Frederik Questier

Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx on Sony Vaio VPCZ11X9E

by Frederik Questier on Apr.26, 2010, under HowTos

Installing Ubuntu Linux is most often a piece of cake. Not so it seems on Sony latest laptop, the Vaio VPC-Z11-X9E. It’s a wonderful machine, with many new advanced features, but some of the design options seem to be made with only MS Windows in mind (e.g. advanced EFI Bios is crippled towards the end-user and the switch between the 2 GPU’s is badly designed or documented.) That made it a bit of an adventure to get Ubuntu installed. As I am one of the first ones that succeeded, I share my experiences. However I could never have finished this without inspiration from the brightest people, mainly active in the Sony Vaio Z-series Laptop group.
I hope installing Ubuntu will also be easy on this laptop in a few weeks or months. If you can’t wait and love a technical adventure, read on…

Vaio VPC Z11

So how did I get Linux running on the Sony Vaio VPCZ11X9E with most basic features working, including nvidia driven graphics at 1600×900?

All Linux distributions and versions I tried (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora) have a failing installation in someway on this (very new) laptop. The newer distributions fail on the graphics (blank screen, except Kubuntu 8.10). The older versions fail to enable the WiFi. All need a little help for the touchpad. Some distributions can’t handle the RAID disk (2×64GB SSD). So I deleted the RAID config (in BIOS enable ‘Show Raidinfo’ and use the delete option in the RAID configurator).

Eventually I used the Ubuntu 10.04 amd64 Release Candidate DVD in text installation mode.
I created a software RAID with LVM on top of it.
Once installed, the system failed on the graphics (blank screen, totally frozen, no text terminals). Holding the Shift key during boot gives access to the Grub menu. Replacing kernel parameters ‘quiet splash’ with ’single nomodeset i8042.nopnp’ gives a single user (root) mode that does not suffer from a blank screen (nomodeset) and will be able to use the touchpad (i8042.nopnp) once the graphics are running.
At that point it’s clear that Ubuntu 10.04 has working wired and wireless network on this VPCZ11. I tried apt-get upgrade without further success. Installing nvidia driver through Ubuntu sources or from the nVidia website helped neither. nvidia-detector said ‘none’. Starting X on nvidia driver complained about not finding an nvidia device.
The Intel driver failed with a blank screen without nomodeset and with a kernel panic with nomodeset enabled.
With nvidia-xconfig I created a basic /etc/X11/xorg.conf. When I set in that file ‘Driver’ to ‘vesa’ I get graphics working! But limited to 1024×768, which is probably the limit of the vesa driver. I read Sony is very special in how the LCD screen describes it self (with EDID), which could be the reason of the failing graphics. I did apt-get install read-edid. get-edid|parse-edid gives a monitor section which you can enter in xorg.conf. But this didn’t help me.

lspci always show both the intel and nvidia graphics, no matter if the hardware button is on Stamina, Speed of Auto. The hardware graphics selection lights almost never follow the button’s settings. The only way to get it really running in a certain graphics mode, is by running first an older kernel into that graphics mode. I did that first by running my Kubuntu 8.10 CD in between. UPDATE 5/5/10: I found that booting the 2.6.31-10-rt kernel (included in the Ubuntu Lucid Lynx repository) will also do the trick on the next reboot.

UPDATE 6/5/10: Based on the suggestions of Atrawog hereunder in the comments, it is possible to configure one kernel that does all the basics for nvidia (graphics switch is always ok, 1600×900, network, sound, hibernate).

Add to /etc/apt/sources.list :

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kernel-ppa/pre-proposed/ubuntu  karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/kernel-ppa/pre-proposed/ubuntu karmic main

As root do:

apt-get update
apt-get install linux-image-2.6.31-20-generic
apt-get install linux-backports-modules-karmic-generic
apt-get install linux-backports-modules-2.6.31-20-generic
apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.31-20-generic
apt-get install linux-backports-modules-alsa-2.6.31-20-generic
./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-195.36.15-pkg2.run

Update grub to take the 2.6.31-20 as default with i8042.nopnp option

To sum up:

  • with nvidia driver (speed mode) I get 1600×900 graphics!
  • with the intel driver (stamina mode; which I would prefer) I get kernel panics or blank screens (with or without nomodeset).
  • I’m still searching for a way to change the brightness of the screen.
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54 Comments for this entry

  • Lando

    Hi,
    first of all I’d like to thank you for your explanation.
    I bought your same vaio and I’d like to install linux in.

