Linux on the Acer Travelmate 3210

This is mostly the report of a boringly standard SuSE 9.3 install, but i may add more detail when i get around to adding a few finishing touches.

First, a quick overview of the hardware:

You can find the output of lspci -vv here.

With the exception of the smartcard reader, for which there does not appear to be a Linux driver, and the usual set of internet and multimedia hotkeys that i do not need either, everything worked fine almost out of the box.

As SuSE9.3 does not provide the latest version of the fglrx driver, i downloaded that from the ati website and configured it with the accompanying fglrxconfig script instead of bothering with yast/sax. This script only provides a 1280x768 modeline, so the display was a bit fuzzy at first, but a search through similar models on the linux-on-laptops site quickly turned up a working Modeline entry for 1280x800, namely

ModeLine "1280x800" 68.9 1280 1301 1333 1408 800 804 808 816  -HSync -VSync

My xorg.conf is available here.

Networking and wireless hardware were correctly recognized during installation and work well. (I only did a quick test of the Bluetooth functionality with an external Acer bluetooth modem). Both WLAN and Bluetooth can be switched on or off with two illuminated keys on the front of the laptop, which do not require OS support to function.

ACPI battery readout and cpu frequency switching worked out of the box. Battery lifetime appears to be on the order of two hours when running at 800MHz, but i have not really experimented with power saving options yet.

Suspend appears to work, but the system freezes during the resume, probably when it tries to restore the X settings. I have not yet checked if this can be resolved with a newer kernel, or some changes to my X settings.

The builtin (ICH6 chipset) modem does not seem to work with the free slmodem driver (slmodemd-2.9.10 failed to recognize the hardware in native mode, and failed to detect a dialtone in ALSA mode), so i bought a license for linuxant's hsfmodem driver.

I did not get the email and internet hotkeys to work, but did not devote much time to this as i did not intend to use them anyway. The acerhk driver did not find a model string at all (and treating it as an old TM200 did not work). The omnibook driver did not recognize the model either, it reports the model information through /proc/omnibook/dmi as:

BIOS Vendor:   Acer
BIOS Version:  V1.20
BIOS Release:  06/14/2005
System Vendor: Acer
Product Name:  TravelMate 3210
Serial Number: LXTAB0602553028034ED00
Board Vendor:  COMPAL
Board Name:    Mimid
Board Version: *
which may already be sufficient information to get it working.

I did not test the firewire interface, as i do not possess any hardware for it. The driver loads without complaining.

The only component that is likely to never work is the smartcard reader (a PCI device built by ENE technologies), but mounting a camera as an usb-storage device seems more practical to me than fumbling with its tiny cards anyway.