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This article is part of the Hardware series.
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This Acer Travelmate is a small (13.4" x 9.88" x 1.37") lightweight (5.3lb) notebook intended for general purpose use.


Code: Output of lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8038 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (rev 14)
0a:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)
 OR: 0a:03.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5005G 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)
0a:09.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments Unknown device 8039
0a:09.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments 5-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD)

Installing Gentoo

Install per the Gentoo Installation Manual. Include within /etc/make.conf the following

File: Contents of /etc/make.conf
CFLAGS="-march=pentium-m -O2 -pipe"
INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse synaptics"
ALSA_CARDS="hda-intel"  #if using the alsa-driver package

*** and whatever you desire for USE flags

Kernel Configuration

This guide was performed with gentoo-sources version 2.6.19-gentoo-5. This laptop utilizes a Celeron M. Other guides have indicated that Local IO APIC should be disabled in the kernel.

Linux Kernel Configuration: Processor configuration
Linux Kernel Configuration --->
   Processor type and features --->
          Subarchitecture Type (PC-compatible) --->
          Processor family (Pentium-M) --->
      [*] Local APIC support on uniprocessors
      [ ]   IO-APIC support on uniprocessors

Use ACPI for power management, with the caveats noted below.

Linux Kernel Configuration: Power management options
ACPI Support --->
 [*] ACPI Support
 [*] Sleep States
 <M> AC Adapter
 <M> Battery
 <*> Button
 . . .
 <*> Processor
 <*> Thermal Zone
Note: The CPU Frequency scaling is not working at this time.

PC Card support (not tested), see this guide.

Networking support, used for Bluetooth (not tested) and Wireless

Linux Kernel Configuration: Networking Support
 Networking options --->
  [*] Network packet filtering  <-- Enable if you are planning on firewalling

 <M> Bluetooth subsystem support --->
 <M> Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking stack
 --- IEEE 802.11 WEP encryption
 <M> IEEE 802.11i CCMP support
 <M> IEEE 802.11i TKIP encryption
 <M> Software MAC add-on to IEEE 802.11

Device Drivers for Flash interface (untested), DVD, SATA hard drive, Firewire (untested), Ethernet, WiFi, video, sound (using external alsa-drivers), USB

Linux Kernel Configuration: Device Drivers
 Misc devices --->
  <M> TI Flash Media interface support
  <M>  TI Flash Media PCI74xx/PCI76xx host adapter support
 ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support --->
 . . . 
 <*> Intel PIIXn chipsets support
 Serial ATA (prod) drivers --->
 <*> ATA device support
 <*> Intel PIIX/ICH SATA support
 IEEE 1394 (FireWire) support --->
 <*> IEEE 1394 (FireWire) support
 <*> OHCI-1394 support
 Network device support --->
 [*] Network device support
  Ethernet (1000 Mbit) --->
   <*> SysKonnect Yukon2 support
  Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) --->
   [*] Wireless LAN drivers & Wireless extensions
   <M> Broadcom BCM43xx wireless support
   [*]  Broadcom BCM43xx debugging
 Input device support --->
 --- Generic input layer
 <*> Event interface
 <*> Mouse --->
   <*> PS/2 mouse
 Character devices --->
 <*> Intel HW Random Number Generator support
 <*> Enhanced Real Time Clock support
 <*> /dev/agpgart support
 <*>  Intel 440LX/BX/GX, I8xx and E7x05 chipset support
 <*> Direct Rendering Manager
 <*>  Intel 830M, 845G, 852GM, 855GM, 865G, (i915 driver) --->
   (X) i915 driver
 Graphics support --->
 [*] Enable firmware EDID
 [*] Backlight & LCD device support --->
  [M] Lowlevel Backlight controls
  [M] Lowlevel LCD controls

 Sound --->
 <*> Sound card support
  Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --->
   < > Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
 *** Note that I've chosen alsa-drivers package instead of in-kernel sound***
 USB support --->
 <*> USB device filesystem
 <*> EHCI HCD (USB 2.0) support
 . . . 
 < > OHCI HCD support
 <*> UHCI HCD (most Intel and Via) support
 . . .
 <*> USB Mass Storage support
 . . .
 <*> USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support
 [*]  HID input layer device support

 MMC/SD Card support --->
 <M> MMC block device driver
 <M> TI Flash Media MMC/SD Interface support

The ARC4 crptographic algorithm is needed for WEP

Linux Kernel Configuration: Cryptographic options
 <M> Cryptographic algorithm manager
 . . . 
 <M> ARC4 cipher algorithm

When happy with your configuration, compile and install your new kernel per the Gentoo Installation guide.

po allow battery and ac adapter status (see below), Place the module names
into /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6.

Graphics Card

See this HowTo.


See this HowTo.


At the time of this guide I utilized the external alsa-driver package per the Gentoo ALSA guide (installed alsa-drivers 1.0.14_rc1. The ALSA drivers in the kernel may be up to date by now.

Note that with alsa-drivers 1.0.14_rc1 the front speakers are controlled by the surround channel. A little trial and error may be needed.


See this guide.


See the Broadcom 43xx article.

Power Management and Thermal


Thermal zones appear to be managed by the BIOS, as the fan appears to cycle as needed between 45C and 50C.

CPU Throttling

Not working.

Battery and AC power indicators

Indications are operating about 70% of the time. The only surefire method noted thus far to bring them back is to remove all power (AC and battery) for a moment, and at the next boot the indicators will return.

ACPI events

Power button is working well. Lid switch does not work and causes all sorts of grief. The behavior is similar to that expressed as kernel bug 5853.


Hibernate to RAM is a work in process. Utilize the procedures listed in the Gentoo Power Management Guide for suspend to RAM (Sleep). After installing the hibernation scripts, vbetool needs installation. As of the time of this guide the package is masked $ ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge vbetool.

Verify the following items within the hibernation common configuration file

File: /etc/hibernate/common.conf
. . .
### hardware tweaks
Runi915resolution yes
. . . 
### vbetool
EnableVbetool yes
# RestoreVbeStateFrom /var/lib/vbetool/vbestate
# VbetoolPost yes
# RestoreVCSAData yes

That's it! Issuing $ hibernate-ram as root will suspend the system. Pressing any key will bring it back. The only problem found on resuming is that the AC adapter and/or battery status may not come back.


The fine folks who put together the Gentoo Installation manuals.

The ACER 2403 page on the Gentoo Wiki

Last update Apr. 6, 2007

Not tested

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Last modified: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 06:02:00 +0000 Hits: 10,244