Zenwalk Linux 6.2 on the Acer Aspire One netbook

Zenwalk Linux 6.2 on the Acer Aspire One netbook

OK, so running Zenwalk and various other distributions of Linux running on the Aspire One is nothing new, after all, many of them originally came with some flavor of Linux. I've tried several of them, but it's been forever since I had my favorite desktop distro Zenwalk on it.

Installation was a breeze, but there were a few tweaks needed to get this distro running smoothly on the Aspire One, but it's worth it if you're a fan of Zen.

It seems as though the pciehp module is no longer available with this kernel, so you may find you have trouble getting your card readers to work.

I found this works a treat, open a terminal, su to root, and vim /etc/lilo.conf, then find the stanza containing your Zenwalk configuration, and add the highlighted bit as below... the append line;

 # Linux bootable partition config begins
  image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/sda6
  label = Zenwalk
  initrd = /boot/initrd.splash
  append = "pciehp.pciehp_force=1"
 # Linux bootable partition config ends

Save it, issue the lilo command, and then on the next reboot hopefully it will recognize your SD Cards on hotplug... this works on my Aspire One AOA-150, 8.9", on the left & right hand slots. Right hand SD Slot appears to only work if you have the card inserted on boot.

An additional thing the default Zen install seems to have left out was the touch pad double-tap click and horizontal scrolling. This one is an easy enough fix as well, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, find the Section that contains your touchpad device, and add the highlighted bits below;

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier    "Pad1" 
        Driver        "synaptics" 
        Option           "Protocol" "auto-dev" 
        Option           "Device" "/dev/tp1" 
        Option        "LeftEdge"      "1700" 
        Option        "RightEdge"     "5300" 
        Option        "TopEdge"       "1700" 
        Option        "BottomEdge"    "4200" 
        Option        "FingerLow"     "25" 
        Option        "FingerHigh"    "30" 
        Option        "MaxTapTime"    "180" 
        Option        "MaxTapMove"    "220" 
        Option        "VertScrollDelta" "100" 
        Option        "MinSpeed"      "0.09" 
        Option        "MaxSpeed"      "0.18" 
        Option        "AccelFactor"   "0.0015" 
        Option        "SHMConfig"     "on" 
        Option "TapButton1" "1" Option "TapButton2" "3" Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "on"

Another annoyance was the XFCE places plugin that ships with Zenwalk 6.2 doesn't change icon size with gtk-icon-sizes hint. This bug was fixed some time ago, so simply download the latest places plugin package, extract the contents, cd into the directory, then build the package;

make install

That should do it, now add the places plugin to your panel and now it should follow GTK menu icon size.

While I love it and have been using it since the mini-slack days, it's probably not a distro I would recommend to people new to Linux, but if you're comfortable tinkering around, then give it a shot. m4xr8d's tutorial is a great starting point for those of you who need a little extra help. I used his function key mappings, and they work perfectly.

And of course, the gratuitous screenshots of my Zenwalk desktop on the Aspire One.




I actually used zenwalk at some point on my acer aspire 5536, and was really impressed, really really lightweight, although my lappy easely can run "heavier" os's, I just had to try out zenwalk.

I've used Zenwalk for a few years now, and I've really liked it. I have to admit though, on the little Aspire One, Windows 7 runs unbelievably well.

I am really envious of your desktop. Looks so cool. What desktop are you using? Also can you tell me how to get those stats on the right side of your desktop?


Hi borabosna, that's an app called Conky: http://conky.sourceforge.net , it's super easy to use, I will post my .conkyrc file for you later tonight when I get back home.

I'm using Xfce http://www.xfce.org for my desktop, and the Buuf icons: http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?con... by mahattan. There's also a Buuf deuce: http://forum.xfce.org/index.php?topic=4661.0 set for XFCE, but I like the first version the best, you just have to copy & rename some icons for various apps.

Here is my .conkyrc file;


background yes
use_xft yes
xftfont DejaVu Sans Mono:size=10
xftalpha 0.5
update_interval 1.0
total_run_times 0
own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
double_buffer yes
minimum_size 180 5
maximum_width 180
draw_shades yes
default_shade_color black
draw_outline yes
draw_borders no
draw_graph_borders no
default_color cccccc
default_outline_color 000000
alignment top_right
gap_x 14
gap_y 76
no_buffers no
uppercase no
cpu_avg_samples 2
override_utf8_locale no
#format_human_readable yes
use_spacer none
${font Arial:bold:size=10}${color aca845}SYSTEM ${voffset -1}${color 5c707a}${hr 2}
${font DejaVu Sans:normal:size=10}${color 5c707a}Kernel: $alignr${color}$kernel
${color 5c707a}Uptime: $alignr${color }$uptime
${color 5c707a}Load: $alignr${color }${loadavg 1} ${loadgraph 10,40 000000 ffffff}
${color 5c707a}Freq: $alignr${color }${freq_g} GHz
${color 5c707a}CPU: $alignr${color }${cpu}% ${cpugraph 10,40 000000 ffffff}
${color 5c707a}RAM: $alignr${color }$memperc% ${memgraph 10,40 000000 ffffff}
${font Arial:bold:size=10}${color aca845}NETWORK ${voffset -1}${color 5c707a}${hr 2}
${font DejaVu Sans:normal:size=10}${color 5c707a}WiFi: $alignr$color${wireless_link_qual wlan0}% ${wireless_bitrate wlan0}
${color 5c707a}Up: $alignr${color }${upspeedf wlan0} Kbs
${color 5c707a}Down: $alignr${color }${downspeedf wlan0} Kbs
${font Arial:bold:size=10}${color aca845}FILE SYSTEM ${voffset -1}${color 5c707a}${hr 2}
${font DejaVu Sans:normal:size=10}${color 5c707a}HOME: $alignr${color }${fs_free /home} Free
$alignr${fs_bar 3,100 /home}
${if_mounted /Windows7}${color 5c707a}WIN7: $alignr${color }${fs_free /Windows7} Free
$alignr${fs_bar 3,100 /Windows7}${endif}${if_mounted /media/disk}
${color 5c707a}MEDIA: $alignr${color }${fs_free /media/disk} Free
$alignr${fs_bar 3,100 /media/disk}$endif${if_mounted /media/WALKMAN}
${color 5c707a}WALKMAN: $alignr${color }${fs_free /media/WALKMAN} Free
$alignr${fs_bar 3,100 /media/WALKMAN}$endif
${font Arial:bold:size=10}${color aca845}TOP PROCESSES ${voffset -1}${color 5c707a}${hr 2}
${font DejaVu Sans:normal:size=10}${color 5c707a}${top name 1}$alignr${color }${top cpu 1}%
${color 5c707a}${top name 2}$alignr${color }${top cpu 2}%
${color 5c707a}${top name 3}$alignr${color }${top cpu 3}%

Obviously you'll probably want to strip the bit for my WALKMAN mp3 player and change other paths

Thanks so much man!

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