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'


  1. Been running this configuration (GNOME Classic) for a while now and it has been working just fine with performance back up again!

    Sometimes the graphics boots up with faulty resolution though.

  2. Upgraded to 12.10, Quantal. Works great. Make sure to disable Compiz which is really buggy this time around (heavy CPU load and buggy Alt-Tab). Fix this by simply logging in with GNOME Classic (No effects).