The Acer Travelmate 507dx is part of the 505 series. Although this isn't a notebook with quite new technique it's a useful assistant for daily tasks. Disadvantages are a high weight of about 6.3 lbs and like all dx-models a bad HPA (High Performance Adressing) display. I bought a new battery with 500 mAh more capacity than the original. The price is around 45 €. Search for BTP-1831 with your favorite search engine.


The table below shows the most important information about the components of this notebook. It's similar to this overview from Acer. The latest available BIOS version is R01-A3L You can get it from here.

› chipset Intel 440MX Chipset
Intel 440MX UHCI USB Controller
O2 Micro OZ6812 Cardbus Controller
lspci -vvv
› processor Intel Celeron (Mendocino) 466 MHz cat /proc/cpuinfo
› hard drive IBM Travelstar 12GN
2.5-inch ATA 33 / S.M.A.R.T. / 4.8 GB
hdparm -I /dev/hda
› video card Neomagic NM2160 MagicGraph 128DX
2048 KB VRAM
› display 12.1-inch HPA LCD
HorizSync 15-90, VertRefresh 30-85
› sound card Cirrus Logic CS4299 rev 4 AC'97 Audio Controller
› modem Lucent Technologies Soft Modem - AMR
output from scanmodem
› storage devices TEAC CD-224E ATAPI CD-ROM 24x
Floppy 1.44 MB 3.5"
› pointing device Synaptics Touchpad, model 1, Firmware 5.0,
multifinger and palm detection
› special keys 2 software controlled, 11 hardware controlled


The table shows Linux compatibility with kernel 2.6.10. Everything highlighted in green is fully supported. Orange means particularly supported and everything in red isn't supported at the moment.
chipset suspend-to-ram, suspend-to-disk, chipset, usb, cardbus
hard drive udma
video card framebuffer, hardware acceleration
sound card works
modem works
storage devices floppy, cdrom
pointing device works
special keys works


debian base system
I used sarge netinstall with Debian installer release candidate 3. If you don't have a LAN PC-Card you better use the full CD images. Boot your notebook with the CD inside your drive and go step by step through the installer menu. There's nothing special in here.
custom kernel
I'm using highly patched debian source of kernel 2.6.10. Get it with:
'apt-get install kernel-source-2.6.x'
Here you can get my .config file.
chipset (acpi, usb, firewire etc.)
Kernel configuration:
Power management options (ACPI, APM)
  [*] Power Management support
  [*]   Power Management Debug Support 
  [*] Software Suspend
  (/dev/hdafoo) Default resume partition
Power management options (ACPI, APM) -->  ACPI (Advanced Configuration...) support
  [*] ACPI support
  [*] Sleep states
  <M> AC Adapter
  <M> Battery
  <M> Button
  <M> Video
  <M> Fan
  <M> Processor
  <M>   Thermal Zone
  [*] Power Management Timer Support

Suspend-to-RAM (S3) doesn't work - after all task were stopped they restarted again. Suspend-to-Disk (S4) cause some problems: PCMCIA and USB devices don't work after resume. Try this workaround:
  • disconnect and reconnect all USB devices,
  • remove your PCMCIA device and insert it again:
    cardctl eject
    cardctl insert
Or much easier: install the hibernate-package. It will do this tasks for you.
Kernel configuration:
Device Drivers --> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
  <*> Enhanced IDE/MFM/RLL disk/cdrom/tape/floppy support
  <*> Include IDE/ATA-2 DISK support
  [*] Use multi-mode by default
  <M> Include IDE/ATAPI CDROM support
  <M> Include IDE/ATAPI FLOPPY support
  <*> generic/default IDE chipset support
  [*] PCI IDE chipset support
  [*] Sharing PCI IDE interrupts support
  [*] Generic PCI IDE Chipset support
  [*] Generic PCI bus-master DMA support
  [*] Use PCI DMA by default when available
  <*> Intel PIIXn chipset support
Device Drivers --> Parallel port support
  <M> Parallel port support
  <M>   PC-style hardware
  [*]     Use FIFO/DMA is available
Device Drivers --> Block devices
  <M> Normal floppy disk support
Device Drivers --> Input device support
  [*]   Provide legacy /dev/psaux device
  (800) Horizontal screen resolution
  (600) Vertical screen resolution
  <M> Event interface
  <M> PCI PS/2 keyboard and PS/2 mouse controller
  [*] Mice
  <M>   PS/2 mouse
  [*] Misc
  <M>   PC Speaker support
Device Drivers --> Character devices --> Serial drivers
  <M> 8250/16550 and compatible serial support
  <M>   8250/16550 device discovery via ACPI namespace
  (1)   Maximum number of non-legacy 8250/16550 serial ports
Kernel configuration:
Device Drivers --> USB support
  <M> Support for Host-side USB
  [*] USB device filesystem
  [*] USB suspend/resume
  <M> UHCI HCD (most Intel and VIA) support
Enable other features related to your hardware (USB Printer, USB-Stick etc).
Kernel configuration:
Bus options (PCI, PCMCIA, EISA, MCA, ISA) --> PCCARD (PCMCIA/CardBus) support
  <M> PCCard (PCMCIA/CardBus) support
  <M>   16-bit PCMCIA support
  [*]   32-bit CardBus support 
  <M> CardBus yenta-compatible bridge support
kernel configuration:
Processor types and features
  Subarchitecture Type (PC-compatible)
  Processor family (Pentium-II/Celeron (pre-Coppermine))
  [*] Generic x86 support
  [*] HPET Timer Support
  [*] Local APIC support on uniprocessors
  [*] IO-APIC support on uniprocessors
  <M> /dev/cpu/*/cpuid - CPU information support
hard drive
kernel configuration:
Device Drivers --> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
  <*> Intel PIIXn chipset support
temperature control
hddtemp is a little tool that displays the current temperature of your hard drive. Install it with:
'apt-get install hddtemp'
You can get your drive's temperature with the following command:
'hddtemp /dev/hda'
video card
Kernel configuration of console framebuffer support:
Device Drivers --> Graphics Support
  [*] Support for frame buffer devices
  <*>   NeoMagic display support

