Installing Linux on an Acer Ferrari 3400

I recently got to pick new notebook at my work to program Java on; because I like gadgets and because I have been wanting to test out those nice 64 bit processors for a long time already, I pick the Acer Ferrari. The Ferrari logo is a bit of shame (not enough money to buy the car, but still have a Ferrari is kinda sad). The red colour is nice though, and the system is thin and not too heavy.

Windows 64 bit is too new and not included. And why would I want to use Windows anyway?
Lazy as I am, I did not check if any Linux would run on it. I just assumed it would. After a bit of websearching I decided to try some distributions: Ubuntu 64 bit, Knoppix 64 bit and, last but not least Fedora Core 3 64 bit.

FC3 was the only Linux which installed nicely and detected almost everything. Be sure to start the install with “linux nofb”, otherwise you’ll see a very black screen during the install. The install will go flawless.

To use the wireless lan which is integrated under a 64 bit system, you’ll need the 64 bit Windows driver for this Broadcom chipset. You can pick up the driver here; http://ubuntuforums.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186
Then you should install ndiswrapper (http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net). Getting it to work is trivial;

tar xvzf ndiswrapper.tgz
cd ndiswrapper
make
make install
ndiswrapper -i netbc564.inf
modprobe ndiswrapper
iwlist wlan0 scan

now you should see a list of detected networks; if not, something is wrong.

If your computer hangs after the modprobe command, you probably have more than 1 gb of memory and not the latest version of ndiswrapper. I fixed the ndiswrapper together with the guys maintaining the wrapper (long live Open Source!); it took 1 day to figure out what it was and fix the bug (https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=604450&aid=1169978&group_id=93482).

After the wireless station is detected, you should make the network work;

ifconfig wlan0 some_ip up
route add default gw some_gw up

When using WEP or other encryption, some more steps are required (Google for iwlist, iwconfig etc).

I work happily with a 64 bit Linux system now, but I still have one problem; the battery overview is incorrect. I use FC3 with KDE and the default notebook app which shows battery status, but the status is actually wrong. If anyone has a fix, please comment on this post!

Be the first to leave a comment. Don’t be shy.

Join the Discussion

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>