last updated 2002-03-18

Linux on PCG-FX503

Technical Specification


Removing Windows :-)

The harddisk is partioned into 10GB/10GB. So the first thing to do was to repartion the harddisk to get enough space for Linux.

Because I only want to use the Notebook with Linux but on the other hand maybe you need Windows to show failure of some hardware to you dealer, I decided to have a minimal Windows partition.

So I took the included rescue CDs for Windows and startet them to repartion the harddisk and reinstall Windows. You get the option to repartion your harddisk to 5GB(C:)/15GB(D:) or 10GB(C:)/10GB(D:). That was unaccaptle for me, so I decided to boot SuSE Linux 7.3 and partition the harddisk with Linux.

Installing SuSE 7.3

Installing Linux is straight forward, but you must choose the Manual Installation on the first screen. The normal installation will hang, while detecting your hardware. I booted from CDROM, repartioned the harddisk (3GB /dev/hda1 Windows, 14 GB /dev/hda2 ReiserFS (Linux-Data) 1GB /dev/hda3 swap, 2GB /dev/hda4 Linux), selected a base configuration with KDE, installe LILO in the MBR, configured the X-Server with SAX2 (autodetected the Chipset), and finally rebootet, and...

The system hang!! The system hang while trying to start the PCMCIA services. The solution is to set NOPCMCIA=1 at the boot prompt while booting from harddisk. After you have booted successfully set START_PCMCIA="no" in /etc/rc.config. PCMCIA service is now disabled at boottime. Because I do not need PCMCIA I have not checked in detail why it does not work.

The system is up and running!

Installing the modem

At you can download the driver for the internal modem. If you want to use kppp, set the Line Termination to CR. That's important!

USB support

The bad news: USB support does not work due to a PCI/IRQ routing problem.

The good news: There is a patch commited by Jan Slupski solving this problem:

line 591
- } else if (r->get && (irq = r->get(pirq_router_dev, dev, pirq))) {
+ } else if (r->get && (irq=r->get(pirq_router_dev, dev, pirq)) && !(dev->vendor==0x8086 && dev->device==0x2442)) {

This patch sets the correct routing for the device 8086:2442 which is the USB controller.

EDIROL UA5 Audio device connected to USB

I'm using the USB port for an EDIROL UA5 Audio device. This audio device works with no problems in standard mode. The ASIO 2.0 mode currently is not supported under Linux. For harddisk recording I use a small selfmade utility.

Using the programmable keys

You can compile the sonypi module into you kernel, but this modules does not recognize the programmable keys. If you want use them you need a small patch. The patch is against kernel 2.4.17. Goto /usr/src/linux/drivers/chars and patch the files sonypi.c and sonypi.h:
patch sonypi.c < sonypi.c.diff
patch sonypi.h < sonypi.h.diff
Then add to you /etc/modules.conf

alias char-major-10-250 sonypi
        options sonypi nojogdial=1
To be continued later... VAIO tools

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