I am in the process of installing and configuring debian squeeze on the acer
aspire one 751h (ao751h), with the famous intel GMA 500 (poulsbo) video
chipset. I already have the system running, and I would like to share what
has been done so far and ask for advice on the remaining issues.

General status

The system is based on squeeze with kernel 2.6.30 from sid. The status is as
follows (see [6] for lspci):
 * wireless: works
 * wired ethernet: still haven't cabled it, but it is recognized and seems
to be fine
 * video: mostly works (see below)
 * webcam: works
 * sound: works
 * mic: not tested


The GMA 500 video chipset is a problematic beast right now [1]. However,
there has been some progress (still far from ideal), and there are packages
available to tame it on fedora [2] and ubuntu [3], and brave folks have
succeeded on porting the poulsbo drivers to debian [4], [5].

While I do intend to take this road, I have opted for a simpler path for
now, based on [6], which uses the vesa driver for X. Basically, a patched
915resolution is used to alter the video BIOS, and X can drive the LCD at
full 1366x768 with the vesa driver. Performance for 2D is acceptable, but 3D
is far from ideal: glxgears gives about 120 with the vesa driver, while it
peaks at 190 running kubuntu with the poulsbo drivers (compared to 650 on
the eeepc 900).

My tests show that it suffices to fix the video BIOS with the patched
915resolution: X recognizes the LCD resolution and chooses the right mode.

I am investigating grub2 right now, and my goals are to 1) check if the
915resolution module supports GMA500 or can be patched to support it; 2)
configure the GMA500 at boot time with grub2, so that we have a nive console
and X can start at the right resolution.


sound: works
brightness: does not work
wifi switch: only a few tests, but seems to work

The remaining keys have not been tested.

I (would) use the brightness keys a lot, so that specifically annoys me. Can
someone point me to the right path to control brightness and/or fix those

Please share your experience with this netbook.



[3] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne
[4] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=533450
[5] http://koldfront.dk/gitweb?p=psb;a=summary
[6] http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Acer_Aspire_One_AO751h

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