bigbrovar

August 17, 2008

Ubuntu on Sony Vaio Fz21e

Filed under: Ubuntu — Bigbrovar @ 10:45 am
Tags:

Sony Vaio make the most beautiful non apple notebooks (in my opinion) unfortunately its laptops are also very linux unfriendly. Last year while shoping for a new laptop i wanted something stylish and at the same time built with open hardware and works with Linux, hence i avoided anything that had broadcom or atheros wireless drivers, and ATI Graphic Drivers since they are notorious for their freedom hating attitude towards Linux (they don’t usually work out of the box ). so when i saw a sony vaio that has an intel wireless card, ( intel wireless cards are very well supported in LInux),NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT (Nvidia graphic cards although closed sourced are generally well supported in Linux ).  Nothing felt better than a shinny new laptop to run Linux and make my window friends drool at the stability and beauty it brings to my desktop experience . So i shelled out 145,000 Naira ( about $1,200) to get my shinny new laptop so that we could leave happily ever after .. right ?  … Wrong. Turns out that i would have to do some extra stuffs  to get my brand new Sony Vaio to play well with Linux .

Basic Hardware Specs/Status:

Ubuntu on Sony Vaio Fz21e

* August 17, 2008 – 10:45 am
* Posted in Ubuntu
* Tagged ubuntu hardware sony vaio
* Edit

Sony Vaio make the most beautiful non apple notebooks (in my opinion) unfortunately its laptops are also very linux unfriendly. Last year while shoping for a new laptop i wanted something stylish and at the same time built with open hardware and works with Linux, hence i avoided anything that had broadcom or atheros wireless drivers, and ATI Graphic Drivers since they are notorious for their freedom hating attitude towards Linux (they don’t usually work out of the box ). so when i saw a sony vaio that has an intel wireless card, ( intel wireless cards are very well supported in LInux),NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT (Nvidia graphic cards although closed sourced are generally well supported in Linux ). Nothing felt better than a shinny new laptop to run Linux and make my window friends drool at the stability and beauty it brings to my desktop experience . So i shelled out 145,000 Naira ( about $1,200) to get my shinny new laptop so that we could leave happily ever after .. right ? … Wrong. Turns out that i would have to do some extra stuffs to get my brand new Sony Vaio to play well with Linux .

Basic Hardware Specs/Status:

Hardware Components and Status Under Ubuntu Hardy Heron

*Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz
Just Works

*Display Type 15.4″ TFT
Just Works

*NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT / 64 MB
Works (You have to install the Nvidia Drivers)

*2 GB / 4 GB (max) DDR II SDRAM – 667 MHz
Just Works Just Works

*Hard Drive 160 GB – Serial ATA-150 – 5400 rpm
Just Works

*Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Just Works

*Sensor Resolution 1.3 Megapixel
Works More Info

*56 kbps Modem
Untested

*Card reader
Works (Memory Stick issue)

*fn Keys for Brightness Control
Does not work

*Multimedia Control Keys
Just Works

*Hibernation
Works More Info

The First Linux Distro i installed on the sony laptop was Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon . then Later Hardy Heron so this Guide is based on Hardy Heron .

PACKAGES THAT NEED TO BE INSTALL FROM SYNAPTICS OR APT-GET

lphdisk

cheese

nvidia-settings

libjasper-runtime

build-essential

Audio Headphone Problem

The first problem i encountered with this laptop was the fact that no sound worked when i plugged in my head phone . i easily got this fixed by opening  /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base as root.To do this open Terminal (Application/Accessories/Terminal) and run this -supply your systems passward when asked-

gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

and inserting this line

options snd-hda-intel model=vaio

at the bottom after the last line

save and close the text edit . once you restart the problem would be fixed

Webcam Problem

Before we start installing the web Camera  lets fix some bugs caused by  HAL loading a wrong module for the camera that in addition to not working, makes the laptop crash when you try to suspend it. So you must remove the misbehaving module from the kernel and prohibit reloading it.

open terminal and run this

sudo gedit /etc/pm/config.d/unload_modules

Give your password and then copy and paste the following line at the end of the file:

SUSPEND_MODULES=uvcvideo

save and close the file .