    How long does your battery life is in speed mode?

  • Frederik Questier

    I did not really test the battery yet, but a two hour meeting drained less than 50% of the battery. So I hope for more than 4 hours. I could not yet lower the brightness of the screen, and once we can use the Intel graphics we can add another hour, I guess.

  • Lando

    Sounds good!! 2 hours => 50 % of battery life: it is not a bad result!!don’t you think?? especially because you are using nvidia card… by the way we hope that will be able to user the Intel graphics as soon as possible!!! So you use ubuntu 10.04 with an older kernel (which one?) and Nvidia drivers… right?

  • Jan

    Thanks for sharing this. I guess I’ve got my machine running on more or less the same level of functionality, which is okay for the moment. I hope that more people will join the launchpad group and we’ll finally be able to get it all up and running :-)

    cheers from Switzerland,
    Jan

  • aleixsr

    Hello,
    could you explain in detail how to setup X to works with nvidia or intel driver? I always get a black screen.

    • Frederik Questier

      Aleixsr,

      I installed the Nvidia driver first with apt-get, finally from the Nvidia site. When I followed the Nvidia selection menu, there seemed to be no driver for my videocard (Nvidia GT 330M), but there are unified drivers. I downloaded NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-195.36.15-pkg2.run

      I created a default xorg.conf with nvidia-xconfig.
      As that didn’t contain the necessary info about the screen, I copied into it the info I got from get-edid|parse-edid

      I hard coded the correct VGA card in the xorg.conf
      As my lspci gives:
      01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 0a2b (rev a2)
      I added: BusID “PCI:1:0:0″

      You can simply copy my /etc/X11/xorg.conf :

      Section “ServerLayout”
      Identifier “Layout0″
      Screen 0 “Screen0″ 0 0
      InputDevice “Keyboard0″ “CoreKeyboard”
      InputDevice “Mouse0″ “CorePointer”
      EndSection

      Section “Files”
      EndSection

      Section “InputDevice”

      # generated from default
      Identifier “Mouse0″
      Driver “mouse”
      Option “Protocol” “auto”
      Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
      Option “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
      Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5″
      EndSection

      Section “InputDevice”

      # generated from default
      Identifier “Keyboard0″
      Driver “kbd”
      EndSection

      Section “Monitor”

      # Block type: 2:0 3:fc
      # Block type: 2:0 3:fc
      # Block type: 2:0 3:fd
      # Max dot clock (video bandwidth) 110 MHz
      # DPMS capabilities: Active off:no Suspend:no Standby:no
      # Block type: 2:0 3:fc
      # Block type: 2:0 3:fd
      Identifier “Sony LCD”
      VendorName “SNY”
      ModelName “Sony LCD”
      HorizSync 36.0 – 55.0
      VertRefresh 39.0 – 61.0
      ModeLine “1600×900″ 107.990000 1600 1664 1728 1969 900 903 906 915 -hsync -vsync
      ModeLine “1600×900″ 76.090000 1600 1664 1728 2079 900 903 906 915 -hsync -vsync
      EndSection

      Section “Device”
      Identifier “Device0″
      Driver “nvidia”
      VendorName “nvidia”
      BusID “PCI:1:0:0″
      EndSection

      Section “Screen”
      Identifier “Screen0″
      Device “Device0″
      Monitor “Sony LCD”
      DefaultDepth 24
      SubSection “Display”
      Depth 24
      EndSubSection
      EndSection

  • aleixsr

    Thank you Frederick,
    but each time you want to run Ubuntu you must run with an old kernel an reboot? How do you do that, using a LiveCD or installing an old kernel in Ubuntu 10.04?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Frederik Questier

      Indeed for a while I walked around with a Kubuntu 8.10 CD for booting that once every two times.

      Now I found that the 2.6.31-10-rt kernel included in Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.4 is also good for getting the switch working on the next reboot.

      Do something like:
      # apt-get install linux-image-2.6.31-10-rt
      (I also had to do
      # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
      as my system seems confused by having both grub 1 and 2)

      Reboot into that rt kernel by holding the Shift button while booting and selecting that kernel in Grub.
      After your next reboot, the graphic switch will light up and work correctly.

  • Nicolas

    Hi:

    A question. linux-image-2.6.31-10-rt is working with nvidia drivers installed with apt-get, with nvidia drivers installed from NVIDIA site or with both?

    Thanks

  • Atrawog

    Oh well you really, really never should let the Windows group choose your laptop and the couldn’t have come up with a weirder laptop.

    What finally worked out for me was to add the Karmic Kernel PPA to my lucid /etc/apt/source file:
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kernel-ppa/pre-proposed/ubuntu karmic main
    deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/kernel-ppa/pre-proposed/ubuntu karmic main

    and use the 2.6.31-21-generic Kernel from Karmic with the NVIDIA Linux-x86_64-195.36.24-pkg2 driver on Ubuntu 10.4.

  • Frederik Questier

    Yes linux-image-2.6.31-10-rt works with the nvidia driver version 195.36.15. Since a few days that is not only the version from the Nvidia site, but also from Ubuntu.

    But as wifi is not working with such older kernel, I only use it to get the graphics switch correct for the next boot.

    Atrawog: (how) did you get wifi working on the Karmic kernel?

  • aleixsr

    Hi, “linux-image-2.6.31-10-rt (recovery mode)” does the trick successfully!

    Nicolas: Now I’m using last nvidia website driver: NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-195.36.24-pkg2.run

  • Frederik Questier

    The 2.6.31-21-generic Kernel from Karmic suggested by Atrawog seems to be able to do it all for nvidia (except brightness and maybe suspend). I updated the main article with my installation log.

  • Atrawog

    From all the things I have tried out Ubuntu 10.4 64Bit Alternate installer + 2.6.31-21-generic Kernel from Karmic + Nvidia x86_64-195.36.24 driver + Speed Mode is what works best at the moment (including Audio, Wifi + Standby).

    But the list of problems is still pretty long:
    - Suspend doesn’t work
    - No brightness control
    - Sporadic keyboard hangs after reboot
    - LCD display stays blank if you active display dimming
    - Problems with Ethernet auto negotiation resulting in a network speed of only 10Mbit half duplex.

    • Frederik Questier

      Atrawog,

      I have ad hoc solutions for two of your problems:

      I also have one in around 5 boots an unresponsive keyboard (and mouse buttons IIRC). But at that moment (and that moment only!) the sleep/hibernate button (Fn F12) is working. After hibernation the keyboard is working again. Note: in my (KDE) power management module I selected “When sleep button is pressed: suspend to disk” cause suspend to RAM doesn’t work.

      When the display is dimmed (LED off, after inactivity) the screen stays blank indeed. But I can get it back by selecting a text terminal (Alt-F1) and again the graphical console (Alt-F7).

  • jan

    frederik, all,

    I like to encourage everyone to continue this discussion on http://launchpad.net/~sony-vaio-z-series

    one point is that we are spreading and duplicating valued information, another that there is way more help to get from the mailinglist…

    frederik, if this is your opinion too, you might want to include a relevant notice in your original post?

    jan

    • Frederik Questier

      Hi Jan,

      I share your opinion more or less. I want the mailing list to continue and flourish. Therefore I referenced it already with link in the original article. Therefore I also asked somebody who was mailing me new info, to include it on the mailing list. From the answer I learned some people “do not want to annoy people in their mailbox with issues they might not have.”

      Spreading and duplication are some of the key concepts of the internet, with quite some positive effects. But indeed we need to keep the thinking groups large and focused enough. So I’ll try to contribute more actively on the mailing list. Please: others do likewise!

  • jan

    Hi Frederik,

    of course you are right with what you say. I just wanted to make the point that we have an existing structure for helping people out – with the additional benefit of taking some load from you.

    anyhow, my biggest issue here is to thank you and everyone else for any contribution. I’m just returning from a conference full of IT professionals, and I’m pretty proud about the fact that I noticed more than one marveling gaze on my vaio with compiz up and running :-)

    cheers,
    jan

  • Atrawog

    Fixed another bug :-) )

    The Ethernet speed problem can be fixed by installing the latest Intel e1000e driver: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=15817&lang=eng

    Installation instructions can be found in the Intel readme file: http://downloadmirror.intel.com/15817/eng/README.txt

  • wodka

    Hi there,

    The current nvidia driver from their website (195.36.24) does everything to get the screen working.

    just installing it and my system runs now at 1920×1080 (didn’t have to change anything in xorg.conf).
    I’m also running the 2.6.31-20-generic kernel

    BR

  • fiepel

    Current NVidia driver (195.36.15) is in the default Unbuntu repository as of today; package nvidia-current.

  • mario

    Hello,

    I own a VPC z11 z9E. I am sorry to report that in a Debian distribution (2.6.32-3-amd64) the intel i915 driver freezes the computer at boot, and the nvidia driver fails to load (tried packages from the repositories and even compiling the latest kernel from nvidia). So I’m stuck with the good old vesa driver.

    ethernet and wifi work though and the touchpad also works once you set i8042.nopnp at boot

  • Frederik Questier

    Hi Mario,

    You have a slightly different machine and Linux distribution.
    How does the Nvidia driver fail for you?
    What do you see in /var/log/Xorg*log?
    Does lspci detect (only!) the Nvidia graphics? (switch correct?)

  • mario

    OK, since last weekend, I found out how to make the fix to get nvidia working. It goes similar to what you guys describe in ubuntu

    Debian 2.6.26.1 for first boot. Doesn’t load the driver, but speed light turns on at reboot
    Then Debian 2.6.32-3 and everything works out.

    touchpad, wifi and ethernet are all ok now. Still haven’t checked if ethernet tranfer speeds cap at 10MB/s or not.

  • fiepel

    I received my VPCZ11V5E (which actually is known also as VPCZ11C5E) and used your instructions above with success! Thank you!

    What I did:
    - Booted from a memory stick with Ubuntu 10.04 (ubuntu-10.04-alternate-amd64.iso); I do not have a DVD drive
    - Chose automatic partitioning (shrinking of current windows7 partition)
    - let everything install, including putting grub in the default location
    - rebooted, pressing “e” in the grub menu and added the boot options as suggested above to go into single user mode
    - installed the older kernel via apt commands as described above.
    - tried to install latest NVIDIA driver (this is a newer version than described above): wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/195.36.24/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-195.36.24-pkg2.run
    chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-195.36.24-pkg2.run
    ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-195.36.24-pkg2.run
    - I had to skip a few minor error messages
    - added i8042.nopnp to the default grub options and ran update-grub2
    - rebooted, but no success on the video yet
    - I rebooted into text mode again via grub options and ran startx to see what was going on. X started with the default vesa driver
    - Via System->Administration->Hardware Drivers I installed the NVIDIA drives that come with Ubuntu
    - rebooted and success! 1920×1080 resolution!

    So I think you can skip the step of installing the NVIDIA driver from the command line and use the default Ubuntu NVIDIA driver instead.

    Have not tried Intel Video yet.

    Philippe

  • Sean Coughlan

    Hey Frederik – thanks for posting your instructions. Really helped me get up and running tonight. Cheers -sean

  • Henrik

    Hi!

    I got a VPCZ11Z9E and this procedure confuses me:

    1) I created an USB startup disk with Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit desktop
    2) I booted from the USB-stuck with noapic (chosed from F6 menu) and i8042.nopnp (entered from keyboard). Note that I did not use the nomodeset parameter…
    3) Ubuntu booted and EVERYTHING works (including 1920×1080@60Hz resolution) except the panel brightness switch.

    This should suggest that the new kernel is working…

    When I install the system from the alternate disks (32 or 64 bit) i get all the problems described in this article…

    Here is little data from the USB booted system:
    * Kernel: 2.6.32-21-generic
    * Graphics: intel driver for the i810 chipset is loaded
    * The system founds and wants to install NVIDIA drivers.
    * The SPEED LED at the graphics switch is ON.

