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Linux on Sony Vaio Z?

Discussion in 'Sony' started by munsell, Nov 28, 2008.

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  1. munsell

    munsell Notebook Enthusiast

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    I plan to purchase a Vaio Z series laptop, but I want to run Linux on it. With this in mind, I would appreciate any feedback people have concerning the Vaio Z and Linux. I have searched the forums and found some information that leads me to believe that the Vaio Z and Linux don't get along very well. =( Most of the posts I have read are a bit old, so I am hoping that some of the issues have been overcome. Again, any feedback is appreciated.
     
  2. DetlevCM

    DetlevCM Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Technically you can run any OS on any system.

    Problem is though, you don't get the drivers for some OS, or they won't recognize the hardware, etc. (e.g. Windows one on a modern PC)

    But back on-topic regarding Linux.

    You will possibly be required to instal several drivers by yourself as they may not be integrated into the Linux distribution.

    And: You have to find how the graphics card switching works out in Linux.

    Maybe you can ask specific driver questions in the Linux forum?
     
  3. jpcook

    jpcook Newbie

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    Yesterday I purchased a replacement for my Viao because I'm not purchasing the OS a second time if they dont' have drivers to support what they say they support, XP.

    The HP rep, after I got him to be serious and not me, told me that M$ has been threatening HP if they don't close the doors on XP capability and support their "one install" program. He mentioned that they are pushing the Mfgrs. to produce laptops that can only run Vista from MS preloaded. None of this Linux, XP upgrading stuff. His feeling was that eventually M$ will dominate and control the hardware market one way or another.

    Gotta love 'em.

    So, if you're going Linux, go go go.

    After this, I'm done with Window$.
     
  4. DetlevCM

    DetlevCM Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    There is no way you can lock out Linux.
    Because if the Hardware manufacturer doesn't supply the Linux drivers someone will.
     
  5. InfyMcGirk

    InfyMcGirk while(!(succeed=try()));

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    Indeed. Although in the past (if not today) Microsoft used anti-competitive selling practices to force manufacturers to pay for a MS OS license for every PC sold - even those with Linux installed. So although they didn't 'ban Linux' they made it uneconomical. As far as I know, Microsoft aren't quite as bad nowadays... :rolleyes:
     
  6. DetlevCM

    DetlevCM Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    This may well be, but I think that's another issue...
     
  7. ssd4all

    ssd4all Notebook Enthusiast

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    I cannot comment on the VAIO Z, but the VAIO SR with ATI graphics runs pretty well
    under Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. Most things work out of the box (graphics, ethernet, suspend
    to ram, suspend to disk, touchpad including vertical scrolling, VGA adapter for external
    screen, sound, dimming of screen while on battery).

    I had so far no chance to test wireless and Bluetooth but they are recognized and
    configured in Ibex. There are some small things that need fixing (in the standard
    installation speakers are not muted when headphones are plugged in, and also some
    Fn key combinations don't work, but that's nothing to be afraid of, the important ones
    like the PgUp, PgDn key-combinations do work).

    The largest stumbling block for using new hardware with Linux is usually the graphics
    drivers. You should be safe here with the Z, because Nvidia have offered pretty good Linux
    drivers in the past, which are rather easy to install in most distros. The free Linux drivers
    for the Intel X4500 are problematic at present, but this should improve soon as the
    developers have recently fixed a bug that has bothered many people with Sony VAIOS.
     
  8. dhfriedman

    dhfriedman Notebook Enthusiast

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    from the sony vaio Z owners thread

     
  9. djlooka

    djlooka Notebook Enthusiast

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    I currently have installed Ubuntu 8.10 (32bit) on my Z11MN/B, kernel .29.
    Almost everything seems to go pretty well, but there's appearently no way to set the backlight (not even using the specifical sony brightness acpi interface, which instead works on the vaio SR11M, with the x4500).
    It's stuck to the maximum level, so it's very annoying, and not suitable for real use.
    I don't know if some minor features are supported (mmc/sd/ms reader or bt) simply because I still haven't tested them.
     
  10. Yeeze

    Yeeze Notebook Consultant

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    I tried Ubuntu 8.10, but I could not get the nVidia card to work with an accelerated driver. It also seems like when booting Ubuntu it powers both, the Intel and the nVidia card.
    Without accelerated graphics, there is no 3D and a lot of image tearing effects due to slow graphics performance.

    Did you get the nVidia card accelerated djlooka?
     
  11. chong67

    chong67 Notebook Deity

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    I run mother earth Vista Biz x64 and I have put OpenSuse11 and Solaris 10 Desktop and Ubuntu 8.04 on my Z.

    How?

    I use VMware.
     
  12. djlooka

    djlooka Notebook Enthusiast

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    It's true. THE problem is that we lack kernel support to dual gpu (as for Fn keys, brightness, etc).
    Hopefully someone is working on it right now, so, just be patient :D

    Yes, follow this guide:
    h t t p://neotokyo.sytes.net/vgn-z11/Ubuntu8.10_vaio_vgn_z11.html

    As it is in Spanish, Google translate may help ;)

    VMware is not a real solution IMO.
    You can't fully take advantage of your hw.
     
  13. munsell

    munsell Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks to everyone for the great feedback!

    This really has me worried =(
    djlooka - While you are using the nvidia chipset, would you please try the following?
    Code:
    $ nvidia-settings --assign RedBrightness=0.5
    $ nvidia-settings --assign GreenBrightness=0.5
    $ nvidia-settings --assign BlueBrightness=0.5
    
    More information can be found here:
    w w w .linux.it/~malattia/wiki/index.php/Sony-laptop
     
  14. djlooka

    djlooka Notebook Enthusiast

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    Code:
    luca@z:~$ nvidia-settings --assign RedBrightness=0.5
    
    ERROR: Error parsing assignment 'RedBrigtness=0.5' (Trailing garbage).
    
    :(
     
  15. sector

    sector Notebook Geek

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    on saturday ill try to install gentoo linux on my z. I want to have linux as my main OS, so i cant imagine my vaio without linux :|

    anyway, so the main problem is that so far there is no kerner with 2 gpu card support, yes?
     
  16. dhfriedman

    dhfriedman Notebook Enthusiast

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    the main problem is that apparently the wireless driver in recent kernels fudges up the firmware of the wifi card
     
  17. sector

    sector Notebook Geek

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    which kernel/s should i avoid? *.27 AND *.25 ? and what kernel should i install then?
     
  18. djlooka

    djlooka Notebook Enthusiast

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    THE problem is the brightness: it's stuck to the maximum, you can't use it on google for more than 3 seconds :cool:.
    You can install both drivers today, but it's a tricky procedure (see link some posts above), and you'll have to boot up Windows XP (Vista is not compatible with the procedure) everytime you want to switch between the gpus.
    I think today's a bit early to have linux as main OS, but I'm hopeful that in a few kernel releases the problems will be solved.
    It was only involving the .27 kernel, and has now been solved.
    I have both .26 and .29 on mine, and AFAIK there's no problem.
     
  19. munsell

    munsell Notebook Enthusiast

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    Doh, sorry about that! I found and old laptop with an Nvidia chipset, slapped linux on it and was able to reduce the brightness by using the nvidia-settings utility. The syntax that I posted earlier is apparently incorrect (as you discovered). The following method may be an eaiser way to reduce the brightness.

    On my distro, after I installed the nvidia driver, an "nvidia-settings" utility was also installed:

    Code:
    $ which nvidia-settings 
    /usr/bin/nvidia-settings
    
    $ sudo nvidia-settings
    
    The last command should start an Nvidia GUI program. Under the "X Screen 0" tab (left side), select "X Server Color Correction". There should be a brightness slider bar that you can adjust to reduce the brigthess.

    Please note there are numerous ways to set the brightness value. The correct command line syntax is:

    Code:
    $ sudo nvidia-settings --assign :0.0/RedBrightness=0.0 <--- repeat for other channels
    
     
  20. S.Prime

    S.Prime Notebook Deity

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    can you adjust default brightness in the bios? my last laptop I could do that.
     

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