Installing Linux on an Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 laptop

Installing Linux on an Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 laptop

I am writing this message for the benefit of anyone with an Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 laptop, or possibly another Acer model with a similar system configuration, I hope that the information here can spare someone else the difficulties that I encountered (and finally solved - the KEY is the Ctrl-S key sequence issued at the RIGHT time to reveal where to modify the system configuration, as I detail below ( I repeat this again as I explain further down):

I discovered, after floundering around for a while, that it is necessary to make the filesystem on this device organized for AHCI.

Making this setting, however, is not immediately obvious!

Here is the key tip:

First you go into the system configuration by pressing F2 immediately after pressing the power button. This will put you into the system configuration utility.

On the main screen you want to change the disk organization in the [SATA] grouping to AHCI. Here is the PROBLEM: This setting is NOT displayed by default. In order to fix this, once you are at the main screen, Press Ctrl S (pressing both the Ctrl and S keys together). THEN the [SATA] selection should appear. From that point you select it and change the alternative setting to AHCI, then save the system configuration settings and reboot the system.

At that point, you should be able to not only boot many of the common Live Linux distributions, you should also be able to install them.

In my case I created several partitions: 1) the first partition for /boot/efi - for the UEFI boot loader. 2) a swap partition; I made mine about 8 GB in size so that I can suspend and hibernate systems, if desired. 3) I was then able to create 3-4 additional partitions about 30 GB each in size, so that I could concurrently install 3-4 Linux distributions. You can do something different, but MAKE SURE that you use the Ctrl-S key sequence on the main Acer system configuration screen and that will allow you to modify the filesystem capability to support AHCI, critical on NVME SSD to allow it to handle (efficiently at that) Linux systems. It also happens to be a recommendation even for Windows 10 and 11; why Acer doesn´t make AHCI the default is beyond me, but at least there is a way to change it. Since I struggled understanding this, EVEN after having READ it at least once, I thought that I might not be the only one experiencing this issue, so here is another explanation; you CAN find this information on the Internet too, but this adds another (hopefully understandable) description of the problem and solution in simple terms, without getting into a lot of technical file system terminology.


This is also true for the Acer Nitro 5

Yes i saw this somewhere along my travels also but i wouldn’t have thought of it until you mentioned it. It’s an odd set up in my opinion. In all the years since AHCI has been around i don’t know of too many with this hardware setting. On most it’s an easy selection but then again i deal mainly in desktop boards. But still it just seems odd to have hidden settings with special keys to reveal them. :thinking:

Yeah, I’m glad I found the solution;. Since then Endeavour OS works great on this low priced system; it’s kind of an odd ball model in the Aspire 5 lineup and I am happy that Endeavour OS works so well with it.

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Thank you for sharing this specific issue with us. :ok_hand: