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Installing Opera on Acer Aspire One

We got a little Acer Aspire One notebook for Marina’s tenth birthday (ten!? where did that decade go?) and it’s very nice: webcam, Linux operating system (Linpus Lite, designed to be user-friendly), wireless, 120 Gig hard-drive, all for under £200. It’s such a good buy, my wife is getting one in what looks like a stealthy Linux invasion of my house.

Only downsides: it’s made in China (probably unavoidable), sometimes it boots a little slower than the advertised 15 seconds (!) and most seriously, it doesn’t have Opera installed.

That nice Mike Davis talked me through the process of installing Opera on it, given that I’m a Linuk n00b and would rather saw off my nipples with a rusty spoon than “compile a kernal” (whatever that means).

Set a root password (if not already set)

  1. Switch it on and let it boot up. When the icon desktop is showing, hit F2
  2. in the dialogue, enter ‘terminal’ which then brings up a command line. Here enter ‘sudo su’ which changes you to root (whatever that means)
  3. enter ‘passwd’ which then prompts you for a new password (and gets you to reenter it to confirm). Even if it doesn’t agree with your choice of password (“that is a dictionary word”, it disparagingly points out) you can still use it. That is the root password. Remember it.

Download and install Opera

  1. Close down dialogue and start up the default web browser. Wait ages for it to load.
  2. Go to and download the Fedora distribution
  3. Start the installer and agree to all licenses etc. Type in root password when prompted.
  4. Opera is available by hitting Alt+F2 and typing Opera into the dialogue box.

Thanks Mike!

Here’s a nice video review of the machine; about 5 minutes in is a tutorial on extending the Acer Aspire desktop.

(Note to Acer; it is ironic that you sell nice little Linux machines, but your website is table layout hell with the note “best viewed with Microsoft I.E. 6.0 or above at 1024×768 pixel resolution”. The Linpus website is equally 1997, too, with pages that are just images and seemingly no links to your documentation on your “Help and Support” page. This doesn’t inspire confidence in the quality of your products.)

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4 Responses to “ Installing Opera on Acer Aspire One ”

Comment by Isofarro

Hi Bruce,

Steps 1-4 are only needed if you don’t know the root password. Typically this is set by the user the very first time the machine is switched on (it’s the page before it asks for timezone information, I think).

What we are basically doing is resetting the root password, and it’s weird that it lets you override the root password without asking for the current one.

For people who know this password, they can start installing Opera from step 4 – starting up the default web browser.

On the Opera website, select the Fedora distribution of Linux. I went for the “Fedora 7, 8, 9, 10” version.

On step 6 when it asks for a password – that’s the root password that was set in step 3.

I don’t have the Opera logo in any pane I can see, so I just press Alt-F2 to open a “Run program” dialogue box, and enter ‘Opera’.

Comment by Bruce

Cheers again, Mike; I’ve amended instructions accordingly.

It is odd; when I set up the machine before wrapping it up, the instructions told me that I would need to enter a password and set the timezone on first boot — but it just went to the main screen, bypassing that step.

It would be nice to add Opera in the main icon screen.

Comment by Bruce

Ah, you say that now, Sil. But who knows what kinky horrors you could persuade me to do after 10 pints of Old Scumfungus at the Welly with your harem?

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