    Any suggestions?????!
    What is the difference between the DESKTOP and the installed system regarding X?

    Henrik

  • kang

    Just FYI using fakeraid works just fine (dmraid)
    you just need a few steps by hand:
    (some are necessary or not depending on the distro)
    as root of course, in the install cd:

    modprobe dm_mod
    dmraid -ay

    fdisk -l /dev/mapper/isw_….Volume0

    you should see all your partitions here.. of course you need space for Linux if all is taken by Windows :P

    then install on the Linux partition.

    for booting, you must use grub 1 (aka 0.97), grub2 will make udev freeze your screen.

    to use grub1:

    dmsetup mknodes
    grub –device-map=/dev/null
    device (hd0) /dev/mapper/isw_….Volume0
    <here, check your cylinders, headers and sectors from the previous fdisk command and replace C H S here by Cylinders, Heads, Sectors)

    geometry (hd0) C H S
    (eg: geometry (hd0) 313311 255 63)

    root (hd0,0) <= replace the second 0 by your linux partition if its not first, it should detect 0×83 for ext234
    setup (hd0)

    and done

    if you get an error 22 at setup do:
    ln -s /dev/mapper/isw_….Volume0pX /dev/mapper/isw_…Volume0X (no p)
    and run setup (hd0) again

    have fun

  • Vincenzo Di Massa

    Sorry for the spam: on my blog i describe how to make suspend to ram work and how to make things more automatic.

    http://hawkcode.blogspot.com/2010/06/vpcz11z9e-on-ubuntu-lucid-lynx-9.html

  • bylee

    Thanks, a lot!

    I succed to install ubuntu on vaio z helping by this article.

    I appriciate your help again.

  • Vincenzo Di Massa

    Hi, on my blog I just added some info on how to resurrect the keyboard and mouse without rebooting.

    It is a matter of reloading the psmouse module.
    Maybe this workaround can work permanently… have a look at my post

  • Fiepel

    > I found that booting the 2.6.31-10-rt kernel (included in the
    > Ubuntu Lucid Lynx repository) will also do the trick on the
    > next reboot.

    Does anybody know what is so special in this kernel? And is there a way to get a newer kernel to behave the same?

  • Justin

    First, many thanks to Frederik and all the others who are providing valuable information for (future) Vaio Z owners.
    Does anyone here have the backlit keyboard and can tell me whether it works (i.e. can be turned on and off somehow)? I am about to buy a Vaio Z and would rather not spend extra money on this feature if it cannot be controlled. ;)

  • Fiepel

    @Justin: The keyboard backlight just works out of the box. If you do not hit any key for a while the light dims, as soon as you touch a key it lights up again.
    I do not think this is managed by the operating system.

  • Fiepel

    Just installed the latest kernel (2.6.35-rc3) from kernel.org on my vpc-z11:

    Still need to boot an older kernel first to get NVidia working. Intel Graphics still does not work.

  • Malin

    You guys are amazing getting VaioZ to work with Ubuntu. I am a developer and need a light notebook with good keyboard, screen and long lasting battery life. I want this babe for it’s screen and weight, but I want it with Ubuntu 10.04 for reasons that should be extremely well known. To summarize all your hacks, the only probs. are that you need to run on an older kernel and use a soft Raid0, rite?! OR are the other stuff that do not work? How about the Intel WiMAX chip? How do u feel about the keyboard as compared with a desktop one with big solid keys? Cheers :)

  • Fiepel

    Hi Malin,

    I am using my VPC-Z11 as a production machine with Ubuntu 10.04.
    It works quite well and very stable with kernel 2.6.31-20. Camera, microphone, touchpad work. Connecting a monitor to the extrnal VGA connector works (using NVIDIA-Settings). I have not tested the HDMI output yet.

    The only issues that I exerience are:

    - I cannot get the Intel Video card to work (only NVidia)
    - I cannot adjust the brightness
    - Sometimes whe I resume from standby, I have to switch to a console terminal ([CTRL][ALT][F1]) and then back to an X terminal before the video works again.
    - My magic mouse only works properly (with more than two buttons) with a newer kernel, so I can only use it when I boot the 2.6.31-20 kernel first and then a newer kernel (I still wonder what exactly the older kernel does to make it work).
    - The Sony buttons at the top of the keyboard do not work (I have not tried to get them to work since I do not care so much)

    I do not have experience with WLAN or RAID.

    Things I love about this laptop:
    - The screen is just stunnnig (I have the full HD version)
    - Battery life (even with only the NVIDIA card working at max brightness); I have a large battery by the way and get about 5 hours of use.
    - The keyboard is really, really good.
    - The performance is more than adequate
    - The weigth (my Z11 has no DVD drive, so it is super light)

    The things I would like to see is to be able to run a newer kernel without the internediate boot of the old one and to get the Intel card to work (for even longer battery life). I do not need to switch graphics on the fly, which only would be a nice to have thing for me.

    I hope this is useful for you.

  • Aleix

    Hi, just installed new nVIDIA drivers NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-256.35, X working well, but no changes at all, brightness control not working :(

  • Alberto

    Hallo
    Thank you very much for this article, was very useful, finally i can use ubuntu in my vaio…
    BUT, I have some problems…
    -My grub is confused.. it’s not reading /boot/grub/menu.lst, he is reading somewhere else.. I tried grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg but still the same.. any idea?

    -By the way, I’m changing all the time the options of grub, to change the kernel. BUT I change the kernel and also add i8042.nopnp ( then its like that: quite splash… i8042.nopnp) and then I run… and network doesnt work! I have to enter with “nomodeset” and choose “Drop shell with networking…”, then “startx” to enter on X… I’m doing something wrong?

    Thank you!

    PS: Switching between cards is not working yet no?

  • Aleix

    Anyone using Intel card without flashing?

  • Jef

    Hi everyone,
    I bought a VPCZ12X5E and tried to setup Lucid Lynx. I had to disable the RAID volume from the BIOS and created a soft RAID using the Alternate CD.
    I manually wrote the xorg.conf based on Frederik’s file (just changed the Screen section as I have the Full HD version). Unfortunately, the x server does not recognize the GPU… stuck with the 1024×768 resolution. Since I tried the kernel trick (using the rt one) the system freeze at startup.

    Ideas ?

  • Fiepel

    I cannot get it to work. And flashing my bios does not work (without diving into the hex-editor) because my bios is too new.

  • Fiepel

    Update: I now have intel working in stamina mode. However without OpengL…

    Download and install the 2.6.35 kernel image from here:
    http://www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam/

    Make sure you have the following in /etc/default/grub:
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash i8042.nopnp=1″
    GRUB_GFXMODE=1920×1080
    GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=keep

    Do not forget to do after installation:
    sudo update-initramfs -u -k 2.6.35-rc6-vaioz
    sudo update-grub

    Then you should be able to reboot in stamina mode with this kernel.

    With my VPC Z11 the screen stays black for quite some time, but then everything looks normal.
    You can adjust the brightness by doing
    sudo su
    echo 100 >/proc/acpi/video/DGPU/LCD/brightness

    I read there were some problems with raid systems, but I am not sure if that is true (I do not have raid).

    Good luck.

  • Aleix

    Hi Fiepel, I’ve 1600×900 resolution and It’s not working yet, also how many time is “… screen stays black for quite some time…” ?

  • Loul

    Hi, I have tried to install ubuntu 10.04 on my vaio z12×9E but since the beginning I have a unreadable pink screen with pixels and cannot continue the installation. (It is not the case if I use ubuntu 9.10 even if it gives me a dark screen in live mode) I have found nothing about this color and resolution issue on the internet. Does someone knows something about that?
    Thanks

  • Frederik Questier

    Hi Loul,

    I had the same pink colors early in my installation adventures. The procedure described above in the article will give you normal colors.

