Monday, July 4, 2011

Vaio X and Ubuntu 11.04 Natty

Here is how I make my Sony Vaio X work with Ubuntu 11.04.
The installation/upgrade is not seamless and still need some tweaks.
  • LAN + WLAN
  • Trackpad (no scroll area and no multi touch)
  • Audio/built in speakers
  • Graphics *
  • USB/Bluetooth
  • WWAN 3G modem (Qualcomm Gobi 2000) *
Not working:
  • Built in web camera (haven't even tried)
  • Stand by / hibernation

Here are my steps:

1. Install Ubuntu from USB (info).
Keep a few files from Windows 7 before completely removing it (see 3. below).

* 2. Install EMGD video driver for GMA 500 (info):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gma500/emgd
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xorg-emgd emgd-dkms
sudo emgd-xorg-conf
# Replace /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-emgd.conf with

# Make brightness buttons work:
sudo apt-get install emgdbl
# Add "blacklist poulsbo" to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
# Add "emgdbl" to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
# Add "acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=video" to /etc/default/grub (GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT)
sudo update-initramfs -c -k all
sudo update-grub
sudo reboot

* 3. Install WWAN 3G modem support:
# Make sure you have the following files backed up from Windows 7:
# C:\Program Files\Qualcomm\Images\Sony\UMTS\AMSS.mbn
# C:\Program Files\Qualcomm\Images\Sony\UMTS\Apps.mbn
# C:\Program Files\Qualcomm\Images\Sony\6\UQCN.mbn
sudo mkdir /lib/firmware/gobi
sudo cp AMSS.mbn Apps.mbn UQCN.mbn /lib/firmware/gobi
sudo apt-get install gobi-loader
# and then Enable Mobile Broadband in the network tray application.


  1. Hi Svante,

    Which is the model of you Sony Vaio?

    I have problems with the VPCY2 (Serie Y). DO you recommend your solution for my case?


    1. Mine is Vaio X and you should not use this guide for the Y. It looks like you should start here: .

      Good luck!

  2. I'm now upgraded to 11.10 (pretty much the same procedure). Adding this for touchpad edge-scrolling:

    Download and install this psmouse driver, edge scroll and disable while typing feature of the touchpad works again.

  3. For some reason, I had to "blacklist psb_gfx" as well in blacklist.conf.

    Also, I'm using gma500/emgd-1.8 PPA.

    Besides that, your instructions are a great help, A+++ As Described :). One suggestion, mention model numbers like Sony VPCX128LG (mine) to make it easier for googlers to find. I stumbled in here fairly late in the game. Cheers!

  4. I was referring to Ubuntu Oneiric 11.10 in that last post.

  5. hi there,

    linux noob here.

    for what (GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT) is your tut stands for?


  6. ok, it stands for replacing its value with the new string.

    anyway, even with hardware drivers, the system is slightly less responsive than Win7. wtf Linux

    1. Yes, I agree -- wtf!!!

      Overall performance in Ubuntu has dropped drastically since 10.04 and gotten worse for every new release. I blame Unity (even if it is completely unusable in general and naturally disabled in my configurations).