Now we can start working on the webcam by first making  sure you have installed the build-essential package from the  synaptic package manager (System/Administration/Synaptic) or sudo apt-get install build-essential.Now you need to download the needed driver which can be downlaoded here

Save the downloaded file to your Desktop  open Terminal and run the following command (yeah you can copy and paste to reduce typo errors)

cd $HOME/Desktop

then this

tar xzvf r5u870-0.10.1.tar.gz

and

cd r5u870-0.10.1

and

make

and

sudo make install

now we have the drivers installed

VERY IMPORTANT

We are not done yet with the Webcam

from Terminal rule this gksu gedit /etc/modules

and paste the followings at the bottom of the text file that opens after the last line.

r5u870
videodev
v4l1-compat
v4l2-common
video-buf
meye

save and close the text editor

now run this in terminal

sudo modprobe r5u870

To make use of the webcam we would need to download a very cool application called cheese . you can install it through synaptic or from terminal sudo apt-get install cheese

when installed cheese can be found under Application/Graphic/Cheese Try it

Didnt work right ? yeah i know i just wanted you to try your luck it did work in gutsy though .. ok to make it work open a new terminal and run this wget http://students.ceid.upatras.gr/%7Easimakis/10-r5u870-webcam.fdi

then this

mv 10-r5u870-webcam.fd /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/20thirdparty

now you can restart your system and the webcam would be fully working .if you dont want to restart just run this in terminal

sudo /etc/init.d/hal restart

Open Cheese and your webcam would work .. even with skype .

to use webcam with yahoo messenger you have to install kopete and libjasper from the Synaptic or

sudo apt-get install kopete libjasper-runtime

You would find Kopete under Application/Internet/Kopete

Sound Recording

  1. Open the sound controls by clicking the sound icon next to the clock.
  2. Select File->Change Device->HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)
  3. Then goto Edit->Preferences and select everything.

Hibernation

Install the Following tool from synaptic lphdisk

Reference

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=706530

http://www.palmix.org/vaio-en.html

http://inshame.blogspot.com/2008/06/ubuntu-hardy-heron-on-sony-vaio-vgn.html

17 Comments »

  1. i have the same laptop and im switching over to ubuntu.
    this helped me very much.
    thankyou

    Comment by deejay — November 6, 2008 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  2. am glad to be of help Deejay

    Comment by Bigbrovar — November 22, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  3. hello, i just wonder if your instructions for the webcam are working in ubuntu intrepid ibex. it seems that there’s a problem with the driver in the kernel 2.6.27.

    could you please let me know which version of ubuntu are you using?? could anyone post here if he managed to make the webcam work in ubuntu intrepid with skype and this vaio model (vgn-fz21e)?

    thank you

    Comment by jorge — November 25, 2008 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  4. i wrote tnis guide i while back when i was still using hardy heron.. i have seen given the laptop to my brother who still runs kubuntu 8.04 on it. but he is off in college at the mo. i hope to install ibex on it when we meet later this year and i will update the guide when i do. however u might need to use a different driver for the 2.6.27 kernel

    Comment by Bigbrovar — November 25, 2008 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  5. Hi!, Congratulations 4 this great tutorial, but i have a problem. I’ve tried install the webcam on my sony vaio fz-250 and everything was good, but the image looks like a mirror. What’s the problem?. Thanks 4 ur help

    ps: pardon me my english. I talk spanish.

    Comment by jigsaw — December 2, 2008 @ 1:25 am | Reply

  6. @ jigsaw can you please explain more. what exactly do you mean by “looks like a mirror”

    Comment by Bigbrovar — December 2, 2008 @ 6:52 am | Reply

  7. I’ve had this laptop a while and have been using VMWare for the longest time, mainly because I was too much of a Linux noob to be able to get everything to work (usually just used a kubuntu or knoppix live discs)

    Really appreciate you taking the time to publish this, very helpful, accurate and puts me in a position to learn this amazing o/s properly.

