How To: Ubuntu Hardy Heron Alpha 5 on Acer Aspire 7520G
This HOWTO describes the procedure of getting Ubuntu Hardy Heron Alpha 5 (latest release as of 28 Ferbuary 2008) working on an Acer Aspire 7520G laptop computer.
Here is the configuration of the system that this thread refers to:
CPU: AMD Turion 64 x2 Mobile Technology TL-60 (2.0 GHz, 2x512KB L2 cache)
RAM: 2GB DDR2
GPU: NVIDIA Ge Force 8400M G Turbo Cache, 256MB
Monitor: 17.1" WXGA+ Acer Crystal Brite LCD
Hard Disks: 320GB dual HDD (160 GBx2, Western Digital)
Optical Drive: DVD-Super Multi DL ( Matshita DVD-RAM UJ870QJ )
Wired Network Adapter: NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller
Wireless Network Adapter: Atheros AR5007EG 802.11b/g
Firewire Controller: Ricoh OHCI Compliant IEEE1394
Audio Controller: Realtek High Definition Audio Controller, 5.1
Webcam: Acer Crystal Eye
STEP 1: Getting and Installing Ubuntu Hardy Heron Alpha 5
Ubuntu Hardy Heron Alpha 5 hit the servers for download in 23 February 2008. You can see the release details at http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/hardy/alpha5 and in the forums at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=704944. You can download it here: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/hardy/alpha-5/
Since Acer Aspire 7520G comes with an AMD Turion 64x2 processor, you need to download the .iso file labeled: "64-bit PC (AMD64) desktop CD"
After you have downloaded and burned the .iso to an empty CD, you have to boot your laptop from it. To do so, restart the laptop and press F2 while the Acer Splash Screen shows to get to BIOS. Navigate to the Boot tab and bring the CD/DVD: MATSHITADVD-RAM option to the top by highlighting it and pressing F6 as many times as needed. Then press ESC and select Exit Saving Changes and then Yes to confirm the changes to your BIOS.
The laptop will now reboot, and present the options to either test the cd for defects, install Ubuntu or test it without altering your current configuration.
Attention! Pay attention at this point. There's an unsolved problem with graphics display on Aspire 7520G as well as with other laptops. It exists since Ubuntu 7.10 and it has been reported in the forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=579684, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=3560142) and as a bug (place bug link here) but there is still no fix. If you select Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer, the CD spins as if normally booting, but the monitor goes off, so you can't really see anything. What you have to do here, is press F4 and select Safe graphics mode, and then select Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer. Now the monitor goes off again, the booting proceeds and eventually the GUI comes up in 800x600 resolution.
There are two obvious issues here, but you don't need to worry about them: 1. The Firefox Launcher icon, next to the Evolution Launcher icon does not work. This is due to the switch from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3. It is a known bug, it has been fixed and it will probably work normally in Hardy Heron Beta. It will also work normally on Alpha 5 once you 've updated the system after the installation. 2. There's an icon that constantly notifies you that an update procedure is working. Ignore it. It will go away after installation.
Now, on your desktop there should be the Install icon. Double click and the Installation will begin as usual, with language and timezone selection, username and password setting and disk partitioning. These steps are not significantly different than earlier Ubuntu releases, thus you might refer to past installation tutorials.
Finish Installation and reboot as requested. Again, the monitor will go off, and when the CD gets ejected, press Enter to reboot the system.
Normally, the GRUB menu will appear immediately after reboot, to enable you to choose between your newly installed Ubuntu and any other Operating System that is installed on your laptop, which by default would be Windows Vista Home Edition. You don't need to alter the default selection at this point, either press Enter or wait for 10 seconds until the default option boots. Your monitor will go off again during booting, and a few seconds later you will be presented with the login screen, where you enter your username and password.
Once in your new system, press the Update Notification icon, and allow the system to perform all actions needed. You will be asked to reboot again. When GRUB comes up, you will notice that there are more options now, since their is a kernel update since the release of Alpha 5. Again, select the default option. When you login to your system, you will see that the Firefox Launcher icon is now in place. Welcome to your freshly installed and fully updated Ubuntu Hardy Heron Alpha 5 system!
STEP 2: System Configuration
Now, the first obvious issue is the screen resolution, which defaults to 800x600, and it is not changeable through System -> Preferences -> Screen Resolution. Best practice here, that will also get you the best possible graphics performance, is to install the restricted driver. Go to Hardware Drivers and install NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver.