TuxMobil: Linux with Laptops, PDAs, Mobile Phones and Portable Computers
PRINT version of "Installing Mandrake Linux 10.1 on a Sony VAIO VGN-A1xxx Laptop"
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Sony VAIO VGN-A130, VGN-A140, VGN-A150, VGN-A160 should work also with Mandriva (Mandrake).


The screen on this laptop is amazing. I tested Mandrake on a VGN-A190 but it should work also for the other VGN-AXXX models as well.


Good Things After Installation

This Does Not Work

Works But Not Very Stable

Not Tested

lsusb output:

Bus 007 Device 002: ID 067b:2305 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2305 Parallel Port
Bus 007 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 054c:01aa Sony Corp. [ TVC-U02 ]
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 004 Device 004: ID 054c:00d4 Sony Corp. [ Sony IR Receiver ]
Bus 004 Device 003: ID 045e:008a Microsoft Corp. [ My Microsoft Wireless Mouse ]
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0409:0059 NEC Corp. HighSpeed Hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

lspcidrake output:

intel-agp       : Intel Corp.|82855PM Processor to I/O Controller [BRIDGE_HOST]
unknown         : Intel Corp.|82855PM Processor to AGP Controller [BRIDGE_PCI]
usb-uhci        : Intel Corporation|82801DB USB Controller [SERIAL_USB]
usb-uhci        : Intel Corporation|82801DB USB Controller [SERIAL_USB]
usb-uhci        : Intel Corporation|82801DB USB Controller [SERIAL_USB]
ehci-hcd        : Intel Corporation|82801DB USB Enhanced Controller [SERIAL_USB]
i810_rng        : Intel Corporation|82801 Hub Interface to PCI Bridge [BRIDGE_PCI]
unknown         : Intel Corporation|82801DBM LPC Interface Bridge [BRIDGE_ISA]
unknown         : Intel Corporation|82801DBM IDE Controller (UltraATA/100) [STORAGE_IDE]
unknown         : Intel Corporation|82801DB SMBus Controller [SERIAL_SMBUS]
snd-intel8x0    : Intel Corporation|ICH4 845G/GL Chipset AC'97 Audio Controller [MULTIMEDIA_AUDIO]
snd-intel8x0m   : Intel Corp.|82801DB AC [COMMUNICATION_MODEM]
Card:ATI Radeon (fglrx): ATI|Radeon Mobility 9600 (M10) NP (AGP) [DISPLAY_VGA]
unknown         : Texas Instruments|PCI7420 CardBus Controller [BRIDGE_CARDBUS]
ohci1394        : Texas Instruments|PCI7x20 1394a-2000 OHCI Two-Port PHY/Link-Layer Controller [SERIAL_FIREWIRE]
unknown         : Texas Instruments|PCI7420 Flash Media Controller [STORAGE_OTHER]
ipw2200         : Intel Corp.|Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG [NETWORK_OTHER]
e1000           : Intel Corp.|82547EI Gigabit Ethernet Controller [NETWORK_ETHERNET]
usb-ohci        : NEC|USB [SERIAL_USB]
usb-ohci        : NEC|USB [SERIAL_USB]
ehci-hcd        : NEC Corporation|PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller [SERIAL_USB]
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB ohci_hcd|NEC Corporation USB (#2) [Hub]
usblp           : Prolific Technology, Inc.|PL2305 Parallel Port [Printer|Printer|Unidirectional]
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB ohci_hcd|NEC Corporation USB [Hub]
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB ehci_hcd|NEC Corporation USB 2.0 [Hub]
unknown         : SONY|TVC-U02
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB ehci_hcd|Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB2 EHCI ... [Hub]
hub             : unknown (0409/0059/ffff/ffff) [Hub]
usbhid          : Microsoft|Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop® 1.00 [Human Interface Devices|...|Keyboard]
usbhid          : Sony|Sony IR Receiver [Human Interface Devices|No Subclass|None]
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB uhci_hcd|Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB UHCI #3 [Hub]
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB uhci_hcd|Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB UHCI #2 [Hub]
hub             : Linux 2.6.8-0.rc2.2mdk-i686-up-4GB uhci_hcd|Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) USB UHCI #1 [Hub]

RPMs You Need After Installation

I installed the acpid daemon, and pcmcia, wireless tools
urpmi acpid       [server]
urpmi pcmcia    [PC card utilities
urpmi acpi         [client] command line gui
urpmi wireless-tools    [wireless card utilities]
urpmi noflushd            [Daemon that sends idle disks to sleep]
urpmi cpufreqd-1.1.2-2mdk [CPU frequency scaling daemon]
urpmi gnome-cpufreq-applet-0.2.1-1mdk

Remote URPMI

For easier installation of rpm's you can goto easy Urpmi web site look for a mirror next to you and add.

Here is an example
 urpmi.addmedia proxad_plf ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/plf/mandrake/10.0 with hdlist.cz
 urpmi.addmedia --update proxad_updates ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/Mandrakelinux/official/updates/10.0/RPMS with ../base/hdlist.cz
 urpmi.addmedia proxad_main ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/Mandrakelinux/official/10.0/i586/Mandrake/RPMS with ../base/hdlist.cz
 urpmi.addmedia proxad_contrib ftp://ftp.proxad.net/pub/Distributions_Linux/Mandrakelinux/official/10.0/contrib/i586 with ../../i586/Mandrake/base/hdlist2.cz

If this is a success. You can remove the local media images using drakrpm-edit-media.
To install and remove rpms you can use drakrpm and drakrpm-remove.
For updates you can use drakrpm-update.
This is not a required step, and if your network connection to the internet is slow you should avoid this.
For Mandrake 10.1 Beta use a cooker mirror instead of the one indicated here.


/dev/hda6 is the swap partition and should be 30% bigger than your physical memory to allow the suspend to disk (hibernate) to work.
My lilo config looks like this, the first 2 lilo entrys are for A190 with less than 1 GB of memory.

    append="devfs=mount acpi=on resume=/dev/hda6 splash=silent nolapic"
    append="devfs=mount acpi=on resume=/dev/hda6 splash=silent nolapic noresume"

This lilo entrys are for a mandrake kernel that uses the full 2GB of memory. Execute
urpmi kernel-i686-up-4GB
to install this kernel

    append="devfs=mount acpi=on resume=/dev/hda6 splash=silent nolapic"
    append="devfs=mount acpi=on resume=/dev/hda6 splash=silent nolapic noresume"

Execute lilo on a root command line window to make these settings active, after making your changes.


Edit the file /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia and change it to:

and type
service pcmcia start
on the command line to start the pcmcia service.

Power Management ACPI

I use kde Kcontrol, to control the Battery and the power settings.
Load the ACPI modules if it does not get load automatic and them start kcontrol again.
modprobe ac
modprobe battery
modprobe button
modprobe fan
modprobe processor
modprobe thermal

After making this changes you can use kcontrol, kde control center to arrange your power settings

In a nutshell, acpid appears to catch 3 events -- "power button" , "lid close" and "plug and unplug of ac adapter". Closing the screen works as the button action on the kcontrol Laptop battery module, so you can configure it to perform an action you think is adequate, when you close your screen. The power button is preconfigured to shutdown the machine. You can change these in /etc/acpi/events/ files or in kcontrol.

You need to add the "nolapic", to allow the laptop to shutdown without getting stuck at then end of the shutdown process, for restart you do not need this hack it work fine without this. Apparently this disables the Local APIC (Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller). But I have no idea why this would affect the poweroff of the machine.

You can browse your local ACPI support on /proc/acpi and change the supported events scripts in /etc/acpi/ or using Kcontrol - PowerControl - Laptop Battery module.


Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
Works fine with e1000 module driver.


Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
I was not able to make it work yet but the driver for linux if available from http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/ but is still in a very early development phase.

Other solution is to install ndiswrapper(http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/) and then grab the windows drivers from the Windows XP hard disk/Sony installation CD or random place on the web found by google. Follow the instructions in /usr/share/doc/ndiswrapper-0.2/README. Use iwconfig to sniff out wireless hot-spots and ifup wlan0 to bring up the wireless interface.

Resume, Suspend to RAM And Suspend to Disk

I was not able to make suspend and resume work with the Mandrake 10 official out of the box. But there are some people, who have reported it works better under kernel 2.6.7.
Suspend to ram/Resume works better on the new Mandrake 10.1 Beta but it's not stable for now.
Suspend to disk (Hibernate) work sometimes, and you need to have a swap partition 30% bigger than your physical memory.
Example: for a 2 GB memory, you need at least 2.6GB swap partition, to be able to hibernate. Make sure you setup this at installation time.


Start Screen Size & Rotate tool from KDE Menu
System/Configuration/Hardware/Screen Size & Rotate
To allow you to switch resolutions in an easy way. Sometimes this tool is needed if you think the resolution is to small or to big.
3D is not working because, the Xorg drivers do no support 3D for ATI  cards yet.
You need to download the linux drivers from ATI, they should work fine on Mandrake 10 witch use XFree 4.3 server.
But because the Mandrake 10.1 uses the new XOrg server, the ATI drivers do not work on of the box.
They will probably be available from Mandrake when 10.1 is released.

Special Keys

I am still trying to make this work, comments are appreciated.


Alps Wide Pointing-device for VAIO, Apls,  Alps Electric Work fine.


CXT AC-Link Modem for Intel
I did not spend any time to make this work, but is wintel modem.

Extra Hardware Info

Support for the keyboard special keys:

Extra Software

Installing the Flash Media Player for Mandrake 10.

flash player
urpmi.addmedia  Macromedia http://macromedia.rediris.es/urpmi/mandrake/10.0/RPMS with synthesis.hdlist.cz

urpmi flash-plugin
urpmi mozilla-firefox


XF86Config Example

For XOrg server, should also work with XFree server.

# File generated by XFdrake.

# **********************************************************************
# Refer to the XF86Config man page for details about the format of
# this file.
# **********************************************************************

Section "Files"
    FontPath "unix/:-1"

Section "ServerFlags"
    AllowMouseOpenFail # allows the server to start up even if the mouse doesn't work

Section "Module"
    Load "dbe" # Double-Buffering Extension
    Load "v4l" # Video for Linux
    Load "extmod"
    Load "type1"
    Load "freetype"
    Load "speedo"
    Load "dri" # direct rendering
    Load "/usr/X11R6/lib/modules/extensions/libglx.a"

Section "DRI"
    Mode 0666

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Keyboard1"
    Driver "Keyboard"
    Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
    Option "XkbLayout" "en_US"
    Option "XkbOptions" ""

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Mouse1"
    Driver "mouse"
    Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option "Device" "/dev/mouse"
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "monitor1"
    VendorName "Generic"
    ModelName "Flat Panel 1920x1200"
    HorizSync 31.5-90
    VertRefresh 60
1032 1176 1344   480  488  494  563 -hsync

Section "Device"
    Identifier "device1"
    VendorName "ATI"
    BoardName "ATI Radeon (fglrx)"
    Driver "radeon"
    Option "DPMS"
    Option "AGPMode" "4"
# volume down, does not work
# brigthness button, does not work
# zoom button, does not work
# S1 button, does not work
    Option "AGPFastWrite" "true"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "screen1"
    Device "device1"
    Monitor "monitor1"
    DefaultColorDepth 24
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth 24
Modes       "1920x1200" "1280x768"
"1600x1200" "1400x1050" "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "960x600"

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "layout1"
    InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice "Mouse1" "CorePointer"
    Screen "screen1"


Mandrake 10 works fine and is very stable. You do not need any special skills to make this work on this new Vaio A190/170 laptops.
It still does not support suspend/resume or hibernate, but you my be able to make it work if you spend some time reading pages on google and you have advanced skills in Linux. As always you need a good Internet connection to grab the latest updates, about 200 Mega for the Mandrake Official. This is not essential but is highly recommended.

Mandrake 10.1 is as good as Mandrake 10 in supporting the hardware. On ACPI, suspend, resume, hibernate is a little bit better than Mandrake 10 but still not very useful. For Mandrake 10.1 Beta you need to update lot more to get all the latest stuff, because it is a development version.

Other References

This report is listed at Linux on Laptops(http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/)

Linux (Mandrake 10.0) on my Sony Vaio PCG-V505CP(http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/~bl/vaio/Linux_on_my_Sony_v505cp.html)



Luis Alves <luis.alves_at_engineer.com>.

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