

$ insmod all_video

and finally

$ boot

Now the boot process should start to get to your login-shell, where you can start your new desktop-environment.
After configuring wifi you have to update:

$ sudo pacman -Syu

… which in my case installed a new kernel, updated and reinstalled a newly configured grub after that, which corrected the wrong grub-configuration. (if not: 'sudo update-grub2' and evtl 'sudo grub-install /dev/mmcblk1'. This should add a boot menu entry for EFI firmware configuration.

* Now for the touchpad:

I found this on ubuntuforums.org:
User ceres-c (2018-10-09, many thanks to all posters of that thread) explains how he got his switch3-touchpad running on Arch-Linux: He blacklisted module hid_rmi and added module hid_multitouch on start into kernel:

## blacklisting module hid_rmi:
  $ sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/hid.conf 
## and add as only line: 
  blacklist hid_rmi
## then load module hid_multitouch 
  $ sudo gedit /etc/modules-load.d/hid.conf
## add
  hid_multitouch
## Finally rebuild initramfs with: 
  $ mkinitcpio -P

As a sideeffect suspend/resume is now working, also detach/attach of keyboard-dock now works without freezing the machine!

What this solution didn't get is two-finger-scrolling or three-finger→middle-mouse-click, which I'm really missing.
What is also missing with Manjaro-out-of-the-box is the use of the g-sensor to turn the screen according to laptop-position: I saw this working on my Switch3 with Debian-testing- and Ubuntu-18.04.2-live-usb-sticks … (J.W. 02/2019).
Here you will have to add next wish: Rotate screen + mouse-input according to tablet-position, but that's another weekend …

You can enter any specific notes with running Linux on the Acer Aspire Switch 3 here.

Summary

This is my first attempt to install Linux on a Secure boot-UEFI-machine: With my (somehow limited) technical skills I was not able to install it dual booting with Win-10-S (which not really hurts, except I had to pay for it involuntarily). I would consider the Linux compatibility as 'fair', as both cams don't work yet … ok, and the missing 2-finger-scrolling …

It was a long way trying, but finally it works with a Manjaro 18.03 Gnome Port on kernel 4.19 LTS with nonfree drivers set to on (No luck with Debian 9 testing (01.2019) and nonfree drivers, Ubuntu 18.04.2, Antergos 01.19). Many thanks to all posters that helped to get this working.

Gnome is not not to slow, Firefox takes its time to load, to log in takes also its small amount of time … but absolutely usable. The preinstalled screen-keyboard is also nice.


Discussion

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acer_switch_3_sw312-31.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/11 15:52 by 92.248.32.156
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