    Cheers

    S.

    Comment by Steve 'Pikey' Green — February 8, 2009 @ 1:47 am | Reply

  8. @ Steve ‘Pikey’ Green am glad that it worked for you. few things make me happier than to know my guide helped someone somewhere .. nice name btw

    Comment by Bigbrovar — February 8, 2009 @ 9:06 am | Reply

  9. Hi! I have kubuntu intrepid ibex and I have a lot of problems.
    1st. when I put the command
    “cd r5u870-0.10.1”
    the terminal doesn’t find the archive or directory. I try to write “cd r5u870”, but the terminal find 2 errors.
    I have more problems but first of all I would like that anyone help me with this.
    Thank you.

    Comment by oriol — February 19, 2009 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  10. @ oriol its going to be very hard to guess what the problem is .. my guess is that you are not typing the right command .. how good are you with the commandline? .. one thing you could do is type cd r5 then press tab on your keyboard .. the rest of the command should be naturally completed .. if you have time you can met me on my irc channel #nglug on irc.freenode.net

    Comment by Bigbrovar — February 19, 2009 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

  11. Hi there! Greetings from Brazil! Thanks for this wonderful piece of information.

    I am newbie in terms of Linux, and I wasn’t seen much reason to use Ubuntu 8.04 on my Vaio FZ250AE, especially because of the Headphone issue, since it was looking broken so I let it aside for a while.

    But, when I ran the simple fix you show up I am just amazed! I want to go forward and make it all!

    When I ran the command:
    sudo gedit /etc/pm/config.d/unload_modules , I get an empty file. Is that to be this way?

    Thanks for your time and knowledge sharing.

    Comment by Rogerio Toth — May 19, 2009 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  12. Been a while since i wrote this guide, and i have since given the laptop to my brother who lives far from me. however i did a cross check and found that the sudo gedit /etc/pm/config.d/unload_modules command was no typo. so if it comes up with an empty file. then that is just the way it should be. Let me know if you have anymore question🙂

    Greetings from Nigeria

    Comment by Bigbrovar — May 19, 2009 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Bigbrovar. As I am copying and pasting I should be good to go!

      Thanks for the heads up on twitter!😉

      Comment by Rogerio Toth — May 19, 2009 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  13. Thanks for your guide to audio jack problem, now work perfectly on my vaio FZ21E, but the webcam don’t work(Bus 003 Device 002: ID 05ca:183b Ricoh Co., Ltd)
    Release:ubuntu 8.04(hardy)
    Gnome:2.22.3 (Ubuntu 2008-07-09)
    Kernel:2.6.24-24-rt (#1 SMP PREEMPT RT Wed Apr 15 16:33:12 UTC 2009)
    GCC version:4.2.4 (x86_64-linux-gnu)
    Xorg version:unknown (13 June 2008 01:10:57AM)
    When i tried to “sudo make”,the error is: make -C /lib/modules/2.6.24-24-rt/build M=/home/dav/Scrivania/r5u870-0.11.0 V=0 modules
    make: *** /lib/modules/2.6.24-24-rt/build: Nessun file o directory. Stop.
    make: *** [all] Error 2
    What’s happened for you?
    Thanks very much for your interest.

    Comment by davide — May 25, 2009 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  14. up

    Comment by davide — July 5, 2009 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

  15. The file for Audio is NOT alsa-base, but alsa-base.conf:

    gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

    Thanks for your article mate.

    Comment by j3ck — August 5, 2009 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  16. Hello. Can you please post how to make work motion eye ( webcam ) on ubuntu 10.10 64bit. I try instruction from your post: https://bigbrovar.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/ubuntu-on-sony-vaio-fz21e/ but this not work with ubuntu 10.10. I have sony vaio fz11s and nearly 2 years I am without webcam. Thanks for any help. Regards – Adam.

    Comment by Adam — August 30, 2011 @ 7:52 pm | Reply


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