Running Linux on a Vaio Laptop PGC-FX701
A little penguin, courtesy of TuxMobil

Running Linux on a Vaio Laptop PGC-FX701

Romano Giannetti <romano.giannetti@gmail.com>

This page is listed on TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, PDAs and mobile phones. Thanks Werner!

See also: Markus' "Linux on the sony vaio FX/FXA serie" page.

Disclaimer: this information is available on an "AS-IS" bases. Nor I nor anyone I'm related with (employer, friends, pets, etc) will be responsible if using this information you will burn your laptop off, or generate a mayor earthquake, and so on. Nevertheless, I hope it helps...

This page is dedicated to tricks and tips to make life with a Sony "old" PGC-FX laptop and linux easier. I started installing a Mandrakelinux 9.2 distributions, than upgraded to kernel 2.6 and to Mandrakelinux 10.0.

I am now running on it a Ubuntu Edgy Eft system, upgraded from an Ubuntu Dapper Drake.

Executive summary on 12 ene 2007: I can say it works perfectly. (Well, it has glitches, but hey...). Everybody like screenshots... but I have none of this now. Nevertheless, I make a bit of pubblicity for my little slogger utility.

My kernel is now the standard one form ubuntu with a patch to make my double function PCMCIA card works again. It works well, suspend-to-ram works (for the first time in history!), suspend-to-disk is nice and reliable (after correcting a nasty bug).

Suspend and Hibernate. Out-of-the box swsusp is working well for me. Edgy introduced a nasty bug (see link above), but correction is quite easy (see my hackish solution) and the bug is being worked on.

I have a WIFI card that used to require ndiswrapper to work. With Edgy, it works ok with open, WEP and more complex configuration using wpa_supplicant and the provided open-source driver! Here you will find some instruction to connect to the network of my University, simply adapt it to your needs and you should be on-the-air.

Power management. During these years with the Vaio, I discovered a series of glitches with the ACPI kernel functions dealing with power status and suspend. This has the nasty effect that sometime cpufreqd dies... I solved this by writing an home-brew laptop control daemon.

Touchpad. Our's little touchpad is a much better input device than it seems. Have a look at the relevant section on Markus' pages for a complete description. With Edgy it works quite well, although sometime it is a bit erratic, maybe due to this bug, althuough I really never could works well with a touchpad, and I have an external mouse for serious work. I'm in the way of adapting my gksyn gkrellm applet!


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