Installing Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in Acer Aspire One D255E Netbook

I previously installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my Acer Aspire One D255E network (Atom N455 with GMA3150 GPU), and there were quite a few issues to solve with Ethernet, Wifi and the SD Card but eventually everything worked fine.

I have now upgraded it to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, using the instructions I posted yesterday. The good news is that WiFi and the SD card worked right after the installation, but Ethernet would not work and there were 2 new issues:

  • The system was very slow
  • The touchpad would not work

It might be possible that the touchpad and Ethernet issues do not occur by doing a fresh installation with Ubuntu 12.04 ISO, but I haven’t tried.

Improving Ubuntu 12.04 Performance

I noticed that if you just moved the mouse over the launcher, compiz (composting window manager handling 3D acceleration via OpenGL) would use 100% CPU. I ran glxinfo to verify direct rendering was used. This was the case, so the hardware might just not be powerful enough to handle Unity 3D smoothly, or the graphics drivers are crap. To “fix” this issue, simply click on the Ubuntu icon at the right of your username in the login screen, choose Ubuntu 2D and login.

3D OpenGL Inteface in Ubuntu
Ubuntu Unity 3D

2D Graphical Interface in Ubuntu
Ubuntu Unity 2D

You should notice immediately that your system is much more responsive as well as a slight difference between the 2 user interfaces as shown above. Next time you login, it should also use Ubuntu 2D by default.

Fixing the TouchPAD

To fix the touchpad, I had to install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

After restarting the netbook, the touchpad worked properly.

Fixing Ethernet

To enable Ethernet, I followed similar instructions to the ones used for Ubuntu 10.04, except I used the Wireless extensions for kernel 3.2 instead:

tar xjvf compat-wireless-3.2.5-1.tar.bz2
cd compat-wireless-3.2.5-1
./scripts/driver-select atl1c
sudo make install

Once the new Ethernet driver as been installed, reboot your computer and your Ethernet connection should now work properly.

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