Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sony Vaio X and Ubuntu 12.04 Precise

So, here is how to install Ubuntu 12.04 on a Sony Vaio X (my model: VPCX11S1E).

With minor adjustments, the intel GMA500 video card is now working out of the box.

I don't use the built-in WWAN 3G modem but if you do you should probably keep some driver files from the Windows partition! See this post.

  • LAN + WLAN
  • Trackpad with edge scrolling/scroll area (no/disabled multi touch/two-finger scrolling)
  • Audio/built-in speakers/microphone and camera (mic really bad though) and volume control
  • Graphics with brightness (after fix below)
  • USB/Bluetooth
  • Suspend (works sometimes, I don't really use/test the suspend feature)

Not working/tested:
  • External VGA
  • Graphics boots up with faulty resolution sometimes (including during installation). Just reboot to fix.
  • WWAN 3G modem


1. Create Ubuntu install USB (info).

2. On the USB, add the following boot options to syslinux.cfg:
quiet splash console=tty1 acpi_backlight=vendor acpi_osi=Linux acer_wmi.blacklist=yes mem=1920mb

3. Install Ubuntu from USB and reboot (to a black screen).

4. Fix the black screen by dropping to console (Crtl-Alt-F1) and log in.
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
# Change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash console=tty1 acpi_backlight=vendor acpi_osi=Linux acer_wmi.blacklist=yes mem=1920mb"
# Change GRUB_GFXMODE=1366x768x32
sudo update-grub
sudo nano /etc/grub.d/01_915resolution# Add echo insmod 915resolution
# Add echo 915resolution 58 1366 768 32
sudo chmod a+x /etc/grub.d/01_915resolution
sudo reboot

5. Fix suspend:
sudo nano /etc/pm/config.d/gma500
# Add ADD_PARAMETERS='-quirk-vbemode-restore'