Device Drivers --> Graphics Support --> Console display driver support
  [*]    Video mode selection support
  <M> Framebuffer Console support
Kernel configuration to enable hardware acceleration:
Device Drivers --> Character devices
  <M> /dev/agpart (AGP Support)
  <M> Intel 440 LX/BX/GX, I8xx and E7x05 chipset support
  [*] Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support)
Don't forget to install xlibmesa-dri.
sound card
Kernel configuration:
Device Drivers --> Sound
  <M> Sound card support

Device Drivers --> Sound --> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
  <M> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
  <M> Sequencer support
  <M> Sequencer dummy client
  <M> OSS Mixer API
  <M> OSS PCM (digital audio) API
  [*] OSS Sequencer API
  <M> RTC Timer support

Device Drivers --> Sound --> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --> PCI devices
  <M> Intel/SIS/nVidia/AMD/ALi AC97 Controller
Also you need to configure your sound card. The package alsa-utils is very useful in this case:
'apt-get install alsa-utils'

# become root and run

I didn't tried to configure the modem yet. Have a look at this site for more information.
storage devices
Everything done in chipset configuration section.
pointing device
Kernel configuration:
Device Drivers --> Input device support
  <M> Event interface
  [*] Mice
  <M> PS/2 mouse
You can use your Touchpad in X without any special configuration. But if you want such things as emulation of the middle button by tapping in one corner you need a special driver:
'apt-get install xfree86-driver-synaptics'
Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf as described below:
Section "Module"
        Load "synaptics"
Section "InputDevice"
        Driver "synaptics"
        Identifier "Mouse0"
        Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
        Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
        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" "0.06"
        Option "MaxSpeed" "0.12"
        Option "AccelFactor" "0.0010"
        Option "SHMConfig" "on"
For a full documentation have a look at /usr/share/doc/xfree86-driver-synaptics/. There's also a GUI for configuration called QSynaptics.
special keys
You can almost use all special keys with Linux except Fn+F1/F2/F3. After pressing one of these no message appears in /var/log/acpid and nothing happens. The hardware controlled hotkeys work without any kind of configuration. All other keys are are controlled by software. You need a key code and a script to make them work. First the hotkey codes (How to get them is described here):
key        symbol                 code
Power                             80    button/power							
Fn+F4      sleep                  80    button/sleep
Second a script which looks in /var/log/acpid for the key code:
# this is /etc/acpi/events/btn_power
event=button[ /]power
Last you need an action script in /etc/acpi:
# this is /etc/acpi/
# and need to be marked as execute (chmod +x)

/sbin/shutdown -h now "Power button pressed"

software configuration

Below my x-server configuration file. You can also download it from here.
Section "Files"
	FontPath	"unix/:7100"			# local font server
	# if the local font server has problems, we can fall back on these
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/CID"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
	FontPath	"/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"

Section "Module"
	Load	"GLcore"
	Load	"bitmap"
	Load	"dbe"
	Load	"ddc"
	Load	"dri"
	Load	"extmod"
	Load	"freetype"
	Load	"glx"
	Load	"int10"
	Load	"record"
	Load	"speedo"
	Load	"type1"
	Load	"vbe"
	Load	"synaptics"

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier	"Keyboard"
	Driver		"keyboard"
	Option		"CoreKeyboard"
	Option		"XkbRules"	"xfree86"
	Option		"XkbModel"	"pc105"
	Option		"XkbLayout"	"de"
	Option		"XkbVariant"	"de"
	Option		"XkbOptions"	"nodeadkeys"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier    "Synaptics"
        Driver        "synaptics"
        Option        "Device"        "/dev/psaux"
        Option        "Protocol"      "auto-dev"
        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"      "0.06"
        Option        "MaxSpeed"      "0.12"
        Option        "AccelFactor"	"0.0010"
        Option        "SHMConfig"     "on"
        Option        "RTCornerButton"  "2"

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"NeoMagic NM2160 [MagicGraph 128XD]"
	Driver		"neomagic"
	Option		"UseFBDev"		"true"
	VideoRam	2048

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier	"LCD"
	HorizSync	15-90
	VertRefresh	30-85
	Option		"DPMS"

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Screen"
	Device		"NeoMagic NM2160 [MagicGraph 128XD]"
	Monitor		"LCD"
	DefaultDepth	24
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		1
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		4
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		8
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		15
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		16
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		24
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

Section "ServerLayout"
	Identifier	"Default Layout"
	Screen		"Screen"
	InputDevice	"Keyboard"
	InputDevice	"Synaptics"		"CorePointer"

Section "DRI"
	Mode	0666


Acer provides a site with user manuals in different languages.
More information about Linux and this notebook can be found at or at Linux on Laptops.