How to Run Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (Unity) in Acer Aspire One 722 Netbook?

Few days ago suddenly out of nowhere the Acer Aspire one 722 (BZ454 to be precise) fell into my hands :P. It came pre-loaded with MS Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit). But as soon as I got it, I just wanted to try Ubuntu Linux 11.04 in it (obviously). Since, it doesn't have an optical drive, I went with creating a Live Ubuntu USB disk but it did not work!.

Oh it boot the OS alright ... but after displaying the pretty Ubuntu logo, bugger just freezed!. I then search in few forums and realized that others are also having the same issue. I honestly don't know what really is the issue here... but for some reason it just freezes the whole screen.

I also had a bit similar issue with my now old Laptop while I was trying Ubuntu 11.04 using the LiveCD but was able to fix it by first not choosing to run Ubuntu as a live environment but went for the installation straight ahead.

Dudes, I really got in running! :D...
So, since the 722 also comes with a AMD Radeon GPU (which are a bit troublesome with Compiz) I tried the same thing with the Acer Aspire One 722 but when Ubiquity (Ubuntu's live Installer Wizard) was just about to launch itself, again, the Netbook just got stuck, again.

This time I saw the Wi-Fi card is turned on automatically thus I guessed that it might be the Wi-Fi detection problem which is pretty common with GNU/Linux these days.

Anyhow, just out of curiosity, I decided to give it a try, again, and this time, when the USB boot-menu was loaded, I pressed the "F6" button and chose "ACIP-Off" option. The system booted but when it arrived where previously freeze-d, this time I got an error message (except for the stuck-non-informative window as with previous occasions) saying that the installer cannot find a live file-system to operate.

Now, I'm not an expert on how GNU/Linux Live "environments" work. But when I was creating my Boot-able USB disk I choose the option that says "Discarded on shutdown, unless you save them elsewhere".

the second option is not selected by default... but I guess most of us just use it thus this is where I made my mistake (at lest I thin this is the reason)
So, I just thought re-creating a USB disk using the suggested/default settings called "Stored in extra reserved space" which I did and then, plug-in the USB disk and decided to go with the default Ubuntu 11.04 Live environment and guess what?, it worked!. 

Just make sure that you've chosen this one (selected by default)...
Now I'm not entirely sure what's the real cause here, but I've tested this two times and after going for the default settings, now I can use Ubuntu 11.04 in their pretty Unity desktop interface (yep with Compiz running) even after considering the fact that the Acer Aspire One 722 comes with the AMD fusion (APU - Advanced Processing Unit) which is only fully supported in the Kernel 3.0+, but even after without having that Kernel version + the proprietary AMD/ATI drivers... the Aspire One 722 runs pretty decently without any crashing incidents :).

But to be honest, even after considering the power of the included AMD Radeon HD 6250 (256MB dedicated graphics memory, 280Ghz internal clock speed if I'm not mistaken) Unity does feel a little slow since the proprietary AMD/ATI drivers are significantly faster than the open-source drivers, you should install the proprietary drivers if you want the best possible performance out of that GPU.

And also, if you also have this Netbook, then it should be pretty interesting what the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 could bring from a performance point of view because with 11.10, Canonical is shipping the Kernel 3.0 for the first-time which fully supports the AMD Fusion architecture by default.

Anyhow, the performance even while on the Live USB environment is really good (I'm even writing this post in it!) but it should be even better after installing in the HDD.
So, if you're having troubles with trying to run Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal in Acer Aspire One 722 Netbook, then while creating that USB disk, just try the default settings as shown in the third screenshot. Good luck.

Oh and one more thing, the 11.6 inch display has a a resolution of 1366x768 thus things could look a bit too small for some but thanks to the Ubuntu or the Gnome desktop's DPI settings, I think Ubuntu Linux looks + makes things slightly bigger than the original MS Windows 7 thus Ubuntu is certainly my preferred choice while using this Netbook.


Anonymous said...

By USB, do you mean when you are installing the system? I have the same problem and I am very frustrated right now...Thanks

Gayan said...


Yes. I used a boot-able USB and put Ubuntu inside of it and used the above mentioned method while formatting it and then booting into the Live USB environment.

Now you can install it. But sometimes after the installation, when I boot the system tends, it to get stuck when the "Wi-Fi" is automatically turned on!

(in that case, you can try boot into the system by using the "recover mode" using GRUB boot-options and disable the "Wiress-network" temporarily) .

Gayan said...


Thank you so much. You've gone a lot of searching it seems :). Sadly though I gave up my Netbook because the text while browsing web was too small for my taste ... but again thank you for the comment and I removed your e-mail from the comment so you wouldn't get spammed or anything.

Btw have you tried 11.10??, because when I still had it, I tried it with the 11.10 beta 2 and the same problem occurred and I think it has something to do with the Wi-Fi hardware...

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