  • nikolai

    Hi Frederik, all,

    VPCZ12X5E running opensuse 11.3 with 2.6.34.7-0.2-desktop kernel. Resolution (1920×1080) worked out of the box, for touchpad had to add i8042.nopnp flag to kernel a booot and now it’s working.
    Graphics – well, i’m running exclusively on intel right now with desktop effects enabled. Nvidia not even recognized by system no matter what stand switch is in it doesn’t matter.
    Suspend to ram not working. It’s a shame – got myself suppaduppa expensive laptop and half of the futures that compliment my mobility don’t work.
    Oh yeah, gotta test 3G connectivity still.

  • MaVster

    Hi,
    anybody tried the 10.10 RC version? I was wondering if it solves some of the issues.

    Thanks.

  • Fiepel

    Adam Hill’s new kernel seems very promising:
    http://www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam

    Download and install the 2.6.36-0 files. I am testing them on my Ubuntu 10.4 first, before I want to upgrade to 10.10.

    Philippe

  • cyrus

    Hi.
    Here http://www.sony.ru/discussions/message/621004#621004 I wrote small howto about brightness (via acpi). I think it should work on any Vaio models.

  • Damian

    Hello All,

    Thanks for all the information here posted, it has been of great help trying to run the VAIO Z under ubuntu.

    I installed UBUNTO 10.10, out of the box it did not work, the screen went to black regardless of stamina or speed mode.

    Then I boot the computer in “nomodeset” instead of “quien splash”. In the terminal I did wget to download the kernel vaio-z from http://www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam (A great and promessing Kernel for this laptop). After following the instruction and download the latest nVidia drivers the computer works perfectly.

    However if I create the xorg.conf file by sudo nvidia-xconfig command and reboot the display goes blank again.

    Checked under gfx0\edid and discovered the file said I will try to write the EDID by myself and report on how it work.

  • Nemo

    Damian-

    I kept having difficulty in getting the drivers from nVidia to work on my Z, so I just ended up using the ones that were installed (260.19.06). I found that using the gui nVidia config tool I got an error when I clicked the button “Save to X Configuration File.” I got around this by, clicking the Save to X button, then clicking the “Show Preview” button, then copying and pasting that code into an empty xorg.conf.

    Good luck.

  • jjj

    I made brightness to work with:

    jjj@dontcare:/etc/acpi$ cat ./sony_brightness.py
    #!/usr/bin/python
    import argparse
    import os
    import os.path
    import commands
    import sys
    import re
    import signal

    # command line arguments
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description=’Brightness control using Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)’)
    parser.add_argument(‘direction’, choices=['up', 'down'])
    args = parser.parse_args()

    # who has GUI
    def getXuser():
    command = ‘pinky -f’
    child = os.popen(command)
    data = child.read()
    err = child.close()
    if err:
    raise RuntimeError, ‘%s failed w/ exit code %d’ % (command, err)
    return re.split(‘\W+’, data)[0]

    # ACPI for actual
    def getBrightnessActual():
    s = ”
    with open(“/sys/devices/virtual/backlight/acpi_video0/actual_brightness”) as f:
    for line in f:
    s = s + line
    return int(s)

    def getBrightnessMin():
    return 0

    def getBrightnessMax():
    s = ”
    with open(“/sys/devices/virtual/backlight/acpi_video0/max_brightness”) as f:
    for line in f:
    s = s + line
    return int(s)

    # ACPI – write new brightness here
    f = open(‘/sys/devices/virtual/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness’, ‘w’)

    Xuser = getXuser()
    BrightAct = getBrightnessActual()
    BrightMin = getBrightnessMin()
    BrightMax = getBrightnessMax()

    BrightNew = BrightAct

    if args.direction == ‘down’:
    if BrightAct > BrightMin:
    BrightNew = BrightAct – 1
    else:
    # up
    if BrightAct >>’ + line.strip() + ‘<<< xxx '
    # previous process needs to be killed
    os.kill(previd, signal.SIGKILL)
    print str(previd) + ' kill'

    os.system("su " + Xuser + " -c \"export DISPLAY=:0 && /usr/bin/osd_cat -w 1 –delay=2 –barmode=percentage -P " + str(Percent) + " –text='Brightness' –color=green –font='-adobe-helvetica-bold-*-*-*-30-*-*-*-*-*-*-*' &\"")

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